OCH Regional Medical Center Athlete of the Week: Arnold

Taylor Arnold
Staff Writer

The green light always seems to be there for Starkville High School running back Taylor Arnold.

Arnold doesn’t waste much time when he gets the football and hits a hole with a burst of energy for the Volunteers.

“That’s what they teach us," Arnold said. "They want us to just go 100 percent and keep going."

That type of approach led him to more success against the East Webster Wolverines last Friday. He carried the football 19 times for 142 yards and one touchdown as Starkville Academy defeated East Webster 34-24.
For that performance, Arnold was chosen the OCH/Starkville Daily News Athlete of the Week.

Arnold began the season as the No. 2 running back behind Nason Heflin. Heflin suffered a shoulder injury that gave Arnold more of an opportunity and he has produced well.

“I’m just doing what I can to help the team," Arnold said.

The Vols pride themselves of having depth at every position and that especially seems to be the case at running back.

Starkville Academy head coach Chase Nicholson said when Heflin was hampered by injury, Arnold did a good job of being the next man up.

“The great thing is we’ve got a lot of guys who can run the football," Nicholson said. "We’ve got depth there and it’s just who has the hot hand. We’ve done a great job of running the ball with Taylor coming in there and he’s carried a lot of the load and has a lot of carries. That’s partly due to him being in great shape. He’s ready to go and gets stronger as the game goes on. When he gets going, he’s tough to stop."

Nicholson has worked with Arnold since junior high and said he has a good grasp of the system.

With the trust that Arnold has in his offensive line, Nicholson isn't surprised with Arnold's contribution.

“He still has the mentality of just go and it will all work out when he gets there," Nicholson said. "There is no hesitation and no fear. He’s a hard runner and hard to take down.”

For the season, Taylor leads the Vols with 48 carries for 335 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He has contributed 10 tackles on defense, including one tackle for loss, and has one interception. He also punts with 15 attempts for an average of 135.50 yards and has seven downed inside the 20-yard-line.

Nicholson said Arnold does a good job of not wearing himself out despite having all of that responsibility.

"He’s done a great job and we’re excited to have him on defense and offense," Nicholson said. "He’s smart enough to know that if he taps out, Nason comes in."