Eddie Burgess, no. 17, of Montezuma, tight end for the Upper Iowa University Peacocks in Fayette, lines up to make a play during a home game in 2023. The sophomore recorded a team-high eight touchdowns last fall, which also led the Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC). His efforts earned him GLVC First Team All-Conference and D2CCA Super Region 3 Second Team honors. In addition, Burgess garnered the Don Hansen NCAA Division II All-America Honorable Mention honor to wrap up his sophomore season with the Peacocks. Submitted photo by Reanne Kietlinskir, sports information director at UIU.
By J.O. Parker
For Montezuma’s Eddie Burgess, football is not an individual sport, it’s a family of players coming together with a goal to improve each week and hopefully put some “W’s” on the scoreboard.
“We had our ups and downs as the year went on as a team,” said Burgess, who wrapped up his sophomore season on the gridiron last fall for the Upper Iowa University Peacocks.
“As a group, we changed since my first year as a freshman,” Burgess added. “Last season, I got more opportunities to make plays for my teammates. I feel like my teammates trusted me more with the football in my hands. It felt more like a family. We are all working together to get the same goal.”
The Peacocks finished the season with a 3-8 overall record and were 1-6 in conference play in 2023.
Burgess, a tight end for the Peacocks, appeared in all 11 games last season. He caught 43 passes for a total of 616 yards. His longest catch was for 58 yards against Michigan Tech, and in that same game, he tallied his season-high of 111 receiving yards in a single contest.
The sophomore recorded a team-high of eight touchdowns last fall, which also led the Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC). He showed his versatility on the field as he completed a 12-yard pass on a fake punt in the last game of the season versus Quincy. His efforts earned him GLVC First Team All-Conference and D2CCA Super Region 3 Second Team honors.
In addition, Burgess garnered the Don Hansen NCAA Division II All-America Honorable Mention honor to wrap up his sophomore season with the Peacocks.
The honor carries out the legacy of long-time small college football advocate Don Hansen. The now late Hansen, from Brookfield, Ill., started and published Don Hansen's National Weekly Football Gazette for three decades, selecting NCAA Division II All-America teams for the first time in 1988.
“It was an honor to be recognized for my hard work,” said Burgess. “I wouldn’t be able to do this without my teammates. We are looking forward to next year and the offseason is off to a great start. We have a lot of our key players coming back in 2024 and I believe this could be a big year for us.”
Burgess, the son of Tim and Janel Burgess, teachers and coaches at Montezuma, is studying elementary education at Upper Iowa.
“I’m looking forward to teaching, coaching and making a difference in young people’s lives,” he said.
Eddie Burgess of Montezuma, son of Tim and Janel Burgess, is shown with now retired long-time Montezuma teacher, coach and administrator Darrell Brand and his wife, Sherm, following an Upper Iowa University home game in Fayette. Burgess, a sophomore, plays tight end for the Peacocks. Submitted photo.