On Friday, Dec. 6, Miami Trace High School senior Kody Burns took one of the biggest steps a young person can take when he signed a letter of intent to attend Kentucky Christian University, where he will continue his education and be a member of the Knights’ soccer team.
“It’s about a two hour and 30 minute drive from here,” Miami Trace head coach Josh Thoroman said. “It’s close enough that we’ll be following his college career, so, it’s very exciting for us.
“Their head coach, Jeremy Miller, is here today,” Thoroman said. “I’ve known him since 2007 when I was coaching at Southern State and he was an assistant coach at Cincinnati Christian. He has really built the program up at KCU. They recently changed affiliations. They were in the National Christian College Athletic Association. Now they are in the NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics). It’s a step up, so, the competition they face now is a lot greater than they were facing previously.”
Burns has been named Second Team, All-District for the past two seasons.
In the past two seasons for Miami Trace, Burns has scored 16 goals and made nine assists.
“We’ve played him out of a defensive role,” Thoroman said. “He’s played out of the back. His class (2020) is the winningest class in school history. This is only the second class to graduate from here as a winning class. (2020) is hands down the winningest class in school history.
“Their class won three consecutive Sectional titles (2016, 2017 and 2018),” Thoroman said. “We fell a little short this year. They’ve accomplished all their goals; they set all the school records, basically. They had a season where they allowed the fewest goals in school history (2018) and this year they scored the most goals in school history.”
Thoroman spoke about some keys to Burns’ game.
“It’s the work ethic,” Thoroman said. “The drive to make yourself better and make your teammates better. He’s always possessed that. That’s why he’s been a varsity player all four years. As our program has grown here at Miami Trace, with the numbers that we have, it’s going to be rare to see guys become four-year lettermen, just because of the competition we have now and the number of players we have. But, he has earned it.
“He’s one of two our of our 14 seniors (Caleb Perry is the other),” Thoroman said. “We have a lot of kids and that gives us the ability to push each other and make us better.
“Kody’s game translates to different styles of play and easily to the college level,” Thoroman said. “Because of his size — he’s 6-2 — he’s been in the weight room. Everybody says with college, bigger, faster, stronger. Kody is bigger, faster and stronger. He translates well. Nothing on the physical side is going to slow him down. We push our program a little harder; we gear it more towards a college-type game. I’m very excited about the potential he has. KCU’s coach creates a family atmosphere with his team.”
“I’m really excited to get Kody Burns into the program,” KCU head coach Jeremy Miller said. “The biggest thing with me in building a team is finding the right fit, in character, and skill and just work ethic. I’ve worked with Josh for a lot of years, too. When he recommends a guy, I know he understands my program.”
“A few months ago I took a visit to KCU,” Burns said. “It was nice. And, ever since then, I kind of knew in the back of my mind that was where I wanted to go. The campus is beautiful, the people there are really nice. Just the entire atmosphere was something I never felt before. I felt like I was home, even on a college visit. It was just a good time, all-around. I think I knew from about a year ago this was where I wanted to be.
“Thankfully Coach Thoroman was able to get me a visit down there,” Burns said. “If that wouldn’t have happened, I would probably still be searching for a college. It just happens that they have a pretty good soccer program I want to be a part of.
“You can go there for four years and be a social worker,” Burns said. “That’s kind of what I’ve been thinking about doing.”
Burns was asked what is (or was) his favorite subject in high school.
“I enjoy learning,” Burns said. “I think I’d have to go with science. That’s just something I’ve kind of gravitated toward.
“I definitely have a favorite teacher,” Burns said. “That would be my Spanish teacher from freshman year, Mrs. (Meagan) Strahler.”
Burns said he could not pinpoint one favorite moment from his high school career.
“I’m definitely going to miss the people,” Burns said. “Not only that, I’m going to miss just the entire atmosphere. I’m going to miss it all.”
Burns said he began playing soccer at a very young age.
“My dad got me into it just like any kid,” Burns said. “I just grew up loving the game more and more. Every year I felt like I was getting better. I felt like I just wanted to keep doing it. Luckily enough, I’m here today and I can go on to the next level and show people what I can do.
“(Playing in college) is going to take a lot more work than I’ve been doing,” Burns said. “Senior year has been pretty easy compared to other years in high school. I can already tell college is going to take it to that one next step, not only in the academic aspect, but the athletic aspect.
“First of all, I’d like to thank Jesus Christ, my saviour, for dying on the cross,” Burns said. “From there, I want to thank my family. I thank them for pushing me to be the best I can be. I want to thank my coaches and teammates for putting me in positions to succeed. I want to thank all my friends for always being there and supporting me.”