By MATT SCHUCKMAN
Herald-Whig Sports Editor
More often than not, father knows best.
Taylor Reis has to admit that now.
Last year, Reis' father, Greg, wanted the Quincy Notre Dame senior soccer player to try out for the Illinois Youth Soccer Association's Olympic Development Program. Taylor wasn't so sure.
"I really didn't want to. Well, I did, but I didn't want to travel," said Taylor, who would have had to travel to Chicago for tryouts and practices. "I was like, ‘Why do I have to?' He said, ‘You never know what could happen.'"
What transpired has turned into the chance of a lifetime.
Taylor, a midfielder, made the Illinois select team and played in the Midwest Regional where Missouri ODP coach John Roeslein took note. A couple months later, Roeslein emailed Taylor with the idea he could play collegiately overseas. Specifically, Roeslein was recruiting him to play in England.
"I had always dreamed about playing in England as a kid," said Taylor, who finished with 21 goals and 20 assists in his high school career. "I was kind of in shock, really."
Shock has turned into the reality.
The all-stater who was a part of the Raiders' 2011 state championship team is scheduled to leave in August to play soccer at the Richmond International Academic & Soccer Academy in Leeds, England. He'll study at Leeds Metropolitan University and live out a dream.
"Everything about it is a great opportunity," Taylor said.
The Reis family visited Leeds last September and saw first-hand how intense and regimented the training and study schedules are.
"I'll be playing 10 months out of the year instead of three or four here," Taylor said.
The academy fields four teams with its top-level franchise playing in a semi-pro league.
"It's a lot more physical," Taylor said. "Everything about the game over there is more physical. I just have to keep getting better and practicing."