Surrounded by friends and family, Kyle Burwick became the first athlete from Hettinger High School to sign a letter of intent with a Division-1 school. Kyle’s father and coach, Randy Burwick announced his excitement to a crowded gym as Kyle signed onto the University of Wisconsin’s wrestling team.
“He has had super community support,” the coach said, “He understands that without that support, none of this would be possible.”
Kyle Burwick grew up with the sport being an integral part of his family, wrestling since he was very little. Burwick went on to achieve many impressive titles such as four-time state champion, four-time Miles City champion, and many more.
“My dad has been coaching for more than 30 years and I grew up in that culture. You get out what you put in.” Burwick said, “It’s a sport where you can work hard and see results. I also love the relationships I’ve built through wrestling. The older I get, the more I value those relationships. It’s not just a sport, it’s a lifestyle.”
However, Burwick is not strictly going to the University of Wisconsin for wrestling. Burwick has also found success in academics, with involvement in the national honors society.
When asked what career he would be pursuing, Burwick said, “It’s still up in the air, but I think history education or maybe physical education would be good options. My dad being a teacher is a big influence, and I could see myself following that path. “
With titles like four-time champion, Burwick had many colleges to choose from. Schools like South Dakota State, North Dakota State, and even the University of Nebraska were scouting Burwick for his wrestling ability. Burwick said that he is glad he is staying in the Midwest, but ultimately, the decision was based on a combination of Wisconsin’s notable academic and wrestling programs.
“It was the hardest decision of my life. If I said it was an easy decision, I would be lying. It’s going to be a big change moving to a school with 40,000 students. Before scouting the school, I had never been to Wisconsin. I’m glad I’m still in the Midwest. You can still drive 10 minutes out of town and see corn, and that reminds me of home,” Burwick said, “The coaching staff and program just seemed to fit me really well. I got to meet a lot of high-level coaches and staff. The wresters on the Wisconsin roster seem to be really high character guys, good athletes and good students. I think I will get along with them really well.”
The new Wisconsin wrestler will still get a chance to visit home when he wants. It’s an eleven-hour drive from Madison to Hettinger and though it won’t be a fun drive, Burwick said he is glad he can travel home if and when he needs.
This week, Burwick set an amazing new milestone for the small town of Hettinger. For those in the community who have seen him grow up, wrestle, and achieve, don’t feel bad that he’s headed off to college.
“Teaching goes hand-in-hand with coaching. It’s definitely something I see myself doing down the line. It would be a great way to pay it forward to all the coaches and mentors who have taken their time with me. “
Who knows, in four years time, Burwick might be back in Hettinger as a wrestling coach, helping students achieve similarly great things.