Sunray football coach Wes Boatmun finds enjoyment running fireworks stand

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Sunray head football coach Wes Boatmun has operated a TNT Fireworks stand in Muleshoe for the past 16 years. [Kale Steed/ Press Pass Sports]
On top of being an athletic director and head football coach at Sunray, Wes Boatmun takes a small part of his summer to enjoy a different avenue that he and his family take great pride in.

For the past 16 years, Boatmun, his wife Erin, who is also the superintendent of Sunray ISD, along with their three children – Sye, Wynn, and Asa – venture to Muleshoe for 10 days operating a TNT fireworks stand less than a mile west of the city off Highway 84.

Erin is a Muleshoe native, and her parents still live in the community.

Boatmun coached under former head coach David Wood at the school for 12 seasons before leaving for Sunray. While he lived in Muleshoe, Boatmun was approached about the opportunity of working a firework stand and says he is so glad they took the leap.

“Benji Jay was a coaching friend of mine and ask me if I was interested in running a firework stand,” Boatmun said. “I didn’t know anything about it. Benji and his family had run a firework stand and it was a good way for he and his kids to make some money especially for the kids to save up for school and spending money.

“Benji told me he’d teach us how to run the stand and over the years we’ve been able to create our own style of how we do it. Now that our kids are old enough, we are exclusive to having them help us along with some nieces and nephews.”

Despite living in a fifth wheel camper and keeping an eye on the stand non-stop for the 10 days it is open, Boatmun and his family are so thankful for what all they’ve learned and the new adventures running the popular stand led to.

“We’ll have former students and athletes come by the stand quite often,” Boatmun said. “They will come visit with us and we can catch up and where life has taken them and us. We’ll talk how they are doing now that I would never see otherwise.

“I know Erin’s parents love us running this stand because they get to see the grandkids so much. What Erin and I love the most is just how much time we all get together. We all play games, eat snacks and drink way too many Dr. Peppers probably. We have fallen in love with the firework business and it’s a special thing.”

Sunray football coach Wes Boatmun is 31-19 entering his fourth season at Sunray. [James Abel/ Press Pass Sports]
Boatmun even has the business aspect down. TNT sends Boatmun’s stand the best-selling fireworks so it’s just up to he and his family on how to sell the proper poppers to the right clientele.

“The way I learned to sell fireworks is we look at who comes out,” Boatmun said. “We sell mainly to kids, so they are all different and there are many different fireworks for different ages. Then adults love the bigger, louder fireworks and then like to light a bunch of fireworks. Everyone is different and I’ve learned to talk to each person in a new way to figure out what they like. The best part is getting the little kids exactly what they want.”

Though he’s wearing the operating hat right now, Boatmun’s full attention will soon shift to August and the start of the 2024 football season.

The expectation around Sunray is at a fever pitch following a 12-3 season and a run to the state semifinals last year. With 17 starters returning, another big season is certainly in store for the Bobcats.

“It’s the year that everyone is looking forward to,” said Boatmun who is 31-19 entering his fourth season as Sunray’s head football coach. “We know what the opportunity is, and we all know what is at stake. You wait for a year like this as a coach. In your lean years you wonder when I’m going to have a year like this coming up.

“In my career this hasn’t happened a lot so this will be a special opportunity. We want this to be a fun year and still put in the hard work. At the end of the day, we’re trying to improve and get better and work as a team.”

Sunray opens the 2024 football season hosting Hooker, Okla., on Aug. 30.

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