SAVANNA — Savanna quarterback Seth Burke got his first varsity start as a sophomore in last year’s season-opener against Konawa. He called it “nerve-wracking,” but he not only survived that first year but thrived as well, helping the Bulldogs win their first district title in 50 years.
“We were listening to the Talihina/Gore game to see who won on the way home,” Burke said Friday. “We were at Central Sallisaw. A bunch of us rode home with our parents, but we met up, and then we had a little more fun the next day.”
Burke’s back under center this year, and he’s ready to repeat as district champion.
“I felt a little bit more confident at my position,” Burke said of this season. “I felt like I understood it a little better, could lead my team a little better.
“I like our receivers. They play the game really well.”
Even before the season started Savanna coach James Bond saw something different in Burke. Burke looked bigger, stronger, more in command.
“It’s been fun watching him grow up, because he was just a chunky kid with glasses,” Bond said. “Now, he’s turned into quite an athlete and a good kid.”
Burke credited that to his offseason training, which included lifting weights three times a week, running numerous 40-yard sprints and getting extra exercise as a hay-bailer with his father, Scott Burke.
“I’d get up about 6 a.m., go bail hay,” Burke said. “Then I’d come home and me and a couple buddies would go work out.”
All that extra strength has already paid off for Burke, who had a terrific game Friday against Beggs JV. Only needing the first half to put the game away, Burke threw for three touchdown passes — all to Josh Holloway — and helped the Bulldogs win, 38-14.