Jessica Ramsey Memorial Tournament set for Aug. 17 at LCC

Jessica Ramsey Memorial Tournament set for Aug. 17 at LCC

Lenoir Community College will host its inaugural Jessica Ramsey Memorial Tournament Aug. 17. Ramsey, who played volleyball for South Lenoir, was killed Feb. 7, 2018 during her junior year at the high school. Submitted photo

A day of volleyball to honor a kindred spirit is set for Aug. 17.

Lenoir Community College will host its inaugural Jessica Ramsey Memorial Tournament, starting at 9 a.m. that day. Ramsey, who passed away Feb. 7, 2018 during her junior season at South Lenoir, was cherished by not just her teammates, but across Eastern North Carolina.

South Lenoir coach Lisa Smith said she believes the event is a great way to honor Ramsey.

“Everyone’s been very supportive of the family, keeping her memory and love for the game of volleyball alive,” Smith said. “We were very happy and excited to be a part of it. We won’t have everyone there due to prior commitments and we usually don’t participate in tournaments on the weekends for that reason, but this was something we felt strongly about being a part of.”

South Lenoir is one of three teams from the Eastern Carolina 2A to participate in the eight-team tournament — along with Ayden-Grifton and Washington — and one of two Lenoir County teams alongside Arendell Parrott Academy.

“When I first met her at South Lenoir, she was really nice and sweet,” A-G senior Alexia Bryant said. “She always had a smile on her face, was kind and good-spirited. Most of the girls played with her on the Lenoir Fusion travel ball team, and they wanted to play in this tournament.”

LCC volleyball coach Lee Avery said Ramsey was a role model to her peers in the area.

“People who aren’t in the volleyball community may not understand how much of an impact Jessica had,” Avery said. “A lot of players looked up to her as an unspoken leader, one of the qualities I enjoyed when I coached her (with Lenoir Fusion). I wanted to bring in a positive atmosphere for this tournament and hopefully bring everyone together for a day of volleyball in her memory.”

Admission is $5 and concessions will be available. There will be T-shirts for sale commemorating the life of Ramsey, with all proceeds going toward a scholarship fund LCC is looking to create in her honor.

“We want this tournament and the scholarship to be annual events,” Avery said. “The scholarship would be for an incoming volleyball player, and we would look to start that in the 2020-21 season. Talking to her mother and stepfather, more than likely Jessica would’ve played here in college, so we wanted to do our best to implement this program.”

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