A World of Opportunity

Jakason Burks  |  Senior

Burke High School

When Jakason Burks started wrestling at five years old, he never imagined that someday he’d be traveling across the world to represent the United States. “I’m nothing special. Just a regular kid and a wrestler.” But in 2018, he and his older brother James were the first set of brothers to qualify for the Cadet World Team and to wrestle against the best wrestlers in the world at the United World Wrestling Championship in Croatia.

Now a senior, Burks wrestles for Omaha Burke High School from November through February and wrestles with MWC Wrestling Academy throughout the rest of the year, traveling the country. “I like traveling. The first time I got on a plane was because of wrestling.” He doesn’t have time for much else because wrestling is year-round. “When I have free time, I usually have to do my school work or relax when I can.” He enjoys the brotherhood on the Omaha Burke team. “This year, coming in, there were a lot of freshman and new kids so we had to build the brotherhood up again, but they’re putting a lot of effort in and working hard.”

Oklahoma State University will be Burk’s new home in the fall of 2020. He announced his decision to wrestle for the Cowboys on Twitter in February 2019, although the decision was difficult. “When it was time to start telling colleges where I wanted to go, it was tough.” He’d also visited the University of Nebraska Lincoln and Iowa State University, but when he got to Oklahoma State and wrestling coach John Smith talked to Burks about loyalty, “I just knew.” Burks is considering pursuing a career in real estate, but he’s also thought about following his mom’s footsteps and going into nursing.

Burks won the state tournament his sophomore and junior years and plans a repeat in 2020 for his senior year. “Confidence is a factor,” he said. “When I go to big tournaments, even though I know I’m ranked, I feel like I’ve got to live up to the expectations, but now I focus on just having fun like I used to instead of taking it so seriously.”

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