On the football field, as the kicker for Marian Catholic, Chris Taborn is all about putting up points.
On the soccer field, as one of the area’s best goalies, he’ll do everything he can to prevent scoring.
“There’s definitely kind of a different mindset,” he said. “Going into a soccer game, I’m all defense. In football, I’m helping out the offense. There’s a different feel and a different mentality to it.”
As great as Taborn’s leg is, it’s his ability to use his entire body to shut down opponents that’s made him a standout on the pitch.
A four-year starter on varsity, he was named the top goaltender at the 32-team Windy City Ram Classic.
“It’s definitely an honor to get that award, but what matters more is us winning,” he said.
The Spartans won the tournament in large part due to Taborn’s brilliance in the net.
“I really believe that Chris is one of the best goalies in the area,” Marian Catholic coach Nasser Shahtaji said. “He’s phenomenal. He comes up with some great saves and we know he’s always going to keep us in the game.”
Taborn actually began playing goalie due to somewhat of a fluke occurrence.
“I started playing soccer when I was eight years old, but I played the field for a couple years,” he said. “When I was 10, my team needed a goalie. I just decided out of the blue to step in and try it. I’ve played it ever since.
“Goalie is not that hard to play. You don’t have to run too much, so that’s nice.”
Taborn said his skills have improved greatly over the last few years.
“I’ve improved tremendously playing with my club team, the Fire,” he said. “I’ve gotten a lot of new experiences. I’ve played all over the country and out of the country even. Just seeing a lot of different players with different styles and playing against some great offensive players has really helped me improve a lot.”
Taborn’s fall figures to be pretty hectic, with practices for two teams to go along with schoolwork.
“Usually it’s football for an hour, then soccer for two hours, then go home and do it all again the next day,” he said.
It’s all worth it, though, to be a part of two teams on the rise.
“The football team, everybody’s really hyped up about this year,” he said. “Our practices have been crazy and we’re all excited about the rest of the year playing for coach (Jerry) Verde.
“With soccer, I think we can improve a lot on last year and it’s exciting to see the team developing. I think we can get back to a regional final and win it.”