The 2021 Mark Burlingame Dutchmen Spirit Award winner is Caroline Burns.
Co-presented by the Lettermen Foundation and Troy Miller and Christopher McCabe of CM Fox Real Estate, the Dutchmen Spirit Award is named for former Lettermen board member and Guilderland High School three-sport star athlete Mark Burlingame.
Caroline earned six varsity letters in cross country and indoor and outdoor track, serving as captain in each of those three sports. A National Honor Society member and officer, she’s won numerous awards for her academics including the Board of Education Award and AP Scholar. Caroline has been a teen ambassador for Ronald McDonald Hour, a camp counselor at Tawasentha and volunteered at area running events.
She joins her sister, Emily, who won a Lettermen Award in 2015.
The Dutchmen Spirit award is named in honor and memory of one of Guilderland’s all time greatest athletes. “Burls” excelled in soccer, track, basketball and especially baseball, where he played professionally in the Yankees organization. But it was through his kindness, character, positive spirit and loving nature that he touched all who knew him. The award in his name annually goes to a student-athlete who has demonstrated the highest qualities of true Dutch spirit and sportsmanship; a person who gives unselfishly of time and talents for the benefit of others. The award is chosen by the high school coaching staff.
As part of Caroline’s nomination portfolio, one coach said, “she was all about supporting her teammates. They came first. She knew every kid and had kind words of support. She has improved every year that she was on the team, which is awesome for the younger athletes to see that hard work pays off.”
Caroline will attend Fairfield University in the fall.
Photo credit: Mike Koff/Altamont Enterprise