Dexter Field Hockey star commits to Michigan State University


Gracie Burns on college signing day. photo courtesy of Dexter Athletics

Choosing Michigan State University was an easy decision for Dexter field hockey player Gracie Burns

From the campus and athletic field to the academics and people, Burns said she’s excited to compete as a Spartan and follow her vision for the next steps in her life.

“Signing was one of the most relieving and exhilarating feelings I've ever felt,” said Burns of her decision to commit to MSU. “The recruiting process is very overwhelming and demanding, so being done with it gave me an immense feeling of joy and relief. “

She said she picked MSU because it made her feel at home and welcomed.

“The campus is beautiful, the academics are perfect and the coaches made me feel part of the family ever since I was young,” she said. “I truly didn't see my future in any other program or anywhere else.

She described MSU as the most welcoming program “and the atmosphere just fit into my perfect ‘vision.’ I love the campus, the way they treat their athletes, the coaches, the team, the academics. Everything.”

MSU has been her dream school ever since she was young. She said once the coaches started reaching out to her and showing interest, “I just knew that's where I was going to end up.”

Burns experienced a lot of success in high school, including being selected First Team Division 1 All-State.

When asked if it feels like the hard work has paid off, she said it does.

“I’m proud of myself and how hard I worked for this,” she said. “It almost brings me to tears when thinking about where I came from and where I am now. I feel nothing but relief and joy, thankful for everyone who has helped me throughout the years and proud of my dedication!”

Looking back at her time competing for Dexter, she said there are some things that stand out, especially one memorable moment.

“Many things stand out to me when looking back at my career at Dexter field hockey,” she said. “But nothing will beat, beating Pioneer in the state championship in the 20-21 year. I had never felt so amazing until after that game. That was the game I scored the game winning goal and I felt like all my hard work had finally pulled off. During the practices before the state finals game, we had been working on backdoor goals and being in the right spaces. The best part of that day was executing what we had been working on and feeling like I've done justice for my team.”

Gracie Burns celebrates her goal in the state championship. Photo by Mike Williamson

Thinking about this and other moments, again leads her to think about those who helped and supported her.

“My mom, my sisters, my peer "idols" and my coaches have helped me get to this point,” she said. “But I truly give all of the credit to my mom, my mom sat through snow, rain, sleet, 100 degree weather just to watch me play. Not only was she there for me she helped me immensely through the recruiting process; she also taught me to believe in my abilities and where I could go. Many people had told me my "dream schools" were unattainable for my level of play and they suggested schools I had no interest in. My mom taught me to hold my head high and keep working, because it never matters what anyone else thinks of you. It only matters what you think of yourself.”

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