Love of Everett High basketball runs in family
EVERETT - One could say Seagulls basketball runs in the family.
Mike Taggart, now a Jackson High School math teacher, played played in the first varsity basketball game in Everett High School’s once-new gym. That was in January 1981.
Last month, his daughter Sydney Taggart played in the first game ever at Everett High’s newest gym with the Seagulls varsity girls basketball team.
Time flies, Mike Taggart marveled.
“I never thought 33 years later I’d have a daughter playing basketball for the same school I went to,” Mike Taggart said. Instead, he and wife Erica had two: Sydney’s older sister Jesslyn played Seagulls varsity basketball before graduating.
“It’s exciting, nerve-wracking but proud to watch,” Mike Taggart said.
In Mike Taggart’s time, the Seagulls boys team were upholding the school’s 90-year-old motto, “School of Champions,” with strong state tournament results in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
Last week the girls basketball team made it into district playoffs for the second straight year.
Mike Taggart, 50, graduated in 1981.
Sydney is part of the third generation of Taggarts at Everett High. Mike’s father Bill is a 1958 Everett High graduate.
A handful of girls basketball players, such as the Rielly sisters, are second and third generation Seagulls.
He played as a forward. She plays as a guard.
There’s always been a basketball hoop in the Taggarts’ driveway.
“I started playing as soon as I could walk,” Sydney Taggart said. Her older sister played too,
Erica Taggart, an Everett Community College hoops player, was Sydney’s basketball coach growing up.
Sydney, 15, got her name because she was born in Sydney, Australia when Mike took his whole family overseas for a teaching abroad session.
“I hope to go back there someday,” Sydney said.
The gym Mike played in “was ‘the’ gym in the area,” he said. “They must not make ‘em like they used to because it lasted 30 years.”
Mike’s time on the team spanned from Everett High’s older gym, affectionately known as “The Pit.”
The new gym is built to be even better, with tight quarters wrapping around the gym that puts fans close to the action.
“I really like it, it’s not like any other gym,” Sydney said.
It’s like a pit the way it’s down on the ground, she said.
Architects made sure to bring the feel of “The Pit” into the new gym’s design, Everett School District construction manager Darcy Walker said previously.
The $10 million new gym isn’t exactly new. It’s a complete overhaul of the gym space that the Seagulls began playing in in 1981.
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