Madison Ingram of Florence, a member of the Holmes Community College Lady Bulldogs soccer team, was recently awarded the first-ever Amber Busin Dedication Award. The award was named for Holmes' Goalkeeper Coach TJay Busin's sister, who passed away from myelodysplasia in July 2002, one month before her 23rd birthday.
Busin first excelled in soccer as a goalkeeper at Northwest Rankin High School on the very first women's soccer team there. Under Coach Montgomery Hinton, she was inducted into Northwest Rankin's Hall of Fame because of her incredible talent and loyalty to her teammates. Upon graduation, Busin continued playing soccer through select leagues in Clinton before going on to became an All-Conference goalie as a Mississippi College Lady Choctaw her freshman year. Unfortunately, she began battling painful endometriosis, and the constant pain slowly weakened her body to the point that she was unable to continue playing.
Never one to just give up on anything, Busin followed in her brother TJay's footsteps and volunteered to coach the Lady Choctaws' goalies her sophomore year, all the while maintaining a 4.0 GPA and staying on the President's List. In 1999, at just 19 years old, blood tests revealed that Busin had been suffering from something even worse than endometriosis: she was diagnosed with myelodysplasia, a precursor to leukemia. Within a year, she had a bone marrow transplant, and with a fighting, positive spirit pushed on. Just one year after the surgery, Busin was doing volunteer work at University of Mississippi Medical Center's transplant program, doing everything she could to live her life to the fullest. In 2002, however, Busin passed away, leaving a legacy of a courage, strength, and beauty.
Ingram, who was honored with the Amber Busin Dedication Award, is a sophomore pre-nursing major on the Holmes Ridgeland Campus. She had a successful season as goalkeeper for the Lady Bulldogs, who finished the season with a 14-2 record under Head Women's Coach Matt Convertino and Associate Head Women's Coach Wesley Noble. They also finished second in the MACJC/Region XXIII State Tournament Finals on Oct. 30, 2016. Prior to coming to Holmes, Ingram was goalkeeper for the Florence High School Eagles, and was selected as Player of the Game after saving a penalty kick in the 50th minute to keep the game 0-0.
"To me this honor is more than just an award," Ingram said. "It is something that I can look at every day and say to myself, 'Yes you can do this, you have gotten this far and can keep going.' In my time playing soccer prior to Holmes, I have had people tell me that I would never play college soccer. Getting that award just showed me that I can do it. I am hoping to continue my soccer career after Holmes too…I have not decided where, but I hope that I can."
For more information on the Holmes Lady Bulldogs soccer team, visit www.holmesathletics.com.