One of the biggest reasons for Cape Central’s football fortunes turning from a one-win team in 2018 to a seven-win squad this past fall was leadership. The seniors on this year’s team helped change the culture within the program, and one of the biggest contributors to that was Dony’e Taylor. That attribute, along with unbelievable on-field talent that led to numerous accolades this season, helped Taylor catch the attention of Southeast Missouri State University. Back in February, Taylor signed to play football with the Redhawks, and both sides couldn’t be happier.
Taylor earned second team all-state honors at wide receiver in the fall. He added first team all-district and all-region honors, along with second team all-district defensive back mention. His versatility and explosiveness makes him a weapon, not only on the football field, but also on the track, where he set records as well. Taylor was set for a great track season until the postponement of the campaign this spring.
The break in the action allowed him to share some thoughts with Ameritime Sports.
Q: Why SEMO? Why did you end up choosing to further your athletic career there?
Taylor: “I grew up in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. I been here my entire life. This is my home. Ever since I was a young kid, I always wanted to get the chance to play for my city and turn it up. Also, they’re changing the program up a lot, from athletics to academics, and I love that about the school. Plus it’s D-1.”
Q: What other schools did you consider?
Taylor: “I had a few schools I was considering like SBU, Quincy, and McKendree. They are some pretty good schools, but I felt better to stay home because this is were I belong.”
Q: How did you get your start in football? Was it always a dream of yours to play college ball, and when did you think it was a realistic possibility?
Taylor: “I started playing around with football during lunch in middle school. All my friends just told me I would be good, so I actually played my first year in seventh grade. I also had a dream to play college sports, but I honestly didn’t think it was realistic until my senior year.”
Q: I know you ran track. Did you play other sports? Why was football the sport you decided to devote your time to?
Taylor: “I only ran track and played football. It was hard choosing which one I would rather focus on, but football stole my heart, and it had a different feeling to it, from the fans cheering, to making big plays, and even locker room memories. I knew that I loved this sport, and I had to continue competing in it.”
Q: Who have been your biggest influences in the game, either directly or indirectly?
Taylor: “A man named Devree Flint…he was a car trophy winner at Jackson and played at SEMO for a few years. He helped build me from the mud and taught me a lot about the game I didn’t really know. So he has been my biggest influencer by far.”
Q: What is the one memory from your CHS career that stands out the most for you?
Taylor: “We were playing in the playoffs against Hillsboro. We thought this game was going to be tough, and we might lose if we didn’t try and work hard. Everybody was shaking and nervous, but the first play of the game, I scored a touchdown.”
Q: When football is over, what do you think we’ll see Dony’e Taylor doing with his life?
Taylor: “Once football is over for my life, I will be continuing my education in physical therapy, so hopefully, one day, I can become a physical therapist. Maybe I’ll also do a little bit of coaching one day.”
Q: Finally, for all those little ones who have dreams to do what you’re doing, what’s the best advice that you could give them?
Taylor: “To all the little kids out there, strive for your dreams. Nothing is impossible, no matter how many people tell you that. Work hard and achieve your goals. Find your reason for why you do what you do, and hold on to it. You’ll never be great just by fighting for yourself…find a reason why you fight and remember that forever.”