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Closing act: Fleming finishes standout career on top

By Richard Greene | Published Sunday, June 27, 2010
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CLEARING ALL HURDLES - Boyd's Tim Fleming let nothing stand in his way while leading the Yellowjackets to district titles in football and track. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

On the various athletic fields, Boyd’s Tim Fleming always found a sanctuary.

There it didn’t matter who he was, where he was from or what he had. He could be what he wanted.

“Growing up I never had everything,” Fleming said. “All I did was sports. I never had all the toys I wanted. Sports was always there for me. And I always wanted to be the best, so I ran that much harder and worked out that much harder.”

That hard work and drive pushed Fleming and his Boyd Yellowjackets to a District 9-2A title in football, an area basketball appearance and finally the chance to run at the University Interscholastic League’s State Track and Field Championships in Austin.

Along the way the senior earned the District 9-2A and the All-Wise MVP awards in football. Fleming was also named to the All-Wise basketball team.

To cap his storied career, Fleming is now the Wise County Messenger’s Male Athlete of the Year.

“In seventh grade, I remember competition in Wise County was extreme,” Fleming said. “Now I’m graduating being top dog in Wise County. It’s an accomplishment because I know there’s a lot of good athletes here. I’m proud of myself, knowing I accomplished a lot.”

Boyd Athletic Director J.G. Cartwright said his athletic accomplishments only add to the type of person he is.

“Tim is just a great young man,” Cartwright said. “He was very coachable, never talked back or disrespected anyone. He worked hard and was a great leader. All the kids looked up to him.”

On the football field, Fleming started three seasons for the Yellowjackets. He took over at quarterback as a junior and led Boyd to the playoffs, throwing for 1,336 yards and 14 touchdowns and running for 1,037 yards and 10 scores.

Fleming entered his senior season ready to guide the Yellowjackets back to the postseason and meet the high expectations. But the season did not start out well for Boyd, which entered the year ranked in the top 10. After winning their season opener, the Yellowjackets lost their final four non-district contests.

“We started out No. 5 in the state because people knew we had a lot of people returning, but that put a bulls-eye on us,” Fleming said. “I don’t think the team was ready for the hype.”

Going into the five-game sprint through District 9-2A, Fleming put the team on his shoulders. He threw for three scores against Chico in a 58-0 win. He then ran for 236 yards to lead the Yellowjackets to a 42-0 win over Alvord. Fleming then threw for two scores and ran for another in a key win over Jacksboro. He closed district play with strong performances against Paradise and Millsap.

“I knew I had to step it up,” Fleming said. “I knew if I wasn’t going to do well, the team wasn’t going to do well. Everyone looked up to me.”

The undefeated run through district got Fleming what he coveted – another chance at the team that ended his junior season, Pilot Point.

“The only game I wanted was Pilot Point,” Fleming said. “I played the hardest in that game even with my hurt shoulder.”

The senior quarterback gave the Bearcats all they wanted, running for 172 yards and two scores. He also threw for 164 yards and a touchdown. But the Yellowjackets had no answer for the Bearcats’ Jarman Johnson, who ran for 378 yards in the 59-42 win.

Pilot Point went on to win the Class 2A Division I state title.

The loss ended Fleming’s football career at Boyd.

“It was gut-wrenching,” Fleming said. “My whole life was to get to that point. When you don’t beat that team, everything stops. All I remember is breaking down and crying.”

Fleming finished the year with 1,091 yards rushing and 967 passing. He accounted for 19 touchdowns.

Immediately after his football season ended, he hit the basketball court. As a swing player for the Yellowjackets, he averaged 11.3 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.6 assists. He was also Boyd’s lockdown defender, guarding the other team’s top offensive weapon. He averaged 2.1 steals and 1.3 blocks.

“Coach figured that I was going to hustle more,” Fleming said. “If I got my mind set to it, I could shut down anybody.”

This was Fleming’s fourth varsity season on the hardwood. As a freshman, he joined a Boyd team that won just one game. As a catalyst for the turnaround, Boyd posted 20 wins this season and made a second straight trip to the playoffs.

In the first round of the playoffs, Fleming got what he wanted – another chance at Pilot Point. Fleming played his usual strong defensive game and scored eight points to lead the Yellowjackets to a 39-27 win.

“It was awesome,” Fleming said.

Boyd fell in area to state-ranked Melissa.

As soon as basketball was over, Fleming turned his attention to track with only one thing on his mind – a trip to state. Before heading to Austin, he put on a one-man show at the District 9-2A meet in Jacksboro, qualifying for regionals in five events – long jump, high jump, 4×100 relay, 300 hurdles and 110 hurdles.

That accomplishment was not really what he was after. He got that less than two weeks later at the regional meet when he won the 110 hurdles and took second in the 300 hurdles to earn a state bid.

“All my coaches were telling me that I’ve got to do it,” Fleming said. “I was going to run until I couldn’t breathe.”

Competing against the best in the state, he finished seventh in both events.

Fleming concluded his high-school career a few weeks ago, playing defensive back for Texas in the Oil Bowl. It’s a career that will be remembered – and Fleming hopes fondly.

“I just want people to remember me for my hard work and dedication,” Fleming said.

Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Getting to know Tim Fleming

  • Position: Quarterback in football, forward in basketball, hurdler in track.
  • Parents: Brandy Fleming
  • Hobbies and interests: Call of Duty on X-box
  • Favorite TV show: “Friends”
  • Last song I listened to: “Airplanes” by B.O.B.
  • Favorite quote: “‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.'”
  • Dream vacation spot: “Hawaii. It’d be awesome.”
  • Role models: “My family.”
  • Good luck charm or superstitions: “I always keep a two-dollar bill in my wallet.”
  • Favorite memory from this past year: “Hanging with the boys on gamedays.”

Male Athlete of the Year Runner-up
Kyle Parker,
senior, Bridgeport

Kyle Parker was a dynamic, four-sport athlete this past year. He earned all-state honors in football as well as the All-Wise Special Teams award. The senior helped the Bulls on the basketball court. In baseball, he pitched and played center field and earned the All-Wise Utility Player of the Year award. Parker capped the year competing in the Texas High School Rodeo in team roping.

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