By Brayden Burbrink’s recollection, he hasn’t missed a homework assignment in his three-plus years at Columbus East High School.

That’s part of the reason why the senior is ranked near the top of his class with a 4.17 GPA. And that 4.17 GPA is a big reason why Burbrink was recognized as the East’s football team’s top Student-Athlete for the Great American Rivalry Series at the Columbus North game.

“I always work hard and make sure I get everything done on time,” Burbrink said. “I haven’t had a missed assignment in my whole high school career, so I’m pretty proud of that.”

On the field, Burbrink plays mostly special teams. He is a second-string safety and plays some on defense in the Olympians’ nickel packages. The 5-foot-11, 165-pound Burbrink plays on East’s punt return, kickoff and kickoff return units.

East coach Bob Gaddis said Burbrink has been a regular attender in the team’s offseason strength and conditioning program and even started attending as an eighth-grader.

“He’s a good leader as far as his attitude and his actions,” Gaddis said. “He comes out and practices hard every day and does what he can. He’s willing to do what he can to help our football team.”

A football player since elementary school, Burbrink is playing the same position for the second year in a row for the first time in his high school career. He played cornerback as a freshman and running back as a sophomore, mostly at the junior varsity level.

Last year, Burbrink moved to safety and again was mainly a JV player. This year, he’s seeking a little more varsity action.

“I love the sport, and a lot of my buddies are doing it,” Burbrink said. “It’s teaching me a lot off the field with discipline, integrity and character and how to be a proper young man.”

That includes getting good grades.

“We’ve been fortunate that we’ve had a lot of great student-athletes in our program, and he’s another one,” Gaddis said. “He’s going to be in the running for several awards. You’re always happy when you have those kind of young men in our program. He represents our program well on the field and off the field.”

Next year, Burbrink plans to attend Purdue University. He wants to get a masters in veterinary medicine and become a veterinarian.

For now, Burbrink is hoping to help the Olympians win another Hoosier Hills Conference title and make a deep postseason run. East is 2-1 following Friday’s 56-30 win against Seymour.

“There’s a lot of people doubting us right now, so we have a big burden on our shoulders to prove ourselves,” Burbrink said.

Brayden Burbrink

Name: Brayden Burbrink

School: Columbus East

Year: Senior

Height: 5-foot-11

Weight: 165

Position: Safety

Sports: Football, church basketball

Author photo
Ted Schultz is sports editor for The Republic. He can be reached at or 812-379-5628.