Beginning today and continuing throughout the month of July, we turn our attention from our Senior Spotlights, which honored the Class of 2020, to our Rising Seniors and the top athletes in the Class of 2021.
Our first Rising Senior is Taria Liles of Bell High School.
Liles will participate in volleyball, basketball, and softball during her senior year. She was a Gainesville Sun 1st team All-Area selection in volleyball this past fall as a junior after finishing with 411 kills, 106 aces, and 296 digs for the 27-2 Lady Bulldogs, who lost to Branford in the Class 1A Region Final. Her 106 aces led the state of Florida in Class 1A, and she also finished top 10 in kills and digs.
She was recognized as The Trophy Shop Athlete of the Week for the week of September 30th after leading the then top-ranked ‘Dogs to a 3-0 week with wins against Taylor (Pierson), Branford, and Union County, finishing the week with 55 kills, 59 digs, and five aces, as Bell improved to 21-1 overall at the time.
Liles of Bell High School was a Gainesville Sun All area Honorable mention as a sophomore when Bell advanced to the state championship. Her favorite high school sports moment was beating Trenton to go to state in volleyball in 2018. The Tigers and Bulldogs were tied 2-2 in the state semifinals but Bell won 15-9 in the fifth game against the Tigers to advance to the 1A final in Fort Myers. It was the first time Bell had a sports program playing for a state championship, and despite the loss to Sneads in the title game, finished with a school-best 26-4 record.
Her goals for her senior season are to have more kills then she did last year, to get better every game, and go all the way to state. She is getting college offers or interest from Florida Gateway College, Valdosta State, and Eckerd College.
If you or someone you know is a student-athlete, and rising senior, we want to hear from you. You can either send us an audio shout out which we will play on the radio, or send us your bio and I will voice it for you. For more information, please email mike@ThePrepZone.com.
Mike Ridaught is the founder and publisher of ThePrepZone.com, the foremost website for high school sports in northeast Florida.