For almost 60 years, the Hugh Boyd Trojans gave Richmond's boys the chance to play football. Over that time, thousands of dedicated young men have strapped on their helmets and gone to battle with their peers under the glare of Friday Night Lights. Boys grew into men with an abiding love for the game, for their teammates and coaches, and for the community that supported them. Through their participation, kids learned the values of hard work, dedication, discipline and commitment to a cause. They felt in their bones the meaning of the words "teamwork" and "spirit". On game days they proudly wore their jerseys to school, knowing that they signified membership in a worthy tradition. Boys who played on the team became coaches, and then sometimes fathers of the next generation of players. With the recent news breaking that the program is no longer able to operate due to low numbers, countless stories have poured in about the positive impact Hugh Boyd Football has had on people’s lives.
The school would like to acknowledge the parent volunteers who worked tirelessly at fundraisers, manning yard sticks on the sidelines, and most importantly coming out to support their sons as they played a game they loved. Parents have seen how much the boys benefited from being part of the team. Cheering from the sidelines, they built a community of moms and dads who could joke that the boy who had to be dragged from his bed in time for class would rush out the door eagerly to be on time for early morning drills. Generations of parents worked hard behind the scenes to ensure the team had what it needed - many parents gave up their evenings and weekends to organize, fundraise, drive, and provide the supports that the coaches and kids needed so they could focus on the game.
Generations of coaches dedicated thousands of hours of blood, sweat and tears to the team. Their skill, generosity and love for the boys and the sport shone through in everything they did. We would like to thank all coaches who dedicated countless hours mentoring young people over the past 57 years. The numbers of volunteer coaches make the names too many to list, but the school and community would like to acknowledge and thank program founder and long-time head coach, Charles Phipps as well as long-time head coaches, brothers Bruce and Bill Haddow, for their years of service.
Most importantly the school and Hugh Boyd Football would like to acknowledge and thank all of the young men who signed up to play over the last 57 years. Football is not an easy game; it requires a tremendous amount of hard work, sacrifice and dedication. Despite being a small school, the students at Hugh Boyd found a way to field a team for almost two decades longer than other, much bigger schools in Richmond. Unfortunately, there is a talented group of young men who will be unable to play this fall and we recognize their loss, as well as the loss to the school and wider community.
Many people do not know or appreciate the time these young men put in to make their seasons successful. Football is not only a commitment during the season, but the off season as well. Student athletes spent hours in the “Iron Shack” weight room at Hugh Boyd getting fitter and stronger to prepare themselves for the season. Once the season hit, the boys were required to be out on the field in all weather and all conditions. Whether it was the grueling heat of summer two-a-days, or the cold sleet of December playoff games, these young men played through it. We are tremendously proud of all the players who wore their Black and Gold and represented our school. The Trojans leave a legacy of achievement. For the rest of their lives, every Trojan will remain part of a special community of players, men who developed their physical strength, and the strength of their character, out on the field.
Thank you to everyone who has been involved in Hugh Boyd Football.
*We would like to acknowledge the contributions of Coach Miller and parents Sara Levine and Kushal Samy to this piece.