Scholar athlete: Boothe wants to follow brothers and be a Nation Merit Scholar

Published 12:01 am Thursday, September 20, 2012

Trinity football player Wyatt Boothe hopes to see his name up on the National Merit Scholars like his three brothers before him. Patrick Boothe was named a scholar in 1986, Chris Boothe was named a scholar in 1986 and Joey Boothe was named a scholar in 1988. The board of scholars, finalists and semi-finalist hangs in the front lobby of the school. (Ben Hillyer \ The Natchez Democrat)

NATCHEZ — The plaque that lists National Merit Scholars in the front hall of Trinity Episcopal Day School serves as a reminder for sophomore wide receiver Wyatt Boothe.

His three brothers, Chris, Patrick and Joey, all have their names on the plaque. And Boothe said he’s hoping to join them.

Though he has either a 3.9 or a 4.0 grade-point average — he said he’s not sure which — Boothe said he still probably isn’t as smart as those three.

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“They’re freaky smart,” Boothe said. “I think I got a little bit more of the social (skills). They were all pretty athletic.”

Boothe said he wasn’t born until his father re-married and his three half-brothers were all out of high school. He also said it was weird knowing his older brothers went almost half their lives without Boothe as a sibling.

“The youngest one is 42 now,” Boothe said. “We all adjusted pretty well, though.”

Boothe plays football, basketball and baseball for the Saints, and he said it’s not difficult to maintain such a high GPA despite balancing school and practice.

“I actually throw a lot of stuff together at the last minute like homework,” Boothe said. “I used to do (my homework) on the ride to school with my mom, but now I do it in my free periods.”

In fact, studying is something that Boothe said isn’t necessary all the time.

“I don’t really study that much,” Boothe said.

But Boothe said he understands the importance of good grades, especially since the teachers stress it so much.

“All the teachers are harping on getting the ACT score up to get into a good college,” Boothe said. “It’s definitely a good thing (that they do). It can be kind of hard doing a lot of work, but I feel like it’s definitely for the better.”

Boothe said his favorite subject is English, and he enjoys that class because there’s more to it than just writing papers.

“Our teacher, Mr. (Mark) McNeil, always asks us for our own judgment of stories, like the meanings and stuff,” Boothe said. “I like to be able to apply what I learn.”

Which is why he doesn’t like history, Boothe said, since he’s basically just giving back facts that he’s told.

“It’s just a regurgitation of what you learn,” Boothe said.

The Saints are currently 3-2 with a big game against Adams County Christian School coming up Friday. Boothe said the team has come a long way in a short time after head coach Josh Loy was hired during the summer to replace Ryan Porter as head coach, who resigned June 30.

Before Loy came to Trinity, Porter said summer workouts were lackluster.

“It wasn’t organized,” Boothe said. “When people did work out, it would just be the kids getting together and saying when. Not everyone showed up, but when Coach Loy came, you paid a price for it if you didn’t show up.”

Loy said he enjoys having Boothe on his team, especially since he keeps everything lighthearted.

“He’s got a great personality,” Loy said. “He’s one of the jokesters on the team. He always has something funny to say. The kids love being around him.”

But Loy also said he expects a lot out of Boothe.

“We throw him in a lot of different places on the field because we know he can handle it,” Loy said.

The Saints are currently riding a three-game winning streak, and Boothe said that is a testament to Loy’s coaching.

“When Coach Loy came he turned everything around,” Boothe said. “We got on the ball and started training. Coach Loy is constantly pushing us and preaching relentless effort and giving our all.”

Boothe is the son of Leo and Kim Boothe.