Editor’s note: With social distancing guidelines firmly established, Sports Editor Daniel Mayes is conducting interviews with area athletes from the safety of a secluded corner of his home office. Quarantine Chronicles is a Q&A series with local sports standouts about their daily lives during the COVID-19 outbreak.
North Murray High School senior Landon Burrell doesn’t have to look far from home to find inspiration for his athletic aspirations.
Burrell’s cousin is Rhett McGowan, a Calhoun native who walked on at wide receiver at the University of Georgia and played from 2010-2013.
After finishing his football career at the same position at North Murray, Burrell’s plan is to attend Middle Tennessee State University and try to make the football team as a walk-on.
“He walked on at Georgia and earned a spot there, and he had great junior and senior seasons,” Burrell said. “That’s what I’m trying to do.”
Burrell is finishing up his senior year at North Murray, where he also played on the basketball and tennis teams. He was able to finish out the entirety of the football and basketball schedules, but, amid the outbreak of the new coronavirus, COVID-19, his tennis season was cut short.
Burrell spoke with the Daily Citizen-News about his life since the outbreak forced the cancellation of the remainder of the high school sports calendar.
Question: What are you up to while learning from home?
Answer: I’ll be honest, I haven’t done a whole lot. Hunting and fishing have taken a lot of time. I run sometimes up and down my road to stay active. Really, I’ve just been a homebody.
Q: What was your reaction when the tennis season was canceled?
A: We got about two games in and all the stuff hit. I’m just really glad we made it through football and basketball. Some seniors, spring sports are all they played, so I feel bad for them.
Q: Do you like staying at home, or would you rather be in school?
A: Personal opinion, I probably would rather be in school. These days just feel long. I feel like I’m a little more motivated at school. At home I have too much to do other than schoolwork.
Q: What has been your favorite moment of your high school sports career?
A: Our win over Calhoun this year (in football). That was a big one for us. They had gone on a ridiculous region win streak. To beat them this year on their field was something special for us. That’s one of my favorite games.
Q: What are you like outside of sports?
A: I do like playing video games. I love “Call of Duty,” but I’ll say “Rainbow Six: Siege” is my favorite. I like to hunt and fish. I’m an outdoorsy guy and an indoorsy guy.
Q: Who is one person you look up to?
A: It’d definitely be Rhett. He was in the same spot as me and he made it. I definitely look up to him a lot.
Q: Who is your favorite athlete?
A: It would be (Atlanta Falcons wide receiver) Julio Jones. He would be my favorite athlete by far.
Q: What is your favorite movie?
A: I do like the “Hangover” series, those are some pretty good movies, but I’ll have to go with "Step Brothers.” I love Will Ferrell.