Carmel Valley graduate scoring big in world of collegiate tennis
By Rob LeDonne
It’s a quiet Friday afternoon and JP Boyd is still reflecting on the previous weekend. A 2012 graduate of Torrey Pines High School, Boyd currently plays tennis for Boise State University in Idaho, and recently competed in the 2013 Lyle Pearson Labor Day Tennis Championships held at Idaho’s Sun Valley Tennis Club.
“It’s mainly for the community to see the Boise State men’s team play,” Boyd explained from his dorm in Idaho. “It’s a very fun event; it went well for me.”
Boyd wound up winning the Men’s Open Doubles competition, the latest in a string of successes he’s had in the world of tennis since his humble beginnings growing up in the North County.
“With tennis, if you don’t start playing early you kind of miss the boat. Everyone good and really competitive has been playing for a long time,” said Boyd, who initially got into the sport thanks to his family. “My cousins were big tennis people, and at first I was only competitive with them. After awhile, I got into it and made it my passion.”
Boyd says he “found his game” when he was around 14, and during his high school years played both individually and with the Torrey Pines team. Along the way, his younger brother Kalman picked up the sport as well, and, at one point, Kalman and JP were on the same team.
“Unfortunately, high school tennis isn’t quite looked at by colleges, but it was a fun team bonding experience being on the Torrey Pines team. After awhile, my little brother started doing a lot better than me; he wound up having so much natural talent. Right now he’s top 10 in the country.”
Upon graduation, Boyd headed for the University of San Diego and joined its team.
“I was living at home for a little while and I think that wasn’t the environment I was looking for. I wanted a sports-oriented school and ended up leaving early.”
After Boyd left USD, Bosie State showed an interest in recruiting him.
“The first thing I responded to with Boise State was the coach, I knew him from when I was younger,” he explains. “ After that, I looked at the team, which is at a competitive, athletic school. Finally, I thought the campus was a really cool place... it was definitely kind of random but it came together great.”
Boyd arrived on Boise State’s campus this past January, but due to NCAA rules he had to sit out last season since he was still considered a member of USD’s team. The past few months of practicing, training, and waiting led up to his grand debut at Sun Valley, and thanks to his Doubles win he’s optimistic about the coming season.
“We’re planning on attending tournaments in the South, Midwest, Pacific Northwest... it’s a crazy travel schedule.”
Boyd will next compete in California at San Francisco’s Battle in the Bay Classic this October, and will continue getting warmed up for Boise State’s official games, which start this winter.
“We’ll continue to practice hard this fall, doing weights and cross training,” he explains looking forward to the next few months. “It’s all about getting ready to compete.”