Beebe’s Boyce aims for 1,500 yards

Beebe High School’s Taylor Boyce is a member of this year’s 501 Football Team, sponsored by Conway Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine Center, Conway Regional Health System and First Security Bank. (Mike Kemp photo)

by Levi Gilbert

Although it hasn’t been the season he had hoped for, Taylor Boyce is still doing everything in his power to lead the Beebe Badgers to a strong finish.

At 2-5 (1-3), the playoffs are highly unlikely for the Badgers, but Boyce still has goals to accomplish this season.

“To finish strongly, we simply need to go out on the field and leave everything we’ve got,” Boyce said. “I have no doubt that if we play our hardest and execute the plays we are taught, we can compete with the remaining teams we have to play.”

On a personal level, Boyce came into his senior season with a goal of rushing for 1,000 yards. Having surpassed that total already last week, Boyce has set a new goal of 1,500 rushing yards.

Boyce, a senior running back and defensive back for Beebe, was selected to this year’s 501 Football Team — 28 players representing all 11 counties of the 501. The team, sponsored by Conway Ortho and Sports Medicine Center, Conway Regional Health System and First Security Bank, boasts the best the 501 has to offer both on and off the field. Boyce was nominated by his head coach, John Shannon.

“He is a great competitor,” Shannon said of Boyce in his nomination. “He’s a great kid who puts his teammates first.”

Through seven games, Boyce leads the team in rushing (1,042 yards and nine touchdowns) and receiving (144 yards and one touchdown).

“My success is strictly due to the big men up front,” Boyce said. “My offensive line does all the work. All I have to do is make a couple people miss here and there. When I’m not able to do my job fully, these guys continue to try and motivate me and encourage me. They are the reason I have had the achievements I have had.”

Maumelle (4-3, 1-3) is next up for Boyce and the Badgers.

“We just have to trust one another,” Boyce said. “We learned how to be accountable for mistakes we make and how to be coachable so the mistakes don’t occur again. We are going to have to play solid defense and do our jobs.

“Maumelle is an athletic bunch and have the speed advantage on us. If we can contain the speed and make them run or throw the ball, I think our chances of winning increase tremendously. Another thing we’re going to have to do to win is finish drives. The past couple of weeks we driven down the field and stalled out in the red zone.”

Off the field, Boyce can be found studying and finishing homework from his six AP classes. “I often have to stay up late and sometimes get up early in the morning to finish my homework,” Boyce said.

Boyce is a member of Beebe Church of Christ and plans to attend Harding University to pursue a nursing degree.

The Beebe Badgers play at Maumelle at 7 p.m. Friday.

Levi GIlbert