Sacred Heart Prep senior Ben Burr-Kirven got his 2014 football season off to a slow start when he missed the first five games of the season due to injury. The final eight games, however, were quite remarkable.
Those final eight games saw the University of Washington-bound Burr-Kirven rush for 862 yards and 18 touchdowns on 106 carries as he averaged more than 100 rushing yards per game. He also caught a touchdown pass.
On defense, the 6-foot, 200-pound Burr-Kirven averaged more than 11 tackles per game while finishing with 116 stops, two sacks and two interceptions while helping the Gators wrap up a historic 13-0 season by winning the Central Coast Section Open Division championship for the first time in program history.
For his standout effort, Burr-Kirven received national and state honors.
He was named to the first team on defense on the MaxPreps Small Schools All-American Team, which consists of players from schools that play in state enrollment divisions that generally have fewer than 1,000 students.
Burr-Kirven also was named the state player of the year in the Small Schools Division by Cal-Hi Sports. He also was a finalist for Cal-Hi's Mr. Football State Player of the Year, which went to future Washington teammate Jake Browning of Folsom.
"This is very nice to hear," said SHP coach Pete Lavorato. "He deserves it 100 percent."
Burr-Kirven is the first State Small Schools Player of the Year from Sacred Heart Prep, but SHP rival Menlo School has had several -- including Jim Noriega for 1990, Jim McKinley for 1988 and John Paye three straight years for 1980 to 1982.