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Defender #23 Comes Home

State+Championship+Trophy+of+2000+with+Bobby+Burling%27s+name+engraved+on+it.
State Championship Trophy of 2000 with Bobby Burling's name engraved on it.

State Championship Trophy of 2000 with Bobby Burling's name engraved on it.

State Championship Trophy of 2000 with Bobby Burling's name engraved on it.

Haley Carlson, Ranger Review Reporter

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Bobby Burling- a professional athlete and inspiration to many other soccer players once walked the halls of Lewis-Palmer High School. Born in Houston, Texas and raised in Monument, Colorado, young Burling grew up in a military family and played soccer with his brother. He persevered through the tough times and made his way to being a defender on the team Colorado Rapids. He made his way to the top by being the best he could be on every team, even the one here at LPHS.

 

  According to a Denver Post interview, when he was younger, Burling enjoyed going to the Mile-High Stadium to watch the Rapids and some of his favorite players such as Marcelo Balboa, Paul Bravo, and Chris Henderson. On his own team, Burling always brought a lot of leadership and would strive to be a positive example.

 

As he aged and his abilities progressed, coaches for college teams would come to and watch him play to assess the value of Bobby’s abilities, whether he would make a good player in their team. He played at Loyola Marymount University for four years then signed with Chivas USA and played for them for three years as a professional. He played briefly for the San Jose Earthquakes team and Chivas USA again but finally was picked up by the Rapids in 2014.

 

On October 15, 2015, after the boy’s soccer last game of the season, a ceremony was conducted in which they officially retired Burling’s old LPHS jersey- number 19. Bobby, along with some of his former coaches and teammates were present at the ceremony. Spoken through the soccer coach during the ceremony, it was said that Burling had left an impact not only on several professional soccer teams but on Lewis-Palmer High School’s team too. The event gave the players the opportunity to get their jerseys signed by Bobby Burling.

 

A couple of this year’s soccer players have stated it is surprising and interesting to know that a professional once played on their school team. Still two years later, one of the varsity soccer captains, Jack Barkocy 11, uses him as an inspiration in both the physical and emotional aspect of soccer. Barkocy researched Mr. Burling’s mentalities for soccer and found “all he had was heart commitment and dedication. If you really want something you can go out and get it.”

 

Some of the soccer players agreed it is incredibly cool and surprising that a soccer player at Lewis-Palmer High School made his way up to playing with the pros. Especially considering basketball and volleyball are LPHS’s main sports. The other varsity soccer captain, Travis Hayes 12, is stunned that one of our soccer players made it to the pros and that it could be one of them who could be next.  Bobby Burling has been used as a great idol of hope to Lewis-Palmer High School’s soccer players and will always have a mark left in Lewis-Palmer High School’s history.

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