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St. Bede’s Burgess to suit up for North Central

PERU — Adam Burgess always wanted to play college football ever since he started out in the Illinois Valley Youth Football League ranks. North Central College was more than willing to let him play.

The St. Bede senior signed a letter of intent to play for the Cardinals Wednesday afternoon at the Academy. He said North Central left a lasting impression

“I’m very excited,” he said. “I went on a day visit and felt like the coaches wanted to know me as a person and not just as a player. They preached the academics are a high point, and wanting to be an athletic trainer I can graduate in four years because they are a certified program. I just felt like I belong there.”

Burgess will room with his good friend Bureau Valley senior Adam Weidner, who signed last month with the Cardinals. While Burgess said Weidner made a good sales pitch on NCC, he still made the “decision that was best for me.”

The Bureau County duo will join a winning tradition in Naperville where the Cardinals have won six straight College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin (CCIW) championships. Weidner’s brother, Michael, will be a junior at NCC.

“I’ll probably play JV my first year or two, but I’m looking forward to playing on the varsity and getting a national title,” Burgess said. “It means a lot because I feel like playing on a team that is so good like North Central, I will become the best player that I can be.

Known as a hard-hitter around the Big Rivers Conference, the 2011 BCR co-Player of the Year will stay at linebacker, where he was recognized as first team all-conference. Burgess also rushed for a team-high 480 yards with five touchdowns at fullback, helping the Bruins reach the 1A quarterfinal for their deepest postseason run in 10 years.

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