The framework was in place for the Golden Eagles to get some wins.
“Jacksonville’s a special place. I started off the season talking about how we needed to lay the foundation to have a good, solid softball team,” Boyd said. “The seniors stepped up to the plate and asked what I needed them to do.
“One thing that I harped on was learning to compete because throughout your whole life you have to compete. They really did a great job.”
Jacksonville managed a 19-win season, its highest total in school history. As a result, Boyd is The Anniston Star’s Calhoun County Class 4A-6A softball coach of the year.
“In the area tournament, we defeated Hokes Bluff and turned around and had Alexandria 2-1. Alexandria is a team that beat us 17-0 earlier in the season,” Boyd said. “But my girls kept working hard to get better and made it a competitive ballgame.”
However, the Golden Eagles wound up losing that game. They missed the playoffs after finishing third in Class 4A, Area 11. Only the top two teams advance. Area 11’s Cherokee County made it to the state tournament, and Alexandria made the North Central Regional elimination final, falling just short of a state berth.
“I would say that our area is one of the strongest in the state. That goes for every sport,” Boyd said. “It seems like a team from this area in every sport is playing at state. To have an area like this, you really have to be able to compete every single game.”
Jacksonville lost five seniors from this past year’s team, but Boyd said he’s optimistic about the future.
“We laid the foundation and we’re ready to put up the walls now,” he said. “We’re ready to make Jacksonville softball a sport everyone wants to play and a respected program.”
Sports Writer Brandon Miller: 256-235-3575. On Twitter @bmiller_star.