Senior brings hustle, tenacity to gridiron
As the Friday night lights shine on the field and football season heads into full swing, senior Blake Burdan gears up to tackle his last season. Heading into his final year of high school football, Burdan hopes to bring his athletic ability to the team and strives to win a Valley Championship one last time.
Burdan began playing football in third grade for the Clovis Cowboys until he moved to Ontario, Canada at age ten. Continuing his love for football in Ontario, Burdan played for the Niagara Football League and for Blessed Trinity High School. After living in Canada for five years, he moved back to Clovis and started his sophomore year at Fresno Christian.
After playing football at Fresno Christian for three years, Burdan shares his expectations for his senior year and what he will miss about the team.
“My favorite thing about playing football is running the ball,” Burdan said. “For this year, I hope to win a Valley Championship and MVP for the football team. I am going to miss playing with my teammates and friends who I have played with for the three years I have been here at Fresno Christian.”
Head coach Russ Counts emphasizes the following words of encouragement to his team, “If you want to go fast, go alone, but if you want to go far, go together”. Counts appointed four seniors as captains to carry out this saying throughout the season. The captains consist of Burdan, Mason Blowers, Tyler Krueger and Tyler Stotts. Krueger explains his favorite thing about playing football with Blake and shares memories from their time together.
“My favorite thing about playing football with Blake is the friendship we have gained while playing with each other over the years,” Krueger said. “No matter what he does, he always gives 100%. He is humble while on the field and is always encouraging other players. The thing I will miss most about Blake is being able to compete with each other at practice, the touchdown celebrations during games and just being the great friends we have been throughout the years.”
In the following podcast, Brady Schwab, ’23, talks about Burdan’s leadership skills on the field and the impact he has on the team.
Some of Burdan’s main supporters are his parents Mirna and Erik Burdan. Mirna explains her favorite thing about watching Blake play and the growth she has witnessed throughout his high school experience.
“I enjoy watching Blake tackle on defense and love watching him run the ball on offense,” Mirna said. “I love seeing his hustle and tenacity for the sport. I am going to miss watching Blake be a team player and leader at a sport the whole family enjoys. It is a joy to see him interact with others on and off the field.”
A special concept seen on the field is the relationship between Blake and his dad. As an assistant coach on the football team, Erik enjoys coaching his son and watching him grow on the field. He treasures his time with Burdan and shares what he will miss most about their experiences on the field.
“I love coaching Blake because it is an opportunity to have father-son time but in a unique environment,” Erik said. “Blake has a great understanding of the game, which affords him the opportunity to help coach up the other players. I have coached Blake since fourth grade so after nine years of being together every season, it will be tough to let that go. I enjoyed beyond words seeing him perform on the field and as a father seeing his confidence as he played the sport.”
Burdan plans on attending Fresno State for college and has yet to decide what he will major in.
The football team plays Stone Ridge Christian at home for their next game at 7 p.m., Sept. 27. Make sure to come out and support your eagles!
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Slideshow below includes images from Burdan’s years of playing football at Fresno Christian.
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