Dedication isn’t optional: Owls sophomore takes diving seriously


Even on a snow day, you can find Devin Ramsey in the diving well.

While his teammates race relays in the adjacent pool, Ramsey — the only diver in attendance — perfects his craft on his own at an optional practice on Thursday.

It’s that drive that sets the Seymour High School sophomore apart from the competition come meet time and transformed Ramsey into one of the top divers in the area.

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Ramsey has won all but one meet this season — five first-place finishes — and shows no sign of slowing.

He’s consistently scoring in the mid-250’s in six-dive (dual meet) competition.

“Devin is a little different in the sense that he has the drive and mentality that a diver has to have,” SHS diving coach Maria Sutherland said. “It’s that kind of crazy, ‘smack, I know it hurts but I’m going to do it again.’ You feel the adrenaline. That’s what sets him apart from divers that might have been as good as him here (at his age).

“He’s on a different level because he’s willing to put himself out there and work. He’s willing to work. It takes a lot of work, these kids put in hours. We put hours in over breaks and weekends — sometimes up to four hours at a time.”

Ramsey’s highest total points on the season is 281.63, which was against Jeffersonville on Nov. 30.

Last season, his scores fell between the 180 and 190-range around this time of the year.

Then he started turning heads come the postseason.

At the sectional, he placed fourth with a 369.75 on 11 dives to advance to the Bloomington North Regional. He was the first freshman to advance past sectional in diving in school history.

Had he not missed one of his dives in the regional, Ramsey would have likely made it to the big show at IUPUI’s Natatorium.

“I’ve really improved on my backs and my inwards,” Ramsey said. “I improved on my front two and one half which I failed at last year’s regional. That dive would have gotten me into state.”

This past summer, Ramsey attended a diving camp at Indiana University.

That’s where he took his diving to another level.

Surrounded by top-notch divers, Ramsey absorbed everything he could.

“I think, at dive camp, he picked up a lot of knowledge,” Sutherland said. “He’s so eager and willing to try new things. I think when you practice and compete with another level. IU is a top-10 program in the country.”

With the Hoosier Hills Conference coming up at the end of the month in Jeffersonville, Ramsey looks to build on last year’s fifth place finish.

“I feel like I’m going to do pretty well,” Ramsey said of the HHC. “I’m planning on winning it.”

As the season progresses, the SHS coaches have noticed growth in Ramsey as well as a shift in focus.

Instead of focusing on scoring a certain number or beating another individual, Ramsey now solely focuses on his won performances.

“I think if you can walk into a season knowing that your personal goal is to beat yourself and get better, you can do so much more than a medal or ribbon,” Sutherland said. “ I think that’s what Devin is doing right now.”

A forward thinker, Ramsey has big plans for his diving career moving forward.

“My goal is to do a front three and one half by my senior year and to beat the school’s record in six dives and 11,” Ramsey said. “I want to be a top diver in the state.”

Ramsey’s coaches also believe in his abilities and where they could take him.

“(SHS) is a stepping stone for where I think he will eventually be: IU,” Sutherland said. “If not IU, I think he will be able to walk on a (college) team down the road.”

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