BY TIM TAYLOR
Valley Sports Report
TIOGA CENTER — Stephen Taylor is following a family tradition of sorts. The Tioga senior became the third member of his family to choose SUNY Cortland to continue his education when he signed his national letter of intent Thursday to play football for the Red Dragons.
His father, Scot, and sister, Jackie Medovich, are both Cortland grads. That factor is just a part of the reason why he chose the school.
“Some of the family is alumni,” he said. “I think that from what I’ve seen, academics there are great and the football program is also good as well. There’s a little bit of everything packaged into why I picked Cortland.”
Unlike dad and sis — they pursued degrees in education — he is heading to college with an interest in business.
“As of right now, I’m thinking business, but that could change once I’m there,” he said.
In continuing his athletic career at the collegiate level, Taylor is also following in the footsteps of his two older brothers. Patton played baseball for Penn State and Mitchell is currently on the diamond at Onondaga Community College.
A three-year varsity player for the Tigers, the younger Taylor started coming into his own as a junior and was a two-way starter on the line his final two seasons.
“My junior year I started playing well compared to the previous year and my confidence started building, and then I just enjoyed being around a team so much, I just don’t want it to end yet. I don’t think that my career is ready to end.”
This past season, Taylor was named a Section IV Division VI all-star and selected to the New York State Sportswriters Association Class D all-state first-team on the offensive line. He would also be named to the press connects.com Elite 10 all-star team and would play both ways in the Ernie Davis Exceptional Senior Classic.
Taylor was also a two-time state place-winner in wrestling, taking sixth in 2018 and fourth this past season at 285 pounds.
Off the field, he’s in the school chorus, and outside school he’s involved with the Blessed Trinity and St. Patrick Parish youth group.
As a Red Dragon he will team up with two familiar faces in Newark Valley’s Trentyn Rupert and Odessa-Montour’s Dylan Houseknecht. The trio knows each other well from their exploits on the gridiron and the wrestling mat.
All three are expected to vie for spots on the offensive line, a position Taylor believes he is best-suited for.
“Defensive lineman is leaner, faster and I feel like I’m the right fit for offensive line,” he said.
At 6-foot-4, he hopes to get his playing weight to somewhere around 300 pounds.
The Red Dragons compete at the NCAA Division III level and have been a member of the Empire 8 conference for the past four seasons. The programs has compiled a 19-11 Empire 8 record and is 28-16 overall during that time. Cortland was the 2015 Empire 8 co-champion in 2015, qualifying for the NCAA playoffs, and won the New York Bowl in 2018.
IN PHOTO 1. Tioga’s Stephen Taylor and his father, Scot.
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