Louisiana native Chris Taylor finds resilience in tragedy

Tess Riley, Sports Editor

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While senior offensive guard Chris Taylor fights to make his National Football League dreams a reality, his family is fighting to salvage their recently flooded home.  

“I know that I may have the chance to eventually go to the NFL and move my parents to a different location,” Taylor said. “I need to work hard to help my family.”

The Taylor family is one of many families that fell victim to the recent Louisiana flooding, an event so devastating that the Federal Emergency Management Agency deemed 20 of Louisiana’s 64 parishes disaster areas.  

Multiple family members took in Taylor’s parents, Benjamin and Darlene, after the first floor of their home was completely flooded. While seeking refuge, they ended up in a New Orleans hotel to wait out the remainder of the storm.

During this difficult time for Taylor and his parents, he has relied on his other family, the Tulane football community, to help and support him.  

“The best we can do with Chris and his family, and any others for that matter affected by a tragedy like this, is be responsive to their needs and provide support in any way we can,” athletic director Troy Dannen said. “That’s what we do for anyone in our Tulane family.”

Coach Fritz named Taylor as a prominent player to watch out for in the Wake Forest season opener in a press conference this week, as he is one of the more experienced players on the 2016-17 roster.

Throughout his Tulane football career, Taylor has played in all 36 games since joining the Green Wave and has started in 30 of them on the offensive line.

Taylor is confident that this will be a year of new opportunities and is excited to work with a new coaching staff, comprised of people who have already proven themselves to be supportive in the wake of tragedy.

“Willie Fritz and Coach Atkins both told to me to come talk to them if I needed anything,” Taylor said. “Also, all of my teammates kept checking on me to make sure everything was okay.”

Those affected by the flood are in need of clothing and other donations, as well as volunteers to help clean up the debris and distribute supplies.

“Above all, [community members] can be empathetic and keep all of us in their prayers as we work to rebuild our communities,” Taylor said.

While this tragedy has been shocking and unexpected, Taylor believes it has made him stronger on the field as a player but also in his daily life.

“It has mentally made me stronger and made me work harder during the past couple weeks of fall camp,” Taylor said. “The flood’s impact on my family has taught me about resilience and encouraged me to keep going, even when it was difficult.”

In the wake of tragedy, while many falter, Taylor has persevered and emerged stronger. With the start of his final season he is not deterred, but rather motivated.

“I want to be the best I can be for myself, my team and my family.”