The best in their class

DeRocher, Boyd named Alpena Athletes of the Year

News Photo by Jonny Zawacki Chris DeRocher and Maddy Boyd stand with their trophies after being named 2019 Alpena High School Senior Male and Female Athlete of the Year on Monday. Both DeRocher and Boyd put together storied high school careers and both will graduate as record holders in their respective sports.

Chris DeRocher and Maddy Boyd aren’t strangers to success.

Throughout their athletic careers at Alpena High School, both DeRocher and Boyd have pushed themselves to become the best they can be and on Monday, the two were recognized for their efforts as they were named 2019 Alpena High School Senior Male and Female Athlete of the Year at Alpena’s senior award banquet held at the APlex.

The awards are chosen by the head coaches from each sport. Coaches nominate athletes from their team and then all of the coaches rank the nominees. Rankings are totaled and the athletes with the best rankings are named Athletes of the Year.

“Both Chris and Maddy were both more than deserving of the awards. It is truly a great accomplishment based on the fact that this was a tremendous senior class that was filled with special athletes,” Alpena Athletic Director Tim Storch said. “When you look at Maddy, she’s broken school records in track and cross country. She’s gotten all-state recognition and is going to a Division 1 college and that’s pretty special. With Chris, you’re talking about an individual who broke a school record that lasted 47 years for a basketball program that has had tremendous success. For him to come along and break that is a phenomenal achievement.”

DeRocher played four years of varsity basketball and three years of varsity baseball during his high school career.

DeRocher goes down as one of the top basketball players to come through Alpena’s boys basketball program and his honors on the court back that up.

“It’s a very big honor to win this award. Just to have my name on the plaque along with all of the great players that have gone through this school and got this award is truly an honor,” DeRocher said. “It was a great career and I think every year I got better. This last year we finally came together as a team and as a program. We all did what was best for the team and it didn’t matter about which player was good or who was scoring, it wasn’t all about me or anyone else, we played well as a team and it really helped a lot.”

DeRocher capped off a historic high school basketball career by breaking Alpena’s all-time scoring record that stood for 47 years.

DeRocher finished with 1,624 career points and also earned third team all-state honors from the Detroit Free Press in 2019, earned Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan Academic all-state honors in 2019, was a first team all-Big North Conference honoree and was named The Alpena News Player of the Year in both his junior and senior seasons.

“When I came into this school I never imagined that I was going to set the scoring record, but as each year progressed, each year I scored a lot of points and ended up becoming a reality,” DeRocher said. “My baseball career has been fun and we’re enjoying our best season this year and we still have work to do and hopefully we can accomplish some more of our goals. This honor is so great because this class is amazing with all of the great athletes. There were so many guys deserving of this award and it’s truly an honor to be able to hold this award. I want to thank my family for being there for me all the time and my coaches who helped me along the way and pushed me to be the best I could be.”

Boyd was a four year varsity standout for the Alpena High cross country and track teams during her career.

In cross country, Boyd was a three-time all-BNC honoree, a two time all-region honoree, twice a state qualifier and was an all-state athlete.

In track, Boyd earned all-BNC honors four times and all-region three times.

“Winning this award is a true honor. It shows that my hard work has paid off through all the years and I’ve come a long way so it’s nice to be noticed,” Boyd said. “It was a good feeling to win the award because of all the other deserving female nominees.”

Boyd’s path to being the top female runner in the school wasn’t the easiest. She came in as an underclassmen and wasn’t the best runner and had to work hard along with overcoming some personal obstacles, but Boyd had the drive and determination to get better.

Now Boyd goes down as one of the best female athletes to ever run at Alpena.

Boyd holds school records in both cross country and track. Boyd holds the girls 3,200 run record in track with a time of 11:00.98 and in the girls 1,600 run with a time of 5:11.21. She also set a new program record in the 5,000 meter during this past cross country season and has also earned academic all-state honors.

Boyd will look to end her high school career in style with the track season winding down and then prepare for collegiate competition when she begins running for Division 1 Central Michigan University in the fall.

“My running has really opened a door of opportunity and my high school career has been a special journey. The best part of breaking these records is to see where all of these runners that held those records are at now and it inspires me to be where they are some day,” Boyd said. “I’m excited to go to Central and I just want to reach my fullest potential. I want to thank Joe Donajkowski because he has helped me so much and I give him, coach (Joy) Bullis and coach (Collin) Riffert a lot of credit because they have all helped me a lot on my journey and I’m very thankful for them.”