DANVILLE — Only the most ardent Danville football fan would have known junior Tavion Boyd before this football season.
That's because a year earlier, Boyd didn't have a single tackle for the Vikings and he had just 10 yards rushing on five carries. Most of his experience last season came on the sophomore squad.
So when Danville High kicked off the 2013 season, it was a little surprising to see the junior starting on both offense and defense.
"I was very surprised to be starting on both sides of the football,'' Boyd admitted. "I kind of knew that I was going to be starting on defense, but I thought I would just play a little offense.''
And that's exactly what Danville coach B.J. Luke was planning to do with the 5-foot-9, 160-pound junior. But his work ethic and his commitment made his a valuable commodity on both sides of the ball.
"He has done a nice job of improving himself as a football player,'' Luke said. "As the season has progressed, his role has increased.''
One of his responsibilities is getting Danville into the proper defensive alignment.
"He is a young leader,'' said senior Chris Collier. "Coach has him making the calls for the (defense). He's doing a lot more than people would expect for his junior season.''
Boyd is making the most of his opportunity. He is currently second on the team in tackles with 47 and Boyd has one of the Vikings four interceptions on the season.
"He has surprised a lot of people this season and he has made some big plays for us,'' said junior defensive end Tyvon Cooper.
So, how does Boyd explain his major improvement this year?
"I think it's all the work I did in the offseason with Trent (Sherfield) and Chris Collier,'' Boyd said. "We worked on everything, trying to get better as a team.