COVINGTON —The recent moves by the Newton County School System also affected Alcovy sports. After a short two-year stay Tigers athletic director Gabe Burnette is leaving.
Burnette has seen a lot of progress in his short stay with a lot happening his last year. Just this past season, Alcovy made it to the playoffs eight times with the softball team advancing to the second round. Even though neither of the golf teams made it to the state tournament, both were able to claim the title of Region 2-AAAAAA champion.
While Alcovy sports have been a lot of things to be proud of with their accomplishments, what Burnette is most proud of goes beyond what happens on the field of competition.
“The best part is that we’re increasing the amount of our kids signing college scholarships,” he said. “This year we had three football players. Last year we had Ashley Williams (Alabama) and Meagan Tucker (Auburn) go to DI schools.”
While Burnette liked a lot of the experiences he’s had as the Tigers athletic leader, he will also acknowledge that there is a lot of work that goes with the position as well. The biggest challenge he found was trying to get more students to attend the games and build Tiger Pride in the student body. While increasing student involvement a challenge, getting even more community support for Alcovy is another.
“The more fans that the players see in the stands it seems that the better they play. “I have seen an increase in is the number of fans that are coming out to games. But it’s nowhere near what it should be.” Burnette said. “The community involvement is slowly getting there.”
In the past, players using fake addresses to attend schools they were not zoned for was a major problem. However, Burnette has noticed that since the three athletic directors have been working to get the problem under control it is getting better.
“It’s definitely getting better,” Burnette said. “We have a list of students and where they’re zoned for. If a student is not on the list showing that he’s suppose to be at Alcovy we do not let them participate in any competition at Alcovy until they bring proof that they have moved in our area.”
As Burnette prepares to leave Alcovy for Cousins Middle School, there are going to be some things that he is going to miss and some things that he is not. However, on top of the list of things he is going to miss are the students at Alcovy.
“I’m going to miss the students, the relationships I’ve built with them,” Burnette said. “I have a whole lot of respect and admiration for the students and they have a whole lot for me as well.”