James Burns: Male Athlete of the Month

James+Burns%3A+Male+Athlete+of+the+Month

Natalie Martinek

Junior James Burns escapes the pocket after being pursued by a Friends Academy defender.

Max Miranda, Contributing Writer

Playing since the fifth grade, junior James Burns has carried his talent in football all the way to his junior year in high school.  Now, as  the starting quarterback, Burns has transitioned flawlessly from junior varsity to the varsity squad.

On the field, Burns has racked up over 300 passing yards this season, ranking him 18th on Long Island.  A leader on and off the field, there is a lot of pressure involved in the position.

“Whenever the team wins, you’re the hero and whenever the team loses you’re the most disliked player on the team and the coaches are harder on you, but it’s all part of the game,” said Burns.

The Vikings are currently 2-1, with wins over Friends Academy and Roslyn High School, and a loss to Lutheran High School (LuHI).  LuHi is currently on top of the conference with a 3-0 record, but the Vikings are right behind them.

“This team is a family, and I think we will continue to win games, and finish the season beating LuHi in the championship game,” said Burns.

Off the field, Burns excels in running track as well. He placed eighth in the country for the decathlon event at the 2012 USA Track and Field Junior National Olympics in Baltimore, MD (July 23-29), earning 5,042 points over the course of the competition.  Even more impressive is the fact that Burn did not attempt half of the events until June of 2012, just one month prior to the competition.  The skills that come with track assist on the field as well, but everything relies on more than just raw talent.

“It requires a lot of technique work, footwork, and coordination, which have to be continually drilled until it is almost  second nature,” said Burns.

After winning the first varsity football game in three years, Burns and coach Mr. Jamal Ramsay look to continue to lead the Vikings back to the success of the past. Their last conference title was in 1976.

“We have some guys who work hard. I feel that we have a chance of reaching the championship,” said Ramsay.