Meet the Freshmen: Taylor King
Dec. 7, 2012
Alex Hubbard, Texas Media Relations
AUSTIN, Texas - Taylor King arrives in Austin from Gainesville, Fla., where she played her junior and senior softball seasons at Oak Hall High School. She spent her first two years at Lake Highland Prep in Orlando.
King earned a spot on the Miracle Sports All-Florida 3A High School Honorable Mention team after her senior season. She was named The Prep Zone Trophy Shop Athlete of the Week for March 19, 2012, when she went five-for-seven with two home runs, five runs batted in and eight runs scored in two games.
As a junior in 2011, King made both the Miracle Sports and Florida Athletic Coaches Association all-state teams. During her junior year, King hit .524 with three home runs, 27 runs batted in and 24 stolen bases. She also added six doubles and four triples in 2011.
King played nationally for the Gainesville Gold in Gainesville, Fla.
This week, King sat down with TexasSports.com as she prepares for her freshman season on the Forty Acres.
What brought you to Texas? When I was around nine years old, I saw Texas play and I thought it was so awesome. They were that big team you wanted to be. I just thought they were so awesome.
My best friend and I thought that's where we wanted to be. And that just carried over when I got older. I stuck with it; I was Texas or bust. That's all I wanted to do was play here. After I came out here, I knew it was where I wanted to be.
What has been the best part of Texas Softball so far? Playing obviously. It was really awesome the first game. The feeling of "wow, I'm here."
What was it like to put on the Texas jersey for the first time? I couldn't believe that I did it. I was so proud of myself. I was thinking to myself, "This is real. I'm here. This is where I am going to be for the next four years." It was an awesome feeling.
How have the returning players helped you and the other freshmen? If we need help with something, they are very open to helping you out. If you have a question about anything, they have been there. I feel very comfortable asking them if I need something. They are very welcoming. On the field, they definitely have your back.
It's really awesome to have an established group of people coming into college. It's nice just knowing that you have this group of girls who are there for you no matter what. It took a lot of social stress away.
What has it been like playing for Coach Clark, Coach Hill and Coach McFalls? I really like our coaching staff. They make you realize what you did wrong before they tell you. That makes me a better player because I am not having someone tell me my mistakes all the time. It makes me think, which helps improve my skills.
If you make a bad play, they're saying "move on to the next one." I like the fact that it is not all negative and they really make you think about what you did. It helps you improve.
What are you looking forward to the most about the spring? Playing in Florida [Texas plays in the Citrus Classic in Kissimmee, Fla. from March 1-3]. My family can come and watch, and there will be so many of them. I am excited.
What is your favorite place on UT's campus? I like being by the tower, and you can see all the statues and the capitol. Standing right in front of the tower. That's my favorite place because of the view.
How do you like Austin? I love it. I came here in eighth grade for summer camps, and just being on campus then I loved it. My family loves it, too.
Has it been difficult being away from Florida? I think the first day was the absolute worst. After the first few days, though, I was fine. I was getting into a routine.
My mom has been great. She has tried to come out at least once a month and see me. That's made it easier and it hasn't been too bad.
What has being part of the Army ROTC program on campus been like? It's definitely a challenge. I did not come from a military background, so everything was new to me. I didn't know who to call what. My parents raised me to always say, "Yes ma'am and yes sir" and to be respectful. But there [in the ROTC], you don't call everyone ma'am or sir, only high-ranking officers.
I look into it as planning for the future. When I was little, I wanted to be a Marine. It helps with jobs, too. I would like to be an occupational therapist, and they definitely need those in the military. And it will hopefully help pay for things like graduate school.
How has it been balancing your time with school, softball and ROTC? It has probably been one of the hardest things I have done. I am constantly going from one place to another. It's difficult, but it helps me with my time management. It's a blessing in disguise.
During the break, what kind of softball activities are you planning on doing? Workout a lot, between ROTC and Texas Softball workouts. I am going to catch for a couple friends of mine. I have a couple friends who play college ball, so I asked them if I could catch them. Workout with a few of my buddies that I grew up playing softball with.
Outside of softball, what are some other things you are looking forward to during break? The first thing I am doing when I get home is my dad and I are going hunting. I am looking forward to that. In the past, I was always playing softball tournaments during hunting season, but now I get to do that. I'll probably go to the beach, too.
Any sort of traditions you are looking forward to? My mom and I always cook a lot. So, I really enjoy baking cookies and helping her with different meals. It's always a great bonding time. It's something that we do every year.
What rituals or superstitions do you have on the softball field? I don't really have superstitions. I don't believe in superstitions. If you believe in them, you are more likely to believe in bad luck, which I don't.
But rituals, definitely. Whenever I go up to bat, I always shrug my shoulders. It's just something that I do. Especially to my walk-out songs. That gets me in the zone.