Nyzair at Slippery Rock University and Nijhay at Eastern Illinois

In 2018 an entirely new football coaching staff lead by Ray Brazso was introduced to the Steel Valley School District. That introduction was met with some adversity from parents within the community as well as some of the team’s current players. The coaching staff understood at that point that there were going to be some barriers that would prevent us from making a smooth transition into our new roles. One of the first things we wanted to address was to start building a good rapport with current players. Nijhay and Nyzair Burt were a part of that team and sophomores at that point. Instantly their ability to be leaders was put on display. The Burt’s took immediate action on a senior heavy team and used themselves as examples of what it took to be a leader. The Burt’s both worked their way into starting roles on both sides of the ball by attending practices on a consistent basis. The brothers not only attended those practices, they always participated to the best of their abilities. As the 2019 season moved on, we were not able the reach our goal as a team. The Burt’s who both also participate in other sports (Nijhay-Basketball, Nyzair-Wrestling) vowed that they would work hard to prepare for the next season. The Burt’s led players only practices throughout the summer along with some of their teammates, once again displaying their leadership abilities. The 2020 season was upon us and Covid-19 now posed another barrier for the team. Facing this adversity, the Burt’s refused to allow this to prevent them from having a successful season. They continued to be leaders on and off of the field. Once again as a team we fell short of our goal due to a shortened season and other barriers. The Burt’s and their teammates took things in stride and jumped right into getting prepared for what would now be their senior season. The Burt’s continued to attend all of the scheduled practices, and held their own players-only practices. Their leadership helped to form a strong brotherhood amongst the team. This display of leadership is what propelled the team throughout the 2021 season and earned us an 11-1 record. Nijhay and Nyzair both finished their senior season by earning All-Conference Honors for their on-field performances. Nijhay earned many accolades for his extremely successful senor season which ended in an injury to his ankle. The Burt’s leadership abilities carried over into the classroom as they were able to maintain their coursework. As a result, the Burt’s now have opportunities to further their athletic careers at the college level. Nyzair will become a student athlete at Slippery Rock University. Nijhay will begin working his way towards earning his degree and participating in football at Eastern Illinois.