TROY — It was a special day at Troy High School Friday morning to kick off the 2021-2022 signing season.
Volleyball standout Anna Boezi signed to play with Georgia Tech University, Basketball standout Macie Taylor signed to play with Wright State University and softball standout Lilly James signed with Wittenberg University.
Boezi, a 6-foot-1 middle who always player her best in the biggest moments, said she didn’t always believe she could play at the highest level.
“Probably not until a couple years ago,” Boezi, the daughter of David and Rachael Boezi, said. “Before that, I wasn’t sure I was good enough. I switched club teams (when she was a sophomore) and they got me to where I needed to be.”
She had a breakout year as a sophomore with 152 kills and 43 blocks.
As a junior, she had 198 kills and 108 blocks, before saving her best for last.
She led the team MVL this year with 116 blocks and was third with 268 kills.
Boezi was recently named honorable-mention All-Ohio and honorable mention AVCA All-American.
“We are so proud of Anna (Boezi) and all her accomplishments,” Troy volleyball coach Michelle Owen said. “She is also a merit scholar. The key in these situations is to fine the right fit. We visited a number of places to find the fit for her. With Anna, it isn’t just about volleyball, academics was very important and Georgia Tech has great academics.”
For Owen, it is always exciting for her and the program to have a player go D-I.
“Anna (Boezi) is the fourth one I have had go D-I,” she said. “It is great for them. All the great facilities they are going to get to play in. Getting the opportunity to play in the NCAA tournament. Anna (Boezi) is going to have to work hard. She is not just going to walk in there and play.”
Boezi is well aware of that.
“I am looking forward to it,” she said. “I got to watch a practice when I was there. Those players are so good. I am not there yet, but I feel like the coaches can get me there.”
“Anna (Boezi) is going to grow so much (as a player) and get so much stronger in the next eight, nine months,” Owen said.
And Boezi said the reason for Georgia Tech as the choice were clear.
“I really liked the coaches,” she said. “Academics were a big part of it. They have a great engineering program. I really liked it there.”
For the daughter of Chris Taylor and Dana Black, Friday morning was the culmination of a dream that began six years ago.
“I can remember back in the sixth grade when I coach Macie (Taylor),” current Troy girls basketball coach Jeremy Hughes said. “Macie told me back then her goal was to play Division I in college. That is really pretty impressive for her to accomplish that.”
Taylor remembers that as well.
“I remember when there was newspaper article on the Taylor girls coming into the Troy program when we were younger,” she said. “I had two goals. To play Division I and make it into the Troy Hall of Fame.”
Taylor said Wright State was an easy decision.
“From the time I visited the campus, I knew that was where I wanted to play,” Taylor said. “I loved everything about it. And I have a big family. I wanted to stay close where they can come and watch me play.”
Hughes said it was a good choice.
“I am a Wright State graduate, so of course I am going to say that,” Hughes said with a laugh. “But, it is a really good fit for Macie (Taylor). There style of play fits her perfectly.”
And Hughes said Taylor’s best is in front of her.
“She has been working really hard,” he said. “I expect her to have a great senior year.”
Macie made her presence felt at Troy immediately as a freshman.
She averaged 16.3 points, 3.5 assists and 2.5 steals and GWOC North Player of the Year.
As a sophomore, she averaged 17.3 points, 3.7 assists and 3.3 steals.
She followed that last year with 17.0 points, 3.8 assists and 3.9 steals.
And Taylor has two big goals for this season.
She is currently 39 points from Julia Reel’s career scoring record.
“I am hoping to get that next Wednesday,” Taylor said. “I feel like I need to go out and represent Wright State with a great season. I want to be MVL Player of the year.”
The daughter of Patrick James and Nikki James realized her dream Friday morning.
“For as long as I have played softball, I wanted to play in college,” she said.
And she knew exactly what she wanted for her college career.
“I really liked it at Wittenberg,” she said. “They also have a strong academic program, which is important. I wanted to stay in the D-II, D-III area, because I know that is where I will get to play the most. And I want to play a lot of softball. And it is close to home, so my family can come and see me play.”
Troy softball coach Scott Beeler said Wittenberg is a great fit for James.
“Lilly (James) had a number of schools to chose from,” Beeler said. “She did her due diligence. She look at academics as well. She is an outstanding student. There is nobody that works harder than Lilly, so I know she will be successful.”
Beeler said she won’t be the last one to sign this year.
“We have two other girls that will be signing at some point,” he said. “We have three others out of this class that could have, but chose to go to bigger schools. That’s important, because it means kids are getting college scholarships and that is important.
“Hopefully, young girls will see this and we can continue to create excitement with program.”
After missing her sophomore season due to Covid forcing postponement of the season, James had a big year last season.
She was 7-2 with a 5.57 ERA last season and was also a threat at the plate.
James also batted .359 with three doubles, one triple, one home run and 22 RBIs, helping Troy to a 22-5 record.
“I definitely think my best softball is in front of me,” James said. “I have always been a hard worker.”
And the trip got the Troy’s signing season off to a big start.