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story.lead_photo.caption Taylor Griffin’s senior year at Batesville included a state championship in basketball, a runner-up finish in volleyball and several state placings in track and field. But she will not play sports at the University of Arkansas, where she plans to major in biology. - Photo by Thomas Metthe

Taylor Griffin made her final year of athletics worth it.

Griffin's senior year at Batesville included a state championship in girls basketball, a runner-up finish in volleyball and several state placings in track and field.

For her efforts, Griffin is this year's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Female Athlete of the Year.

The three-sport athlete said she was proud of what she accomplished in 2018-19.

"It was a lot of fun," Griffin said. "It was a good run and a fun year."

Griffin will not play sports in college despite being recruited by several schools, including Henderson State University in Arkadelphia. She will attend the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville and plans to major in biology.

Batesville girls basketball Coach Stan Fowler, who is this year's All-Arkansas Preps overall Coach of the Year, said he enjoyed having Griffin in his program.

"She made coaching easy," Fowler said. "She's a special human being. I don't think I ever had to say a negative word to her."

In basketball, Griffin averaged 20.8 points, 6 rebounds, 0.3 blocks and 2.1 assists per game to help lead Batesville to a 30-3 record and the Class 4A state championship.

Griffin had 24 points and 7 steals in the Lady Pioneers' 72-66 victory over Berryville in the state final at Hot Springs. She had a team-high 20 points in Batesville's 72-59 state quarterfinal victory over Farmington at Magnolia.

On the volleyball court, Griffin recorded 476 kills, 288 digs and 52 aces as an outside hitter. Batesville played in the Class 4A state championship match, losing to Valley View at Hot Springs.

Her success in volleyball traces to Coach Tanya Haigwood, Griffin said.

"Our coach really pushed us to be a good team," Griffin said.

Fowler said he was impressed with how Griffin was able to transition from volleyball to basketball in short fashion once the volleyball season ended in late October.

"She never had a preseason for me," Fowler said. "It was fine. She was going to hit it as hard as she could."

At the Class 4A state track and field meet in May at Batesville, Griffin placed second in the long jump (16 feet, 9.5 inches), third in the 300-meter hurdles (48.25 seconds) and fourth in the triple jump (35-9).

When asked what her favorite sport to participate in was, Griffin said she didn't have one and also stressed the importance of playing more than one sport.

"It depends on what the season is," Griffin said. "You never get bored with one sport. It teaches you to work hard. I enjoy sports a lot."

Griffin, along with Batesville volleyball and basketball teammates Erin Haigwood and Alley Edwards, wanted to end her senior season on top.

"One of our goals was to win a state title," Griffin said. "Winning it [the basketball title] was really fun."

Playing at Batesville was an experience Griffin will never forget, she said.

"The whole community gets behind you," Griffin said. "They supported us a lot. It was neat to see all of the support."

Sports on 06/16/2019

Print Headline: Senior made most of final season

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