By Sam Wentz, Sports Information Student Intern
Passion, determination, focus and strength.
It's not often you find someone who truly exemplifies all of these qualities but in those rare moments where you do, you can't let them go unrecognized.
For someone to dedicate 30-35 hours of their week to being an athlete, doing about five workouts a day, and finding time to be not only a student but a team leader as well, is probably hard to believe. However, here at Capital University, we have been lucky enough to find such a person.
Devan Boggs, a senior from West Jefferson and a member of the Crusader softball team, has found herself a place among the elite, all the while staying humble and down to earth.
Looking at Boggs' bio on the Capital website, you find a long list of honors and accolades that are all hard-earned and well-deserved. Her most recent accomplishment was being named third team NFCA Division III All-American, the fourth All-American in Capital's program history.
This particular accomplishment wasn't originally in Boggs' plans but early on in her career, her plans changed. At the end of her sophomore year she gave herself a goal … and accomplished it.
Boggs said being named an All-American is her biggest achievement and she has never been so proud of herself. All of the hours of lifting, running, skill work and mental stress had paid off.
As could be expected of Boggs, her goals don't stop there. Raising the standards for herself, she set a new goal for this year – to be selected a first team All-American.
From an outsider's perspective, Boggs might seem crazy. To the observer, she always appears to be working on her fitness, whether it's running or lifting. This level of determination doesn't just come from out of the blue and it's certainly not something Boggs lacks. So where does this determination come from?
"My determination is all about not letting others down or letting myself down," she said. "If there was one thing I'm afraid of most it would be disappointment. If I'm not working hard every day, and working to the best of my ability, I'm letting myself, coaches and teammates down."
Clearly Boggs is an exceptional athlete, but as most of us know that isn't everything in college. Academics are obviously no joke and are something Boggs has learned to balance with athletics, knowing that school comes first. When there's a lot of work to be done she knows she has to back off of what she wants to do and instead do what she needs to do, which as many of us know, isn't always the easiest decision.
It's clear that her determination follows Boggs into her academics. She focuses on having a good GPA as well as setting goals and having expectations to do well for herself.
Now it seems like Boggs has everything going for her. She's an excellent athlete and strong student. But believe it or not, she is human and has her bad days. Being so determined has led her to become disappointed and disheartened when she doesn't perform the way she thinks she should.
"One key to my success and staying focused is the support I get from my parents and of course from my coaches as well," Boggs said.
Mental toughness has certainly been a struggle for Boggs.
"If I don't perform to what I think is my potential or if I'm not perfect, I get really upset with myself," she said.
"I've been playing since age 9, so softball has definitely become more than a sport. It's been my life and has truly shaped me. I would never trade anything for the love and support my teammates and coaches have given me."
Currently, Boggs is two doubles away from tying the OAC career doubles record and is on an 18-game hitting streak. She leads the team in batting average (.488), RBIs (23) and home runs (5). Boggs has started and played in every game and her impressive slugging percentage (.841) and on-base percentage (.500) are also team highs.
After graduation Boggs plans to get certified for personal training and eventually go to graduate school for sport psychology. She says she'll find her way back the softball fields after taking a break for a year. Then she hopes to do some coaching and give back to help those with all that she has learned.
It's evident Boggs hasn't always celebrated her success, but has learned from it.
"In order to meet your goals you have to be 100 percent committed," she said. "You have to want it and do everything in your power to achieve it. Working hard isn't enough, you have to put in the extra effort, do what others aren't willing to do. And it always helps to have others to inspire you, those who have come before, those you can look up to."