Schuck's Clipboard

Birthday celebration bright spot during tough spring

By Herald-Whig
Posted: Apr. 29, 2020 12:01 am

Tuesday night's bus ride home from Rock Island -- had there been such a thing -- might have ended up a little more raucous than Quincy High School girls soccer coach Travis Dinkheller preferrs.

Much of that would have depended on any homework to be done, the need for sleep and the outcome of the Western Big Six Conference matchup. Considering the Blue Devils haven't lost to the Rocks in the last 20 years, the outcome likely would have taken care of itself.

So a celebratory mood wouldn't have been out of the question.

Since senior goalkeeper Ashley Boyer had her 18th birthday Monday, a celebration was in order.

Like everything else this spring, there was no bus trip, no game and no birthday bash.

Boyer's family couldn't control the first two -- the coronavirus pandemic dictated that -- but they could still make it a birthday to remember. Her friends, teammates and coaches got in on the act, too.

So while helping her mother, Sherry, prepare dinner Monday night, Ashley was told to go to the front door to check out a car parked down the street. Little did she realize what was about to happen.

A parade of cars lined up on Ohio Street and passed by the Boyer home while honking horns, waving banners and tossing her small gifts. There were probably 30 cars in all, and the ruckus drew neighbors out onto their front porches or front yards. They joined in the celebration, too.

Boyer's reaction made it complete.

Startled. Shocked. Surprised. Flabbergasted.

"I didn't expect that at all," she said.

After all the cars passed and she was left to celebrate with her family, the magnitude of what Boyer's parents and her sisters pulled off hit home.

She got teary-eyed reliving the moment and was incredibly appreciative of having one bright moment in an otherwise dark time.

Boyer has plans to attend John Wood Community College beginning in the fall and play on the women's soccer team, but the campus has to be open by then for that to take place. She prays she doesn't lose that opportunity.

She already lost her senior soccer season and the rest of what was destined to make these final months of high school so memorable. There's no prom or traditional graduation or anything that makes the Class of 2020 feel like they're seniors.

Boyer's 18th birthday was going to be another thing to succumb to the pandemic.

Her family and friends wouldn't let that happen. Now, she has a birthday story to tell for the rest of her life.