When Taylor Barron was growing up, she didn’t have to look very far for a positive role model and inspiration.
Taylor had her older sister, Ashley, who was a three-sport standout at Hoboken High School and the 2009-2010 Hudson Reporter Female Athlete of the Year.
“She was my biggest role model,” Taylor Barron said of her sister. “She was the type of person and the type of athlete I wanted to be. I watched her closely, so I could be like her.”
The elder Barron is an assistant softball coach at her alma mater, so Ashley gets to regularly work with her little sister.
“If I ever get frustrated, Ashley is right there to snap me out of it,” Taylor Barron said. “She knows who I am and how I am. When we’re at home, we work on things together and that gives me a lot of confidence.”
Taylor Barron is currently a senior at Hoboken. She also played soccer and softball like her sister. The younger Barron, knowing it was her last season, was determined to rebound from an off season a year ago.
“I was just really excited coming into this year,” Barron said. “We have a lot more chemistry this year and we were really there for each other. Every time I get up, I knew I was going to give my all to make it count.”
Barron has been dominant throughout this season for the Redwings, collecting 15 hits in 24 at-bats, good for a .625 batting average. She’s also had two doubles, two triples, one homer and 12 RBI.
In the past week, Barron had seven hits in 14 at-bats, with seven RBI and a double. Last Monday, Barron had three hits and three RBI in a 16-3 win over Ferris
For her efforts, Barron has been selected as The Hudson Reporter Athlete of the Week for the past week.
Hoboken head softball coach Vinnie Johnson doesn’t know where Barron’s sudden improvement has come from.
“Maybe it’s because she has more confidence this year,” Johnson said. “Her confidence level right now is sky high. She took the job of being a senior leader very seriously and has been doing a great job. She started hitting the ball well in preseason and just kept it going. She’s been on fire. Maybe it’s because she’s more mature and taking herself more seriously. She’s patient at the plate every at-bat. She has a better pitch selection, because she’s only struck out twice all season.”
Barron is also befuddled by the improvement.
“I’m just doing what the coaches tell me,” Barron said. “It took me by surprise at first. Last year, I think I was nervous every time I got up. But now, I’m more relaxed and I know what I have to do every time I get up.”
Johnson knows that Barron means everything to his team. The Redwings own a 5-2 record thus far.
“She makes a big difference,” Johnson said. “She’s getting a lot of the RBI because she’s getting up with runners on base. Taylor has hit in every game this year and that makes a big difference.”
Johnson said that he loves Barron’s personality.
“She’s an amazing girl,” Johnson said. “She’s well respected. She’s quiet. She’s the baby sister, the last of the Barrons, so she has a lot on her plate.”
Johnson credited his assistant coach.
“Ashley is a good teacher,” Johnson said. “Ashley has done a great job with her sister. A lot of Ashley has rubbed off on Taylor. The little sister always wants to please the older sister and Taylor’s doing just that.”
Johnson was very impressed with what transpired last Tuesday.
“I gave them the day off,” Johnson said. “But Taylor asked me if she could have the key to the batting cage, because she wanted to hit on her day off. She’s just doing her thing.”
Barron’s athletic career will more than likely come to an end at the completion of this softball season. She’s headed to Monmouth University to study psychology in the fall. Barron is also an excellent student, posting a 3.3 grade point average and collecting a score of 1,350 on the Scholastic Aptitude Tests.
“I want to be a clinical psychologist for children,” Barron said of her collegiate plans.
For now, she’s enjoying the softball season.
“It’s been like the best feeling,” Barron said. “I just go out there and do well. That makes the game about 10 times more fun. I’m having a lot of fun this year. It’s a lot more fun this year. It’s a lot less stressful.”
Barron is also happy to be an aunt. Ashley gave birth to a girl, Haylee Mae, last year and Taylor has added the role of babysitter to a new niece.
Maybe Taylor will become the kind of coach with her niece that her sister was with her. – Jim Hague
Jim Hague can be reached at OGSMAR@aol.com.