A reason to smile

For everybody in the Gulf Coast that was affected by Hurricane Katrina life has been nothing short of dismal. But there are always rays of light that make a little better.
That's now especially true for Covington (La.) St. Paul defensive end David Boyce and the Southern Miss Eagles.
Southern Miss, displaced by the hurricane and forced to practice in Memphis, received some good news on Tuesday when Boyce, one of the fastest rising prospects in Louisiana, decided to commit to Southern Miss.

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"The coaches said I made a bad few days much better for them," Boyce, who is 6-foot-7 and 235 pounds, said. "It also made things a little better around here because it's been tough. The coaches were excited about the decision.
"I talked to coach (Mitch) Rodrique and he was up in Memphis and he was really pleased that I picked them."
Boyce said there were a few factors behind his decision. Southern Miss was the first team to offer him a scholarship, and despite increased attention from Auburn, Florida, LSU, Memphis and Ole Miss the Eagles were the lone team to offer him early on.
Boyce also knew that with the hurricane causing havoc on his high school football season that he might not have many opportunities to impress other schools.
"We're looking at about seven games this season that we should be able to play," he said. "We lost two teams in our district, so that leaves us with only five district games. We're going to try and add a few more games and are looking for teams.
"I thought I wasn't going to get a shot to play my senior season, so I looked at some of my options. I actually practiced with (Baton Rouge) Redemptorist on Monday and really thought hard about playing with them."
But in the end, he wanted to be with friends, family and his teammates.
"We were lucky," Boyce said. "We're not back in to the school yet, but we just got our electricity back. We're hoping to go up to the school on Sunday and help clean things up. There are a good amount of trees down, but nothing real serious.
"There was one of the buildings that did suffer some major damage, but it was nothing that's going to keep us closed."
Boyce was also lucky that his house suffered relatively minor damage.
"We live our in the country, and we have a horse farm that suffered a lot of damage," Boyce said. "We had a lot of fencing down, but it wasn't our house, so that made it all right.
"We just had to endure 160 mph winds. We've got about 70-80 trees down. We came back on Tuesday and all of the fences in the pasture were down and the roof was torn off the stalls."
Luckily all 25 of the family's horses survived, though.
"They were probably really scared during the storm and one side of the roof was blown off the barn so they were getting pounded by rain. But they all made it, so we're really happy that things turned out all right."
Just liked they did for Boyce in the recruiting front.