Michael Kelly/Recorder staff
Preston Taylor leaps to make a catch during an Aug. 20 Broadalbin-Perth practice.
By MICHAEL KELLY
BROADALBIN -- While senior linebacker Biagio Bucciferro went through a full offseason of rehabilitation to make sure he is ready for Week 1 of the 2014 season, Broadalbin-Perth Patriots sophomore Preston Taylor is just as eagerly anticipating that tilt.
As a freshman, Taylor -- whose older brother, Andre, starred for the Patriots in 2013 -- was a member of the B-P varsity squad and was expected to be a significant contributor on offense and defense.
Then, a preseason ankle injury lingered throughout the campaign, never allowing Taylor to get on the field.
Well, check that: Taylor did get on the field for one play during the team's Week 4 game at Schuylerville. Cleared to play for the first time that season, Taylor sidled onto the field for a B-P kickoff. One trip down the field, though, and a limp to the sideline later, Taylor had the answer to whether his active season was going to continue.
"Not so much," Taylor recalled at a recent preseason practice.
This year should be a different story for Taylor, who was healthy enough to play his winter basketball season and take part in summer football workouts. The sophomore is one of the most critical players for the Patriots, who are working with a shortened roster from a year ago.
"We don't have a big team this year, so we need to get our stamina up and get in the weight room more," he said. "We need to be healthy."
If healthy, Taylor should be a fixture on the field for the Patriots. Besides his role as the backup quarterback to senior Zach Morreale, Taylor will serve as a key threat in the club's rushing and receiving corps, and the sophomore is also penciled in as one of the squad's starting defensive backs.
He said the large role is one he is ready to embrace, especially after his lost freshman campaign. Getting on the field with his fellow Patriots for their season opener against Cohoes, he said, will be especially sweet.
"The whole team's been busting their butts for Week 1," Taylor said.
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