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ORE CITY — When talent meets work ethic, the result is often days like Thursday.

Ore City baseball standout Lane Burks, a pitcher and slick-fielding shortstop for the Rebels, locked up his college academic and athletic future on Thursday during a ceremony at the high school library by signing a national letter-of-intent to play baseball at East Texas Baptist University.

“The first time I met Lane Burks after I got here, I realized he had a goal. He knew what he wanted to do, and there was no doubt he was going to achieve that goal,” Ore City head football coach and athletic director Ron Burnham said.

“He works hard. When we had the weight room open or had a workout, not one time do I remember him not showing up, and he never slacked off. His work ethic is a big part of why he’s doing what he’s doing today.”

Burks, who said he had also drawn interest from Austin College in Sherman, had a long list of reasons he chose ETBU.

“It’s a great family atmosphere,” he said. “It’s a Christian university, and that’s very important to me. I played summer ball with one of the assistant coaches, so there’s prior knowledge of the program. It has great facilities and great academics.”

Burks, who played shortstop when he wasn’t pitching for the Rebels, hit .278 this past season and had a 3.85 earned run average and 57 strikeouts in 36.1 innings pitched.

In a nine-game season shortened by COVID-19 in 2020, Burks hit .485 with five doubles and 15 RBI and had a 1.16 ERA and 22 strikeouts in 18 innings pitched. He had a 3.45 ERA and 41 strikeouts as a sophomore in 2019, and fanned 46 batters as a freshman in 2018.

ETBU, located in Marshall, is currently 24-13 overall and 17-7 in conference play heading into a series against LeTourneau University this weekend.

The Tigers compete in the American Southwest Conference along with Louisiana College, UT Dallas, Concordia, Ozarks, University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, Belhaven, LeTourneau, Sul Ross, Hardin-Simmons, McMurry and Howard Payne.

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