Sports have been a huge part of Jesse Burke’s life starting in his earliest years. The 2001 graduate played basketball while attending LaMuth Middle School and was inducted into its Inaugural Hall of Fame for the Class of 1996.
At Riverside, Jesse played basketball; however, it was football at which he really excelled. He was a quick, powerful linebacker and the anchor of the defense. As a freshman he played both J V and Varsity Football. He is only the second player in Riverside’s history to be named Lake County Touchdown Club Defensive Player of the Year.
Other accolades include being team captain, First Team All-Conference, All-County Linebacker, 1999 Second Team All-District (Division 2), Honorable Mention All Ohio (Division 1), 1999 and 2000 News-Herald Player of the Week, 1999 and 2000 Plain Dealer Player of the Week, First Team News-Herald All Star, Plain Dealer First Team All Star, and 2000 First Team All District (Division 1). He holds the record at Riverside for the most sacks (24) and the freshman record for the most tackles in a season (84).
When asked what he thought about all these awards, Jesse said “They have meant a lot to me. And, over the years, I’ve cherished them more and more; being able to play with the players and coaches that I had with me was a true blessing.”
After high school, Jesse attended Theil College, where he played football for two years, starting as a freshman. He earned his associates degree there.
As an adult, Jesse has been a youth football coach in both Painesville and Perry and now coaches for his son Mason’s teams. He works for Rochling Composites as an operations specialist. He, his wife and Mason make their home in Willoughby Hills.