May 30, 2023 7:21 am

Warren linebacker Taylor Bowers is surrounded by family members as WHS held a signing ceremony for him on Friday. Bowers will attend Marietta College and major in biology in addition to playing football for the Pioneers.
(Photo by Josh Hughes)

VINCENT –As a defensive force for the Warren Warriors at linebacker, Taylor Bowers made the most of being a senior leader in head coach Jimmy Peyton’s first season. Now, the senior captain makes the transition to the next level. When Marietta College came calling last month, Bowers was ready to take that next step.

“It took a lot of hard work and dedication in the weight room and on the field,” he said. “Now, I’m here, and it’s a big day signing with Marietta College. It’ll be fun.”

Bowers had a stellar senior campaign. He led Warren in tackles with 86 in nine games and was named to the All-OVAC first team. The breakout season left him with 146 career tackles, 11.5 for loss and four forced fumbles. Getting ready for the first year under a new coaching staff, Bowers spent a lot of time preparing for a bigger role.

“I think (Peyton coming into his first year) helped out a lot. We were very base. There were a lot of rules we had to follow, and it was very strict,” Bowers recalled. “It worked well, and it worked better than last year. There were a lot of things we could have done better. There were some silly mistakes that cost us games, but I’m sure the Warriors will be doing great next year. Getting ready for this season was about working hard in the offseason, and then once I met Jimmy, we just did everything he told us, and it all worked out.

Peyton needed Bowers’ leadership on a young Warrior squad, as the first-year coach recalled what made Bowers such a success.

“Taylor was a culture kid for us. He was a guy we looked at as someone who could help us build our culture,” Peyton said of the three-year letterman. “He’s probably one of the best weightlifters we have. He led the team in tackles. He’s the kind of kid who sets the mold for your program and gives younger kids an opportunity to look up to the younger guys. You want to make sure you can put those younger kids in good situations and put them around kids they can learn from. Taylor was that. He is the definition of a warrior for us, and he’s eager to please. He’s going to have a great career at Marietta College. Taylor came to me at the end of the season and told me he wanted to play college football, so we looked around, and he was able to get a lot of interest. Marietta College was a great fit. Coach (Andy) Waddle really likes Taylor. He was in here yesterday asking about him and making sure the signing was going to go well.”

Aside from time on the gridiron, Bowers is majoring in biology with a minor in pre-law.

“I honestly don’t know what made the decision, but I just love animals,” Bowers said of his major. “It just feels right, and I do want to continue something in zoology along those lines.”

He connected with the Pioneer program, as this is a fit that benefits both parties.

“I went on two visits, and it’s very close to home, which is nice. It’s a really friendly atmosphere. All the people are extremely nice, and they made me feel really welcome. I have so many memories (at Warren). Probably, the greatest ones are just coming from the football field. Being with the team in a 4th and 1 situation just grinding it out in a close game, all that stuff. I want to be remembered as a hard-working guy and as a guy who always wants to make people laugh. Just a hard-working and friendly guy.”

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