Santa Rosa High's loss is our loss too

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Last Friday night (Sept. 15) during the first half of the Ukiah-Santa Rosa girls soccer match at Santa Rosa High, members of the Panthers’ boys team formed a small, but vocal cheering section.
Helping to lead the way was Taylor Amman. Sporting an orange bandana, hot orange shoes and huge orange glasses he was being nothing more than a silly teenager supporting his school.

And now, as he completes his senior year as a Panther, it appears that’s all he can be for the boys team – a cheerleader.

Amman has apparently completed all of his eligibility time as a high school player. A trip to Spain to study and play club soccer at a school in a suburb of Barcelona after his sophomore year took care of that. An appeal is more than likely in the works, but it’s a long shot that will work out.

The loss is his. It’s Santa Rosa High’s loss. And it’s a loss for any lover of soccer in Santa Rosa.

The kid can play the game. Whether he learned it as he grew up on the streets of Sonoma or through the ranks of Santa Rosa United or on the fields of Spain….or a combination of all of the above, he has made himself into one of the better players in the Empire. If you don’t believe that ask the Stanford coaching staff because they apparently would enjoy having him play for the Cardinal next fall.

So, just why is he so good?

“He has the ability to read the game very well, he’s a student of soccer. His passion makes him a very good player,” said his high school coach Neil Turnbull. “He is deceptively fast for his size (6-2). And he has exceptional ball control and good vision of the field.”

In a word, Amman is smooth. He glides on a soccer field and plays with the enthusiasm of a 10-year-old.

“Taylor is one of the top 2 or 3 players in high school around here,” added Paul Dixon, Amman’s SRU coach for a couple of years and the current Cardinal Newman High varsity coach. “He has great athleticism, a great touch on the ball and he’s a quiet leader. I feel bad for him and I feel bad for the Santa Rosa High team if they have to forfeit any games. I take no delight in that.”

Newman plays at Santa Rosa at 7 tonight (Sept. 20).

It’s a joy to watch Amman on the pitch.

And if you don’t think he loves the game, just think back to that scene
last Friday night at Ernie Nevers Field.