For the past two years, Taylor Lamb has been a part of a lot of wins at Calhoun.
From the football field to the basketball gym and even on the tennis court, the senior has seen his share of success. This spring, he’s even trying his luck at golf for the Jackets before his high school athletic career comes to an end.
Lamb transferred to Calhoun from Greer, S.C. during his sophomore year after his dad, Bobby, accepted the head-coaching job at Mercer to start their new program. He had been the coach at Furman previously. In the process of moving to Georgia, the opportunity to play for his uncle, Hal, and the Yellow Jackets was too much for Taylor to pass up.
And the rest is now history. Since the move, Taylor’s been a part of two region titles and one state championship in football, two playoff appearances and a region title in basketball and a region runner-up and playoff appearance in tennis.
Individually he’s won several big awards as well, including being named the Georgia Gatorade Football Player of the Year this past November.
Last month, Taylor signed to play college football at Appalachian State. And guess the biggest reason why he chose the Mountaineers? That’s right, he said they knew how to win.
Recently, the Calhoun Times caught up with Lamb to talk about his first golf season, his two-year career as quarterback of the Jackets’ football team, this past basketball season, his memories as an athlete at Calhoun, his decision to choose Appalachian State and several other subjects. Here’s what he had to say:
CT: Your playing golf for the first time this spring. What are your expectations for yourself and for the team this season?
Lamb: We have a lot of work to do leading up to the region tournament. We’re playing in a lot of tournaments, and it’s my first time playing golf. I’m in the lineup right now, but who knows what will happen. Hopefully, we’ll win region and go to state, but we’ve got a lot of work to do before that.
CT: Take us back to last football season. What are your reflections overall and how tough was it to come up just short of a state title after winning it the previous year?
Lamb: We had all the new starters, and we progressed over the first three games. Then, we worked hard in the region to put ourselves in the best position for the playoffs. In the playoffs, we played lights out through the Brooks County game (in the third round), but after that our heads got a little too big. We played Lamar County close, and then went into the state championship game against Jefferson and everything seemed to go wrong. They played a good game, but it’s always tough when you come up short like that when you work hard and you’ve won 14 in a row.
CT: How great was it to be a part of the basketball team this past season with all the success and winning a region championship?
Lamb: We had everything going against us last season but finished strong. We lost some players but filled in those spots this year. We won some key games and played well enough to finish first in the region to get the top spot for the region tournament. We played hard, and that’s what won us the region tournament. We didn’t really want to stop there so we won a playoff game, and then played a really good Manchester team in the second round.
We played them really well but just couldn’t pull it out in the end.
CT: How different do you think your life would’ve if you hadn’t transferred to Calhoun?
Lamb: It would’ve been a lot different. I don’t know if I’d be going to college for football because I might’ve been playing a different position. Who knows what would’ve been doing. I’m glad I made the move. It was definitely in God’s hands, and he showed that.
CT: Winning a state championship is something a lot of high school athletes don’t get to experience. What was that like?
Lamb: I came in and the guys told me that if I play well, we can win a state championship. I worked really hard for the seniors. I knew they had lost to Buford, and I knew that was all they wanted to do was to beat them. We went through the playoffs and beat everyone pretty bad to get to that game. That was it. We put it all on the line, and it’s just a great feeling for any high-schooler to win a state championship, especially on that stage after Calhoun had lost three straight times. Winning it just made me want to win it again.
CT: What’s been your best memory as an athlete at Calhoun?
Lamb: It’s probably the Buford game. Beating the big dogs because we’re not the underdog much here at Calhoun, but taking that role and beating those guys was a dream come true.
CT: You were committed to South Alabama for a while. What went in to the decision to switch and sign with Appalachian State?
Lamb: After the state championship game, that was the first time I’d lost in a while. Just thinking about that and losing altogether, I didn’t like the way it felt so I called the Appalachian State coach and asked if I could come there and visit. They tried to recruit me during the season, but I told them I was committed to South Alabama. I didn’t want to be that guy to decommit, but I went up (to Appalachian State) fell in love with it. They know how to win. South Alabama is going to be a good program in the future, and they’re going to win a lot of games but they’ve got winning down pat (at Appalachian State). And that’s what it’s all about.
CT: With so many coaches in your family from your grandfather to your dad and uncles, do you see yourself being a football coach one day after your playing career is done?
Lamb: Well, Papa coached for a long time in high school, my dad coaches in college, and my uncles are both here. Now, (my cousin) Tre is coaching quarterbacks at Tennessee Tech, and (my cousin) Ben is wanting to coach too so that’s definitely what I’m going to pursue after college.
Fast Food: Chick-fil-A
Movie: Remember the Titans
TV Show: Friday Night Lights
Band/Artist: John Mayer
College: Appalachian State
Female Celebrity: Carrie Underwood