KERMAN, Calif. - In Kerman, football is family.
"Coach Taylor was a huge part of this program. He was respected by all. He meant a lot to us fellow coaches and the rest of this team," said Kerman interim head coach Stephen Hurt.
The Kerman Lions football team has been playing for a higher purpose this season, head coach Anthony Taylor.
"It's been difficult to be without Coach Taylor. We found out the day of a game and fortunately we got a win for him," said quarterback Sean Chambers.
Taylor passed away just before the second game of this season after battling health issues.
"Playing for him has meant a lot and it's our fire deep down inside of us to work every day and go out compete for everyday and get wins for him that's where we get the phrase G for T, Grind for Taylor," said Chambers.
That's exactly what Kerman has done going 9-1 this season and winning the North Sequoia league title. Prior to the regular season finale, both Kerman and Washington Union honored his memory by introducing the Anthony Taylor Cup, which will now be given to the winner of the game every season.
"These kids have responded very well with the circumstances they were dealt. It's tough for any team to face those kind of circumstances and we have that extra motivation, playing with a chip on our shoulder and going to go out and get that championship for him this year," said Hurt.