Archive for Thursday, June 8, 2006

Summer school

De Soto’s Pat Burton preparing for more than just local all-star game

June 8, 2006

Sweat pouring down his cheeks and his chest heaving for a clean breath of the muggy evening air, one has to wonder if deep in Pat Burton's mind he didn't ask if it all really made sense.

School's out for Burton and all the rest of De Soto's students and for many -- especially members of Burton's recently graduated senior class -- it is time to kick back, relax and enjoy the summer.

But Burton said he's having a great time and even though his morning and afternoon are filled with work and his evenings busy with weightlifting sessions, running workouts and football practices, he wouldn't change anything.

"It's fun," Burton said, stacking another load of weights on a barbell.

Burton will play in the Greater Kansas City area all-star game June 15 at William Jewell College in Liberty, Mo.

Monday marked the start of practices for the game which pits a team of area stars from the Kansas side of the state line against a team from the Missouri side. Burton said he's already learned a lot in the hours he's spent working with his team, but more than anything, he's learned how much more there is to learn.

Burton was the biggest player on De Soto's football team last season, and fast enough to lead the way for many running plays. He was quick to note life at the next level -- he will play at Garden City Community College in the fall -- will be a bit different.

"Every guy on our (all-star) team is as big as I am," Burton said. "In high school, I could pull on a play and I was always fast enough to get outside and pick up the defensive end or an outside linebacker. Now I've noticed how much faster those guys are."

That realization, combined with an intense summer workout regimen forwarded by his coaches at Garden City and an intimidating large playbook that arrived in the mail has left Burton more determined than ever to prepare himself in every way possible this summer.

"You don't want to be stood up in the all-star game, so you work harder," Burton said. "I like to be over prepared, so that's what I'm doing this summer."

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