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Sheffield Making Most of Opportunity

Taylor Sheffield has been waiting for his turn to shine and now that it’s finally here, he’s making the most of it.

So far this season, Hallsville’s senior guard is averaging 13 points, 3.5 rebounds, three assists and two steals per game as he has helped lead the Bobcats to a an overall record of 24-2 and a perfect district record of 4-0.

“A lot of the things that have helped us aren’t even necessarily on the court,” Sheffield said when asked how the team has been so successful so far. “Off the court, we’re all really close and we’ve been playing with each other since we were in elementary school so we’ve got a really good chemistry together. All of us are seniors except for our two under-classmen and they just fit right in with us too because we’ve been playing with them too for a while. On the court, I’d have say our effort defensively.”

The Bobcats have 11 seniors, one junior and one sophomore.

“We’ve all been playing on the same little Hallsville Hoop team and stuff,” Sheffield said. “I started playing organized basketball when I was 5 I think and from the moment I was like 2, I’d sit in my dad’s lap and watch basketball games with him. It’s just always been my sport. I’ve always had a passion for it.”

“He’s one of our team leaders,” Hallsville boys head basketball coach Rusty Walker said. “He’s a kid that has just gotten better and better over time. He’s had some struggles as he will tell you but here he is as a senior, really doing an amazing job for us. I’ve had fun watching him mature over the years. I never thought when he was a seventh grader and was one of our ball boys that he would be as athletic as he is. That’s probably what really surprised me because he was always this blond-headed guy who liked to be in the gym, and who knew he was going to be as explosive as he has been? He’s a really explosive guard for us and like I said, it has been fun watching him mature.”

“My sophomore year, I had an injury in the summer, a stress factor in my tibia,” he explained. “It was at the end of the summer so it carried into the season. I played in our first scrimmage and got hurt again and I just re-hurt it again with the same injury. I ended up being out until the last six games of the season.

“It was horrible,” Sheffield continued. “I’d never been hurt before and I was out for a total of 20 weeks, I think. All I could do was sit on the bench and be like, ‘Hey, you’re doing good out there,’ and tell them what I think they could fix or something but there was nothing I could do on the court to help them. It took a toll a little bit but like I said, it probably helped me get to where I am now.”

Since then, Sheffield said his game has come a long way.

“I would say I’ve gotten to be a much better leader,” he said. “It’s helped me improve everything. My defensive effort has gotten better. I’ve picked up different perceptions and things, like how to play defense as a team with other players on the court and I worked on my offensive game over the summer. I like to help other people on the team.”

Sheffield hopes to play at the next level and major in accounting.

“I want to be a forensic accountant,” he explained. “I want to work with big companies and make sure they’re doing the right stuff with their money.”

In the meantime, Sheffield has other goals set that he plans to meet, like trying to win a district championship and making a deep playoff run.

All in all, Walker added he enjoys coaching Sheffield.

“He’s also someone that I can count on to make good decisions off the court,” Walker said. “He makes A’s in the class and he makes good decisions off the court. It is fun when you watch a kid mature through the years who becomes a good player and loves the game and also can be counted on to do the right thing and is good academically. I’m awfully proud of this guy.”

Sheffield and the Bobcats are slated to return to action Tuesday when they hit the road to take on the Longview Lobos.


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