Recently appointed Erskine football coach Shap Boyd served as keynote speaker for the High School Sports Report’s 33rd annual all-state football awards banquet Feb. 10 in Columbia.
The coach spoke to the gathering of outstanding South Carolina high school athletes and their families about his goal of “building a Christ-centered football team,” explaining some of the convictions behind his coaching.
The purpose of the football program at Erskine, Boyd said, goes beyond “just having a team and playing games,” and includes such aims as the development of maturity and the encouragement of academic as well as athletic strength.
“We are building a Christ-centered football team and we will not back down or hide from that. Anyone and everyone who looks at Erskine needs to understand this,” he said.
He stressed the significance of character and growth. “We are growing young men into men,” he said. “Men who will go out into this world and become leaders as well as husbands and fathers. If we win championships but don’t achieve this we will have missed the mark.”
Boyd also drew a distinction between ends and means. “This program is about graduating students. It’s not about football. Football is the vehicle that will help you achieve your ends—your goal should be a degree,” he told the audience.
He called the college degree a vehicle, too—a vehicle “that you can drive for the rest of your life…. not a 10-year deal like most cars. It is something that will lay the foundation for the next 40 to 50 years. It’s more than ball!”
Boyd’s appointment as Erskine’s first football coach since 1951 was announced in November 2018 by Director of Athletics Mark Peeler, who also attended the Feb. 10 banquet. The new coach comes to Erskine with a wealth of experience, including three seasons as Defensive Coordinator and Safeties Coach for the University of Virginia at Wise.
Erskine’s football recruits will enter college this fall, and their first season will begin in the fall of the following year.