Male Athlete of the Year 2012: B.J. Boyd
In the first 10 seconds of the 2011-2012 Paly football season, B.J. Boyd (‘12) found the end zone. Using his blistering, 4.4-second 40-yard dash speed, Boyd took the opening kickoff 85 yards all the way past the San Benito High School defense. Three months and 25 touchdowns later, Boyd closed the season with another touchdown return and a touchdown reception against Bellarmine High School.
As a two-sport varsity athlete, he continued his standout performance on the baseball field. Not only does Boyd bring his undeniable talent to both sports, but he also brings his positive outlook.
“He’s got a good attitude,” head baseball coach Erick Raich said. “He’s fun and keeps things a little loose. Guys like him [are] all you can really ask for.”
As a vital component to the varsity football and baseball teams, Boyd inspired his teammates with his constant effort. He manifests his raw talent and enthusiasm to achieve his full athletic potential, demonstrating his merit for the Male Athlete of the Year award and often serving as the motivating factor that sparked the rest of the football squad into action.
“I started off with [kickoff return], brought a couple touchdowns back to get the team going,” Boyd said.
Boyd transferred from St. Francis High School as a sophomore, and once his eligibility as a Paly athlete was confirmed, he became a member of the varsity football team his junior year and earned a position as starting running back.
“He didn’t start out like a gangbuster his junior year,” head coach Earl Hansen said. “But he got used to what was going on and did a good job.”
Boyd quickly became a key part of the offense and helped steer the team to a State Championship victory. This year he came close to doing it again, leading the team to its second consecutive Central Coast Section (CCS) Championship game against Bellarmine. Despite the disappointing 41-13 loss for the Vikings, Boyd continued giving his all and scored Paly’s only two touchdowns. He finished the season ranked first on the team with five kickoff returns for touchdowns, 11.5 points per game and 1,108 receiving yards according to MaxPreps.
Along with his effort during the football team’s State Championship run, Boyd was also a contributing factor in the baseball team’s success last year. The team reached new heights in 2011, with Boyd scoring twice in Paly’s first ever CCS Championship game, and this year the baseball team went on to finish the season as SCVAL co-champions and earned the No. 1 seed for the CCS playoffs.
“He puts the [other] team on the defense right off the bat being in the leadoff spot,” Raich said.
On the baseball field, Boyd excels on both offense and defense. Hitting in the leadoff spot, he batted an impressive .507 with 13 runs batted in and 32 runs scored this season as of May 14. Not only has he been a force to be reckoned with in the batter’s box, but also on the bases, swiping over 25 bags this season.
“B.J. is a really good offensive spark when we need a few runs,” teammate Jack Witte (‘12) said. “He tends to get rallies going because he gets on base a lot and his speed kills. His speed is something we can utilize on the base paths to manufacture some runs.”
As Witte alluded to, Boyd’s speed is a key part of his game in both sports. From sprinting past defenders on the gridiron to stealing bases on the baseball diamond, his speed is beyond ordinary. However, Boyd understands that he will have to keep improving his baseball game to accomplish his goal of making it to the professional level, and he relishes any opportunity he gets to improve on this and anything else.
“I got more experience when I went up to a thing called Area Codes in Los Angeles,” Boyd said. “It’s the top kids from California and all over the world and that got me going.”
Area Code Baseball is a camp for gifted athletes that get specialized baseball training and a chance to play on one of the teams created by scouts.
Back at Paly, Boyd was able to implement these new skills and experiences into his game.
Hansen, who watches all of the baseball games, has noticed Boyd’s formidable presence at bat.
“He’s a threat every time he swings a bat and when he gets on base because he steals bases all over the place,” Hansen said.
On the defensive side, Boyd has been an accomplished center fielder, proving himself as a crucial outfield element who can be counted on to make plays. Following his high school career, Boyd hopes to make it through the draft and play pro ball for his favorite team, the Oakland Athletics. After coaching and working with him for two years, Raich is proud of Boyd’s progression.
“From this year to last year, I’m just happy with how he’s grown up and matured,” Raich said. “I hope he continues to improve and get better, because that’s what it’s going to take for him to go a long ways in this game.”