Burdt wins at numbers game St. Paul's senior hockey, math whiz

September 29, 1992|By Tara Finnegan | Tara Finnegan,Staff Writer

Dedication to athletics plus a personable disposition equals St. Paul's senior Tricia Burdt.

It is a simple mathematical equation that best describes an aspiring physical education and math teacher, who just happens to be a four-year standout on the Gators' field hockey team.

"Math has always been my easiest subject. It's kind of like hockey," said Burdt, who wants to major in math and physical education in college.

"It's hard to get jobs as a teacher and I want to come back here [St. Paul's] and teach math, P.E. and help coach. This school has brought me so far."

Burdt, a three-time Association of Independent Schools all-star selection and a Baltimore Sun All-Metro first-team selection last year, led the Gators in scoring in 1991 with six goals and two assists.

"She's a supportive player as well as 'the player,' " said Sandy Hoody, who coaches Burdt in field hockey and lacrosse. "That really offsets her from the other players -- her personality and athletic ability.

"She'll be an excellent teacher. She has the right demeanor and patience. The kids do look up to her because of her friendly personality."

Burdt, who plays the center midfield position, began playing hockey in fifth grade during gym class.

"It came easy for me and I guess I gained a love for it," said the senior, who has been playing varsity since her freshman year. "[Making the team] was a break for me, they easily accepted me and let me play."

Burdt also has accumulated an assortment of medals (a gold, silver and a bronze last summer) in her three years on the U.S. Junior Olympic field hockey team.

Aside from hoping to play field hockey and lacrosse in college at the Division I level, Burdt hopes to make the U.S. Olympic field hockey team.

"Tricia is probably being groomed for the 2000 Olympics," Hoody said. "With her athletic ability, she's a Division I, blue-chip athlete. She has quick speed, good stickwork and is able to read what goes on."

Success appears to have come easy to Burdt, but it hasn't spoiled her.

She drives an hour to school every day from her home in Winfield in Carroll County at 7 a.m. and returns home around 7 p.m. after field hockey, soccer or lacrosse practice, depending on the season.

She is the recipient of a trustee award, which help pays her tuition, and she was elected president of the school's athletic association. During her free period at school, Burdt helps teach a physical education class.

And two weeks ago, when seniors were given two days off to visit colleges, Burdt was in school working on athletic association business, helping with the physical education classes and participating in field hockey practice.

Burdt plans to visit two of the schools that have expressed interest in her, the University of Maryland and the University of Virginia, in October.

The Gators, who were runners-up in the AIS last year, play their first conference game Oct. 8. "We have a lot of inexperienced players," Hoody said. "But, hopefully they'll quickly pick up to the varsity level."

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