Halle Barner
ASU Student Journalist

Taylor Hilton - A Leader Both on and off the Field

November 19, 2017 by Halle Barner, Arizona State University

MESA, AZ - Taylor Hilton, a senior on Mountain View High School’s varsity softball team, exudes strength not just on the field, but off the field as well.

When Hilton was young her mom passed away, leaving her in the care of her dad and two brothers. Throughout the hardship, she never swayed from playing the sport she loved.

And it wasn’t hard to continue playing, considering she has two brothers who both play, and a dad who played in high school and is actively involved with the school's teams.

Hilton said that when her mom first passed away, it was an “eye-opener.” She said that at first she didn’t use her mom’s passing as motivation to do better, but once she got older and actually processed her death, she was able to grow as an individual.

Hilton credits a lot of that growth to her dad.

“I really don’t know how he did it,” Hilton said. “Going from a five-person family to a four-person family and having a dad do everything for you, it’s crazy.”

Hilton said that when she became a teenager, that’s when she needed her mom the most, and that it’s times like those where it’s difficult to have only men in the family.

However, there are also many advantages.

“Being around guys my whole life has been really helpful,” Hilton said. “It definitely hardens you as a person. It definitely gives you thicker skin.”

Joe Goodman, the varsity softball coach at Mountain View, reflected back on a game last year where Hilton proved she was hard to crack. He said Hilton was hitting incredibly well when the ball clunked her right on the knuckle.

Goodman said he went out in the middle of the game to check her hand and make sure she was okay. The coach saw a tear in her eye, but Hilton “put her pain in her back pocket and sucked up” and continued playing.

“You can definitely tell she doesn’t expect to be treated like a princess,” Goodman said.

Goodman has been coaching Mountain View softball for six years, now going on seven, and this is his third year coaching Hilton. Goodman said he’s seen incredible growth in Hilton, both as an individual and as a leader.

Jaiden Randall, a sophomore outfielder and pitcher on the team, said Hilton is a leader the team can trust.

“Taylor has always been a great leader in basically any situation; she’s naturally good at it,” Randall said. “She’s a really likable person because she’s funny and chilled out, so as a leader she’s relatable and approachable, which is really important when leading anything.”