Athlete of the Week: Bartlett’s Marty Burton
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The kicker on a high school football team can be a forgotten position at times, but Marty Burton has been making a difference for the Bartlett Golden Bears.
Normally Burton can be found on the soccer field, but during football season she is on the gridiron. She started kicking for the varsity team when she was just a sophomore, which made Pierce Blewett — the special teams coordinator for the Golden Bears — very happy.
“We are always looking for a kicker. We are not known for having kickers for the 20 years I have been involved with Bartlett football,” Blewett said. “So when we heard that there was someone out there who could kick and it was a girl we didn’t care. We were just excited to have someone out here that could help make the team better.”
“He was like ‘we really need a kicker’ and he was like ‘you play soccer right’ and I was like ‘yeah’ and he was like ‘come on just try.’ So I went to the meeting and was like ‘they are nice I’ll do it,’ and I am really glad I did.” Burton said.
And just like that, Burton became part of the Bartlett football family, saying that even though she has been one of the only girls on the team the past few years, it has never been an issue. Burton’s first sport is soccer, but she uses many of the same skills to kick extra points, field goals, and kickoffs for the football team.
“I like the pressure in soccer too, so the pressure in having to make the point after I like that too,” Burton said. “So that kind of goes together and then kind of just the team dynamic, I love being on a team.”
In the annual Boot Game between Bartlett and East Anchorage High School, Burton hit a picture-perfect onside kick that the Golden Bears recovered, keeping momentum on their side.
“She knows how to kick she makes her extra points, she makes the field goals and she brings a special light to the team. The kids like playing with her and she is a great teammate,” Blewett said.
Burton says that football has taught her patience because in soccer she is on the field non-stop, whereas in football for the majority of the game she is on the sideline waiting for her turn to shine.
As a girl playing in a predominantly boys sport, Burton has carved out a lane kicking for her team and she hopes that more girls will follow her lead.
“Just do it if you are considering it you are going to regret not doing it, like I regret not doing it my freshmen year,” Burton said. “I would just say like get close to the teammates and your coaches first, so you aren’t really uncomfortable.”
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