Burns didn’t have to wrestle with choice to sign with URG

Published 4:05 am Friday, July 29, 2022

Chesapeake Panthers’ Nick Burns signs a letter-of-intent to wrestle for the University of Rio Grande RedStrom. Attending the signing ceremony were: seated left to right, mother Lindsey Butcher, Nick and Emma Blake; standing is Panthers’ wrestling coach Cole Webb. (Photo By Tim Gearhart)

By Jim Walker

CHESAPEAKE — Maybe some day Nick Burns will be known as The Purple Claw.
The former Chesapeake Panthers wrestler doesn’t just have his sights set on his college career but he is thinking he might be able to go beyond that level.
Burns is a wrestler who signed a letter-of-intent on Thursday to wrestle at the University of Rio Grande and he has set some lofty goals.
“It’ll give me more experience and I’d like to go into professional wrestling maybe,” said Burns.
What might sound like a pipe dream to some, Panthers’ head coach Cole Webb said he would never doubt the 6-foot-2, 280-pound Burns.

Panthers’ Nick Burns

“Nick has always had the talent and he’s always had the size. It’s something you can’t teach. He came in at the beginning of the year and said, ‘I’m going to get you to the state.’ And he did it. He cowboyed his way to the state,” said Webb noting Burns finished among the top 30 wrestlers in the state.
“(Ohio) is probably the top wrestling state (in the country). He’s a bright kid. He carried a 4.0 grade point average all the way through high school. He’s really excited to begin this new chapter and I’m excited to watch him.”
Burns was inured as a freshman. He was able to return his sophomore year and advanced to the district meet.
He made it to the district finals as a junior before reaching the state meet this past season.
“I told coach I was going to make it my senior year because it was the last opportunity I had,” Burns said of his preseason prognostication.
Burns said wrestling in the state tournament at the Schottenstein Center on the campus of Ohio State University was an unforgettable experience.
“It was crazy. There is nothing like it. You have thousands of people watching you and the nerves really get in you. It’s crazy,” said Burns.
Burns said he is in the dark when it comes to what lies ahead at Rio Grande which just began its program two years ago. He said how well he does depends on him.
“I haven’t met any of the wrestlers yet. It just depends on how I do,” said Burns. “I like Rio Grande. It’s close and I can commute. I don’t have to stay up there and leave my family.”
Besides wrestling, Burns was a four-year starting lineman for the Chesapeake football team. He said he really like football but his first love has always been wrestling.
“I’ve always preferred wrestling because it’s not a team sport. Well, it is a team sport technically, but it’s more of an individual sport,” said Burns who wrestled in the 285-pound division.
“It’s hard work but it’s fun. You can’t expect to be good. You have to put the work in.”
Burns is undecided on a major.

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