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Kemoi Burke's "get back" year comes to fruition
Kemoi Burke (6) takes a carry outside in Alcovy's game against the Jonesboro Cardinals. - photo by Garrett Pitts

After being sidelined for half of the 2022 season, Kemoi Burke bounced back for a breakout senior year for Alcovy.

In his junior year, Burke went down with a high ankle sprain that derailed his season. When he went into the ensuing offseason, the Tigers’ tailback had his eyes set on returning in a big way.

“I took the offseason very seriously,” Burke said. “We had a new coaching staff and they were really honest about us being in the weight room. I took it seriously and I tried to be in the weight room as much as I could during the summer.”

The start of his senior season saw the work come to fruition.

In Alcovy’s week one matchup against Lithonia, Burke scored two touchdowns on just eight carries in the Tigers’ blowout win.

Though the middle of the season saw a touchdown drought for Burke, the senior felt the connection between the running back room and offensive line got better each week.

“As [the season] went on I felt like I was getting better running the ball — getting faster and stronger,” Burke said. “We had our ups and downs, but we sat down and talked about it and discussed our gameplan. Throughout the season, they got better and better every day.”

When Tigers reached the final three games of the season versus region opposition, Burke broke out again.

As each week went on, Burke’s carries and yards increased.

Facing the Forest Park Panthers on the road, Burke rushed for 136 yards on 18 carries and a touchdown. 

After taking down the Panthers, Burke gashed Jonesboro.

Burke had 28 carries for 144 yards and three touchdowns in a close loss to the Cardinals.

In the final game of his Alcovy career, Burke left it all on the field with his best game yet.

Against Rockdale County, Burke got 30 carries for 255 while getting another three touchdowns.

Burke ended his senior year with a combined 788 yards on 149 carries, averaging just over five yards a rush. The senior tailback rushed for nine touchdowns.

Along with his work on the ground, Burke accrued 15 tackles on defense.

Even though his senior season has concluded, he still has his eyes on playing at the next level.

In reflection on his breakout year, Burke recounted how much it meant to him to have a big year following his injury a year ago.

“It meant a lot to me,” Burke said. “Last season I had gotten injured and I was out for half of the year, so this season was my ‘get back’ year. It meant a lot to me and my family.”