MILLEDGEVILLE — In the midst of many great performances in last week’s 28-7 victory over Glascock County, Georgia Military Prep School’s Jai Boyd put together a performance to gain the attention of the entire community being voted as the first Athlete of the Week for this fall.
Boyd carried the football six times on Friday night for 92 yards and two touchdowns, and accumulated 11 tackles to help hold Glascock to only one score the entire contest.
“I really want to thank my offensive line, my mom, my stepdad, and all the credit goes to the coaches who pushed me this summer,” he said.
For the sophomore prep star, last week’s performance began months ago during pre-season training.
“I tried not to miss a day in the weight room,” Boyd said. “I went every day I could go and pushed myself to the limit.”
After seeing substantial playing time at the end of last season, Boyd realized his potential and made a decision to live up to it in the spring and over the summer.
“I think Jai took this summer a lot more seriously maybe than he did the last, just simply because he came on at the end of last year and started a few ball games at linebacker for us last year,” Steven Simpson, head coach, said. “He sort of realized going into the season that he had the potential to play a lot, and play an important role.”
On Friday night, the off-season work paid off for the Boyd and the Bulldogs, as they picked up their first win of the fall.
“He took on a leadership role in the weight room, even as a sophomore. You know, Friday night that came out and we saw where he had developed his skills and he was able to take advantage of some things that the other team was doing,” Simpson said. “Where some of our other backs were taken out of the scenario by the other team’s game plan, Jai was able to step up and fill a void that we needed and supply some big yards and some big situations.”
According to Simpson, Boyd’s stats from week two are only scratching the surface as to what he can accomplish at GMC Prep.
“We’re very excited about the fact that Jai is only a sophomore. You know, we’ve got Colby [Lawrence] and Rekarche [Griffin], both seniors who are going to be graduating,” he said. “When you start thinking about roles for down the road, a game like last Friday night just goes further to prove that Jai’s going to be able to fill that role in the future.”
As only a sophomore for the Bulldogs, Boyd has big plans for his team and expects to fulfill his end of the bargain this season.
“I just want to finish off the season and go to the playoffs,” he said. “I got to just keep pushing forward. My expectation is to go out and play to the best of my ability.”
Approaching week three of the long season, Simpson is proud of his young player and looks for his team to continue to move forward each week.
“I think that it’s an outstanding accomplishment for a sophomore to be selected as the Athlete of the Week; you know, he had an outstanding night, but you know our guys really aren’t all that concerned about who takes the credit. I mean, he didn’t have the most carries, but he had the most yards; he didn’t have the most tackles, but you know he probably played the best overall game,” Simpson said. “Week-in an week-out it’s going to be a different kid, and our kids, as long we’re getting the result we’re looking for, they’re not real concerned who gets that credit for the most part. I think Jai’s bought into that and so have the other guys, so we’re really excited about what we can do and we hope we have several other guys win the award.”