Liberty County Track sprinter Julian Sutphin signed a scholarship to run track at Edward Waters College in Jacksonville, Fla. The signing took place at Connections Church this past Saturday so his friends and family could attend while also maintaining social distance.
Sutphin said he chose Edward Waters College because it is a member of the Historical Black Colleges and University (HBCU). He said they have a relatively young track program and he thinks he can help the team get better in competitions.
Sutphin admits this past year was difficult.
“It was…because I know I progressed a lot from my junior year to my senior year,” he said. “Being a senior and having the season cut short took a toll but I’m glad it paid off in getting the scholarship. I’m proud. I’m happy. I put in a lot of work so I am glad that it all paid off.”
Sutphin excels as a sprinter and said his race is the 200-meter run. He said his personal best finish was 22.3 seconds.
The sprinter said he plans to study business management wants to market his own clothing brand in the future.
Sutphin’s athleticism comes from his parents Michael and Angel Sutphin. Dad said he played basketball, baseball and football in his youth and Mon was a track star in her own right.
I was trying to get him to those sports but his mother’s track abilities took over and he followed in her footsteps,” Dad said. “Words can’t explain it. I’m proud and I’m excited for him but also a little nervous for him to leave the house. But more so just so proud that it is hard for me to explain.”
“We are very excited,” Mom added. “As you know COVID really placed a damper on things for his senior year. He is our only child, so we were looking forward to a great year. And for them to offer him a scholarship while not being able to see him perform was a blessing. We look forward to seeing the great things that Julian is capable of doing.”
Sutphin credits his coaches for getting him to where he’s at.
He said his high school coach Nathan Mims helped him throughout the recruiting process.
“He reached out to many colleges for me,” Sutphin said.
“Julian has always had a true love for the sport, and I can’t wait to see what he does at the next level,” Mims said. “He could run any sprinting event and didn’t mind trying new things out. He will be missed.”
He spent a good portion of his track career with District 9 Club and coach Brian Williams.
“Coach Williams, he helped me with all my fundamentals. He paved the way for me to learn to like track and go far with it,” Sutphin said.
Sutphin said his other coach, Rafael August of Can Do Performance, pushed him to always be the best.
“Coach August pushed me to my maximum level,” Sutphin said. “And he is still pushing me to this day making me do extra work and everything to pretty much put me where I need to be.”
Sutphin said he is going to stay focused and train every day as much as he can to get ready for college.
Mom said she is ready to follow the team and watch her son compete.
“We hope and pray that he stays strong, stay motivated and keeps God in his life,” she said.
Hid Dad offered some sage advice.
“Always think before you act,” Dad said. “There is a lot of things out there today that are dangerous. Lots of temptations. Stay focused on what he wants in life and always think twice before making a decision.”
Coach August was at the signing ceremony and gave the young athlete a $500 scholarship check to assist Sutphin in his transition to college.