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Top goal scorer moving on
Eastside striker Trent Taylor signs with Truett-McConnell College
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Truett-McConnell coach Damien Westfield takes seriously the fact that his school is a Christian school first before it is a soccer team or even a college.

That thinking along with the soccer-playing theory of Trent Taylor helped the two of them come together Tuesday as the Eastside senior signed a letter of intent to play soccer at the NAIA school next year.

While Taylor has been raised a Christian by his parents Chad and Amy Taylor, he has also become a goal scorer.

Taylor scored 35 goals a game in his senior season, or slightly less than two goals per game. That is a talent Westfield hopes will translate on to the field.

"Any player coming in to Truett, his first priority is to serve God," Westfield said. "We're excited about what he is going to do with Trent at Truett, not only on the soccer field but also in the community.

"Soccer-wise, Trent has the potential to make a big impact right away as freshman on the team. At this point we're looking at an attacking role."

The Bears won just one match last season in going 1-16-1 in 2011, while dropping three matches in double overtime.

Taylor's scoring ability will help the Bears, but he may not do so in the beginning.

"There's a big drop off from college and high school soccer," Westfield said. "The physicality of the game is more intense as well as the speed of the game. And his decision making will have to improve."

Taylor said he is up for the challenge, admitting that it may take some time to get on the field as a regular.

"I probably won't be playing-playing for a half a year, or maybe a year or so," Taylor said. "They have a substantial amount of forwards, so it's more fighting for your spot."

Taylor hasn't had to fight for a spot for the last four years, where he led Eastside in most offensive categories.

Behind their captain, Taylor, Eastside was 11-7-2 in 2012 and reached the second round of the state playoffs, falling to AAA champion Woodward.

"He definitely made it easier," Eastside coach Champ Young said. "He has great technical ability and great work rate while he's on the field, and he's a goal scorer for sure. Even on his bad days he still find a way to find the net."

According to Young, Taylor has had success finding the net because of the work ethic he puts in before the whistle blows.

"He's very knowledgeable of the game," Young said. "He puts the effort in."

The effort is what Taylor will hope will get him through college, and possibly even on to his future profession as a soccer coach.

While he is still searching for a major, Taylor thinks he might study physiology while at Truett-McConnell.

He picked the Cleveland, Ga. School over others such as Gordon College.

"I went up there and the team environment is very well rounded," Taylor said. "They all take pride in what they do and they love the sport that they play."