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‘The Future is Bright For Hopewell Athletics’: James Armstrong

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It’s an exciting time for Hopewell athletics and for many athletes in the district.

In an attempt to give these talented athletes some recognition for their talents and accomplishments, Hopewell Sports Nation is starting a weekly series called ‘The Future is Bright for Hopewell Athletics’.

Once a week, HSN will highlight a male or female athlete in the district that is exceling on the playing field.

To start things off, the first athlete in our spotlight is Hopewell 8th grader James Armstrong.

Armstrong is a 3-sport star that’s been exceling in football, basketball and baseball since he started playing. I can remember watching James when he was 8 years old hitting home runs over the fence at the Kane Road fields wondering, “who in the heck is this kid.” I soon found out that his name was “Boo Boo” and that he was really talented.

One thing that should be pointed out is that while Armstrong is bigger and faster than a lot of kids that he competes against, the talent that he possesses didn’t just happen. Anyone that knows him, knows the hard work that he’s put in over the years to become this talented.

It’s not an accident and isn’t just genetics, regardless of the sport, Armstrong puts the time in to excel in an attempt to be the best and has been doing this for years.

There’s no question about it that Armstrong is talented enough to continue to playing sports after high school. And while it’s still too early to focus on this now, he’ll have to eventually make a decision on what sport that he wants to play in college.

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In terms of football, Armstrong (6’1″, 195-pounds) has a cannon for an arm and can easily throw the ball 55 yards on a dime. Along with his size, Armstrong also has elite quickness to scramble from the pocket or to get in the opposing backfield when he’s playing defensive end.

Considering how aggressive D-1 schools are being at offering young recruits, it’s a bit surprising that Armstrong doesn’t already have his first D-1 scholarship offer.

Trust me, it’s coming and likely could happen this upcoming season as he takes his talents to the varsity team.

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“James, Boo Boo, Armstrong has been in the spotlight since he began playing sports in second grade – not only because of his size and stature – because of his personality that matches his measurements,” says Craig Bokor, Armstrong’s football coach. “James is a generational athlete who earns every opportunity that is given to him. When he isn’t working hard on the diamond, on the court or on the field he is working on his body and building his will inside the weight room.”

“Anytime James steps on a field of play he is the best player on the field. James is very coachable and is willing to learn the game and not just play it. He is a great friend and a leader. His peers hang on to his every word and action. If handled correctly, he will be the next great/high profile athlete to come out of Hopewell on the level of Shell, Poz and Dorsett.”

Check out some of his highlights from this past season as helped lead the Hopewell Junior High program to a 6-0-1 record and a regular season championship.

On the baseball field, Armstrong is a standout left-handed pitcher and has big-time power. Knowing how good he is in football, it’s hard to believe and speaks volumes that Boo’s future sport could be baseball.

Currently, Armstrong is playing for Coach Doug Biega and the Vikings Junior High Basketball program, where they have a record of 6-1.

It’s hard to receive a better endorsement than Armstrong received from his basketball coach.

“I have said, for the last two years, I view James Armstrong as a generational talent,” said Biega. “Kids like him don’t come around every day. Not just his size but he has tremendous speed for that size. My favorite part about him is he is the hardest worker at every practice. It is very rare. Throughout my 30 years of coaching, I have seen many ultra talented athletes not reach their potential. As long as James continues to work hard and remains coachable, he should not fall victim to that path.”

Knowing the structure that Armstrong receives at home, that will happen.

James, congrats on everything that you’ve achieved to this point but much more is coming down the road.

We hope you enjoyed our first “The Future is Bright in Hopewell Athletics” profile. If you’d like to let us know about someone that you believe is worthy and should be written about, please contact Mike Vukovcan (724-462-5756 or mvukovcan@gmail.com). Also, we’re looking to get this series sponsored, so if you’re a business and would like to help us, please reach out to Mike. Go Vikings!

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