Bryce Taylor: Melbourne to Marian

Trent Keitel , Staff Writer

The first day I walked on to Marian’s campus and into the Courtyards, I met Bryce Taylor. He had a funny accent and naturally, I asked him where he was from. He in turn said “Melbourne, Australia;” I was shocked, but thought it was unique that he would travel all that way to be a student-athlete here at Marian.

Taylor has been a teammate of mine on Marian’s baseball team for four years now and we have become great friends. The moment Taylor and I started to get along was in an intra-squad fall ball game our freshmen year in 2011. I was up to bat and he was pitching. I did not know what to expect from him, but as the pitch came, I roped a single up the middle right between his legs that surely had him second guessing ever throwing that pitch to me again. We still laugh about that encounter today as it sparked our friendship.

I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Taylor and interview him about his journey from Melbourne to Marian University. As he completed his schooling in Australia, he spent the summer hanging out with his family and friends before taking the long 25-hour flight to Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. As he arrived on campus, he credits his peers, the coaching staff and Marian faculty as “very welcoming.”

Taylor started playing baseball at the age of 12 and has always had the dream of playing baseball at the collegiate level. Baseball is competitive in Australia and year in and year out, Taylor improved his skills and was talented enough to be recruited and become a part of Marian’s baseball team. He has been a very successful pitcher for the Sabres and is continuing his success in the team’s current season.

The United States is vastly different in many cultural aspects from Australia. Taylor stated: “I miss being able to eat the foods I would normally eat when I was home with my family.”

His favorite food that he misses the most is vegemite, which is a vegetable and yeast paste generally spread on toast. According to Thomas Woodgate, who is a writer for CNN.com: “This is as Australian food as it gets.”

Taylor has since grown accustom to the American culture of going out to eat a lot more than actually cooking a meal.

Taylor also talked about the geographical differences: “It is not too different despite what people think. The one difference to me is the way the place looks compared to what I am used to.” Wisconsin is not the most intriguing state as far as beautiful views of nature go. In Wisconsin’s defense, not many places in the world compare to the amazing views off the shores of Melbourne.

Taylor has enjoyed his time here in the states as he had made many new friends and formed a new family in the Marian community. I asked Taylor what his plans upon graduation are and he said: “I would love to try and stay here in the States, but if I am unable to do so then I will probably go and live in England.”

In closing, Taylor’s journey has been unique. He traveled over 9,500 miles to continue his education and baseball career. He is a committed student, as he is pursuing his degree in criminal justice, and he is a great teammate. Through the years that I have known Taylor, it has been nice to see him excel and adapt to life in the United States. I have also enjoyed learning the meanings of many Australian words such as “young grommet” which means a young surfer and “togs” which translates to swim suit. In addition, Taylor and I have had countless conversations about Australian wildlife with the likes of kangaroos, crocodiles, and dingoes.

As our college lives come to a close, our friendship will not. Cheers mate!

 

Sources:

  1. Taylor, personal communication, April 14, 2015

Woodgate, Thomas. November 3 2011. “Australian Food: 40 dishes locals like to call their own.” Retrieved from http://travel.cnn.com/sydney/eat/40-foods-australians-call-their-own-651613

 

Photo credit: http://www.sabreathletics.com/sports/bsb/2014-15/bios/taylor_bryce_2vys