Standout underclassmen Layne Taylor & Jenna Lawrence are on quests for breakout seasons on the basketball court for Farmington High School.
BY BRADLEY LINAM | PHOTOS BY MARK STRICKLAND PHOTOS
JENNA LAWRENCE #23
As a newcomer to the Farmington Lady Cardinals, standout 6’3” junior Jenna Lawrence felt like she truly belonged here right away.
Already committed to the University of Arkansas women’s basketball team, Jenna is excited about her next two years at Farmington, and she stresses that, “I’ve transitioned very well. I moved here from Melbourne, which has only one stop light.
“The day I moved here on June 1, we left at 6:30 a.m. for a team camp. I had just met the players for one practice. All the players have been so nice to me and welcomed me into their family. Head Coach Brad Johnson has helped me and I’m so grateful to be a Lady Cardinal.”
Coach Johnson is certainly thrilled to have Lawrence on his Farmington roster and he talked about her arrival and immediate impact on this program in saying that “The thing that jumps off the page is that she’s just such a wonderful human being.
“She fit like a glove from the beginning. Some of it has to do with the fact that she’s a great player, but a lot of it has to do with how she works.”
Ultimately, it’s all about Lawrence’s dedication to be the best she can be, while helping her team to great success and Coach Johnson maintains that “She came in and immediately immersed herself into our culture.
“That’s why she is who she is and why she is such a great player. She understands all that and she’s a winner.”
LAYNE TAYLOR #33
As long as he can remember, Farmington Cardinals 5’10” super sophomore guard Layne Taylor has been playing basketball.
Not surprisingly, Taylor tells us that he loves the game and appreciates the honesty that his head coach and father, Johnny Taylor, gives him on a daily basis.
“My coach is always true,” the younger Taylor says of his dad. “He gives me the truth and doesn’t sugarcoat it. He keeps it real with me.”
The relationship between this father and son has been a consistent bond on and off the court since Layne was playing peewee basketball several years ago in Valley Springs.
Although still only in 10th grade, Layne is a seasoned veteran after starting on the varsity team as a freshman and he’s looking to build upon last year’s success.
“I want to stay consistent with my approach to the game and do the things that I can do,” this talented young hoops star says. “I want to improve on everything from last year. We got beat by Little Rock Mills last year in the Elite Eight. Their athleticism kind of blew us away.
“I’m looking to be more of a leader. This past summer, I had the chance to be more of a team leader. I think AAU has helped me a lot in understanding to use my intelligence. I’m not the quickest guy, so I have to be smart with how I play.”
Without a doubt, it sure seems as though these next three seasons could be quite memorable for Layne and his family. He’s obviously a special athlete who loves the game he was born to play and is ready to soar higher and higher with his Cardinals squad.