Posted Online: Dec. 03, 2012, 7:43 pm

Riverdale honors its good ol' Boyd

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By Daniel Makarewicz, danmak@qconline.com

More photos from this shoot
Photo: Gary Krambeck
Former Riverdale High school wrestling coach Jim Boyd stands next to the school's display case of state championships and other wrestling trophies. On Saturday, Boyd will have the Riverdale Invitational be named the Jim Boyd-Riverdale Invitational.
PORT BYRON — Jim Boyd, then the Riverdale wrestling coach, had no catchy name for a tournament he helped create in 1985.

"We just called it the Riverdale Invitational," Boyd said.

Twenty-seven years later, a wrinkle gets added.

The event will go through a formal name change on Saturday afternoon when it officially becomes the Jim Boyd-Riverdale Invitational. Boyd spent 11 seasons as the Riverdale head coach and retired as the school's principal last May, setting the tone for the revised name.

"It's a nice honor," Boyd said. "It's pretty humbling to have that."

For some, the name change is long overdue.

"For a long time, he's been synonymous with wrestling in this area," Riverdale coach Lance Sherman said. "With his retirement, it was fitting. I didn't want him to die before we named it."

Ironically, it took the death of one tournament for what is now called the Jim Boyd-Riverdale Invitational to start. When Boyd began his Riverdale career in 1983, the team attended the Muscatine Invitational early in December.

A year later, the Rams returned, but five teams competed in the event. At that moment, Boyd decided the tournament needed a revival.

So Riverdale became the host.

"It's been going ever since," Boyd said.

And it's been going strong.

"Nobody comes into the tournament and looks at it like it's easy," said Sherman, who wrestled in the first Riverdale Invitational as a Pleasant Valley junior in 1985. "It's a good tournament, and it's a good way to know where you are."

Plus, it's an event where teams want to participate.

"It's well-run," Boyd said. "We've never had any issues."

The tournament epitomizes consistency, a run that makes it one of the state's most respected. That perfectly sums up Boyd's career, too.

In 11 seasons with the Rams, he compiled a 141-72 dual record with five regionals, three sectionals and a trio of Three Rivers Conference championships. Boyd lost 22 duals in his final six years and won a pair of Class A third-place trophies.

Three state champions, three state runners-up and 15 medalists came through Riverdale during his tenure.

Boyd takes pleasure in having turned Riverdale into a consistent program, but its tournament carries significance as well. Since it started, Boyd has attended each one.

"It's a quality tournament at the early part of the year," Boyd said. "The kids get to see quality wrestlers. Numerous state champions have wrestled in that tournament. It still continues to be a quality tournament with good competition."

Through each tournament, one person has seen its growth. Boyd has served in several capacities, from coach to custodian. He even designed the medals.

Now, he is the unofficial tournament director.

"I make sure things get going," Boyd said.

Five days from now, Boyd gets a new title — the tournament's namesake.

"I'm looking forward to it," Boyd said. "It will be pretty special to have that. We'll have to wait and see what it's like."