PRIEST RIVER — Another local boy has gone off to make good in the wide world. Local native and former Kootenai Thunder star Taylor Jensen recently led his team at Pensacola Christian College to a collegiate soccer national championship. The PCC Eagles finished their 15-6 season with a victory over Trinity Baptist College in the NCCAA Div II championship match at Greenville, S.C. Nov. 17. In addition to his consistent standout play, the PCC senior and goalkeeper made a save during penalty kicks in the regional final that gave PCC the chance to play for the national championship.
Jensen said the beginning of his successful career on the soccer pitch came when Thunder coach Caleb Jonas placed him in the goal and gave him experience against teams across the Northwest. “I was able to excel at the goalkeeper position and even win a Mountain Christian League championship my senior year,” he said.
Jensen credits his faith in Jesus Christ to leading him to attend PCC and compete at a high level in athletics.
“The faith I have put in the Lord Jesus Christ to save me from my sins has given me the desire to honor him with my life. This desire to serve and honor Jesus is what lead me to choose to play for the Kootenai Thunder, and then in choosing Pensacola Christian over many other secular colleges. I believe God has used these decisions to not only give me success in my sports career but has also given me a purpose in life.”
It was that purpose that lead him to a college on the Gulf of Mexico coastline, where he could pursue a business degree in a faith-based environment while remaining debt-free. Jensen said his desire to compete in athletics and be part of a harmonious team steered him towards soccer last season. He explained that the team’s success, in only its second year of existence at PCC, was due to “a fantastic coaching staff, a desire to win and hard work. This season we played a lot of very tough competition, which helped prepare us for some fierce battles within our region.”
Jensen is thankful for the support he’s received from Idaho while competing thousands of miles away.
“I would like to thank all the people back home that have supported me. I have a lot of support from my church, Kootenai Community Church, and also of course from my parents who were able to fly down and watch us win the national championship.
“It was a real blessing to be able to be a part of such a great group of guys and achieve our ultimate goal to bring home our school’s first ever national championship in any team sport. I would have never imagined I would be a first team All-American on a national championship winning team!”