Mattress Firm Student of the Week: Hellgate's Burke McGowan

Imagine entering your senior year of football having never won a football game.

"Coming in as a freshman and seeing our varsity  get beat 79-0, and just watching that from the sidelines and saying wow, this is going to take a lot." Burke McGowan says with a laugh.

Burke McGowan is one of those seniors. He could have quit... he could of transferred... but instead, Burke and the rest of this senior class at Hellgate High School put in the work, and ended the Knight's 57-game losing streak. 

"I would say the biggest thing between us coming close and us actually winning is a change in culture. We've have athletes, we just had to be there." McGowan says.

"Especially the last few years, coming out knowing that they are probably not going to be a close game, they were probably going to get their butts kicked, and continue to be resilient, I hope that it will continue throughout their life, I hope, and I hope at some point, every one of our players can reach back on their experience and pull something from it." says Hellgate Head Coach Mick Morris. 

Maybe the reason that Burke stuck it out with his teammates all these years is because of his experience last summer. It's the thing that makes this young man light up the most, and that's talking about his time at Camp Agape.

"It was probably one of the most life changing weeks of my life. You are with a buddy, and it's a family that has a kid who has childhood cancer. They either have cancer, have had cancer, or all on that spectrum." McGowan says.

Burke spent the week with his buddy playing games, drinking milkshakes, and helping him forget his ailments and illness.

"The families say that it's such a weird week, that it's just a break from cancer. You can do whatever they want, and you just develop this relationship with your kid, and you just love them." McGowan says with a smile.

He helped deliver a win for a struggling football team. He brought joy to a family who is in the fight of their lives. And through it all, there is one lesson that Burke is going to carry with him for the rest of his life.

"I just found out that giving is so much more than receiving and it's just amazing," McGowan says.

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