Jun. 8—VALDOSTA — Coming off of their seventh consecutive region championship and a strong showing at the State Championships, Lowndes High track and field is sending one of its own to next level.
Senior Ramecia Burgman signed a letter of intent to attend Fort Valley State University Tuesday afternoon. After college, the two-sport athlete plans to join the U.S. Army as an officer.
"It's special," Lowndes track and field coach Terry Quinn said. "Any time we get a young man or a young lady to sign coming out of Lowndes High School track program, that shows the hard work and the success for the program. It's good on Lowndes High track and field and we want to try to keep that going. There was a period of time where we had one or two kids signing every year and we want to try to keep that going."
Burgman added, "When I first started (high school), I didn't think I was going to college — I was just going to the military, but I'm thankful for Coach Quinn, Coach Rose. Coach Quinn has always been a big supporter, as well as my uncle Wesley, my mama and my grandma. I'm a big family man and Coach Quinn has always been like my grandfather [laughs]."
In addition to track and field, Burgman also played cornerback and wide receiver for the Vikings' football team.
After considering offers from Florida State and Savannah State, Burgman finally decided he liked the smaller, family atmosphere Fort Valley State provided.
"I was looking at FSU," Burgman said. "That's a big school. Fort Valley is like a family school. It's small, which is something I need. Savannah State, I didn't really like their coaching staff. It's nothing against them, I just liked Fort Valley. I like the program I got set up with to join the Army right out of college. It's going to be good coming in as an officer, more money to support my family."
Burgman has been a part of the last four Lowndes region championship teams and credits his uncle for getting him to play football.
After signing his college scholarship, Burgman talked about what being a student-athlete for the Vikings has meant to him.
"Football, I only played because of my uncle but my senior year, I had a lot of fun with those guys," Burgman said. "The track team, that's got to be the most fun year I've ever had. I met a lot of people through track. That's what you do — you meet people and it was fun. I like track. I like running. You don't get hurt on the track. Knock on wood. It's easy."
Though Burgman will remain in state for his college career, he admits he'll miss a lot about being a Viking. Most notably, his relationship with Quinn and his grandmother's cooking.
"I'll probably miss Coach Quinn the most," Burgman said. "At first, Coach Quinn didn't know me. He probably didn't like me because I was small and he always talked about my weight, but after that, Coach Quinn was really my grandfather, like I said. I'm going to miss being at Lowndes because of my grandma's cooking. Ooh, some pork chops? Good Lord. I eat a lot, OK? [laughs] That's really it."
When asked about his time coaching Burgman in track and on the football field, Quinn lauded Burgman for his work ethic, attitude and diligence in the classroom.
"He was always a hard worker and always had good discipline," Quinn said of Burgman. "He's just a special person. He's got a great sense of humor. He does what he's supposed to do and that's important. He has an over 3.0 grade-point average, so he did well in the classroom and he also worked hard on the field and also on the track."