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Senior Profile: Boyes enjoys the Maxwell 'family'
When Shelen Boyes transferred to Maxwell in fourth grade, she became part of a class that produced a volleyball team which Panthers coach Dan Gellermann said is the most athletic he's ever had.
Growing up riding horses on her family's ranch, the appeal of going to a high school that has a rodeo helped convince Boyes to transfer to Maxwell. Boyes still lives in Colusa but transferred along with her older sister, Lauren, who was a freshman in high school at the time.
"There's a lot of love in our community, and it really means a lot knowing that I came from this community," Boyes said. "I may not live here but I feel like I'm really a part of everything that Maxwell has to give."
Her ties to Colusa County athletics run deep - her father Vance Boyes was a four-sport athlete at Williams High before attending Yuba College and Fresno State where he played football.
Becoming a Panther put Boyes in the same class as a stellar group of athletes, many of whom have played varsity sports since they were freshmen.
Seniors Jenna Powell, Jessie Otterson and Brittney Haywood have played three sports with Boyes throughout high school. Kaily McKinley joined them for volleyball and basketball, and Maribel Venegas plays volleyball.
"We know everyone's strengths and weaknesses as a team and we've pretty much grown up like a family together since the fourth grade," Boyes said.
Boyes played varsity softball and basketball as a freshman and moved up to varsity in volleyball during her sophomore year when the team won just one game.
Last year Dan Gellermann came in to coach the Panthers volleyball team and everything clicked, Boyes said, and Maxwell finished the season with a 15-4 record.
"He was such a great coach and we came from winning one game a year before to winning co-champs in league and making it to the semifinals in sections," Boyes said. "It was just fantastic, it was an eye opener."
She began playing volleyball in the seventh grade and quickly decided it was her favorite sport. Her goal after she graduates is to play volleyball in college and she's considering trying to play at Santa Barbara City College, where her sister was a cheerleader.
Gellermann knew he had a quality setter the first practice he had with the team last year. Boyes had been to a volleyball camp at Stanford and was trying to apply what she'd learned in that short period of time but was struggling to get it right.
He worked with her one-on-one and she quickly began to put it together, he said.
"She just got it, it was like the light just lifted and it was just awesome." Gellermann said. "I knew right there and I could see how hard she was trying on her own and that's really a great place to start."
Volleyball has always been her favorite sport, but she has been successful as a starter in basketball and softball since she was a freshman.
She is a career .519 hitter and has scored 81 runs and stolen 68 bases as the Panthers' center fielder. She credits much of her success to coach Shawn Miller who converted her to a left-handed slap hitter.
"He started using me as a slapper when I was a freshman, and I'd never done that before," Boyes said. "I'm right handed so it was a really hard change going from right-handed to left-handed, and running and hitting at the same time."
On the basketball court, Boyes never really lights up the scoreboard but she is a defensive stalwart and steady ball-handler. Last season she guided the Panthers to a 16-6 record and the Mid-Valley League championship while scoring three points, dishing out three assists and swiping 3.2 steals a game.
"The thing I'm going to miss most about Maxwell is the sports — the coaches and the teammates that I have here," Boyes said.
CONTACT Kirk Barron at firstname.lastname@example.org.