Lance Boykin

Dawn Cauthen-Thornton | December 20th, 2017
Phyllis Brooks (Photo by Shaw Photography Group)

Phyllis Brooks (Photo by Shaw Photography Group)

The Boykin name runs deep through the halls of High Point Christian Academy in High Point, NC, and has done so for quite some time. Lamar Boykin helped charter the boys football program at the school, where he coached both of his sons, and was the first junior varsity head coach. Now he serves as the assistant coach. Ridge Boykin, Lamar’s oldest son, played football there, and the youngest son, Lance Boykin, proudly carries on his father’s name by breaking football records and earning awards as a senior. He can also be seen on the basketball court. Mom Angela quietly brings up the rear by being a motivator, a confidante, and the biggest cheerleader for the athletes in her life. Ridge often refers to her as the heartbeat of the family.
Lance started running down the field at the age of four with a ball in his hand and a flag in his pocket. His father noticed the potential, even then, and saw how his son could possibly follow in his footsteps. When he was Lance’s age, Lamar earned a scholarship to Guilford College. He was a four-year starter and holds the all-time interception record there. He didn’t play football professionally, but he knows Lance has the skill and dedication to get there. In addition to pioneering programs in High Point, Lamar also helped start the Ragsdale YMCA tackle football program, where Lance originally learned the game.

“It was great having my dad as a coach. He was the first one to teach me everything I needed to know about the game,” says Lance. His dad echoes the same sentiment. Most men who are athletes dream about their children following in their footsteps and are hopeful that they forge ahead and go farther. Lamar reveled in the fact that he, along with other coaches, helped both his sons develop into the players they are today. The oldest, Ridge, is currently a redshirt sophomore at Campbell University, under the direction of former Carolina Panther Mike Minter.

Even though the fall term is coming to a close at the academy, Lance has already committed to Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA next fall. Choosing ODU wasn’t easy, considering he had a dozen full scholarship offers from Division 1 colleges across the country. “My top three were Old Dominion, Coastal Carolina, and Purdue University. But after Old Dominion offered me a full scholarship, the relationship really grew. Coach Wilder and his staff really believe in me and I felt really at home on the campus.”

Lance tries to contain his excitement to embark on his college life while sitting in the presence of mom and dad. Leaving home will be tough for the teenager. Like most teens, he relies on his parents for guidance, love, and laundry, but promises he’ll adjust quickly. Angela thinks she knows what to expect since their oldest has been away for a couple years now. But realizing they’ll be empty-nesters in less than a year will take some getting used to. Frequent road trips to Old Dominion will most likely be in their future.

Choosing a school was a bit of a family affair for the Boykins, but it was ultimately Lance who made the decision. Lamar faced the same pressures decades ago and was able to guide Lance on what to look for in a school and in a coaching staff as well as what the coaches would look for in a player. The suitors apparently were impressed with Lance being the first All-American from his high school where he plays corner as well as receiver. He’s also a three-time All-American defensive back, a three-time all-conference defensive back, voted the 2017 MVP, and is the only player from his school to be selected to participate in the Blue-Gray All-American High School Bowl being held in Tampa, Florida next month. The game will be broadcast on ESPN as a national bowl game. If his sports don’t keep him busy enough, Lance is also the Student Council representative for the senior class.
“It’s definitely difficult to manage academics and sports. It can get stressful but I’ve been able to do it,” confesses Lance.

Balancing grades, athletics, and other activities can be less stressful when the school itself shows support for your vision. Lamar toots the horn of Head of School, Keith Curlee and the entire Christian community, with embracing his family. “It has caused all of us to grow spiritually, academically, and athletically. Coach Bell (football) and Coach Cooper (basketball) have both been great with my boys and I can’t thank them enough,” says Lamar.
Angela also can’t help but gush about her baby boy and the strides he’s made over the years. She attributes his talents to God and knows that he’s a special person with special abilities. She teaches him that humility should always come first no matter where the future takes him. Lance has set his sights on playing in the NFL for his favorite team, the Carolina Panthers. After that, he intends to utilize the Sports Management or Business degree he plans on obtaining because he knows the league is not promised.

No matter what direction Lance goes, his faith and his family will keep him grounded. He’s a mature young man that is well equipped to blaze a trail in the sports world and beyond.

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