Ian Taylor honed his volleyball skills at Gros Morne Academy.
Playing for Gros Morne Academy meant playing the game at the 2A level against some of the smaller schools spread out across Newfoundland and Labrador.
He loves being on the volleyball court and has aspirations of playing the game at the varsity level when life as a high school student is behind him.
Corner Brook volleyball coach Finton Gaudette suggested Taylor consider playing the game at a higher level if he was serious about playing the game at the varsity level.
Gaudette asked him to consider playing at the 4A level with the Corner Brook Titans. Taylor’s parents decided it was good advice and decided to give their son a chance to go for it.
Back in September, Taylor, along with his mom, moved from Norris Point to Corner Brook to join the Titans in his final year of high school.
It is a move that paid off for him and the team.
Taylor got the nod as the Most Valuable Player when the Titans captured gold after a two straight set victory over Gander Collegiate at the provincial 4A male volleyball championship over the weekend at Gonzaga High School in St. John’s.
Connor Taylor, a sibling who is two years older, was one of the motivations in his desire to give volleyball an honest effort.
His brother played the game at the provincial high school level and he was a Canada Games prospect but injuries stood in his way of going anywhere with the sport.
Taylor has been involved with the provincial team program and became friends with a number of guys who wear the Titans logo so he wasn’t exactly going into unfamiliar territory.
“I feel like it’s been a really good idea,” Taylor said. “I came up here to play better volleyball and I played a lot and I played really well. I absolutely loved it … it’s great coaches and a great team. I just feel accomplished now. I came here to play my best and play hard, and we won provincials so it’s all great.”
Volleyball is a game that the six-foot-three teenager loves for a number of reasons, from the high intensity of the matches to the physical challenges of having to be agile and quick.
Moving away from home to pursue something that he loves is something that needed to be done and he’s glad he made the commitment to be a Titan because time on the floor has been a big part of his life.
He was somewhat surprised to find out he was chosen MVP for the tournament, but he appreciated being recognized for having a good tournament.
“I felt like a lot of my teammates played better than I did, but I guess it wasn’t my decision, so it was pretty cool,” he said. “It means a lot to me because I’ve always been on the low end of stuff. Just to be considered one of the better players on the team makes me feel really good about myself.”
Titans coach Shannon Sweetland was glad to have him on the team and heaped praise on his player for his fine effort. Sweetland said Taylor is a well-rounded player who is quite efficient in the setting department who has versatility on his side. He said the team’s MVP had a positive impact on the team and was a treat to coach.
“He is one of the few kids I’ve seen who can probably play at the next level,” he said. “With a little bit more work and experience, he’s a kid who can play at the university level.”