Sports

Bowman’s Boynton becomes ‘Coach of the Year’

Jeff Boynton is no stranger to competing at an advanced level. 

Bowman County Wrestling Head Coach Jeff Boynton sits and watches his wrestlers during the Region 4 tournament. (Photo by Sarah Martian | Pioneer)
Bowman County Wrestling Head Coach Jeff Boynton sits and watches his wrestlers during the Region 4 tournament. (Photo by Sarah Martian | Pioneer)

By Bryce Martin | Pioneer Editor | bmartin@countrymedia.net

Jeff Boynton is no stranger to competing at an advanced level.

He wrestled while he attended high school and, years later, brought his passion for the sport to the area when he moved to Bowman a decade ago.

For Boynton, who has served the last five years as head wrestling coach for Bowman County High School, his coaching abilities are on display every time his players step on the mat. Others took notice of his skills and Boynton was named Coach of the Year on Feb. 7, shortly after the Region 4 Wrestling Tournament in Standing Rock.

Bowman County High School's Jeff Boynton receives wrestling 'Coach of the Year'
Bowman County High School’s Jeff Boynton receives wrestling ‘Coach of the Year’

Boynton gave credit to the entire coaching staff at Bowman County for the team’s success this season. Going into the North Dakota State Wrestling Tournament this weekend, though the team is not seated, Boynton said Bowman’s boys would wrestle well. They’ve done so throughout the season, he said.

“They work hard and they come to practice every day busting their butt and pushing themselves, getting better and better,” Boynton said of the team. “They know what I expect from them and they go out there and compete.”

Coaches from Region 4, which includes Bowman County, Hettinger-Scranton, New Salem-Almont, Killdeer, Beulah-Hazen, Watford City, Standing Rock and Bison got together and selected Boynton for the award, which is presented annually to the coach that best exudes top qualities.

“They take a lot of things into account: record, how the team has improved throughout the year, how the team has improved from last year,” said Randy Johnson, athletic director at Hazen High School. “It is a vote of his peers in the region.”

Boynton said he will continue as head coach next season, before which the team will lose three of its seasoned leaders — Troy Steele, Tel Lardy and Jason Schade — as they graduate in the spring.

“But we’ve got some good kids coming up that can fill those shoes and be great leaders,” Boynton said.

After the state tournament, hosted this year in Fargo, the team will continue its work for the off-season. Boynton said the team will focus on lifting, attending wrestling camps and making sure they’re getting even better for the next season.

This season marked another return for Bowman County competing in wrestling duals. The regional duals were held several weeks ago and Bowman County’s players were defeated by their local rival Hettinger-Scranton, but only by three.

“That was a huge stepping stone for this program,” Boynton said.

The team hasn’t been competing in duals for very long. The school competed at duals in the past but those were stopped a few years ago and only recently resumed.

In tournament play, Bowman County’s team was in the running for Top 5 nearly every time and placed Top 3 in some.

The team’s success was not only marked by the players’ skills, but because Boynton said he knows what it takes to win. His motivation to keep the players focused and driven begins with a strong warm-up speech before every match and ends with letting his players know to work hard and never give up.





One Comment

  1. Congratulations Jeff! Well deserved by you and a tribute to the assistant coaches. I’m proud of what the Bulldog wrestling program is becoming!! Respect is being restored as proven by your peers vote!!

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