By Frank Rizzo
ELDRED July 31, 2001 Whatever soccer genes John Diuguid passed on to his son Taylor have been transmuted into something better in the process.
I was short and fat and slow, John, law clerk to County Judge Frank J. LaBuda, laughed as he recalled his playing days at Monticello High School in the early 1960s. I played defense and stopped people by knocking them on their a.
When he does play defense as stopper for various youth traveling teams over the years the tall and thin Taylor, 14, is more apt to use speed and skill.
After a season of organized youth soccer when he was five, Taylor, who lives in Highland Lake, took a break from the game.
In his 10th year, Taylor wanted to play soccer again, and John sent him to a West Point soccer camp.
One of the coaches there, Mike Silverman, saw Taylor in action, was impressed, and asked John if his son could play for his Warwick youth team.
So Taylor put in three years with Warwick, playing year-round.
Last fall he played for a team in Scranton, Pa., and this past spring for a squad in Minisink Valley.
The assistant coach at Warwick, John Paulik, remembered Taylor and asked his former charge to join the Ramapo under-15 team. It is based in Sloatsburg, and plays in the Northern Counties League (encompassing Rockland County and several northern tier New Jersey counties).
Taylor has practiced with Ramapo, but has not had the chance to play for the team.
Recently, he faced a difficult choice: travel with Ramapo to participate in a big tournament in Ireland, or go to a soccer camp in Brazil.
Previously, Taylor had been asked to go overseas, but the cost prevented it. This time around John decided to finance his sons soccer education.
The Diuguids had learned of the camp through the father of one of Taylors Minisink teammates, who comes from the area where its located.
Taylor left for Brazil on July 24 and will return on August 6.
I feel good about going, Taylor said while taking a break at the All-American Soccer camp in Monticello the Friday before departing. It will be nice to get away. It will be my first time overseas.
Theres no question its going to be a high quality camp, John said of the clinic, which he described as a first-time joint effort by the Brazilian and United States soccer federations.
Heading the camp will be Carlos Alberto, one of the stellar names in Brazils storied soccer history, a member of the 1970 World Cup champs and later a star with the New York Cosmos.
The Intercambio De Futbol Brasil-EUA features 15 fields, an indoor complex, and doctors, nurses and masseuses to complement the assortment of coaches and trainers.
Last fall, Taylor played on the Eldred Central Schools modified soccer team.
According to John, Eldred varsity coach Roger Weyant has indicated that Taylor will be on the varsity this fall.
Taylor played striker for the Yellow Jacket modified squad, and netted 21 goals in nine games.
I like stopper, but Paulik and Silverman tell me Im much better at midfielder, Taylor said.
John isnt the only family member to precede Taylor on the pitch. His nephew, and Taylors cousin, Todd Diuguid of Monticello, won a scholarship to Division I Marshall University in West Virginia. Todd is now the head womens soccer coach at the University of Charleston in West Virginia.
My familys into soccer, Taylor said, and following in his cousins footsteps would not be a bad idea; a scholarship will make the thousands of dollars John spends each year for his sons soccer education worth it.