Boyd, Speare shine in athletic arena

Mike Sciacca

Tradition sets in on campuses across Orange County this time of year.

It's a time when school finals take place, preceding yearbook signing,

caps and gowns, commencement speeches and, finally, graduation.

It is also a time of year when most schools reveal whom students and

staff have selected as tops in the graduating senior class.

Laguna Beach High has named its male and female athletes of the year

for the 2001-02 school year.

Jason Boyd and Martina Speare have been named the recipients of this

year's honor.

The criteria for an athlete to be nominated included success as a

multi-sport athlete, in scholarship and citizenship.

Other criteria considered was whether an athlete received an MVP or

other valued team award, and some recognition as all-league or All-CIF

Southern Section. Being a senior is not a requirement.

Below is a look at what Boyd and Speare accomplished during their

final year at Laguna Beach High.

JASON BOYD

Boyd was a two-way sports standout for the Artists, playing both

football and basketball. Being named the school's male athlete of the

year caught the 18-year-old somewhat off guard.

"It's pretty unexpected but pretty cool. There are a lot of good

athletes at this school, so I consider this a big honor," he said.

The 5-foot-10, 170-pound Boyd began his senior year with an

outstanding turn on the football field.

Starting at free safety and playing some at the receiver and running

back positions, Boyd went on to be one of the team's top tacklers. He

also had a couple of forced fumbles and recoveries.

Boyd concluded his two-year varsity career by earning the team's 2001

MVP award, was named second team All-Pacific Coast League and to top it

off, was named All-CIF Southern Section Division IV.

Boyd's summer sports schedule was full as football at times overlapped

with afternoon basketball games. On some occasions, he'd go from football

to basketball practice, then sprint back to the stadium for more football

practice.

He served as team captain on the basketball team in the winter

averaging 10 points per game.

"Jason's a great person who displays great leadership qualities," said

Laguna Beach Athletic Director Mario Morales. "He's a quiet and humble

kid who is a strong scholar-athlete."

Boyd is bound this fall for San Diego State and is thinking of trying

out for the Aztec football team this summer.

"I'm looking forward to the challenge," he added.

MARTINA SPEARE

Perhaps the greatest feat Martina Speare accomplished this school year

was that of becoming a master juggler.

This vivacious 17-year-old, who is headed to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo

in the fall, played volleyball, soccer and softball, and still managed to

play alto saxophone in the Artists' marching band and with the jazz and

wind ensembles.

And she did it all superbly.

In volleyball, the 5-8 1/2 outside hitter, a second team All-PCL

selection and Coaches Award winner, played a pivotal role in Laguna

Beach's march to the CIF-SS Division IV championship match last November.

That role, both as a player and person, drew heavy praise from her

coach, Shawn Patchell.

"I can talk forever about Martina," he said. "She was an impact player

who probably knew better than anyone on the team what her role was.

"She is among the top three kids that I've ever coached and probably

the biggest compliment I can pay Martina is that my kids just love her."

In softball, Speare was first team All-PCL as a shortstop, team MVP

and one of two chosen from the program as a recipient of the 2002

Sportsmanship Award.

On the soccer field the fullback, sweeper and goalie won the 2002

Coaches Award.

"What I enjoyed most about playing sports is the part of working

together as a team," said Speare, who does volunteer work through the

National Charity League and Community Services National Charity League.

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