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Senior center Burkhart sings praise for Guerin's first go-around as Lady Cards coach

CHADWICK'S CHLOE BURKHART reaches for a loose ball in the Class 1 State final.
CHADWICK'S CHLOE BURKHART reaches for a loose ball in the Class 1 State final.

Chloe Burkhart played her final game for Chadwick at the Class 1 Final Four. But she vows to be a constant fixture at Lady Cardinals games next season.

“I've taken on the role of the team mom for these girls, so I will absolutely be here supporting them through next season when they go to State again,” said Burkhart, who averaged 4.6 points and 4.3 rebounds a game. “They have become some of my best friends.

Burkhart’s younger sister, Mildred, will likely take over as Chadwick’s post player.

The older Burkhart reveled in Chadwick’s ride to the Class 1 State championship game as much as anyone. She collected seven points and 12 rebounds in two games at State. For many reasons, her senior season easily rates as her most enjoyable of her Lady Cardinals career.

"I've not had a good bond with this sport for three years,” Biurkhart said. “Being here with this team this year, the whole game changed for me. With coach (Shawn Guerin), it absolutely changed my whole (outlook) toward basketball. Me and him, we have this bond. He's almost become a second dad to me. He's been at my side through the whole season and pushed me to be where I am now. 

“I may not be the biggest scorer. But he told me that didn't matter, that my role defensively matters to him,” she added. “Every day, he told me, 'I'm proud of you,' and 'You have come so far.' That means the most to me.”

Shawn Guerin coached both Chadwick’s girls and boys for the first time this winter. He also led the Cardinals to a 20-win season. 

“When he has told me he's proud of me, I will say, 'I'm proud of you,' Burkhart said. “We always had him right behind us to pick us up.”

Shawn Guerin’s daughter, Kerrigan, was a sophomore point guard this season. She’s cherished how her father and her teammates developed strong relationships.

“Every single person on this team loves what he did for us this year,”  Kerrigan said. “I loved that everyone loved having him as our coach. It's a surreal thing having your Dad, who taught you how to play and made you the player you are, also making (your teammates) better and helping them develop.

“It's really easy to click with my Dad because of the love he has for this game and the love he has for people who also love the game,” she added.