COEBURN, Va. (WJHL)- In our new digital series ‘High School Standouts,’ Digital Sports Reporter Michael Epps features local athletes with incredible talent, hoping to take that talent to the next level.
These are athletes that stand out both on and off the field.
This week’s High School Standout is Carrie Boyd, a senior girls basketball and softball player at Eastside High School.
Carrie Boyd grew up like most kid athletes, looking up to the older players and admiring the high schoolers.
“When you’re young you look up to those varsity players who were so good in your eyes and you always want to be one of those people and here we are I am one of those people you know it’s special,” Boyd said.
Now she’s there, as a softball and girls basketball star for Eastside High School.
“So I worked every day in gym class I had another coach that helped me he gave me workouts to do drills to do I did it every single day for an hour and a half the whole gym block somehow I became a starter and it’s gotten better each year,” Boyd said.
She has been an all-district player for both sports, and started all four years.
“I mean most people know that softball is my favorite sport but I also was very very thankful to have played that senior season in basketball I’ve loved it all 4 of my years I loved my coaches my teammates everything it’s all been special but softball is where it’s at,” Boyd said.
She had just wrapped up a strong senior season on the basketball court and went on quite a run, winning the district title all four years of her high school career.
“Honestly it’s pretty incredible if you think about it like there’s not been an off year the whole time I’ve been there we’ve had people step up each year that you don’t expect is going to and it’s just been great,” Boyd said.
“What we got out of Carrie was hard work leadership and she was a center, she wasn’t tall but she was strong hard-nosed and worked really hard,” Eastside head girls basketball coach Barry Ruff said.
She was looking to keep that momentum going into the softball season.
“She’s a really special player for us she’s always been a leader even as a young player for us starting as a freshman but as she got older she accepted it even more so,” Eastside head softball coach Suzy Atwood said.
“Last year I started at 3rd base and was probably going to this year hopefully but God had other plans,” Boyd said.
Other plans, like the COVID-19 pandemic cancelling all spring sports and cutting her senior year short.
“Everybody had gotten better on their hitting like we would hit in the cages we only got a few weeks at practice but seeing people hit at practice I was like this is gonna be our year,” Boyd said.
She is fortunate to play softball at the next level, as she’s headed to the University of Pikeville in Kentucky.
“It’s made me not take this as hard as I could be taking it having my senior season taken away but it’s special being able to play at the next level and I’m so glad,” Boyd said.
She has become that star the kids look up to and now she’s giving back to those kids. She volunteers in her off-time, including as a coach and ‘buddy’ for Angels Basketball League for kids and adults with special needs.
“The opportunity to play the sports that I’ve grown up playing that I love that they wouldn’t normally get and it also puts into perspective how lucky I am that I’m able to play these sports,” Boyd said.
“On Sundays they would get together and have what they call practices and she would spend time 1-on-1 with someone and every time that I know that they had it Carrie was always there that was important to her,” Ruff said.
“They gave way more to me than I could ever give to them like it’s been so special,” Boyd said.
It’s that positive mentality that has helped her through this pandemic, and in life.
“It’s not just what you like, playing sports, sports ends at some point and you have to take what you learned in those sports into your life and be a special person and try to change the world for the better,” Boyd said.
Follow this series throughout the year as WJHL’s Michael Epps finds the High School Standout every week on WJHL.com.