Male Athlete of Week: Burkett’s hard work paying off

Name: Kai Burkett

School: Chestnut Ridge

Age: 15

Grade: Freshman

Sport: Wrestling

Athlete of the week achievement: Burkett, the No. 4 seed, won the 106-pound championship, beating the top two seeds, in the Thomas Chevrolet Tournament at Bedford. He helped Ridge claim the team title.

Season update: Burkett is 18-7 with seven falls and three major decisions

Coach Greg Lazor’s quote: “Kai put in a lot of time in the offseason to get to this point. It’s nice to see the hard work pay off. He’s growing into his weight class.”

Favorite teacher: Mr. Meck

Favorite subject: Math

Favorite movie: “King Kong”

Favorite food: Ice cream

Favorite music: Pop

Outside interests: Playing baseball, hunting

Favorite professional team: Pittsburgh Pirates

Favorite college team: Lehigh

Pro athlete most admired: Troy Polamalu

Best athlete I ever competed against: My brother, Aaron

Most influential person on my athletic career: My dad (Aaron) and my uncle (Josh Deputy)

Proudest athletic achievement: Winning the Thomas Tournament

How I got my start in wrestling: “I started when I was 4. My family was all in it.”

Future goal: To be a state champ