Chasing a State Title


Liam Bradford, Editor-in-chief

In high school football, a two-way player can affect a team immensely. Chase Burcham is about as good as it gets as far as someone who can dominate on both sides of the ball every play for the duration of every game.

“Chase gives us an aspect of toughness and intensity. He doesn’t give in to the fatigue, and he toughs through it on both sides of the ball all game,” said junior Reilly Saxe.

On offense, Chase has been the starting left guard on varsity since his junior year and has come out of his own this year on the defensive side of the ball at middle linebacker. For what he lacks in stature compared to other offensive linemen, Burcham makes up for it with his aggressive edge and gritty mindset.

Getting Burcham to give himself any kind of praise was a challenge. “I think I’m a pretty good vocal leader, and I’m not afraid to get in someone’s face. I work hard daily and push people around me to do their best,” he humbly said.

The other leading tackler for the Hawks, senior Hutton Hegbloom, said, “Chase sets the tone on both sides of the ball. He brings energy no matter where he is.”

Each time the Lakeland defense swarms to make a tackle at the line of scrimmage or in the backfield, Burcham is in the center of the tackle. He is the leader of the front seven on the Hawk’s defense, and it is clear to see after watching one quarter. #68 is involved in the play in some way. Every. Single. Time. No exceptions.

Many people overlook Burcham when watching the Hawks because John Cornish and Thomas Calder are typically in the center of attention. However, both Cornish and Calder greatly appreciate what Burcham and the line do for the offense.

“Chase has good eyes and is one of the hardest hitters on the team. When he gets fired up, he brings an edge and dominates in every way,” said Cornish.

All teammates described him as an honorary hype man. He’s quick and electric, play in and play out. Burcham is only 6’0 and will obliterate anything in his way, including a defensive lineman that doubles him in size.

“He has the best eyeblack game in the Pacific Northwest. On the offensive line, playing next to him is reliable. He is super smart on the field and knows what’s happening at all times,” said Brayden Tirri, starting center.

He keeps the team accountable and expects everyone to bring the same energy level as him. He’s a significant fear factor for Lakeland opponents. He brings a persona to the team like no other.

Referring to the team and his expectations, Burcham said, “We’ve worked harder than ever this year, but we’ve done better than we have in a long time. I hope to get a football scholarship and win a state championship. We are never satisfied unless we win the whole thing. This new coaching staff has brought toughness and accountability and focused on more time in the gym, which has certainly paid off for the whole team. Just win, baby!”

Burcham’s teammates have nothing but high praise for him across the board, and his style of play perfectly represents the new Mike Schroeder football program at Lakeland high school.