Skore now picking off passes, returning kicks for the Linfield Eagles

When former Enumclaw High football standout Taylor Skore heads south to Linfield College next week for arduous two-a-day practices, he will be doing so as the starting cornerback for the defending Northwest Conference champion Wildcats.

Skore, who graduated from EHS in 2008 and was a four-year letterman in basketball and football, gleaned first-team All-South Puget Sound League 3A quarterback/defensive back accolades following his senior campaign.

Skore enjoyed a stellar season in his senior campaign as the Hornets’ signal caller, accounting for close to 1,200 yards in total offense and tossing a dozen touchdown passes. The Enumclaw native doesn’t really miss being in the spotlight as the quarterback, though.

“I didn’t think it was possible, but I love the game of football now even more than I did in my prep days,” he said.

Skore, who stands 6-feet tall, tips the scales at 200 pounds and runs the 40-yard dash in 4.5 seconds, says he would prefer to be dishing out the bone-jarring hits, rather than being tackled himself.

The product of Enumclaw does enjoy the best of both worlds, though. Thanks to defensive back and special teams coach Brandon Hazenberg’s powers of observation, it was noted that Skore possesses the athletic mobility and agility to make things happen when the ball is in his hands.

In addition to being the Wildcats’ sixth-leading tackler and pilfering a handful of interceptions from his defensive back position in 2009, Skore also returned punts and kick-off.

“It was really cool that coach Hazenberg entrusted those chores to me,” Skore said, “because he knew I was fairly fast and he also was familiar with my background as a ball-handling QB in high school.”

Skore was part of a thrill-packed 2009 pigskin season at the McMinnville, Ore., school, which went 9-0 in the regular season, proving it was no fluke by claiming its ninth consecutive triumph with an electrifying 62-44 home victory over Pacific Lutheran University.

The Wildcats went on to garner the Northwest Conference crown and more in Division III football playoff action, with postseason conquests in McMinnville over California Lutheran (38-17), Mary Hardin-Baylor (53-21) and St. Thomas-Minnesota (31-20).

As soon as the Wildcats stepped out of their home field comfort zone, traveling to Whitewater, Wis., to play in the Div. III national semifinal contest, Linfield was eliminated by the UW-Whitewater Warhawks 27-17.

The Warhawks would eventually go on to win in the Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl (the mid-December Division III national championship) to collect their second national title in three years.

Skore will be reunited with two former Hornet offensive teammates in McMinnville this fall, as running back Kyte Ramberg (Central Washington University transfer) and 6-foot, 5-inch tight end Alex Keith (2009 EHS grad) will help fortify the Linfield grid unit.

The Wildcats’ home opener comes Oct. 2 when Linfield hosts Willamette University. The following week will see Linfield battling it out with the University of Puget Sound at 1:30 p.m. Oct. 9 on the Loggers’ home turf in Tacoma.