Wrestling: CP’s Trevor Burlison hunting for a state title
By John O’Malley Post-Tribune correspondent December 22, 2012 11:28PM
Crown Point's Trevor Burlison takes a deep breath in between rounds in his match against Hanover Central's John Reeves in the qualifying round during the Crown Point Carnahan wrestling invite held at Crown Pont High School on Saturday December 15, 2012. | Charles Mitchell~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: January 24, 2013 6:51AM
There’s nothing like kicking back and relaxing on a nice summer day.
Maybe that means a trip to the beach, a picnic with your sweetheart, or possibly going to Chicago for a baseball game with a few friends.
Crown Point wrestler Trevor Burlison wouldn’t know much about those things. The Bulldogs’ 132-pounder spent last summer preparing himself for his senior year.
Talk about driving yourself hard and having tunnel vision.
A state qualifier at 126 pounds last year, Burlison lost to Bloomington South’s Devin Broukal (3-0) in the first round. He finished 30-8 overall and has been on a mission ever since.
“I had it in my mind all summer and the offseason that I should have done better, even though I did wrestle well,” Burlison said. “I got turned in the second period and really didn’t come back.”
Burlison spent the summer doing back-breaking work Fridays through Sundays for McNally’s Landscaping in Crete, Ill.
He’d spend all day in the unbearable scorching heat shoveling stone off the back of a dump truck. By the time he headed home, he was physically spent and mentally drained.
Instead of having something to eat, relaxing, and going to bed, Burlison would head over to his neighbor’s basement for a grueling wrestling workout.
That neighbor was former Crown Point teammate Jason Tsirtsis, a four-time state champion, now at Northwestern University.
“Jason drilled me and we wrestled countless times in his basement,” Burlison said. “He spent so much time with me and (twin brother) Tyler. He was always pushing and pushing me. He really worked me hard. He’s so unselfish. I became more mentally tough training with him all summer. I pretty much owe everything I am today to him.”
What Burlison is today is a wrestler starving to reach new heights.
“I have only one goal in mind, and that’s to be a state champion this year,” he said. “I set my goals high and I know I can achieve them.
I’m really confident in my ability and my work. I’m excited about the state tournament. I know I have to get there first — I’m not going to overlook anybody — but I’m really looking forward to state. I just want to be on top of that podium.”
CP coach Scott Vlink really likes the way the twins compete.
“When they came here (from Illinois) we saw right away he and his brother had very good potential,” Vlink said. “At first, they were both slenderly built — like new-born colts with their knees knocking.
“They’ve both worked hard in the weight room, but neither one is tremendously powerful. Trevor is often a little less strong than the guy he’s going against. They’ve both built themselves up, but they’re more technical than physical.”
Trevor’s description of himself is similar.
“I just like to score as much as I can,” he said. “In certain situations, like at the Traicoff Tournament a couple weeks ago, I knew I had to go out and get bonus points for the team.
“I just go out there looking to dominate people and wrestle them to the best of my ability. I don’t like to feel pressure. When I feel pressure, I don’t wrestle as well as I can. I just worry about how I wrestle — not how (my opponent) does. I know if I wrestle as well as I can, the wins will come.”
Trevor has eight pins and is 17-3 this season, while Tyler is also 17-3.
“I think my greatest strength is probably the mental aspect of going out and wrestling to the best of my ability,” Trevor said. “I try to break people, but not in a physical way. I just try to break them (mentally) by scoring a lot of points on them.”
When Burlison is able to find time to relax, he enjoys fishing — especially for bass — and loves listening to country music. He also plans to start hunting soon.
An avid outdoorsman, Burlison recently obtained his hunting license and is excited about that adventure, too.
For now, though, Burlison is hunting for a return trip to state and a different outcome.
“I expect him to place at the state tournament as high as he can,” Vlink said. “I don’t think a spot on the podium is out of the question by any stretch of the imagination.”