Posts Tagged With: Coach Ben Burk

Honoring AHS Football & Academic All-State Honorable Mention Aaron Wickstrom

APS, Aaron Wickstom, Allendale High School footballCoach Ben Burk couldn’t be more proud of his 2012 varsity football team. Their dedication on the field (finishing 8-2 this season), and their dedication to character, integrity, and hard work off the field has gained the attention of an audience much larger than any that could fit into Allendale High School Stadium on a Friday night.

The team has been honored with the top position on the list of  Division 4 teams awarded the MHSFCA Academic All-State Award (Michigan High School Football Coaches Association). This means that their team GPA, averaged from Allendale’s eleven highest academic-achieving players, was 3.9!

As if this one award wasn’t exciting enough, senior Aaron Wickstrom (pictured left) added to the celebration with his Academic All-State Honorable Mention award.

Aaron, who plans to attend Grand Valley State University next fall to study Business & Finance, currently has a whopping 4.02 GPA thanks in part to his pursuit of AP class credits.  He shared that many of his teammates are also taking AP classes, adding that the entire group of young men under Coach Burk have a healthy respect for classroom achievement.

“Coach Burk always tells us to be leaders in the classroom and on the field. He says, ‘Do your work; school comes first because you’re student-athletes.’ I think it’s cool to be mentioned for an award that combines football and work in the classroom.”

Coach Burk returned the kind words when he was asked to describe what makes Aaron a stand out young man:

“His intelligence, personal high standards, work ethic, kind heart, team focus, the quality parenting that he received, intrinsic motivation, desire to do more, willingness to push himself, character, understanding that preparation is important, are just some of the things makes Aaron a stand-out.”

When asked about his 2012 varsity team as a whole, Coach Burk beamed:

“I am extremely impressed with the young men here at Allendale High School.  Our student-athletes are among the top in the state of Michigan for sure.  We make academics important here as a coaching staff, as a teaching staff, and as a district from k – 12th grades, and most all our students and athletes respond.  It is a pleasure to have the opportunity to work in a community like this.  GO FALCONS!!”

Congratulations to Aaron and the entire Falcon football team! We applaud your dedication to excellence!

Categories: Allendale High School, Athletics, Student Award Winners | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fall Sports Focus: Football

Uniforms are ready, shoulder pads are waiting, and as if on cue, temperatures are dropping.

This fall marks Allendale High School football coach Ben Burk’s twelfth year of leading the Falcons on Friday nights, and he says he’s having the time of his life.

“This is a great group of guys who are working to come together as a team. It’s been an awful lot of fun working with guys who enjoy playing together.”

It’s no stretch to say that their practice time is work. The young men filling this year’s roster have been meeting since August 6, committing more than five hours a day to learning the playbook, running routes, defending the ball, and scoring points. With sixty-five students spanning three grades (five sophomores have been called up), Coach Burk said it’s evident that they all get along and love the game.

And while captains have not yet been chosen, natural leaders have begun to emerge. On defense, Dayton Wierenga is an energetic, emotional leader who brings enthusiasm and spark; when the team needs a lift, Dayton is there to encourage. Quarterback Hayden Majewski is stepping up and leading the charge down the field, while senior offensive lineman Keith Rodgers helps motivate groups and provide cohesion.

“One of the things that makes this group stand out,” said Coach Burk, “is their commitment to academics. This year the kids set goals for themselves individually, and then as a football team we set goals for the group. We’ve agreed that one of our top three team goals is for each guy to maintain a C+ or better in all their classes. That their focus remains in the classroom says a lot.” 

In an effort to help his players maintain their focus both on and off the field, Coach Burk is taking a cue from wrestling coach Duane Watson by incorporating nutrition into team time. With the help of an army of moms, all sixty-five players get a peanut butter and jelly sandwich after school and a 16 oz glass of chocolate milk after practice. Newly crowned as one of the best natural recovery drinks available, the team consumes an average of 7 gallons of chocolate milk a day!

“Some of our kids have a very early lunch period,” Coach Burk explained. “If they’re eating lunch at 10:15, by the time school ends they need something to fill their bellies and help them think clearly. The effort of our team moms allows us to provide that, so by the time practice ends at 6:30, at least the boys have had something to tie them over.”

It’s that spirit of teamwork that epitomizes the 2012 Falcon Football Team: moms helping coaches, coaches helping kids, and kids helping one another meet their goals and become the best players and students they can be.

We hope you’ll cheer them on by joining them this Thursday at home for their 7 pm season opener vs. Unity Christian High School. Click here for a complete schedule of games.

Categories: Athletics, Athletics/Fitness, Back to School | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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