All-Star Devil

Published 12:12 am Monday, March 27, 2006

By By Matthew Nascone
Frank Taylor will be packing his bags when the month of July hits with its sweltering temperatures. But Taylor won't have to worry about the heat where he is going.
He will be inside the Von Braun Civic Center in Huntsville playing in the North-South All-Star Classic on July 13.
Taylor will take part in the 11th grade game that comprises the 30 best high school athletes in the state of Alabama. Of the 30 participants, 15 hail from the southern schools and 15 hail from the northern schools.
"I am so excited," Taylor said. "I have never been a part of anything like this and I will do the best I can to represent my school well. It will be fun and I know I will have a great time."
Other than Frank and his parents, no one person is more proud of him than ECHS head basketball coach Jerome Antone.
"I am always happy for the kids when they are recognized outside of this school like this," Antone said. "It is always good to have something good come from Atmore and it shows that we are doing something right here at Escambia County High School."
Antone said Taylor is the perfect person to represent the team in Huntsville.
"Frank is a class act and he is just a joy to coach," he said. "For him to be one of the 15 best juniors in this part of the state is an honor and we are happy for him and the school."
Taylor came up clutch for the Blue Devils on many occasions during the 2005-06 season. One example is in the waning seconds of the Clarke County Tournament championship game. Big Blue was trailing by one with three seconds to go in the game and they had the ball out of bounds.
Taylor came off a screen set for him by Calvin Hartley and was a blue streak to the basket as he put in the game-deciding lay-up at the buzzer and the Blue Devil faithful stormed the court.
And Taylor was the last Devil to touch the ball in the season for ECHS as Big Blue was again down one point in the final two seconds of the game and Chris Andrews heaved a Hail Mary pass to the waiting Taylor and he took a shot from 20 feet and the ball struck the rim, but didn't fall.
The hurt could be seen on Taylor's face, but that one play proved why Taylor belongs in the North-South game. He was always the one with the ball in the last seconds of the game. And that hurt is still visible in his words when he describes the feeling of a personal accomplishment on top of the team success.
"It is great to represent my school like this after we won our area, but I still wish we could have won the state championship," Taylor said.
Taylor's class and his athleticism have landed him a place in the All-Star game.

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