Warriors’ Brad Burnam was one of nation’s best in 2011
by Ron Brown
For recent Weddington graduate Brad Burnam, success in lacrosse is nothing new. In fact, it’s a bit of a family tradition.
Burnam’s dad and Weddington coach, Mark, played for lacrosse powerhouse Syracuse University, where he won a national championship in 1983. Burnam’s older brother, Hugh, won a Junior College national title in New York. Twin brother and teammate Tyler earned All-American status as a defender this season, and even little sister Cheyenne, who just completed her freshman year at Weddington, is getting in on the action after posting 44 goals in her first year of high school competition.
But what Brad Burnam did this season would be hard for even the best members of his family to replicate as he led the nation in points per game at 7.6, according to Maxpreps.com. Burnam tallied 67 goals and 53 assists for the Warriors, who finished the year as state semifinalists with an 11-5 record.
“(Brad) was unstoppable this year,” said Mark. “It was ridiculous.”
Burnam has been a mainstay for Weddington since his freshman year, but, according to the coach, he took a more aggressive approach on the field this year, which led to the gaudy numbers and perhaps the best season in program history. The approach also clinched Union County Weekly’s 2011 Boys Lacrosse Player of the Year honors.
“Last year his role was to get the ball to the open people,” Mark noted. “This year, it was, ‘Let’s see if you can stop me, and if you can, I’m going to pass it to the open person.’”
Burnam’s output wasn’t just impressive on the local level; he was third in the nation with 120 total points. As a result, he joined Tyler on US Lacrosse’s All-American list, making the duo the first two players in Union County to be named All-American.
The pair will now move on to play a post-graduate season at the Salisbury School in Connecticut.
“This is a huge opportunity for Brad and Tyler,” said Mark. “Brad will have a chance to be seen by the most prestigious programs in the country.
The family is hoping the tandem’s next stop will lead to a college scholarship. So far, they’re receiving interest from the University of Maryland at Baltimore County, Brown University, Jacksonville University (Fl.), the University of Albany (N.Y.) and Sienna College.
But what about Mark’s alma mater, Syracuse?
“I have to put my time in at prep school this year,” said Burnam. “It is something that I would love to do and follow my dad’s footsteps. But they haven’t had a lot of interest yet. But a big (post-graduate) year might bring them along. I would consider that, it would be great to follow, but I also want to play with my brother Tyler and Sienna (College) really wants both of us. That would be a dream.”
Given his father’s past, which included several professional stints in leagues across the nation, Burnam is considering making a career out of the sport he’s excelled at as a high school player.
“I have some time to figure this out,” he said. “I look forward to seeking out my college playing days. I hope to advance to the next level beyond that where I can make it like my dad and play professionally. There are more leagues now and I think that I can work my way there.”