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For Hunt High senior Jamison Kyles, his athletic pursuit of choice at Louisburg College came down to a simple dollars and cents decision.
While Kyles, a 6-foot-3, 250-pound lineman for the Warriors football team, watched a pair of teammates sign during Wednesday’s exhaustive signing celebration ceremony in the Hunt auditorium, it was in track and field that the Hurricanes were offering scholarship money.
Thus, in a “business move,” Kyles will be taking part in the shot put, hammer throw and discus for the Hurricanes of the National Junior College Athletic Association Division I ranks.
“The other schools I was pursuing, they weren’t offering me track,” Kyles explained. “Louisburg really gave me the chance, the opportunity to further my career.”
Kyles, the son of Jay and Carol Kyles of Lucama, considered overtures from UNC Pembroke, the University of Mount Olive and North Carolina A&T. However, Louisburg was the only school to offer athletic aid.
Crossing into the 40-foot range was key for Kyles in the shot put, who took a seed throw of 46 feet, 3 inches into the North Carolina High School Athletic Association 3-A East regionals this season. He just missed out on his bid for a spot in the state meet after finishing fifth at 46-4.25, but even that steady improvement in his senior season was noticeable. Kyles was third in the Big East championship meet in the shot put, authoring a throw of just over 46 feet.
“I really blew up this year,” Kyles said. “I wasn’t quite throwing 40 until this season, so I was throwing around 38 or 39. Then this season, I exploded with a 43 in the first meet. Then, I just progressively got better. It led me to the state meet and regionals — it was just taking my mentality to the next level. Then I had Coach Andy Ray, who was there to support me and help me. He really taught me how to get better.”
An intended corporate law major, Kyles has designs on transferring to a four-year school to continue his career.
“I feel like I can get an offer for track,” he said. “I need to get better, and then I’m going to prove everybody wrong.”