It was a senior year like no one could ever have imagined.
Both Broedy Boyce and Tori Starcher know that as well as anyone.
COVID-19 stripped them of plenty, including their final year to compete in spring sports.
For Boyce, it was on the baseball diamond.
For Starcher, it was on the track.
The two would have loved nothing more than getting the chance to represent their beloved Ripley High one more time.
But it wasn’t meant to be.
Despite the abrupt halt to their Ripley High athletic days, the two have plenty to be proud of while wearing the blue and white.
And by a vote of all of the various head coaches at the school, Boyce and Starcher have been recognized with Ripley High’s most prestigious athletic honor. Boyce is the Male Athlete of the Year while Starcher garners the Female Athlete of the Year.
Boyce excelled in both soccer and baseball while in high school before adding football to his sports repertoire as a senior.
In soccer, Boyce earned All-State recognition by both the West Virginia Sports Writers Association and the West Virginia High School Soccer Coaches Association.
On the football field, Boyce made 19-of-21 extra points and was 1-for-2 in the field goal department. He carried the football six times for 41 yards.
As a junior last season in baseball, Boyce hit .370 with two homers, two triples, eight doubles, and 20 RBI. He earned Class AAA Special Honorable Mention All-State.
Boyce is taking his athletic excellence to West Virginia University Tech where he will play baseball for the Golden Bears and possibly give soccer a try as well.
He is busy this summer competing with the Wood County American Legion baseball team.
Starcher enjoyed one of the most decorated careers of any athlete in Ripley High School history.
She enjoyed being a part of 13 different state championships in head-to-head competition while running. In addition, she was a member of two teams that secured state titles.
As a freshman, sophomore and junior Starcher won state championships in the Class AAA 800, 1600 and 3200 meters. She owns state records in both the 800 and 1600.
She was the anchor leg of the Class AAA winning 4x400 meter relay team three straight years. Ripley broke the state record in 2017 and then clipped its own mark two years later.
Her talents helped lead Ripley to a runner-up finish in the 2017 Class AAA team standings before the Lady Viking program captured back-to-back state championships in 2018 and 2019.
Starcher won the mile at the historic Penn Relays in Philadelphia last spring while also setting a meet record.
She’s been honored with the Gatorade West Virginia Female Track and Field Athlete of the Year Award three straight years and has twice been the recipient of the Female Ray McCoy Award, voted on by the West Virginia Sports Writers Association as the state’s top performer in running sports.
Injuries marred her high school cross country career. When healthy, she dominated. Starcher emerged as the AAA state champ in the fall of 2017.
She will continue her academic and running career at Stanford University in California.
NOTEBOOK – The award was started in 1969 with Terry Landis owning the distinction of being the first recipient…Sherry Hunt was recognized as the school’s best female athlete in 1976. She was honored along with Rod Winters…Phyllis Chancey was chosen in 1981 when just one award was still being handed out. In 1984, her younger brother Dave was selected…The Chanceys are one of two sister-brother combinations to capture the award. Lisa (1990) and Kevin Thompson (1999) added their names to the list years later…The year of 1998 was the first official year for both a male and female to be picked with Jimmy Knight and Kelli Rose being recognized…Current school board member Bobbi (Boggess) Farrell was the Female Athlete of the Year in 2000…A pair of brothers have been honored twice in Benjie (1990) and Brett Hunt (1994) and David (2012) and Daryl Hicks (2013)…Butch Barnett (1980) and Brett Barnette (2007) make up the only father-son combination to garner the award…A husband and wife are former winners of the award. Parker Deem was honored in 2006 and wife Ali (Cunningham) Deem was the 2013 Female Athlete of the Year.
Ripley High Athletes of the Year
1969-Terry Landis; 1970-Jay Chambers; 1971-Gerald Matheny; 1972 Joey Crum; 1973-Jim Abshire; 1974-Bobby Casto; 1975-Mike Ludwig; 1976-Rod Winters and Sherry Hunt; 1977-Ron Arthur; 1978-Mitch Carmichael; 1979-Tommy Hayes; 1980-Butch Barnette; 1981-Phyllis Chancey; 1982-Steve Jordan; 1983-Brad Hunt; 1984-Dave Chancey; 1985-Matt Carver; 1986-Cindy Lanham; 1987-Mike Duke; 1988-Paul Blankenship; 1989-Ashli White; 1990-Benjie Hunt; 1991-Lisa Thompson; 1992-Cheryl Crawford; 1993-Clifton Landis; 1994-Brett Hunt; 1995-Matt Parsons; 1996-Will Hosaflook; 1997-Amaris Easter; 1998-Jimmy Knight & Kelli Rose; 1999-Kevin Thompson & Miranda Spangler; 2000-Derek Snyder & Bobbi Boggess; 2001-Jon Spencer & Erica Shaffer; 2002-Brock Stotts & Jessica Motes; 2003-Jeff McCoy & Christina Gossett; 2004-Jonathan Melhorn & Alison Spiker; 2005-Mitch Smith & Cara Waybright; 2006-Parker Deem & Ashton Canter; 2007-Brett Barnette & Jaimie Casto; 2008-Dewey Young & Tanya Melhorn; 2009-Seth Parsons & Michelle Sayre; 2010-David Heis & Alannah Sheets; 2011-Derek Mullins & Savana Whiting; 2012-David Hicks & Ryne Hill; 2013-Daryl Hicks & Ali Cunningham; 2014-Kade Harrison & Chelsey Hager; 2015-Jake Martin & Holly Farkosh. 2016-Luke Layhew and Audra Thomas; 2017-Anthony Jarvis & Laurel Miller; 2018-Sam Pierson and Presley Fisher; 2019-Caydan Keeler and Taylor Kennedy; 2020-Broedy Boyce and Tori Starcher