Burnham and Glenn representing Oak Glen and Toronto, respectively
BETHANY – Playing in their final high school football game, Chez Glenn of Toronto and Chris Burnham of Oak Glen have one last goal in mind.
“I want to win,” said Burnham, a West Virginia All-Star selection for the West Virginia side of the Rudy Mumley OVAC Charity Football Classic.
But Glenn does, too.
“I’m going to leave everything I have out on that football field,” Glenn said during Monday’s media day session at Bethany College.
Burnham and Glenn took two different paths through their college careers, but flourished in their senior campaign.
Glenn spent two years at Steubenville High School before making a name for himself at Toronto.
He earned second team all-district honors in his final year with the Red Knights, leading them to a 5-5 record.
“It’s surreal that I’ve finally finished playing high school football,” Glenn said. “I’m glad that I can show what I can offer one last time in this all-star game.”
Burnham didn’t see the field until his senior season.
“It just shows that hard work pays off,” Burnham said.
They each are the lone representatives from their respective schools in the 35th-annual OVAC All-Star Game.
“I got settled in for practice (last Sunday),” Glenn said. “I actually have a lot of friends from other schools so it’s nice to reconnect with them and it’s fun to make friends with new guys from other schools.
“Overall, this is a great experience and it’s such an honor to be able to take part in all of this.”
Glenn will attend Eastern Gateway Community College in the fall, with plans to transfer to Franciscan University of Steubenville after two years. He turned down offers to play football collegiately from Marietta and Washington & Jefferson.
“It was tough, definitely,” said the 5-foot-7, 170-pound running back. “What I wanted to do wasn’t in line for what a lot of colleges had planned for me. It’s hard not to be able to play football anymore.”
Glenn will be a double major in business and education. Football won’t be completely out of his life, though.
“Down the road I’d love to be a teacher and a coach,” Glenn said.
He’ll get some early playing time in Sunday’s game even though it’s taken sometime to get fully back into football shape.
“Aside from just throwing the football in the backyard with my brother,” Glenn said, “I haven’t touched a football since the last game of the season. I’ve been working out a lot, so I’m think I’m in good shape and will be able to contribute right away.”
Burnham’s athletic career will take off from Wheeling Island Stadium – the site of Sunday’s game – to the West Virginia state capital. In the fall, he will enroll at the University of Charleston and be a member of the track and field team.
Burnham ran the 300 hurdles, 4×400 and 4×200 with the Golden Bears.
“I’m confident that I’ll be able to handle the rigors of being a college athlete,” Burnham said. “I’m excited for the challenge and it’ll be a great next step in my life.”
He will be an education major.
“I’m going to miss the friendships I made in high school,” Burnham said. “I am the only Oak Glen kid here, but I’m good friends with the Madonna guys and I’m rooming with a Weir kid.
“The whole experience of playing in the OVAC All-Star Game is a thrill. It’d be nice to win it, I’d appreciate that a lot.”
As a senior, Burnham went 0-10 with the Golden Bears, so a West Virginia win would cap his high school career off with a solo spectacle. Though he didn’t see the field much, Burnham and Oak Glen went 10-2 in 2011.