Steamboat Springs John Burrow is happiest when the play is rough, rugged and full of contact.
That’s part of his job as a long pole defender for the Steamboat Springs High School lacrosse team. He’s the quarterback of the defense, a position that requires a willingness for physical play.
“No sir, I definitely don’t shy away from contact,” Burrow said. “That’s from my dad (Jim). I’ve been raised as a tougher kid from my dad.”
That toughness and his overall skills as the best defender in the Mountain Conference have led to Burrow verbally committing to play lacrosse next season for Adams State College in Alamosa. The Grizzlies are in their first year as a Division II lacrosse team and play in the Western Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association.
Burrow will join former teammates and Steamboat Springs High School graduates Kevin and Brian Bertrand next season.
“I went down on a recruiting visit and it seemed like a good place to go,” Burrow said. “I liked the campus, the facilities and coaches.”
Burrow, who has played on the varsity team for four years, started playing lacrosse in seventh grade. By eighth grade, he knew it was the sport for him. He says he loves how lacrosse combines the physicality of football and the camaraderie of other team sports.
By the time he reached high school, he figured out that he wanted to play at the collegiate level. Burrow, however, started his freshman year as an attackman. That was mostly out of necessity because he possessed great stick skills, and the Sailors were thin at attack.
By his sophomore year, Burrow had moved back to his more natural defensive position.
“He’s a good athlete, for one,” Steamboat coach Bob Hiester said. “He’s really quick, and he’s got an excellent stick. He handles the ball really well. He’s got great anticipation. He’s just a good all-around lacrosse player.”
Burrow said he expects to compete for playing time next season, especially considering Adams State has such a young team.
Adams State plays club teams from across Colorado as well as other Division II teams in the region.
“It’s not a surprise,” Hiester said about Burrow getting the opportunity to play at the collegiate level. “Our level of play has come up to the point where these kids can play at the next level. Now we’re getting them there. I think we’ll see more and more.”