Lessons learnedTaylor Truan is another in a long line of outstanding Northwestern football stars.
By: By Mike Granlund, Superior Telegram
Taylor Truan is another in a long line of outstanding Northwestern football stars.
Last fall he was named to the All Heart of the North Conference and All Region first team as an offensive guard. He was also named to the Superior Telegram All-Area Football Team in 2010. Truan spent two years on offense protecting Tiger quarterbacks Steven Perry, Nick Lahti and Cody Kontny, paving the way for 1,000 yard rushers Ryan Miesbauer, T.J. Polkoski and Kasey Leggate. His team finished with 18 consecutive regular season wins and overall went 25-2 in his two years as a starter.
Truan accomplished this through hard work on the field and dedication in the weight room. Hours in the weight room under the guidance of Coaches Dennis Scherz, Pete Lawton, Andy Lind and David Crail helped him develop a foundation for that discipline.
Truan also is an outstanding student, finishing as an honor student and Top Ten percent of his class. He did this with great study habits and a disciplined schedule. So when Truan receives his diploma tonight in Maple many would expect him to further his football career in college, combining brawn and brains as a true student-athlete for a “football factory” university — many Tigers have taken that path.
But Truan will go another route. He will combine his intelligence and tremendous work ethic for his country as a cadet at West Point Military Academy in New York. He will receive a quality education in the engineering field and then serve his country as a member of the United States military.
Receiving an appointment to any of the military academies is no small feat. Candidates must come highly recommended by their school officials and must survive rigorous scrutiny from their state’s members of the United States Congress. In Taylor’s case it was a principal nomination from U.S. Congressman David Obey, with U.S. Senators Herb Kohl and Russ Feingold providing support.
Truan’s interest in attending West Point began in Belize, of all places, during a random conversation with a West Point graduate on a family vacation during his sophomore year. Upon returning to Northwestern High School, Truan spotted a military poster in the classroom of high school English teacher Kathleen Thompson. It turned out to be her brother on the poster and it began a period of gathering information, encouragement and advice between the two. It turns out Thompson has two brothers who graduated from the United State Military Academy. Taylor credits Thompson as being an inspiration in his quest to gain an appointment to West Point. An excerpt from her letter of recommendation for Taylor clearly shows her mutual respect: “In terms of leadership, I can tell you that Taylor is cool under pressure both in the classroom and with his peers. He does not waste time worrying about tough assignments or difficult situations, but gets right to work on them. In discussions about literature, I have seen him choose his words carefully while clearly stating and supporting his position. When he disagrees with another student, he does so calmly but confidently. On an academic level, Taylor excels: he works hard to do his best, soaking up new information and ideas wherever he can; his stellar grades reflect his work ethic. He possesses insights into situations and is able to express himself clearly in both writing and speaking. All of these qualities are highly sought in those who could become future leaders, especially in the military.”
It was this encouragement that inspired Truan to pursue this demanding endeavor. Taylor also said the structure and discipline of the United States Military Academy appealed to him along with the combination of a physical and mental challenge that the academy provides.
“When he sets his mind on something that he wants to achieve, his determination and ability to focus on that goal sets him apart from his peers,” Northwestern High School Principal Steve High said of Truan.
Northwestern head football coach Dennis Scherz calls Truan “extremely intelligent with a lot of potential.”
Truan recently learned that the football program at West Point will welcome him to the team as a “walk-on” with a chance to make the Division I Army football team. He will try out for linebacker and punter. His punting skills went largely unnoticed in high school due to the success of the Tiger offense. Truan’s punting average of over 45 yards per punt would have made him one of the top punters in the state but the Tigers rarely punted. A 72-yard punt (Billy’s stat) in his final game against Baldwin-Woodville could provide fodder for a rules revision, however.
Truan, after spending his youth protecting quarterbacks, lifting weights and hitting the books, will now embark on a journey that will lead him to the goal of an engineering degree followed by a commitment to serve his country as an officer in the U.S. Army. The principles will be the same, though — study hard, work hard, follow the rules, lead a disciplined life, stay cool.
Truan is a true example of a man who knows the formula for success.
His support system includes his mom Ronell Truan, sister Bailee, and grandpa Terry Truan, as well as Lance and Billy, of course.