The senior-to-be is a prime example of that hard work paying off in more ways than one. Over the weekend, Burkett made a commitment to wrestle at the next level at Lehigh University.
"It's great to see someone who has done everything right on and off the mat get this opportunity," said Lazor. "He's a perfect role model for everyone else in our school and community."
Burkett is 111-23 in his career, coming off a 41-6 season. He's a two-time District 5 champion and two-time state placewinner, including a runner-up finish this past March at 106 pounds. And he's been a key member of the Lions' state team medal runs two of the last three years. Burkett projects at 125 pounds at Lehigh.
While Burkett's wrestling credentials are high-level, he'll get a chance to be in the room with the Mountain Hawks because of classroom work as well. After his junior season, Burkett was named a first team All-Academic choice by the Pennsylvania Wrestling Coaches Association, as he was listed with a 4.0 GPA.
"To be able to go to a place like Lehigh shows that Aaron has more than great ability on the wrestling mat," said Lazor. "He's such a great person to put up there in your program to show everyone else that the work pays off. He's just an all-around example of what you want your child to be."
Burkett's resume currently speaks for itself, though he wasn't always mentioned among the top wrestlers to be coming up around the local area.
"He's put a lot of work in, especially later in his wrestling life," added Lazor. "He's really improved throughout his junior high and varsity years, and has really made himself into something. He may not have been as well-known as some other kids in our program or some others in the area, but we knew we had something special when he got to our room."
Burkett has a chance this coming season to make a little history on a few fronts. He's well within striking distance of the all-time win records for Chestnut Ridge (Tyler Dibert, 138) and the county (Bedford's Ryan Easter, 141). Also, should he reach the podium in Hershey again, Burkett would become the Lions' only three-time state medalist.
Chestnut Ridge's Aaron Burkett controls Benton's Alan Diltz during a win in the 106-pound state semifinals in March. Burkett, who went on to finish second, recently committed to wrestle at Lehigh University.