Kamdyn Burns

Kamdyn Burns, Atkins High School lacrosse 

Kamdyn Burns credited Coach David Hamlin with convincing her to play lacrosse three years ago. “My sophomore year I heard that lacrosse was going to be a new sport at Atkins,” said Burns, a senior. “Coach Ham put it in my head to play.”

Hamlin’s first practice was something Burns will never forget. “It was so intense,” she said. “I was pretty much out of breath the whole practice. We ran hills nonstop.”

Conditioning and learning stick skills along with shooting was the primary emphasis during those early days. “We started getting into stick skills,” she said. “That was the first thing that was introduced.

“We started playing games and seeing how the field was set up. That was challenging.”

Burns has mostly played defense in her three years on the team. “My first year on defense the ball was always on our side of the field,” she said. “Now it gets kind of boring because everybody’s on the opposite side of the field because we know what we’re doing.”

She recalled what it was like playing a new sport. “After those first couple of games I got those butterflies out,” Burns said. “Then you’re focused and know what you’re playing for.”

Burns said her love for lacrosse is unlike any sport she’s ever seen. “I have never been in love with a sport as much as lacrosse,” she said. “It allows you to get rid of any negative emotions you might have.

“Crossing somebody up is amazing. It’s mind opening and refreshing out on the field.”

Being a part of the team motivates her to continue. “The love for my teammates and the love for the sport is the reason I continue to play,” she said. “My coach doesn’t allow you to quit.

“Running is the toughest part,” Burns continued. “You have to be really in shape. You have to play even when you don’t feel like playing. You have to push through for your team.”

Burns has yet to score goal. That’s one of her goals this year. “My goal is stopping the other team from scoring goals, but I hope to score one this year,” she said. “I will jump for joy when I do. That will be exciting.”

She said lacrosse has taught her a lot about life. “It’s taught me to be the best I can be,” said Burns. “People depend on me. Outside the sport, in life there will be obstacles. I can’t always do what I want. But I always have to stay positive and stay focused.”

Ken Winfrey

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