FEATURE: Archer and Boone Bring Leadership to VWC
By: LJ Morris
Petersburg, Virginia is home to many notable athletes like Moses Malone who made his aggression on the defensive side a huge impact in the National Basketball Association. High level playmakers like Frank Mason, who currently is the starting point guard for the Kansas Jayhawks. Even, legendary R&B singers, like Trey Songz, who continues to share his music with the world.
However, the city is also home to Richard Bland College where many athletes compete at the two-year institution to hone their skills, get the experience they need, and work towards their goal of playing athletics at a four-year college or university. Amanda Archer and Antonio Boone might not be from Petersburg, but their impacts were definitely felt in the Richard Bland athletic department. Both were leaders on and off the field and their leadership is one of their strongest qualities that they are bringing with them to Virginia Wesleyan College. Archer competed for the Statesmen in softball and Boone competed for Bland in track and field.
Amanda Archer and Antonio Boone both joined Richard Bland athletics to further their playing careers in their sports, respectively. However, athletics was not the only thing on their minds; both excelled in the classroom.
"Academically, Richard Bland College prepared me to be able to tackle many tasks at one time. I learned to be able to time manage and be flexible with my time," Archer said.
She continued to express her love for the college and also mentioned that her academic experience landed her an opportunity to meet the President of William and Mary. Meanwhile, Archer received interest from other schools: Barton College, Glenville State College, and Georgetown University. Archer added that even though softball is close and dear to her heart, graduating from Virginia Wesleyan College is her most important goal.
"Here at VWC I hope to be able to finish what I started at RBC and become a first generation college graduate and set a string example for my brother and future generations to come," Archer added.
Boone, having also earned his Associate Degree from Richard Bland College, plans to continue his academic career by earning his Bachelor's Degree here at Virginia Wesleyan College.
"Academically I want to maintain a high GPA and get a good understanding of the mass communications field," Boone said about his Virginia Wesleyan goals.
Boone praised Coach Mat Littleton for helping him finalize his decision to come compete in the track and field program here at VWC. The jumper and hurdler also received interest from Bridgewater College and Pfeiffer University. He was also offered an opportunity to walk on to Virginia Commonwealth University's track team, but there was something about Virginia Wesleyan that won him over.
"I chose VWC, because I felt like there was more of an opportunity for me to excel in the classroom and on the track," Boone stated.
Richard Bland College reinstated its athletic program in the fall of 2013 after a 20-year hiatus, just in time for Archer and Boone to continue their playing careers in the 2014 season following their high school graduations.
Both athletes fought through adversity during freshman campaigns and their leadership is what kept them levelheaded.
Archer said, "It was hard being a freshman and having the expectations to lead for a program you know nothing about. I had many moments with my teammates that we all just felt overwhelmed and exhausted."
However, her experience translated into a positive situation with her leading the team in homeruns and slugging percentage in both seasons. She also made the Region X All-Conference team and All-Region team. Archer stressed that her biggest accomplishment was not her individual successes.
Archer said, "I would say that my biggest accomplishment would be the bonds that I made with my teammates. I cannot express enough how much they meant to me throughout those two seasons."
Boone battled through a knee injury his freshman season at RBC that kept out of competition for most of the season. At the end of his freshman season the track and field program was cut from athletics, but the athletic director allowed Boone and two of his teammates to compete as sophomores, but no new members would be joining the squad. Boone looked at this as an opportunity to compete at full strength and draw interest from other schools.
Halfway through his promising sophomore season, his coach quit on him and his team and Boone filled that void by taking on a major leadership role.
Boone said, "We really had to coach ourselves and go to track meets on our own, but ultimately I was able to finish out the year and get interest from VWC."
Coach Brandon Elliott's personality is what drew Archer to making her decision to come to VWC and Coach Littleton's enthusiasm lured Boone into making the same decision. Both coaches will embrace the blossoming leadership skills from both athletes in their upcoming seasons.
Amanda Archer and Antonio Boone know the true meaning of adversity, and their leadership will help the Marlins this season, just as they have helped the Statesmen in the past.