Metea Valley girls soccer standout Lucy Burk wins 2024 Body Armor MVP Belt

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“I was confused at first because I didn’t know what was going on, and then I had a massive smile on my face. It was a huge honor,” said former Metea Valley soccer player Lucy Burk. 

The all-time assist leader in Metea Valley girls soccer history, and Northern Michigan commit Lucy Burk, was selected from the more than 3,000 girls playing soccer in Illinois, to receive the 22nd BODYARMOR Series MVP Belt. In a surprise presentation on Father’s Day, Burk was given the belt while surrounded by family, friends, and Chicago Fire defender Andrew Gutman. The award is presented due to Lucy’s strong performance on the soccer pitch, but off the field, she has been involved in efforts to support children’s hospitals, and military children, and bring attention to domestic abuse through donations and awareness campaigns.

“They told me I was just going to get interviewed. Joe called me the morning before and said you’re going to get interviewed about stuff with your dad. So I was thinking about memories of my dad and stuff like that. I walk in and out, and they’re like, we’re going to interview your parents first and get their looks. When I walked in and my whole family was there, and there were Marines, I wasn’t expecting much of it at all,” said Burk. 

A professional and longtime supporter hands over the belt

Gutman and Lucy’s dad presented her with the belt. While it was a surprise to Lucy, her father, Matt was aware of certain aspects of the ceremony, but still had to work to keep it a secret. 

“It was hard to keep it a surprise. We had to make sure she didn’t just roll right out of bed and go there because we knew there would probably be some pictures taken. I didn’t realize Andrew would be given the award, too. So it was nice to spend some time around him and I thought it was a pretty cool thing for him to go out of his way to spend his Sunday, his Father’s Day, to present the award to Lucy. It was very big of him and he was a great guy,” said Lucy’s dad Matt Burk, 

“Him giving me the award and talking to me and giving me a bunch of advice afterward meant a lot, knowing that it’s coming from someone who’s experienced a lot and been playing at the top level, like playing across seas, it’s a huge honor and means a lot,” said Lucy. 

Father’s Day Sepcial

Receiving the award on Father’s Day provided extra meaning for the Burk’s as Lucy and her dad spent countless hours practicing, and traveling to numerous soccer tournaments nationwide, well before her playing days at Metea Valley. In her four years with the Mustangs,  Lucy was a key part of the Metea program, including the 2022 squad that brought home the team’s first-ever state championship. The Mustangs also competed annually in the BODYARMOR series, that saw Metea Valley win the largest high school sports series in the world five straight times, including the last four while Lucy was on the pitch for the black and gold. 

“I never really thought of it as something that could turn into something like this because like my freshman year, I played a role in the team, but it was more of just like getting to know everyone and finding my role as a soccer player, but building on to what I realize how important being in this tournament is and how much the tournament does for other people,” said Lucy. 

“It’s a great bookend to her high school career, and we’ve been proud of her throughout; it’s just an amazing way to wrap up her high school career, as I mentioned. We’re excited about the next phase and moving on to Northern Michigan, and it’s been great. It’s been a great, great experience,” said Matt. 

Time for Lucy Burk to hit the pitch up North

Lucy’s high school career may be over but she will continue to play collegiately for Northern Michigan University this fall. While the All-State selection is ready to hit the pitch for another four years, she was able to pick up some valuable lessons from Gutman before suiting up for the green and yellow. 

“He told me, yes, it’s a big honor to play and get recognized. But also you need to realize that it’s not the most important thing in the world. You need to go and have fun and focus on yourself. More than being so worried about if I’m going to start, am I going to play like and have fun because I can have the best four years of my life and really enjoy it,” said Lucy.