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The official student news of Normal Community High School


The official student news of Normal Community High School


The official student news of Normal Community High School


Statement Games: Senior running-back goes all out in ‘Pink Out’ Games

Jeff Christopherson

Six touchdowns. 

Three over 50 yards. 

For the past two years in the Week 9 action, the Ironmen’s Chris Taylor recorded standout performances on the gridiron. 

Performances impressive enough to draw attention from schools like Illinois State, where Taylor will take the field for the Redbirds on a full-ride scholarship after graduation.

In last season’s 45-7 rout over Normal West on Oct. 21, Taylor scored on an 80-yard touchdown run, scampering into the end zone with 13 seconds left on the clock to give Community a 17-7 halftime lead.

After taking the handoff from Chase Mackey in the third quarter, Taylor would find the endzone again — throwing back to the quarterback to complete a 19-yard TD pass. 

Taylor would score again with 7:56 left in the third quarter, returning a punt 60 yards to put the Iron up 38-7.

Oct. 22, 2022—Taylor would again record three scores, darting into the end zone for each, to help lead the Iron to 49-8 win over Peoria Manual. 

Six touchdowns. 

Two blowout victories. 

One reason. 

Taylor was taking the field in the Pink Out game, an event held each October to raise breast cancer awareness and honor those affected. 

Taylor’s late October accomplishments for the Orange and Black came while the two-way player wore pink—pink gloves, pink socks, pink cleats. 

Cleats marked with the initials A.T. 

A.T.—Angelica Taylor.

Chris’s mother—a breast cancer survivor. 

While college recruiters were impressed by Chris Taylor’s performances on the field, he was admiring his mother’s fight off the field.

Amidst the chaos that was the COVID-19 pandemic, Angelica Taylor was diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer. 

“I didn’t really know how to respond,” the running back said. 

With school closures and remote learning, Mrs. Taylor’s diagnosis wasn’t something her son openly shared.

“I didn’t really talk to people about it,” Chris Taylor said. “It was just a hidden thing that I kept away from a lot of people.” 

Once sports resumed, the ISU commit said, he turned to football to cope.

“It’s just been like my support, my rock,” he said. “I look forward to [it] every day, just to get me though the day.” 

Cancer diagnoses are not new to the Taylor family. The family, Chris Taylor said, has a history of “all sorts of cancer.”

Neither was the battle against breast cancer, as Chris Taylor’s grandmother fought it years ago. 

That history, Chris Taylor said, made his Pink Out games meaningful.

Chris Taylor saw his mother fighting, he said, through her chemotherapy, through pain, through “all the side effects … she had to deal with.”

But, Chris Taylor said, as Angelica would fight, “she still had a smile on her face.” 

As she dealt with adversity, Angelica was “not quitting, not giving up.”

“She would tell me how painful [it was],” Chris Taylor said, “and I could physically see how painful it was [for] her.”  

Football, Chris Taylor said, offers an emotional release; the game helped him let “all [his] emotions out from whatever was going on in [his] life.”

Release, too, came when Chris learned his mother was in remission. The news, which came almost two years ago, allowed the football standout to breathe “a sigh of relief.” 

Next fall, Chris Taylor will take the field with the Redbird. Come October, expect to see the same grit and tenacity as Taylor continues to honor his mother—“his hero.”  


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About the Contributor
BJ Dumas, Senior Staff Reporter
Brantley Dumas is a senior at Normal Community High School. He is the president Black Student Union and is on the varsity bowling team. He is a second-year Staff Reporter on the Inkspot. If I were to win a million dollars I would definitely pay for college, then buy all the shoes and clothes I could ever want. I enjoy fashion, making and listening to music and anime. So, if you like any of those we can probably be friends. My biggest pet peeve is when people chew too loud. Gross.
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