Barnesville’s Boom Time
by Merrie Sue Holtan
photos by Justin Eiler
It’s “Boom Time” in Barnesville when Peyton Boom, 17, hits the court and field. Barnesville Trojan fans have been watching 6-foot Peyton play volleyball, basketball and softball since her freshman year, and she has racked up some impressive numbers as well as a crown. Yes, she is also royalty as Barnesville’s 2016 Homecoming Queen. This queen of court and field has committed to play college basketball next season for the Minnesota State University Moorhead Dragon basketball team. She is the daughter of Chad and Julie Boom, both collegiate athletes, and has one sister Sydney, 21, who plays volleyball for Mayville State University.
Ryan Bomstad, Barnesville’s head girls basketball coach has been lucky to have Peyton as team captain for two years. He sees her as a leader with a great personality who leads both vocally and by example. He believes Peyton will have a great senior year, and she will be a dominant player on both sides of the floor. She has also been two-time all-conference player in the Heart of Lakes Conference.
“She has been moving up the ranks on the school blocks record,” Ryan says. “And she is coming up on her 1,000 point this season. Her game has really evolved over the couple of years, and she is a tremendous back to the basket player as well as facing up from 15 feet and in. She has great hands and feet and is one of the best passers on the team. She is truly an unselfish player.”
Peyton’s basketball career began in elementary school playing recreational tournaments and traveling team games around the area.
“We have a core of girls who played together since we were young,” Peyton says. “I really like basketball, and my parents like it as well. It’s easy to pick up a basketball and practice anytime, even in the driveway. I love playing the center post position because it is so physical.”
Last June, as a member of the “Frozen Chosen,” Peyton joined other players from area North Dakota and Minnesota high schools to play in the Honolulu annual “Flying Hawaiian Summer Invitation Basketball Tournament.” The team brought home the title winning three of four games, including a 36-34 tie breaking victory over the Oahu Extreme All Star squad.
“Boom was the best post on both ends of the floor in the tournament,” says Frozen Chosen coach, Mark Wisnewski of Lidgerwood. “Her overall lane presence and production made a difference for us. The entire team played selflessly, and defensively they were very fun to watch.”
Under the hoop, Peyton’s goal is to create pressure and be a strong rebounder. She looks forward to playing at MSUM to expand her experiences and learn new coaching philosophies.
“I will also have new girls to play with and can still be close to home where my family can watch games,” Peyton says. “I look forward to playing hard on the floor for the Dragons.”
Since fifth grade, when she began playing volleyball, quick hands and feel have also served Peyton well on the volleyball court as a middle hitter. Last season Peyton was named Biggest Blocker and All Conference player and this year was also team captain. Her overall career stats include: 583 kills, 190 blocks, 57 aces and 231 digs. Barnesville head volleyball coach, Megan Askegaard, feels that Peyton is extremely mentally tough and competitive on the court.
“She knows that it takes to win and how to win,” Megan says. “She is confident in her abilities and is always prepared whether it is practice, scrimmage, tournament or season game. She has the ability to improve and recover quickly from mistakes.”
Megan also describes Peyton as a coachable and head strong player who rises to the occasion and plays her role on the team.
“I’ve always been the ‘tall middle,’” Peyton says, smiling. “There’s nothing better than closing the block.”
She believes her best gifts are the ability to adapt to the set, and sometimes they are very tough sets, and being able to see and read the floor. She says in volleyball the team must play as one, passing, setting, hitting. Her sister, Sydney, has been her biggest encourager and helps in the occasional down time.
Peyton played in spring Junior Olympic volleyball tournaments around the region such as in Fargo and Grand Forks. While in elementary school, she served as team manager for Sydney’s high school team.
In the spring, Peyton adds softball to her list of activities. She has one of the highest hitting percentages and is the team’s pitcher. Peyton has two career shutout games and holds the school record in strike outs in a season and career. Last year they made it to section finals.
“With pitching you can’t get too much in your head,” Peyton says. “Just focus on one pitch at a time, work as a team and back each other up. “
Peyton and her sister Sydney grew up with the competitive edge. Julie and Chad Boom took the girls to the softball field when they were about a week old, as the family followed Chad to his fast pitch softball games. He also played football and basketball at Southwest State University in Marshall, Minnesota. Sydney, an education major, is finishing her final year of varsity volleyball at Mayville State University.
Julie played basketball at Southwest State and remembers being competitive.
“Very competitive,” she says. “I always had a desire to win and was influenced by my father who played college ball. I wanted my own kids
to experience tournaments and the comradery of team play.”
If Peyton scores her 1,000 point in basketball this season, it will make a trifecta for the Boom family as Julie and Chad are both 1,000 point scorers. When the family takes a break from watching games and traveling to tournaments, Chad and Sydney love to hunt and fish, while Peyton enjoys watching movies or TV shows, especially comedies, to escape her hectic academic and sports schedule. Peyton serves on student council, sings in choir, is a student aid in the elementary school and also helps coach younger basketball players. She hopes to major in Speech Language Hearing Sciences at MSUM and will job shadow this year to find out more about the profession.
Peyton’s biggest advice to young athletes is to enjoy it because it “goes by so fast” and to use study hall time efficiently to complete homework.
“Work hard,” she says. “Don’t take anything for granted and learn from your losses as well as your wins.”
Coach Bomstad is excited to watch Peyton’s progress at MSUM.
“The Northern Sun conference is one of the premier basketball leagues in Division II,” he says.
“She will be playing with and against the best, night in and night out. I feel she is going to a school that cares about players on and off the court, and she will be a great competitor.”