Former FHS state champ makes college hall of fame

Farmington native Falynn Burns was inducted into the Northwestern Oklahoma State University Sports Hall of Fame for her decorated softball career as a member of the Rangers

Jake Newby

FARMINGTON — A former Farmington softball state champion was recently inducted into the Northwestern Oklahoma State University Sports Hall of Fame for her many accomplishments on the diamond.

Former Farmington softball player Falynn Burns poses for a portrait in May 2004 at the ASA Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City, Okla.

Falynn Burns, who helped guide the Lady Scorpions to a Class 4A state title in 2000, entered her college's hall of fame on Jan. 28. The first baseman churned out a decorated four-year career after becoming a member of the inaugural NWOSU softball team in 2001.

Burns said she had a great time mingling with former friends and teammates during last month's induction ceremony.

"It was a huge honor, and it was just nice to be able to take the weekend and go see so many familiar faces," Burns said. "The coaching staff, the educational staff that was there when I played came into town for the weekend. I got to see a lot of old teammates, which was fantastic for me. That was such a huge part of my life and (NWOSU) will always feel like home to me."

Burns made the All-Red River Athletic Conference First Team in each of her four seasons with the Rangers. In her senior year, she sported a .358 batting average to go along with 32 runs, 15 doubles and seven home runs. That season earned Burns her first All-Region honor, making her the first NWOSU softball player in the program's history to receive that distinction.

Former Farmington softball player Falynn Burns plays first base for Northwestern Oklahoma State University in May 2004 during a game in Dallas, Texas.

After attending Aztec High School in 1997 and 1998, Burns transferred to Farmington High School for her junior and senior seasons. During her time at FHS, Burns not only played under coach Roy Johnson — the current Aztec softball coach — but she also became Johnson's stepdaughter when he married her mother during her high school years.

Burns said Johnson helped mold her into the ultra-successful collegiate player she became.

"I wouldn't have had the amount of success I had in softball if it wasn't for Roy," Burns said. "Some of my friends, we played for him and Gary (Graham) in the summers from about ninth grade until I graduated. We did a ton of traveling, and they worked tirelessly to make all of us fantastic softball players."

Burns added it was a blast to play for her "second father."

"I was lucky enough to have my biological father in my life and also my second father in Roy," she said.

After receiving her bachelor's degree in biology, Burns moved back to Farmington, where she recently gravitated toward teaching so she could fulfill a desire to contribute to her community.

Burns now teaches fifth grade at McKinley Elementary School.

Jake Newby covers sports for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577.