Here’s why Sterlington’s Maddie Taylor dotes on England’s monarchy and winning softball

by Jimmy Watson // Contributing Writer – Shreveport Times

It doesn’t happen often in Sterlington, but occasionally you run across someone, like Maddie Taylor, who keeps a close eye on the happenings across the pond with Great Britain’s Royal family. 

“I have a weird obsession with the monarchy,” said Taylor, one of Louisiana’s top college prospects. “I know a lot of random facts about the royal family in Britain.” 

If you’d like to learn things like the King being the only UK resident who can drive without a license or that the Queen used to travel with her own supply of blood, ask Taylor.

The 5-foot-9 Taylor also has a not-so-weird obsession with winning, something she’s become quite accustomed to over her last four years in Sterlington. The McNeese signee is a key reason why the Panthers (27-1) are the favorites to win the LHSAA Non-Select Division III title when the playoffs launch this week. 

Sterlington advanced to the semifinals in 2021 and 2022, then made the title game last year as the No. 1 seed before falling to Kaplan 4-0. That’s a game forever lodged in Taylor’s mind and can only be washed away by finishing the job this spring.

“We didn’t have the outcome we had hoped for, but that feeling after the loss has pushed me this season to be more focused on the mound,” Taylor said. “I’m hungry for a ring more than ever this year because of that moment.” 

A first-team all-stater in both softball and basketball, Taylor is 16-1 on the mound with 129 strikeouts and a 1.16 ERA. She’s a career .500 hitter but is currently hitting .437 with eight home runs and 29 RBIs.

Taylor has struggled through injuries to remain competitive in two sports and credits basketball coach Caroline Oliphant as someone who has stepped up for her at critical times. 

“After my two ACL surgeries she was more than a coach to me,” Taylor said. “She stood by me throughout my rehab journey and helped me become the player I am today.”

Her play has helped the Panthers secure wins against a quality schedule that includes No. 1 North DeSoto (Non-Select D-II), No. 1 St. Thomas More (Select D-I), No. 1 Buckeye (Select D-II), No. 2 Oak Grove (Non-Select D-II) and No. 3 Tioga (Select D-I).

“Playing quality teams definitely is preparing us for what we will face during playoffs,” Taylor said. “Everyone has learned we all have a certain role to play within this team. Executing our role every game is what helps us get these big wins.” 

The Panthers’ only loss through last weekend came in a second meeting with North DeSoto, the three-time defending Class 4A/D-II state champion. With a first-round bye for the 2024 playoffs, Taylor and company will need to start preparing themselves mentally for the road to Sulphur.

“Coach (Brian West) has instilled in us to separate our emotions from the result,” Taylor said. “Good teams are going to land punches, but great teams aren’t going to stay down when they are hit.”

The Sterlington Student Council president and a member of the town’s First Baptist Church, Taylor says she’d love to meet Adele because “I love her music,” or Caitlyn Clark “because she is a dawg.” She’d also like to see LHSAA Executive Director Eddie Bonine handing her team a championship trophy on April 27.

Then maybe a trip across the Pacific to meet the Royal Family would be in order.

“I like keeping up with the drama and I think the idea of a monarchy is interesting,” Taylor said. “I’m a Kate Middleton fan – I think she is very classy.”

Jimmy Watson covers Louisiana sports for the USA TODAY Network. Email him at and follow him on Twitter @JimmyWatson6.

Maddie Taylor file

Standout teacher: “Mrs. Lynn Anders throughout my years. She was always there to talk and truly cared about me in my sports career. She also grew my love for biology.” 

College major: “I plan on majoring in biology and becoming a veterinarian.” 

Maddie’s greatest fear? “Drowning. I am not a fan of bodies of water.”

Country she’d like to visit: Italy 

Favorite school subject: Biology 

Favorite TV program: “This is Us”

Favorite food: Corn dogs

One person from history she’d like to dine with: “Tupac. I want to know if he’s still alive.”

Toughest opponent she’s faced: North DeSoto 

Person she most admires: “My mom. She always takes the high road and is kind to everybody.”

Habit she’d most like to break: “Chewing my on fingernails.”

Her go-to app: Tick Tok