ELYRIA — The Burnett family name carries a lot of weight in amateur wrestling circles across the Midwest.
Erik Burnett, Elyria’s wrestling coach, was a four-time high school state champion at Oberlin, an NCAA All-American at Clarion University and a U.S. Olympics Festival bronze medalist.
Scott Burnett, Erik’s younger brother and the coach at Perrysburg, was a three-time high school state champ at Elyria Catholic as well as a national junior college All-American.
Cousins Grey and Mick Burnett are carrying on the tradition.
Grey, Scott Burnett’s son, won state championships Saturday in both the Greco and Freestyle categories at the USA Wrestling Ohio State Championships at Elyria High School. He captured the 12-under titles in the 69-71 pound division.
Mick, a high school state champion at 132 pounds this year and Erik’s son, advanced to next week’s state finals by sweeping through the competition in the Junior 138 bracket. He defeated St. Edward’s Scott Richter by a 10-0 technical fall in the final after winning his first three matches technical fall without surrendering a point.
Nate Burnett, also Erik’s son, placed third in the 16-under 138-pound class.
Being a Burnett comes with high expectations on the wrestling mat, but Mick wouldn’t want it any other way.
“I embrace it and there is a target on my back, not only because of my name but because of what I did at state,” he said. “It’s a little bit more now and it continues to push me as a wrestler and as a competitor in life.”
Grey Burnett, an 11-year-old, has also embraced the family tradition and gives his father a lot of the credit for the pair of state championships he claimed this weekend.
“It’s pretty cool,” he said. “It’s nice to end up on top. I’ve done a lot of work. It’s also pretty cool because we have a pretty good legacy. My dad really helps me out because he knows how to push me to be my best.”
Mick was excited to see the on-mat success his young cousin was able to achieve, along with a number of other BTW (Burnett Trained Wrestler) team members.
“My dad, my brother, my uncle and myself do a lot of work with the little guys and try to give back as much as we can,” Mick said. “When they come out here and perform the way they do it’s really cool to see.
“Little Grey came out here and won a couple of titles and there are a bunch of little Perrysburg guys Scotty is doing a great job with. It’s been awesome to be a part of this thing we’ve got going on. I hope it continues to grow.”
Grey will head to the regional tournament at Ohio Northern in two weeks.
Though he wrestles for Firelands Middle School, Amherst’s Ruben Lorenzana also has ties to the Burnetts through the BTW team. Lorenzana won the 14-under 114-pound freestyle title, sweeping through four matches while surrendering just one point.
The eighth-grader wrestles for West Side in Greco and for BTW in freestyle.
“I’m very excited. That was fun,” Lorenzana said. “I wouldn’t be here without my coaches and training hard. I really appreciate all my coaches and how much they’ve worked with me.”
Lorenzana has trained with Erik Burnett since fourth grade.
“He’s an amazing coach that knows a lot of things,” Lorenzana said. “He’s taught me so much about wrestling. He’s a great coach and a great guy.”
Lorenzana advanced to the Schoolboy Nationals in Indianapolis.
Dylan Shawver, a junior at Elyria who placed third at state this season, won the 132-pound freestyle division and will head to Marysville for the state championships in two weeks.
“This was a stepping stone to the freestyle state championships so I just had to wrestle here like I will at states,” Shawver said. “I owe my coaches a lot because they’ve gotten me so far to where I’ve accomplished big things.
“Next week I’m going to go out and push the pace and expect to come out on top.”