Whitefish Bay soccer player Jake Taylor has been recognized as the best high school soccer player in the state and one of the top 40 players in the country.
Taylor, a defender, is one of 40 high school seniors from across the country to be named to the the second annual High School All-American Soccer Game in Birmingham, AL on Dec. 8. He will play on the West team, along with Marquette University High School's Alex McBride, Taylor's teammate on the Bavarian Soccer Club U18 team.
Taylor, who has committed to play at Marquette University next year, is looking forward to playing in the All-American game.
"I was so honored to be selected out of all the soccer players in the country," Taylor said. "There's going to be a lot of players there, so I want to be on top of my game."
Taylor has also been named the top boys soccer player in the state by the Wisconsin Soccer Coaches Association. He is one of eight seniors on the 11-player all-state first team.
Taylor said his soccer skills have improved over his high school career, particularly during a 3 1/2-week training session with a German soccer club in the summer of 2011. He has also played with the Bavarian SC Major and National Premier Soccer League adult amateur teams.
"That made me such a better player," he said. "The Bavarians taught me a lot about the game — making smarter decisions when you're on the ball and how to move better when you're off the ball."
Taylor had four goals and one assist this season for Whitefish Bay. After a 15-4-2 season, the Blue Dukes' hopes for a state tournament berth were cut short this year in the sectional finals.