Jake Burnett gears up for today’s Kewpie Clash By Joe Randazzo

Jake Burnett, a three-year starting linebacker, had a bad taste in his mouth after last weekend’s loss against the number one ranked team in Illinois, Althoff Catholic. The Helias Crusaders will travel to Columbia tonight to take on longtime foe Columbia Hickman. It is the third road game of the year for Helias.

Helias has beat Hickman the last two years. Burnett was plagued with an ankle injury in last year’s matchup and was held to four tackles.

“I think it’s a good opportunity to come out and redeem ourselves and move towards the right direction before the end of the year when we need to be playing our best football,” said Burnett. “This is a huge game for us.”

Burnett was recently elected captain of the team by a vote of his teammates. This comes three years after being voted captain of the Helias freshman team in 2013. Candidates were to prepare and present a speech to the rest of the team.

“I’m really honored to be voted by my peers to lead this football team,” said Burnett. “It shows that my demeanor, character, and integrity paid off. Ever since I was younger, I always looked out at the captains coming out on the field and saw all the pressure that was put on a captains’ shoulders and how they will be looked to in good times and bad, and that was always something I wanted to be for my team. This has always been something I desired.”

Burnett has anchored the defense for the past two years. Last year he played some time at fullback which is featured in the flexbone offense the Crusaders switched to. Burnett has two touchdowns so far this season.

“I think it’s pretty awesome that Coach Rulo has me as a type of battery ram and that he has confidence in me to pick up yardage no matter who stands in front of me,” said Burnett. “The way I run the ball reflects how I face my challenges, with a chip on my shoulder and giving all I have for my teammates.”

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