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Athlete of the Week

Heading south next fall

The Burtnetts; stepmom, Dawn, Matt, mom, Maryanne and dad, Rick. Photo by Wendi Reardon (click for larger version)
December 08, 2010 - Clarkston lacrosse players surrounded senior Matt Burtnett as he signed his letter of intent on Dec. 1 to join the men's team at Rollins College.

The university was Burtnett's second choice and when he visited the campus in Winter Park, Florida Burtnett knew where he would play after he graduated from Clarkston High School.

"The campus is beautiful," he said. "All of the guys, all of my teammates are really great. The coaches are awesome so I couldn't resist."

Burtnett will play Division II lacrosse in the Deep South Conference

He began playing lacrosse seven years ago when one day one of his cousins threw him a lacrosse stick when he was living in Virginia.

When he moved to Clarkston four years ago he was playing with a short lacrosse stick. When he joined the varsity team as a freshman, assistant coach Doug Monforton saw talent for a defense position and Burtnett began using the long lacrosse stick.

"I have been playing depo ever since," he said, adding he wasn't very good before the change.

"Playing depo I can use my size, my physical ability, my agility more to my advantage," he said.

Burtnett also played football his entire life and held positions as a tight end and outside linebacker for the Clarkston Varsity Boys Football team, until Fall 2010 when he stopped playing.

He admitted there are quite a few skills he learned from football he uses for lacrosse including pursuit angles, using his mental toughness, learning how to compete and being part of a team. His goal for his last season for the Wolves is to help the team bring home the state championship.

Burtnett currently has a 3.0 GPA and is taking his core classes. He is undecided for what he will study in the fall but has narrowed down to English, business or political science.

His parents are mom, Maryanne, dad, Rick, and stepmom, Dawn.

"Thank you coaches and teammates," he added.

Wendi graduated from the University of Michigan-Flint with a degree in communications. She wrote for the Michigan Times college paper and Grand Blanc View before joining The Clarkston News in October 2007.
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