Courtesy of GCHS
Gadsden City High senior Sydney Boatner is this week’s GCHS Spotlight Student-Athlete of the Week. She is the daughter of Roger and Beth Boatner and the sister of 2015 GCHS graduate Nolan Boatner.
Although the starting third baseman for the Lady Titan softball team, Sydney has a very impressive athletic resume and she is definitely not a one-sport kind of girl. She loves sports and being competitive is her human nature. Her varsity letters and honors include (with grades in parentheses) swimming (9th and 10th), bowling (11th and 12th), (7th, 8th and 11th), volleyball (11th) and softball (7th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th).
In tennis, Sydney was a sectional tournament singles and doubles runner-up as a junior, a sectional team champion and an 8th grader and a sectional team runner-up as a 7th grader.
She was an All-County Honorable Mention selection in softball as a freshman and junior.
Sydney has many highlights in her tenure as a Titan, most recently with the GCHS bowling team. She was a member of inaugural 2015-16 GCHS girls bowling team where she helped lead the team to the AHSAA state tournament in Pelham. She bowled a 184 score in the first round to place her fourth in individual standings and ended the day 17th in individual standings after three rounds.
Sydney began the 2016 softball season with a two run home run against Cherokee County and she scored the winning run against Etowah. She is the leading home run hitter for GCHS in single game, single season and all-time. Sydney’s first career homerun came against Hokes Bluff on April 24, 2014, a milestone that she, her family and her teammates will never forget. In her junior year, Sydney was named GCHS Offensive MVP and hit a pair of home runs against Jacksonville on Mar. 16, 2015.
“While I set goals for myself to do my best on the field by getting hits and making plays, softball is a team sport,” said Sydney. “I’m just as excited for my teammates when they do well. It is our combined individual efforts that make us Titan strong. Nothing beats the feeling of hitting one out and your teammates waiting for you at home plate.”
Sydney credits her love and passion of the game and sports in general to several people
She started playing softball in the second grade with the Ladybugs coached by State Rep. Craig Ford.
“We were young and he was tough on us,” said Sydney. “He wanted us to have fun, so he taught us that winning was way more fun than losing.”
It was during her Ladybug years that Sydney earned her nickname “Boomer,” which came from Sydney Williams’ grandfather Pops.
Having a brother who was very athletic and excelled in sports at GCHS like Nolan inspired Sydney to push harder and play tougher. Sibling rivalry definitely comes into play in an athletic family, and being Nolan Boatner’s little sister has made Sydney want to make a name for herself, which is absolutely what she has done as she has excelled in every sport she has played.
“Now (Nolan) can be known as Sydney Boatner’s older brother,” Sydney joked.
Most importantly, Sydney credits her dad as being a constant inspiration. Roger Boatner holds some familiar family athletic titles, including All-County and All-State in football and baseball at Clarkdale High School in Meridian, Miss.
“He just loves sports,” said Sydney. “Playing, watching and coaching.”
It is no wonder that Sydney is as athletic and talented as she is, as it obviously runs through the veins of her lineage.
Being a Gadsden City High Titan has been a big inspiration for Sydney as well.
“I want to make our school look good on and off the field,” she said. “I always want to make my teachers and coaches proud and know they are making a difference in my life. They are my Titan parents.”
Not only is Sydney a talented athlete; she is a superstar in the classroom and loved by all her peers. Her academic activities and honors are even more impressive when all of her hours of practices, camps and ball games are factored in. With all the sports that Sydney is involved in, she literally is practicing and competing from the first day of a school year to the last. That truly speaks well about her character and commitment.
Sydney’s academic honors and activities include A/B Honor Roll in 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th grades; Beta Club in 11th and 12th grades; National Honor Society in 12th grade; Who’s Who – Class Clown in 9th, 10th and 11th grades; and Homecoming Court Junior Maid in 11th grade.
Sydney hopes that her efforts will pay off with the opportunity of getting to do what she loves – playing softball – at the next level. Wherever she ends up, it will be treat to watch Sydney grow and succeed in doing what she loves to do. The college that gets her is going to be one very lucky school.
Boatner’s former GCHS coach, Kevin Young, said that it was an honor to have worked and coached such a talented young lady in Sydney.
“Sydney is the career leader in home runs, doubles, walks, and RBI,” he said. “She has a very strong arm and has a very high softball I.Q. Sydney also is one of the best base runners on the team. She’s is a team leader who knows when to lighten the mood in the clubhouse with a joke. Sydney is a very unselfish player who has played outfield and infield.”
Sydney Boatner, Gadsden City High School is proud of you and we wish you all the best in your future. You are Titan strong!