By Joe Wedra
The Myrtle Beach High School football program gets a large amount of credit for what its players do on the field.
What they don’t often receive is attention for how they help their players to become successful off the gridiron, something that shined recently with one of their brightest young stars.
Senior Myrtle Beach student Alex Burroughs became a recent recipient of a well-deserved award, the South Carolina Youth of the Year amongst the state’s Boys and Girls Club’s participants.
Burroughs competed in competition with other young competitors across South Carolina, earning a $5,000 scholarship from the Boys and Girls Club.
On Tuesday, he was recognized at the Myrtle Beach City Council meeting for his achievement that was earned through extensive work in the community.
At Myrtle Beach High, Burroughs was able to build much of his tremendous character through the outlet of sports, an area where he excelled greatly over the course of his four years at the school.
Head football coach Mickey Wilson spoke to Burroughs’ accomplishments by praising him for taking football-related activities and relating them to his daily life. By working hard in the program, the coach said he saw tremendous, well-rounded results in Burroughs’ life.
“The biggest thing with Alex is that when you look back at his career with our program, I think it got off to a little bit of a bumpy start,” Wilson said. “He was one of those guys who really had to work extremely hard to get to the level where he ended up being a starter for us. It’s nice to see him do so well on the field but you know, more importantly it’s been great to see him grow and mature off the field and just become a really good young man.”
Wilson noted that many athletes who go through the Myrtle Beach program take different paths. Some struggle, others cling onto the lessons that the game teaches from the inside out.
For Burroughs, the latter is absolutely true.
Well-spoken and dedicated to make his community a better place, the football and lacrosse player is a key example of a local athlete making a name for himself outside of his athletic competition.
“He was a guy who, when he first started with us, was probably a little bit unsure about the football thing,” Wilson said when asked about the biggest change he saw in his four years in the program.
“The biggest thing is that his work ethic increased tremendously. From that ninth and tenth grade year when he was an underclassmen... seeing him work, he was a kid who had to get in the weight room and had to get stronger in order to play offensive line for us. And he figured that out and did a really good job with that… he did a tremendous job of being a great leader for us and setting a good example for the other guys.”
Burroughs will now go on to compete in a regional competition, where he’ll have the opportunity to earn more scholarship money and a chance to be one of six youth to compete for the national prize of $25,000 of additional scholarship money, according to the Boys and Girls Club website.
And as he continues his journey both in the competition and beyond, he’ll have fans rooting for him far beyond the days of his Myrtle Beach High School athletic career.
“I think he’s going to be a great young man,” Wilson said. “I’m just excited for him and the opportunities that he has. He’s come from a situation where things haven’t always been perfect in his life, but he continues daily to push and strive for excellence. We certainly are excited for him.”