SPORTS HEADLINES

Reaching new heights: Boyd volleyball piles up wins

By Clay Corbett | Published Saturday, September 21, 2013

The Boyd Lady Jackets are doing things that have never been done before in their program’s six-year history. With victories over Venus and Blooming Grove Monday, they have amassed 18 wins on the season.

That’s more than the previous two years combined – and they are undefeated at home.

Leading the Way

LEADING THE WAY – Brooklyn Scarborough, Brittney Howard and Gabby Saldivar have already helped the Lady Jackets get to 18 wins, the most in program history, and the season is only half over. Messenger photo by Jimmy Alford

New head coach Dusty Crafton has instilled a system that her kids are obviously buying into.

“The biggest difference this year has been our work ethic,” junior libero Brittney Howard said. “Coach [Crafton] has pushed our limits, and we’ve all come together as a team.”

The Lady Jackets have held their own against tough competition this season and have upset wins over Graham and Bowie to add to their resume.

“They believe in what they are doing,” Crafton said. “They have been putting in the hours, and it makes a difference.

“I feel very blessed that I have kids that work so hard, and give me 100 percent every day.”

Early in the season Boyd traveled to the Burkburnett tournament, where they faced some bigger schools. Crafton felt their performance there was a sign she had a group that was ready to turn the corner.

“They responded well, and we played with a lot of those teams,” Crafton said. “They showed their true character in those situations, and it’s fun to coach kids who want to fight.”

The girls are responding to their new leader on the sideline too.

“She is known as a crazy coach, but she is really awesome,” Howard said. “She knows what she is talking about, and she is our biggest cheerleader. She’s the best coach I’ve ever had.”

All Smiles

ALL SMILES – The Boyd trio hopes to lead the Lady Jackets to their first ever postseason berth. Messenger photo by Jimmy Alford

Through her leadership, Howard has emerged as a defensive specialist. She already has 415 digs, and offensively Brooklyn Scarborough leads the team with 248 kills. Baylie Harris has added 379 assists.

“Our confidence level has come a long way, and we’ve won so many more games this year,” Howard said. “Hopefully we can carry it through district.”

The Lady Jackets will need that confidence to get through a grueling district schedule that begins Friday at Millsap.

Four of the six teams in the league will qualify for the postseason, but it’s still a tall task with a lot of tough teams and defending state champion Brock on the horizon.

“Our goal is to get to the playoffs,” Howard said. “It would be huge to me to be the first Boyd team to get to the playoffs. To be the first one and prove everybody wrong would be amazing.”

For now, the Lady Jackets just want to enjoy the ride. If their early-season success continues, the ride may be just beginning.

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