New Providence Athlete of the Week: James Burke
Wednesday, September 25, 2013 • 12:21am
NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ – New Providence boys’ varsity soccer co-captain James Burke is the multi-dimensional student-athlete that every coach would love to have.
Aside from being a shutdown defender for the NP soccer team, Burke is one of the top players on the school’s successful and competitive lacrosse team that made it all the way to the Union County semifinals last season. He also led them to the programs first ever Kimber Division title while being named first team All-Kimber.
Despite all the accolades, Burke is quick to recognize everyone the importance of everyone around him.
“I’ve been lucky to have incredible coaches in both soccer and lacrosse to help me grow as a player,” Burke said. “Also, my parents encourage me to work hard on and off the field in order to improve.”
Head soccer coach Teddy Niedzielski has high praise for the senior, and so do other players.
“He’s been on the team for three, four years now and he’s someone that everyone looks up to,” Niedzielski said. “He’s always positive and I’ve never seen him down.”
“He’s very important,” sophomore midfielder Sean Regan said. “He’s one of our captains and he really means a lot to the team.”
Burke has ambitious goals for himself and the team this year. He said he wants to “become a team that’s able to step up and play our best during tight games.”, and as an individual he wants to control the tempo of the game and get into transition quickly.
While being the backbone of the defense on the soccer field, he is also an essential part of the boys’ lacrosse team. He scored 34 goals, while tallying a team-high 24 assists over the duration of the season last spring.
He looks to continue his lacrosse success this upcoming spring as well as in the spring of 2015 when he will play for Boston University.
Burke and the Pioneers return to action on Friday at McNair Academy and are back at home on Oct. 3 against Rahway.