Dixie Flyer’s Taylor Bottema burns the midnight oil when necessary to get his schoolwork done from his AP classes. Taking demanding courses while doing extracurricular activities is a challenge, but the proper perspective makes all the difference. “If I am going to do the work anyway, I might as well challenge myself.”
“I feel that sports has helped me learn to work hard. I am checking power school every day to make sure my grades are up and all of my assignments are in.” Taylor admits that his hard work will continue to help him outside of golf. “I know that my mission and college will be hard so working hard now really will make it easier after I graduate high school.”
Taylor knows that when he graduates next year he’ll greatly miss the games, his coaches, teachers, friends, and all of the fun he’s had at Dixie. Over the years he’s attended, he has developed real school spirit, “I love Dixie! I love everything about it! I’m going to miss it all.” Following graduation and his mission, Taylor looks to utilize his love of math and attend college pursuing a business or accounting degree.
2nd Place State Golf Team – 3rd Place Tennis Region – 3rd Place Tennis State
“I love the mind game and mental part about golf. Each stroke has to be its own. You cannot let a bad hole or round affect how you play from that point on.” Taylor is now one of the only two returning seniors for the Flyers, and with 12 players total on his team; he realizes he has to move into more of a leadership role. Accepting the responsibility, Taylor understands that he must pass on what he has learned from those who have gone before him. “We need to be good examples. I really feel that it’s our job to help each teammate get better.” Acknowledging how players have assisted his progress in the past, Taylor feels ready to continue the tradition of aiding the underclassmen.
As a leader, Taylor has many role models to look up to, such as his coaches and father. About his father, and greatest mentor, Taylor says, “He’s always taught me to stay positive and focus on what’s important, to hold my head up high, and not let things get me down.” Taylor ensures to remain positive without putting too much pressure on himself, knowing he can always work to improve. “Last year I would slice the ball every time I would swing, but my coaches helped me out a ton with my swing. They worked with me a lot. Now I can hit the ball straighter and further than I could before the help.”
After coming in 2nd last year to Park City, Taylor hopes this year he and his Flyers will rise above the competition and be able to take home the State Championship. “Park City was tough last year, but hopefully we can do better. We lost a lot of seniors last year, but that shouldn’t stop us from competing.”
Taylor’s pre-game routine is very important to him. He deviates very little in order to stay focused during season play. One day, before a tennis match, Taylor had gone to McDonald’s for lunch. Winning that same match later that day, Taylor had made a superstitious connection with his victory and choice of lunch. “I go to McDonald’s before every tournament, golf or tennis.” Reflecting on when he decided to make it a pre-game habit, Taylor explains, “I won the match so I decided I would continue it through tennis and golf.”
With plans to serve an LDS mission, Taylor hopes to serve somewhere foreign, and preferably in a Spanish speaking area. After living for a time in Guatemala, Taylor says he would enjoy another experience outside of the United States, where he can represent his family and faith. “I would really like to serve. Guatemala was fun. I liked it. Looking back I feel it was a really good experience for me.”
Taylor knows that what he has learned in high school thus far, as well as all of his life experience up to this point, will be of great benefit to him while he is serving on his mission. “I’ve learned to never give up. My teachers and coaches are always encouraging me to do my best. I’m going to be out, away from home, teaching people about my faith, and that same dedication I’ve learned in sports and school, will follow me on my mission. Knowing that, will keep me focused for this last year.” • HSSI