Sitting Boey right choice, right reasons

Thursday, February 11 2010 - Iowa State Classic

By: Collin Whitchurch/Managing Editor

Posted: 2/10/10

Eastern track and field star Zye Boey has yet to lace up his racing sneakers this season.

The red-shirt sophomore has a torn knee tendon and underwent a knee scope in early January.

Losing someone of Boey's caliber is never a good thing for a sports team.

It is rare for a team to not suffer some sort of decline when its star athlete goes down.

But in Boey's case, while losing a year is hard both for the athlete and the team, it is absolutely the smart thing to do.

One can only imagine how hard it is for an athlete, someone with a strong competitive nature, to have to sit on the sidelines while his team competes.

That is what Boey's going through.

Head coach Tom Akers is taking things slowly and cautiously in bringing Boey along, hoping to have him ready for the outdoor season.

Knowing the way Akers handles his team and the steady hand he has used to lead the program during his tenure, it is safe to say he knows what is best.

If Boey is not at absolutely 100 percent, there is no reason he should set foot on a track.

Think about it: Boey won just about every individual accolade one can win in a season as a freshman.

As a sophomore, the sky's the limit.

He has two-plus years left to compete athletically, and there is no reason he should risk his future on the track for one season early in his college career.

What is more, the Panthers have a more-than-solid replacement in junior Darren Patterson.

The transfer has been lighting the track on fire in the 200-meter dash, winning the EIU Early Bird in December and the Illinois Intercollegiate in January.

While his times are not quite as good as Boey's were last year, he has been a force to be noticed in the Ohio Valley Conference, and has helped the Panthers stay competitive in the variety of events Boey ran.

So while his absence from the Eastern track and field team hurts, it bodes well for the future.

Having the star of the team 100 percent healthy when he returns to the track is the most important thing for both him and the team.

When he is ready, the team will be for the better, but taking precaution and making sure he is OK before sending him back out is the smart thing to do.

Collin Whitchurch can be reached at 581-7944 or

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