|Bouyear provides spark in senior season|
|Bobby "Butch" Burney | News-Telegram Sports Editor|
Jan. 26, 2007 - Emily Bouyear has come off the bench in several games this season and provided a spark for the Sulphur Springs Lady Cats. But, those times were nothing like the lift she gave them last week in a starting role.
Bouyear, a senior two-year letterman, was moved into the starting lineup against Paris and she responded with the best game of her varsity career with a game-high 21 points, eight rebounds, five steals and four assists.
In the Lady Cats' three-game district winning streak, Bouyear is averaging over nine points, four rebounds, two steals and two assists.
She stayed in the starting lineup on Tuesday, when Sulphur Springs upset Texas High to move into a tie for third place.
"She's saved the best for last," said SSHS head coach Tina Carrillo. "Emily's really come through and shined in some big games in district. She's taken what was an average role on the team and right now she's kind of hard to replace.
"She knows the things that allow her more playing time, and she's doing those things right now. I think it took her realizing that she was as capable of getting the job done as anybody else."
Bouyear is the lone player left from the junior varsity team she led in scoring two seasons ago. She was also a regional qualifier in cross country and track as an underclassman. She no longer competes in those sports, but has stayed with basketball and intends to be a hoops coach and teacher after high school.
"My love for the sport has kept my going," Bouyear said. "Basketball is intense and you cay say you worked out really hard and you feel better for it. I grew up playing basketball. I really grew up playing all sports, but basketball is my favorite."
She credited her recent play to divine intervention. Bouyear knew in advance she would be starting because usual starter Stephanie Conley was ill and could not play.
"It's been a lot of prayer," she explained. "I knew that I was going to be starting instead of Stephanie because she wasn't there, so I just prayed a lot that God would be with me and with my team."
Carrillo said Bouyear deserves credit, too.
"I'm proud of Emily because she's worked so hard on her game," the coach said. "She's stayed committed. Last spring, she would skip her lunch period and work on her jump shot, and right then I knew that she would have a good senior year."
Bouyear, the daughter of Ann Payne and the oldest of four children, is one of only two seniors on the squad. Carrillo has seen her blossom in her leadership role. Bouyear's not overly vocal, but has often found the right words to say.
"I think everybody gets caught up in feeling that the greatest part of being a leader is the vocal part, and that's not necessarily true. There are other ways to lead," Carrillo explained. "I think she sets the standard high, and as far as her commitment, it creates an accountability with the rest of the players.
"In the locker room, she is vocal, and I'm just now seeing that. She really has the right words to say at the right times, and that's characteristic of a good leader."
Bouyear said her mentality is to lift up her teammates with her words.
"I try not to bring anyone down. If they're having a rough practice, I try to encourage them and not let them get down on themselves. Because I know what happens when you get down on yourself. It all spirals downhill," she explained. "I don't want anyone to go through hard times. I want them to be able to smile and still be able to love the sport."