Three-sport athlete proved himself
and helped the football team do it, too
By Bruce Smith
The Borah Lions felt the 2012 season was a chance to prove themselves. Nick Burt felt the same way about himself.
Burt, a 6-foot, 200-pound senior, was a three-sport athlete. He competed in football, basketball and track and field. This football season, he started out at defensive back but was moved to linebacker. He ended up second on the team in tackles and even made honorable mention all-SIC.
“He was a safety, but got bigger,” said coach Darren Corpus. “We had some highs and lows on the team this year and he fit in well.”
Burt fit in a lot of ways on Borah’s sports teams. He competed in the sprints during track season. He started on the junior varsity basketball team as a junior and was thrilled when the Lions’ varsity won the 5A state title. He also was expected to be a major player for coach Cary Cada’s varsity squad as a senior.
In football, he was the JV team’s defensive player of the year in 2011. Corpus called him a “tweener kid,” and asked him to stay on the JVs in order to improve. It probably wasn’t any surprise that his success coincided with the teams.
“We knew we were going to be pretty decent, but it made us mad to see the preseason rankings,” Burt said. “We had to go prove ourselves.”
After years of disappointing seasons, Borah’s turnaround started last year in coach Darren Corpus’s first season. The Lions put together a 5-4 record, but missed the postseason.
Burt had played for Corpus at West Junior High and developed a good relationship. It may have started when Burt was a ninth grader and hadn’t decided if he wanted to play.
“He didn’t show to the first two-a-day practice,” Corpus recalled. “Some of the kids (teammates) put him on the phone and I talked to him. He came to the second practice, but hardly played for us last year until the championship game, and then he had three picks (interceptions) and a fumble recovery.
“The rest is history and he has been an integral part of our teams.”
Burt said the team had high hopes this year, but the 38-24 loss to Boise in the season opener had them going into the opposite direction. Burt remembered the coaches “calling them out” before they even left the stadium that night. There were also other motivators.
“Hawkins (Mann) called us out on many things … when we were playing terrible,” he said. “We just did our jobs and came back.”
The next week, Borah started a six-game winning streak.
“It (the season) went pretty well,” Burt said. “We made a lot of progress. We expected more, but it went pretty well.”
The series of victories included wins over Centennial, Meridian, Mountain View, Timberline and Vallivue. Burt said his favorite game was the 24-21 win at Eagle, a game where he led the defense with nine tackles.
“We weren’t picked to win, but we played good,” he said. “They were ranked second in the state at that time and we only gave up one touchdown. We were flying around.”
Burt said he had several other good
* - His favorite play came against Capital, when he forced a fumble by Eagles running back T.J. Clarke. Burt said Clarke used to be a teammate before transferring.
“There wasn’t too much talk on the field, but there was definitely some heat between all of us,” he said.
* - Beating Rocky Mountain in a game that decided the SIC title.
“We were looking forward to that game all year. It actually surprised us. They were the ones getting looked at all season.”
* - Losing to Highland in the 5A playoffs when the Rams converted a 3rd-and-35 play late in the game.
“It was a good game. We should have won. On that play, I was dropping way back, going into coverage. I got blocked right before I could get him.”
When football season ended, Burt went right into basketball, and looked forward to helping the Lions see if they could repeat as championss. He wasn’t certain what his future held after high school. He said his parents were both in the military, and he was considering that, too.