March 2, 2010 10:14:00 AM
Boyd Hardy received a pleasant surprise when he learned he will get to take his place alongside the best soccer players in the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools.
The Heritage Academy senior earned that distinction by being selected to play in the MAIS All-Star Soccer Game.
Hardy was one of 18 players chosen to play for the North squad.
The game is scheduled to start at 6 p.m. Friday at Raider Field at Jackson Academy. The admission is $8.
"It''s a great honor to be able to go and do that," Hardy said. "It kind of took me by surprise. Because our team didn''t always win and we weren''t necessarily that outstanding, I thought I might be overlooked. The defensive players on the other teams seemed to be above me."
Hardy played center defense for Heritage Academy, which finished the season 4-5.
Heritage Academy coach Joe Asadi attributed Hardy''s knowledge of the game for being selected to play in the game.
"He was one of the better defensive players in the (MAIS Class AA) North division," Asadi said. "He was always playing it smart. He knew when to attack the ball and when to protect the area he was playing. if anyone on defense got beat by somebody on offnese, he would help them out."
Hardy was a member of Heritage''s soccer team for six years, dating back to the seventh grade, and he attributes the hard work he''s put in for making the all-star game.
"It''s my favorite sport and I''ve been playing since elementary school and I''ve just really enjoyed it." Hardy said. "It''s relaxing and it''s fun. I guess it really is paying off all of the hard work I put into it. I''m honored to be able to play in the all-star game."
Hardy will be joined on the North squad by Will Goodwin, Frankie Jones, Roy Miles and Jake Reed of Starkville Academy, which finished state runner-up in MAIS Class AAA.
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