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Athlete of the Week is East Islip soccer player Tom Boyd

Senior Tom Boyd scored the winning goal in No. 14 East Islip's 3-2 upset victory over No. 3 Huntington in the first round of the Suffolk Class AA boys soccer playoffs on Oct. 29. It was his first goal in three varsity seasons as a starter on defense.

The reaction in the East Islip community after video of the goal was shared on social media was mostly, "Wait, he scored?"

Boyd is also known around school as the kicker on the East Islip football team. Or they know him from the basketball team. He averaged 10.9 points per game with 50 three-pointers as a junior last season. Or maybe they know him from the lacrosse team, which has made three straight county title appearances with Boyd as a four-year varsity defensemen. But soccer? He wasn't known for his offensive ability.

“It was weird because I’ve never been a goal scorer, so when people found out it was me, it was funny. [My soccer teammates] all got a kick out of it,” Boyd said. “It was a humbling experience.”

East Islip fell to Floyd, 2-0, three days later, ending Boyd's soccer season. His football season continued after East Islip beat Westhampton, 42-27, on Friday night.

It's not unusual for the football team's kicker to be a soccer player. Seven of the 14 teams in Suffolk's Division III have soccer players as kickers.

Boyd is such a good athlete he could probably do more than just kick for the Redmen.

“If he wasn’t a soccer player, he could fill in for us at receiver,” East Islip football coach Sal J. Ciampi said.

Boyd grew up playing football in the Police Athletic League with most of his teammates. He kicked for the junior varsity team as a freshman and has been with the varsity ever since.

In his three years on varsity, he has made 10 field goals and converted on 75 of 81 (93%) extra-point attempts, including 41-for-45 this year (three were blocked), according to Newsday records. He booted a career-long 39-yard field goal against Kings Park in the first round of the playoffs last season.

“There’s no next play when you’re the kicker,” Boyd said. “In basketball, if you mess up, you can always get it back on the next play...Kicking is all about that one moment.”  

On the soccer pitch, Boyd's contributions go beyond scoring goals.

“Forget stats,” East Islip soccer coach Ray Lang said, “He’s a tremendous leader.”

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