The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

March 8, 2013

Two Carthage athletes sign college letters

By Anvil Welch
Globe Sports Writer

CARTHAGE, Mo. — A signing ceremony for Carthage High School seniors Hannah Anderson and Bryan “Bubba” Burns was held Thursday.

Anderson will compete in cross country for Culver-Stockton College of Canton, Mo.

Burns will heave the discus and shot for Missouri Southern State University of Joplln.

Anderson said she’s scheduled to visit the Culver-Stockton campus in a couple of weeks and insisted she won’t mind a jaunt to the north.

“I like the cold,” Anderson said with a smile. “It’s easier to run in cold weather. I also like Culver-Stockton for its smallness and the fact it’s a private school.”

The NAIA Wildcats, coached by Doug Savage, belong to the Heart of America Athletic Conference.

Carthage coach Andy Youngworth indicated that Anderson was a late bloomer to embrace competitive running.

“It’s exciting for us that she’s getting this opportunity,” Youngworth said. “She has a great work ethic.”

Youngworth also praised Anderson for her senior leadership and strong academics (ranking in the top 10 percent among the seniors).

Hannah, the daughter of Starla and the Rev. Chris Anderson, plans to major in American history. Then, it’s to the University of Kansas for a master’s degree, and employment in a museum.

Youngworth said that Burns’ progression as a junior in the discus was “remarkable.”

The 6-foot-1, 295-pound Burns’ continual improvement was capped by a Carthage record of 179 feet, 1 inch, for second place in Class 4 state competition at Jefferson City.

Solimon McCoy set the previou best for Carthage at 174-6 in 2000.

“Bryan will do very well at Missouri Southern,” Youngworth said. “Missouri Southern has a tradition — a long tradition — in success with throwers. Bryan has a big upside. He works hard. He’ll be focusing on track. He’s personable.

“Kacey Thayer is Bryan’s events coach (at Carthage),” Youngworth said. “Coach Thayer does a great job with our throwers. I stand on a hill and try to stay out of the way.”

Bryan, the son of Dorena and Harley Burns (a former Tiger basketball player under Dwight Arner), plans to study industrial technology.

Burns, a two-way lineman in football for Jon Guidie, said the close proximity of Carthage and Joplin, was a key in his decision.

“It allows me to stay at home,” he said with a chuckle. “I’m a mama’s boy.”