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St. Thomas Aquinas’ Asian Burt looks to build off All-Ohio season


Friday Night Ohio
St. Thomas Aquinas’ Asian Burt often thinks about his big night at Claymont last fall.

His long touchdown reception late in the second quarter tasted more like dessert following the main course. Earlier he practically turned a close game into a rout all by himself.

Burt set a Knights record by returning three punts for touchdowns in the quarter. They totaled 78, 61 and 74 yards.

The third one was a highlight-film keeper.

“I was on the sideline tight-roping, then I ran back across the field,” Burt recalled.

Aquinas already knew Burt was a really good player. What he did in the 41-2 win over Claymont was an indication of how special he would be. Burt went on to become a first team All-Ohio receiver in Division VII.

Having Burt on their side for one more year is a thought the Knights relish.

“A lot of people are going to be looking out for Asian now after the year he had,” Aquinas head coach Mike Cook said. “The big thing for him is he’s that senior and he has to step into more of a leader role.

“He has had a great offseason. He has gotten stronger in the weight room. He is going to be a big part of our offense, defense and special teams again. We’re going to rely a lot on him to make plays. I expect a lot from him and think he’s going to have another great season if he keeps doing what he’s doing.”

Cook should have no concerns. Burt never skipped a beat after he transferred to Aquinas last year. Despite having to build chemistry with new teammates, he made an immediate impact.

Burt returned an interception 80 yards for a TD in Aquinas’ season-opening win over Gilmour Academy. A week later he caught three TD passes in a win over East Canton. The three special teams touchdowns against Claymont helped the Knights get off to a 3-0 start.

With fellow first team All-Ohioan Alex Hawkins graduating, Burt must again develop a camaraderie with a new quarterback. It has been a smooth transition between him and those battling for the job.

“We’re working with them to get better every day,” Burt said. “We’re running our routes and helping them adjust to new receivers, our speed and plays.”

While focusing on his senior season, Burt also knows he in a good position to play football in college. He won’t take anything for granted, though.

″(Interest) jumped a little bit,” Burt said of his college recruiting. “I have to come harder and work harder.”

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