Trevor Burdick and John Knight have a long-standing brotherhood. Not only have the two wrestled together at Sonoraville High School, but also are taking their talents to the next level together.
Burdick and Knight officially signed with Reinhardt University in a ceremony on Friday at Sonoraville High School, surrounded by friends, family, coaches and school administrators.
“It’s awesome,” Burdick said. “We started it here together my freshman year and I could not be happier to get to go room and wrestle with him at Reinhardt.”
“We’ve done almost everything together,” Knight said. “Been through a lot of stuff together so I consider him almost like one of my brothers.”
In their sophomore year, Burdick and Knight were introduced to a new head coach, Randy Steward.
Upon Steward’s arrival at Sonoraville High School, Burdick said he and Knight were not quite sure what to think of the new man at the helm of the wrestling program.
“(He was) a new face from Iowa,” Burdick said. “A little scared of him at first, but now me and John joke around and call him our grandpa.”
Sonoraville wrestling head coach Randy Steward, who has coached Burdick and Knight over the last three years, said the two athletes became leaders on the team.
“Trevor won a state title as a freshman the year before I got here (and) he bought in immediately when I came,” Steward said. “John took a little bit longer. After that first season, things clicked. They were two senior captains this year.”
Burdick’s high school career wrestling record is a staggering 157-4, including an undefeated 87-0 from junior to senior year. The senior has won an individual state title in his respective weight class all four years of high school, a state record.
“(This day is) a little bit of everything,” Burdick said. “Sad of course leaving Coach Steward and everybody here, but definitely exciting getting to move on to bigger things. I’ve been looking forward to (wrestling collegiately) since I could walk really.”
Knight’s high school wrestling record is an impressive 134-36, including a 71-7 mark during his final two years at Sonoraville. Knight finished runner-up in his junior year, however, in his last go-around, the senior captured his first individual state title.
“It feels pretty good knowing that, … being able to get a scholarship to go wrestle somewhere, that means a lot,” Knight said. “I’m getting to continue what I love and that feels amazing.”
Steward said the two helped to usher in a new standard for the Sonoraville wrestling program.
“They’re just both such good kids,” Steward said. “I think they can come to me, good or bad. The daily interactions is probably what I’m going to miss most.”
Both Burdick and Knight expressed how they would miss Coach Steward.
“As much hard work as me and John put in to the team, it does not account for half of what he has put in,” Burdick said. “That man’s probably the hardest working man I’ve ever seen. There’s not another man on this planet like him.”
“I’m going to miss everything about him,” Knight said. “He’s been there if I’ve ever needed to talk to him, so he’s played a big part in my life. I’m going to miss him.”
Despite departing the confines of Sonoraville, the pair will be wrestling about 30 minutes away from the high school in Waleska, and Steward is thrilled.
“They’re getting to do it together which I think is really special,” Steward said. “They’re going to be close by, so hopefully we get the chance to go watch them and they’re going to get to come back and help us a little bit as well. A little bittersweet, but I’m super happy for them.”