Youth Sports activities Awards: Gunner Giulio, Sky Burke make robust decisions on sport to pursue in faculty

When you’re a highschool senior, alternatives can appear countless. When you play at an all-state stage in a number of sports activities, much more so. Add within the stress of following in profitable older siblings footsteps, and people alternatives may get overwhelming.

Those had been the choices going through Coeur d’Alene seniors Gunner Giulio and Sky Burke, The Spokesman-Review 2022 North Idaho Boys and Girls Athletes of the Year, respectively.

But everybody has to finally make their very own paths.

Giulio signed at Carroll College to play soccer, and Burke is headed to UC Santa Barbara for basketball.

Strong lineage

Despite his standing as Coeur d’Alene’s first four-time state champion wrestler – and his household’s in depth historical past within the sport – Giulio signed at Carroll to play linebacker.

A four-year varsity letter winner at CdA, Giulio was a two-time second-team all-state protection choice and 5A Inland Empire League MVP. He was a group captain and was twice named the North Idaho Athlete Boys of the Year.

On high of his defensive prowess, Giulio rushed for 9 touchdowns this season and 23 in his profession, eclipsing 1,200 yards and averaging 6.9 yards per carry in his profession.

Giulio will probably be reunited at Carroll with CdA teammates Jack Prka and Jake Brown in addition to fellow Vikings seniors Jaxson Washington and Wyatt Sandford, who additionally signed with the Saints.

Once his determination was made to forgo wresting in faculty to play soccer, he didn’t look again.

“My whole life, I kind of had told my family and they had told me I was gonna play football in college, just because ever since I was little I just felt like I was more experienced out there,” Giulio mentioned. “Wrestling my whole life, sure it’s been hard to kinda cope with the idea that I’m not going to wrestle again. At first, it was an easy decision, thinking back though it’s definitely a lot tougher now.”

Giulio made up his thoughts in November that he was going to Carroll, so going into wrestling season he knew it will be his final.

“This wrestling season was probably the hardest wresting season of them all, just because I knew that I was done,” he mentioned. “It was very emotional toward the end.”

His determination wasn’t made flippantly, although, contemplating his outcomes – 88-4 his final three years of highschool with 61 pins – and household historical past.

His father, Jim, coached American Falls wrestling to 5 state 3A titles (2001, ’06, ’08-’10).

Gunner’s oldest brother, V.J., was a four-time Idaho state wrestling champion (2008-11) and older brother Boone was a three-time champ (2015, ’16, ’18) at American Falls. V.J. Giulio helped North Idaho College to a co-NJCAA title in 2013, then gained a nationwide title at 197 kilos in 2014.

“My brothers have paved a path for me that was pretty hard to match,” he mentioned. “Just to think that it was the last time that basically my family would ever step out on a wrestling mat again in an Idaho arena for the state tournament, it was weird to think and I felt like I needed to prove something almost.”

Giulio mentioned his solely disappointment his senior season was not making it again to the state title recreation in soccer. Coeur d’Alene fell to Eagle 23-14 in a state quarterfinal recreation.

“I think my class and this group of kids were super motivated and wanted to work hard and we all wanted to win the state championship,” he mentioned. “We all fought together. But stuff happens – that’s how football works. We were all busting out butts, and Eagle is a good football team. … It was definitely tough to go out that way.”

Giulio enjoys the challenges that his two sports activities present.

”Wrestling is a extra psychological sport,” he mentioned. “It’s a one-on-one, combat sport. For wrestling, I definitely prepare my mind by focusing on what I’m going to do and what they’re not going to do and take my advantages and their weaknesses.”

Giulio acknowledged that in soccer he wanted to have the ability to depend on his teammates, the place in wrestling he’d solely have himself.

”Football and wrestling go hand-in-hand,” he mentioned. “Things that you use on a wrestling mat you’re going to use on a football field. That’s why I think wrestlers make the best football players.”

On the go

Burke was named IEL co-MVP and earned 5A all-state honors in basketball, was an all-league infielder in softball and a key contributor in volleyball. She averaged 18.3 factors, 8.1 rebounds and a pair of.1 assists on the courtroom and hit .421 with 27 RBIs within the spring.

As with Giulio, sports activities runs within the household for Burke.

Her older sister, Breana, was an all-state pitcher for the Vikings and performed softball at UNLV and Lipscomb University. Her youthful sister, Chloe, made varsity in softball as a freshman this 12 months.

Burke is accustomed to enjoying a number of sports activities always of the 12 months, typically enjoying on membership groups whereas enjoying one thing else for varsity.

Her senior 12 months was a little bit of a blur.

“I think I got everything done that I wanted to with my schedule being able to balance school and sports and everything,” she mentioned.

“Sometimes it’s hard to keep track of things I’m supposed to do or where I’m supposed to be.”

Occasionally, she’ll plan a relaxation day, however they’ve been few and much between.

“I’ve always grown up playing so many sports and I love having a different challenge with each sport,” she mentioned. “I’ve by no means wished to cease enjoying, despite the fact that I do know it takes up plenty of time.

“I feed off of it and the energy from other people. I love it. I know a lot of people don’t like having that type of a schedule but I thrive off of it.”

As laborious as it’s to think about, enjoying faculty basketball may current one thing of a “slowdown” for an athlete used to being on the go as a lot as Burke.

“It’s definitely going to be weird, but I’m excited because I know with playing multiple sports all year long I don’t exactly get to focus 100% of my time on just training and bettering myself in one sport,” she mentioned. “I feel like it’ll be nice to see how far I jump in basketball when I get to just focus on that.”

Burke is a “high-motor” athlete who by no means takes a play off, even combating by way of harm. She’s all the time in search of methods to enhance.

“Because basketball is the sport I’m pursuing in college, I would work on my skill set outside of my other sports,” Burke mentioned. “I didn’t really take any time off from basketball as much. But it’s definitely harder to work on skills outside of practices.”

She strikes on campus in late July and is happy for what the faculty expertise has to carry – although the NCAA guidelines governing follow, and coaching will probably be an adjustment.

“I’m just so used to being able to practice whenever, practicing all year round,” she mentioned.

“I’m looking forward to competing at such a high level and seeing how much I can grow my game playing against people at that high level.”

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