Coming back with confidence
Every player and parent's nightmare came true during a Perham football game in 2008.
Four broken bones, two in the tibia and a pair of fibula fractures.
It was the second game of the football season versus Delano.
Taylor Doll was blocking a defensive back from his wide receiver position when he shirked his man and turned to block a defender chasing running back Nate Schmitz.
Doll pivoted his foot and it stuck in the ground. Then, with horrific timing, a Delano lineman barreled into that leg stuck in the ground breaking it in four places.
"I didn't go into shock and tried getting off the field when my fibula snapped," Doll said. "I fell back down and my whole body just went numb."
Doll was in the hospital for a week and was advised by medical staff he was not supposed to do anything athletically for over a year,
Instead, he played baseball the following spring, football the next year and this year was the only Yellowjacket named to the all-section baseball team. He made the team with confidence.
"I knew I had the numbers," he said. "It's good to be on there."
While expecting individual accolades, Doll was quick to give credit to another teammate.
"Brad Ellingson should have been on the team," he said.
Besides fellow teammates, Taylor also has big brother Tyler to thank for his success.
"Tyler is the reason I'm going to play college baseball," Doll said. "We played in the yard with my dad as kids until he went on to play at Concordia in Moorhead."
Doll has been on a streak of playing a lot of baseball this year. After the high school season ended, he's teamed up with those mates on the Perham Buzz and with brother Tyler playing for the Perham Pirates.
"Taylor is a great player to have on the team," said Pirates Manager Evan Meece. "He is a great asset in the field, at the plate, and at the mound. I have been privileged to be able to be Taylor's coach for the past three years, beginning in VFW. He always plays the game hard and is a great asset to the team."
The senior high school season ended with a disappointing tint at Washington Park in Detroit Lakes in early June.
"We came into the season and were ranked. We knew we had a team that could go pretty far in state even with a tough section with Fergus Falls and Staples. We knew we were just as good as them."
According to Doll, the Yellowjackets never got the ball rolling.
"When we did it was too late. Our team didn't click this year as it did in the past. We had so much talent. "
But seasons end and times change and after this summer Doll will be moving on to compete at the next level at Jamestown College.
"Taylor has a great love for the game and I think he'll do well at the next level," Head Coach Hans Hanson said. "He's been a very consistent two-year varsity player for me and I was very pleased how he's come back from injury and contributed as a pitcher and a hitter."
"Coach Hanson is great coach and a good guy," Doll said. "We got along great."
Jamestown College has a strong baseball program. In 2008, they were the Plains Super Region Champions and qualified for the NAIA World Series.
"They know they have a great program," said Doll. "Coach Hager told me if I wasn't good enough he wouldn't recruit me."
Coach Hager has led the team to a Dakota Athletic Conference tournament championship (2009), DAC-10 Conference Championships, eight straight Regional appearances, three Regional Championships (2004, 2006,2008), three Super Regionals (2004, 2006,2008), the 2008 Super Regional Championship and two NAIA College World Series Appearances (2004,2008).
His team has broken school records every year, also seeing his team win more games in the previous year for five straight years - leading to 2004's record breaking 46 win season.
Coach Hager's overall record at Jamestown College is 314-148.
Doll appears to be headed to a winner and joins Jeff Hamann and Dan Revering, of Fergus Falls on the Jimmies squad.
"I'm pretty excited for those guys and to play some winter ball."
Doll was named to the 2010 Section 8AA All-Section baseball team. Joining Doll were Wadena-Deer Creek's Kevin Tumberg, Fergus Falls' Boyden Lee and Peter Gaustad, Staples-Motley's Jordan Riewer and Gunner Johnson, Warroad's Brett Hebel, East Grand Forks' Bryce Frydenlund and Darrin Hager, Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton's Dylan DeJong and Shawn Johnson and Roseau's T.J. Erickson.