Playoff action will start in just three days for the West Hempstead varsity football team and two of the Rams top players, senior Justin Boatwright and junior Tayvon Hall, are ready.
You could say they have both been preparing for this for years. They have been playing the game of football since they were little kids. Hall started off in Franklin Square with the youth league, Big Apple Sports, and Boatwright was introduced to the game through a friend.
"I was walking to school in the first grade and saw my friend at a practice," said the running back/outside linebacker who is originally from East Rockaway. "He told me to come down and start playing so I did. I've loved the game of football ever since."
Ironically, East Rockaway will be the first opponent Boatright and his fellow Rams will face when playoffs begin Saturday. (The game starts at 2 p.m. at West Hempstead High School.) When the two teams last met on the gridiron the Rams beat the Rocks, 22-14.
Boatwright's passion has helped his team deliver the best season West Hempstead football has had in a decade. They finished the regular seaon 6-2 in a tough Conference 4.
He has been an outstandingly productive player with over 700 yards rushing in the first six games.
"I don't really pay attention to the stats," said Boatwright. "To me it's team over stats and I have to give the credit to the offensive line for making the holes for me and to our defense for keeping other teams from getting in the end zone."
Despite his modesty Boatwright does have some big goals for his team this season.
"I want to see us advancing [in] the playoffs and getting that County title."
Hall who also is a star on the Ram's basketball team has had similar success this season on the football field.
He had compiled 450 yards in his role as running back over the span of four games before being injured in a game against Malverne in early October and had to sit out for weeks.
"I broke my toe...but I will be back in time for the playoffs," Hall said.
Rams head coach Dominick Carre speaks very highly of Boatwright and Hall, saying, "I'm definitely going to rely on these two guys."