Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

March 6, 2013

Mark Maynard: Boyles keeps on shining

Mark Maynard
The Independent

ASHLAND — Four years ago in these very pages, our sports department honored a Raceland-Worthington High School athlete with our Tony Curnutte Memorial Sportsman of the Year Award.

It’s an honor we don’t take lightly and has as much to do with what the athlete does off the field as on it.

Is he/she a person of strong character and with good leadership skills?

Is he/she a person that would never intentionally embarass himself, his school or his famly?

Is he/she a person of high moral standards?

That’s what we try to find in our Sportsman of the Year recipient awarded every summer after the high school sports season is completed.

I’m proud to say our Sportsman of the Year winner from 2009 is still making us proud in 2013.

Say hello again to Tyler Boyles.

Boyles did his part well on the field for the Rams, leading the 2008 team to one of the best seasons in Raceland history, then he was the leading scorer in basketball and had also played baseball and competed in track and field during his career.

He left Raceland to play basketball for Shawnee State and continued to shine.

In every way.

Boyles’ college career is over — he finished as the ninth-leading scorer in school history — and led the Bears in many ways on the court. He was a two-time captain for the Bears, a rarity for sure, and was the same unselfish, savvy player we watched as a high school player.

Off the court, Boyles remained active in many community endeavors, including at his church, Greenup First Baptist, near his hometown.

 He helps with the children’s church and works specially with third- and fourth-graders. In the Portsmouth community, Boyles has volunteered at the 14th Street Community Center, which provides children with a safe atmosphere to grow academically and offers motivational speakers.

For all that, and what he did on the playing floor, Boyles was named a Mid-South Conference Champions of Character recipient for men’s basketball.

The award, which is voted on by conference athletic directors, is given to a student-athlete who displays academic and athletic achievement, campus and community leadership, future ambition and demonstration of the five core character values of the NAIA.

We’re not surprised at Boyles’ accomplishments on the floor and off. He’s been doing them his entire life. Proper upbringing had a lot to do with it, and I’m sure the entire Raceland-Worthington community could take a bow as well.

Tyler Boyles, you see, is what’s right with today’s youth.

He will be a leader in life, too. We need to develop more young men just like him.

Iowa update

Della Newlin, the fifth-grade teacher from Harlan, Iowa, whose class I wrote about in last week’s column, called me earlier this week.

She is appreciative of anything Our Town can do to teach her class about Kentucky and the city of Ashland. I’ve already gathered a few items from some kind folks, including a T-shirt from the Ashland Fire Department, a Jesse Stuart book, “Kentucky Is My Land,” from the Jesse Stuart Foundation and a poem about Ashland written by former city commissioner Winston Morris and an “I Like Ashland” pin. We still have plenty of time to gather goodies but I’m sending out the first shipment early next week.

I’ve already added a few items to the collection as well, but we can always use more. Mrs. Newlin was thrilled we were being so involved. She said some communities participate and some don’t. She is a geography and American history teacher for 124 fifth-graders in the school and has been doing this geographical project for 20 years.

Each student pulls a state out of a hat and finds newspapers associated with that state. Rebekah L. chose us.

Mrs. Newlin said there have been a variety of responses in the past. One woman in Pennsylvania sent the school a sheet of 40 new quarters. “I took a picture of them holding the quarters, along with a thank you,” she said. “She was so impressed. I got a phone call from her.”

If you send anything to the school, she promises a thank you in return.

Here’s the address:

Mrs. Newlin’s social studies class

1401 19th St.

Harlan, IA 51537

MARK MAYNARD can be reached at mmaynard@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2648.