Story by Zachary Larsen
After just 26 games at the varsity level, Taylor Jacobs got the start of her life in the 5A Softball Championship Game in May. The atmosphere was something her team had never experienced before.
Jacobs plays for Canyon View High School, located in Waddell, Arizona. The school opened its doors in 2018 and the softball program has been in existence since the school’s inception just a few years ago.
This past season was the second year with a varsity softball team for the Jaguars while playing without any seniors. Not to mention, 2020’s campaign was cut short, leaving little experience on the roster.
However, that did not stop them from going to the 5A State Championship. Their overall record stood at 20-3 and Canyon View lost the title to one of the top teams in the state, Willow Canyon, who is just 12 miles down the road.
“For us to rise this quick with having less than 35 games in our career, it’s nuts,” said Canyon View softball head coach John Jacobs, who is also the father of Taylor Jacobs. “But these girls are battle-tested. We played a lot of 6A schools this year. We wanted this to get a real assessment of how good our team was.”
Lady Jags finish 5A State Runner-up in a tough loss tonight. Girls fought hard to the very last out. Great effort ladies. We will be back! @CVHS_Softball_ @mshudsonaz pic.twitter.com/aH3jjxJoWZ
— Canyon View High School (@CVHSJags) May 18, 2021
John and Taylor Jacobs, a father and daughter duo, have been apart of the softball program at Canyon View since the start.
Taylor’s parents both played sports growing up, with John being drafted by the Kansas City Royals out of high school. He played a couple years for the team’s minor league affiliates while Taylor’s mother, B’Ann Jacobs, was also a star pitcher for one of the most storied softball programs of all-time back at UCLA in the 1990’s.
She also grew up in the valley, helping lead Greenway High School to two state titles during her prep days.
Having two parents who played their respective sports at a high level is something that is motivating for Taylor as she went through her own softball journey this season.
“It makes me want to work harder because we’ve always said that we strive to be better than my mom to break her records,” Taylor said.
In the circle, Taylor went 12-1 with a 1.86 ERA for Canyon View. She could swing the bat at the plate too, boasting a .409 batting average and seven home runs. Her work ethic, stemmed from her parents, has pushed her to do more in athletics.
Taylor’s original plan was to go to Millennium High School, but her dad insisted that going to Canyon View would be the better choice. She decided to go once her father was able to get the head coaching job with the softball program, and it’s helped the two form a closer bond both on and off the field.
“The one-on-one interaction, and the time that we have in the car before and after the game, it’s priceless,” John Jacobs said. “Those are the moments that I cherish…being able to sit with my daughter, especially when she goes to a little bit of adversity, I think that’s when I become the best value.”
Taylor will be a senior next season and is hoping to follow in her mom’s footsteps.
Congratulations Taylor Jacobs for making the All-Arizona Softball Team along with some other great players! Keep working hard. We love you! 👧🏽💙🥎🖤@taylorrjacobs10 @azcentral @CVHSJags pic.twitter.com/SzJUquhpRA
— B’Ann Burns Jacobs (@BAnnBurnsJacob1) June 7, 2021
“Honestly, my number one goal is to go to UCLA and I just got to keep working for that goal,” she said.
But for Taylor and John Jacobs, softball isn’t the only decision when considering where to go after high school. The education is the most important part of choosing which college she wants to attend.
“The athletic side is not a big deal to us,” John Jacobs said. “We’ve played sports and seen it come and go, and we just know that the academics is what’s going to sustain your life and give you the lifestyle that you kind of want.”
With the entire team returning in 2022, and the presence of seniors on the roster for the first time, Taylor expects big things for herself and the young program.
“I definitely think we’re going to be there next year more than prepared and we’re definitely going to take home what’s ours,” Taylor said.