Wrestling Superstar Onto New Feats


Timothy Burke wrestling his Hueneme opponent

Channel Islands’ wrestling star Timothy Burke is our subject for this month’s Athlete Spotlight.

Burke, a senior, has been on our school wrestling team since the summer of 8th grade. He was introduced to the sport through his uncles as a way to get out of the house, and also as a great method for getting in shape, this caught his eye, and this began his love for Wrestling.

Burke is well known for his latest wrestling achievements. He’s a two-time league champion, and he was named the lower-weight most valuable player twice. This year, he placed 5th at CIF and advanced to the CIF Masters meet. There he competed in the 145-pound division with a record of 22-8.

During the season, his days were typically jam-packed, and they consisted of working out from 5-7 a.m., school from 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., and wrestling practice at school from 4-6. Along with those activities he had club practice from 6:30-8 p.m. 

“If I’m cutting weight for the week, my workouts won’t be that long, just mainly cardio-focused to lose those extra pounds,” says Burke. 

His pre-match ritual includes lots of jumping, and getting his coaches and teammates to slap his back to get him pumped for the upcoming match.

The key to becoming a great wrestler, Burke says, is having a mentor who helps guide you through the good and evil. Burke feels blessed to have had a great support system.

“I had a personal coach that I would train in the morning for the first half of my season and he taught me a lot as well as an alumnus named Costa, who’d always come in the room and beat me up,” Burke said. “Also, my training partner Paco (Emmanual Martinez-Zarate) would really push me every day.”

CI wrestling alumnus Ijinio Zuniga, from the class of 2014, has been following Burke’s achievements for the past year and is overall impressed by the young wrestler.

“He’s really composed and smart when it comes to making a move and follows up with a different one and goes on like a game of chess. He knows how to move and find a way to counterattack. Tim is a very brilliant wrestler,” says Zuniga.

Burke is a great example of a leader and teammate with a lot of heart. He’s friendly and respectful towards his team and his coach. When asked if Burke had any close friends on the team his only response was “My whole team.”

Although Burke doesn’t plan to continue his wrestling career, he’s looking forward to joining combat sports such as Muay Thai and possibly transitioning into MMA where he wishes to win at least one fight