"Yes, sir, for the city league," Taylor replied. "We play games in places like Pottstown, Pennsylvania, and each member gets a trophy."
"Son, I have some trophies at home. What size do you want?" Jones said. "I've never seen a young man yet get a college scholarship playing city league."
A few weeks later, Jones pestered Taylor again. "Get off my back," Taylor moaned. "I'll play for you."
By the middle of his junior year, Taylor, who was 6 feet, 185 pounds, started at offensive and defensive end. In practice, Jones put him against the team's best linemen, kids who outweighed him by almost 30 pounds, and they easily pushed him around.
"He'd say to me, I don't know if I can handle this,' " says Jones, who would merely pat Taylor on the back and send him in for more punishment.
Though Taylor improved as a senior, for a time the University of Richmond was the only school seriously interested in him. Jones even had to try to persuade a recruiter from Norfolk State to say hello to Taylor. Jones said the recruiter wouldn't do it.
Taylor was determined to go to college. The Friday night discussions with his parents had made an impression. Mrs. Taylor would ask her sons what they wanted in life, and on a pad of paper she would calculate how far they could go on a minimum wage.
"Can you get what you want from this?" she would ask. "A nice house? A nice car? Clothes? Put money in the bank?"
"No," Lawrence would answer, fearful of working next to his father in the shipyards. "I need to go to college."
The idea was reinforced in similar discussions with his Williamsburg buddies while sitting on the railroad ties of the Mooretown Bridge. "We talked about everything from women to God," says Dylan Pritchett.