Team sports like football, basketball and baseball were right for Ramsey for a year each, but he has found solace in solo contests like swimming and golf. He said no matter the sport or the setting, his competitive fire is ignited through the thought of defeat.
“I just love everything about sports,” Ramsey said. “It’s competitive and you can find so many different forms of motivation. Being on the football team, we didn’t win one game this year, but that was motivation throughout the year to get that one win. The same thing has happened on the baseball team, and when we did get that win, it was a great feeling.”
Ramsey, a senior at Sparks High School, said he has found his calling on the swimming team after realizing he “has the body of a swimmer.”
After three years on the swimming team, Ramsey is working with college scouts toward the possibility of competing at the next level.
However, Ramsey has encountered adversity in the classroom and has only a semester left before gripping his diploma onstage at Lawlor Events Center. His class schedule is diverse as he juggles Honors and Advanced Placement classes while he works to pass the High School Proficiency Exams. He said seeking help from multiple teachers has been key in preparing for the upcoming proficiency tests and keeping his grades in check.
“I think the most difficult thing is taking the time to meet with teachers after school or during free periods,” Ramsey said. “I need to have a good balance between meeting with my proficiency prep teachers and my AP teachers because they all require a lot of work.”
Ramsey was recently named Student of the Month for December, largely due to his classroom performance and attitude toward not passing two of his proficiency exams. Though he still has plenty of work ahead of him, he said his teachers are the reason he has been able to succeed thus far.
“I feel like they have been more like really close friends to me as opposed to teachers,” he said. “They have been able to help guide me and let me see what I am supposed to do, and they have always helped me succeed in what I have tried to do.”
Upon graduation, Ramsey said he will apply to a couple of dream colleges in Auburn and Florida State universities, but he feels that the University of South Dakota would be the best fit for him, citing “family history” as a major factor.
Ramsey said he would like to pursue broadcast journalism in hopes of becoming a sports analyst in the future. He said when he is unable to compete, he still wants to be surrounded by the passion and spirit that he feels at Sparks High currently.
“This school has so much spirit,” he said. “A lot of kids don’t want to show it, but if you go to some of our sports games there are always students there to show it. Some of our sports teams are not the greatest but we still show spirit every night.
“It keeps you motivated because the fact that your whole school has your back and no matter where you turn you see school spirit everywhere. It can be a student or teacher, something on the wall or any number of things, and that is just amazing to me.”