James Burke Signs NLI for Delaware

- With his parents standing behind him, the six foot, one-hundred and eight-five pound midfielder signed his National Letter of Intent to play at the University of Delaware at a ceremony at Pittsford Sutherland High School this afternoon. James scored twenty-three goals and added eleven assists last year for the Panthers and then went on in the summer to play on the Western Region Lacrosse team at the Empire State Games. He also played on the Northeast-Rochester Adidas team.

Scoring high marks in AP courses at Pittsford, Burke picked Delaware for their academics and beautiful campus, but was quick to point out that the Blue Hens finished twelfth in the nation last year and made the NCAA tournament. "All of those factors went into my decision."

A few minutes with James Burke
You had a great football season this year. How does this relate to your lacrosse career?
"I did have a good football season this year and I think that it carries over into lacrosse. It helps me to become a more well-rounded athlete."

What other schools did you look at, before choosing Delaware?

"I looked at Brown, Air Force, Lafayette, Lehigh and a couple of others. Each of the schools had strengths, but I choose Delaware because they had the whole package, a strong academic program, athletics and a great campus."

Burke familyWhat are your strengths now and what do you need to do to get ready for D-1?

"I'm a fast runner and can run through flies and I've got a good shot on the run. I've got to do a lot of training to get faster and stronger and I need to work on my off hand more."

Who helped you to get to this position?

"I would thank all of my coaches throughout the years, including Coach Whipple who is a great coach and mentor since my freshman year. My football coaches have helped with my conditioning. Coach [Dave] Thering has made my lacrosse career very special and Coach Petri is a great defensive coach. I would like to give a shout-out to Strength and Conditioning Coach [Craig] Northrup who has really helped me get ready for football which will carry on into lacrosse." Travel team coaches Tim Soudan and Mike Riorden were mentioned and he also credits his teammates who he says "helped me to become the player that I am today."

He, finally, thanked his family. "Family is important to me and mother and father and brother and sister have helped to get me here."

Burke is the first player in Section Five to go to Delaware in quite a while. Mitch Keefer (Corning-East) will be a junior when James arrives. There is hope that, once he sees what James can do, Coach Bob Shillinglaw, with more than thirty years with the Blue Hens, will find more recruits from Section Five.