The senior left wing has tallied eight goals this season (as of Nov. 12) for the undefeated Pioneers and has been Conestoga’s most dangerous striker. Last fall, Burling was a key part of the Pioneers’ attack, as they advanced to the PIAA 4A state quarterfinals and he received All-Main Line boys’ soccer honors. Off the pitch, Burling plays lacrosse for Conestoga and is a member of the school’s Ski Club.
Q: What do you think has been the biggest key to your productive goal-scoring this season?
A: In my mind the biggest key to my success on the field this season has been the way our team has played the game. Our philosophy this whole season has been to get the ball out wide so that we can get set pieces and crosses into the box. As a winger, this style of play has given me plenty of opportunities to score all season. I also have to credit my teammates for providing countless chances to finish.
Q: Tell us a little about your soccer training since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. What did you find to be the biggest challenge to your training during the first months of the pandemic, and how did you handle that?
A: At the beginning of quarantine it was hard to find time to train as most fields and organized practices were shut down. Although I was not able to train with a team during these times, I saw this as an opportunity to improve my skills on my own. I kept myself fit by trying to run at least four times a week and almost every day I would take time to work on my touch by myself or with the help of my brother. Although the situation was not ideal, I proved to myself that I could improve my game even without being in a team setting.
Q: What do you think is the strongest aspect of your game? What part of your game are you working on the most currently?
A: I think the strongest aspect of my game is my speed and my confidence in using both feet. As a winger I constantly use my pace to beat defenders and to chase down through balls. Although I play on the left, I am technically right footed. However, over the years of being positioned on the left side and constantly practicing with my left foot, I have become as confident in my left as I am with my right. I am never satisfied with any aspect of my game knowing there is always room to improve and get better. Knowing I can improve keeps me motivated to work harder on and off the field.
Q: What are your soccer goals for the rest of the Conestoga soccer season? What are your thoughts about Conestoga’s abbreviated season (Central League-only competition, no PIAA postseason – Districts, States)?
A: My goal for the remainder of this season is to end the season undefeated and as a Central League champion. As unfortunate as it was to not make Districts, knowing we had a good chance at the state title, I am just thankful that we had the chance to play this season. Being a senior, this team has meant so much to me over the years and the opportunity to play this season is all I could have asked for.
Q: Have you always played wing? What sparked your original interest in that position? Who have been your biggest soccer mentors, and what was the most important thing you learned from each one?
A: Since I was young I have always been an offensive-minded player. My pace has helped me breakdown defenses throughout the years and I have always had an eye for goal. Throughout my years of playing soccer, Coach [David] Zimmerman definitely had had the best influence on me as a coach. Ever since I have been on the team, Coach Zimmerman has always believed in my ability even when my confidence has been low. He pushes us every day in practice because he knows our potential and how good of a team we truly are.
Q: Tell us a little about your pre-game preparation the day of a game.
A: On game days, the part of my preparation that I most prioritize is my diet. I make sure to drink plenty of water and I eat a light breakfast and lunch. Before the game I like to listen to music to get me focused. Once I get to the field I’m feeling good and I’m ready to play.
Q: You were uniform jersey No. 11 for Conestoga. Why did you pick this number – was there a particular reason?
A: For my senior year I decided to wear No. 11, which has always been one of my favorite numbers – I took it once it became available.
Q: What is your favorite course at Conestoga High School? What do you think you might want to major in at college?
A: This year a class that I have really enjoyed has been Economics. It has been really interesting to learn the ins and outs of how everything works and what goes into having a successful economy. I am definitely interested in studying business once I’m in college.
Fun facts – Tyson Burling
Favorite book: Harry Potter.
Favorite author: J.R.R. Tolkien.
Favorite TV show: Psych.
Favorite movie: Pulp Fiction.
Favorite pregame pump-up song: Champion, by Kanye West.
Favorite team: Philadelphia Flyers.
Favorite place to visit: Belize.
Favorite pregame meal: Pasta.
Family members: parents Vern and Heather, older brother Dylan, younger brother Ryder, younger sister Britta.
(To be selected as Main Line Boys Athlete of the Week, a student-athlete must first be nominated by his coach.)