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LHSHL SENIOR SPOTLIGHT: Troy Burkhart

11/20/2018, 3:15pm EST
By MiKE ROSS

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, and hockey players of all ages. This week’s senior is Troy Burkhart. You might know him as the Plant goaltender but we here at the Lightning Made Studios refer to him as “The Legend of Troy Burkhart.” The 6-foot one goalie has played four years of LHSHL and has been terrifying shooters in this league for years!


Cindy Eccles (Earth-Life Studios)

Let’s journey back to when it all started on the ice for Troy, “I was really young when I first got on the ice. I remember my dad pushing me around on ice all the time and then it wasn’t until I was 5 when I got my first lesson and then after that, it wasn’t until I was around six or seven years old when I first started playing.” Believe it or not, folks Troy was not always a goalie. In his early days, he played a different position.“I was a defenseman and then throughout squirts and peewee’s, I was like, I want to try to be a goalie because I wasn’t the best player or skater and my thought process was that goalies don’t skate. Sometimes I play forward! Last year against Berkeley my team helped me out, I scored a hat-trick.

I plan on doing it again this year.” I spoke to an anonymous source close to the family, about Troy and playing the position, “Once Troy switched to goalie in squirts, that's when he really started to like hockey. People comment all the time how they see him smiling behind his goalie mask. He always works his hardest but also has fun and loves the game.”

When Troy is not defending the net for the Panthers he can be seen at open skate with his friends, swimming, or watching movies with friends. “My friends and I just got into watching horror movies, recently we watched The Conjuring. It’s pretty freaky.” Folks, do yourself a favor and do not watch this movie or if you do, watch it with the lights on. I am not a fan of scary things, the scariest thing I watch is Harry Potter. What does the Legend of Troy Burkhart have in store for the world next year? Well, I’ll have you know that he is endeavoring to become the next member of the Burkhart legacy at Dartmouth College. Troy’s mother and father are products of the prestigious Hanover, New Hampshire school and his number one priority right now in life is getting accepted. Believe it or not, Ivy League schools are difficult to get into.

Let’s see what his grades are looking like. “Well, I have all A’s and a B’s. My B is in Calc 2. I really enjoy math, calculus especially, even Physics C which is physics with calculus. My friends and I started the Physics C class. We noticed the class wasn’t offered, a bunch of us really wanted it, so we got a paper or petition signed and now we have it!” As far as what he will do once he gets into college, “I would like to go into computer science, engineering and possibly even biophysics.” Here is what I have taken away from this interview… eventually, we are all going to be working for Troy Burkhart. It’s only a matter of time. He does have aspirations to play at the next level, but it is not a priority. “Sure, I would love to play in college, but it would have to be as a walk-on.”

As mentioned, The Legend of Troy Burkhart has been a member of this league for the past four years. “I am happy to see how far the league has come. It has gotten way more competitive, way more organized. I love the end of year banquet and how the league has the EDP team now. I went on the trip last year. It was cool to play in different tournaments and it is great to be from Florida, where every team counts you out or doesn’t respect you and then you go out there and beat them!” If you didn’t know, Troy wears number 42. “My dad’s number was 24, I wore that for as long as I could, but when it wasn’t available, I flipped it around and kept 42. I also think 42 is a good goalie number!”

 

To get a better feel for who Troy the goalie is, I reached out to our EDP Goaltending Specialist, Mark Rosengard:

 

“We often hear folks across the hockey community offer their opinion that ‘goalies are weird.’ We also hear folks across almost any community say ‘it takes one to know one!’  So, while I suspect that most will label me the senior local member of the ’weird club’ – I can say that being a goalie has allowed me a unique opportunity to get to know Troy Burkhart well.   I’ll admit (as I think he would) that Troy does possess a touch of the goalie weirdness that you all love.  But far more importantly, he possesses a significant degree of ‘whole person’ qualities that are rare among young folks at his station in life.  Troy is as academically excellent as he is an outstanding athlete and hockey player.  In the locker room after practice, we are every bit as likely to discuss classic American literature and/or Newtonian physics as we are to discuss goaltending.  Once in a while, the goaltending discussion becomes one of geometry.  Yes, I said it – there is math in hockey!

But beyond the academic pieces, Troy is indeed a terrific goalie and student of our game.  He works hard at every practice and takes each repetition as an opportunity to fine-tune and improve his skill sets.  His approach to every practice is positive – Troy listens well and incorporates coaching inputs very fluidly.  This translates to his game, where it is easy to see his efforts to implement techniques we’ve practiced.  Troy’s natural athleticism serves him well.  He comfortably puts his long stature to good use as a goaltender, and compliments that with his acute ability to analyze the play as it unfolds.  He is able to step and slide to the right places with efficiency and is able to react to scoring chances – often before the attacking forwards know they have a chance.  This combination of thought and skill make Troy one of the very best at his position in our entire area.  He does all of this with an infectious smile and outstanding attitude that make it a pleasure to work with him.”

When Troy is not on the ice or in net, you can find him refereeing ball hockey games at The Prep of South Tampa. But something that we don’t know about Troy is that he is a music man “I have been playing piano since I was eight years old, I have competed and performed. I take AP Music and right now we are creating our music.”

When it is all said and done, Troy is a remarkable young man. He will without a doubt be successful in life. He said that getting into Dartmouth will be the happiest moment of his life but in the very small chance that he doesn’t, he will be just fine because the college that gets The Legend of Troy Burkhart for the next four years will be very lucky to get him! As I said, either way within the next decade or so, we will all be working for him.

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