Burnside receives Junior of the Year honor from Iowa Preps (all class award)

IowaPreps.com's Junior of the Year

After an amazing 2010 football season, Iowa Preps has been handing out awards left and right. One of the most difficult honors for us to choose was the Junior of the Year. This is presented to the junior who performed the best during the previous season. See who earned this honor now!

For those curious, this honor is based solely on what an athlete does during the football season. Recruiting, prestige of the player, and anything along those lines do not mean much here.

There were some fantastic candidates. Cedar Falls running back Barkley Hill, Dowling Catholic wide receiver Amara Darboh, Bettendorf linebacker Nate Shaw, Heelan quarterback Paul Jacobsen, Heelan running Michael Malloy, North Fayette athlete Jake Greco, and a host of others really could have made a case for this award. But in the end, another game changing running back pulled away.

Our 2010 Junior of the Year award goes to Union running back Wes Burnside. In a year where there were so many question marks surrounding the Knights, the experience he earned as a sophomore paid huge dividends. Burnside proved to be one of the most elusive rushers in the entire State and showed a knack for making big plays when his team needed them most.

During their first nine games, this standout pushed his team to an undefeated regular season and the district title. This was something that few outside of the Union area would predicted considering all the talent that they lost to graduation. Burnside was asked to carry their offense and he did that early and often throughout the course of the fall.

Things certainly did not go as planned in the postseason but that didn't stop Burnside from racking up 2,336 yards, 30 touchdowns, and also finding the energy to rack up 50 tackles on the defensive side of the ball. Few individual athletes meant more to their team, regardless of class, then him.

Again, this really is one of the most difficult awards to hand out. But in the end, the overall importance of Burnside on his team gave him a slight nod over a very talented group of juniors.