By Spencer DuPuis
LoCoSports Staff Writer
Leesburg (March 23, 2015) — On March 19, Heritage High School head boys lacrosse coach Jason “Choppy” Burke earned his 100th career lacrosse coaching victory in monumental fashion as the Pride knocked off first-year Rock Ridge High School, 19-0, in Ashburn.
While Burke has coached lacrosse at Heritage for 12 seasons, the Salisbury University product has coached in Loudoun County since 2000:
- Heritage Boys Lacrosse (2004-present)
- Dominion Football (2013-present)
- Dominion Girls Basketball (2013-2014)
- Heritage Boys Basketball (2002-2012)
- Heritage Football (2002-2011)
- Heritage Track & Field (2003)
- Potomac Falls Track & Field (2001-2002)
- Potomac Falls Football (2000-2001)
In addition to all his work with high school sports programs, Burke is a fifth grade teacher at Cool Spring Elementary in Leesburg.
Burke — a 1993 graduate of Baltimore City College High School — sat down with LoCoSports journalist Spencer DuPuis to give us the inside scoop: inside the huddle.
Spencer DuPuis: First of all, here’s a question everyone who has ever met you probably wants the answer to. When and how did you get the nickname “Choppy”?
Jason “Choppy” Burke: It was Pork Chop when I was a freshman in high school. My football coach gave it to me. He said I ran like a pork chop, whatever that means. Teammates changed it to Choppy a couple years later. It followed me to college and football. The rest is history.
DuPuis: You played Division III football at Salisbury. With that being said, of the five sports you have coached at the high school level which is your favorite to coach and why?
Choppy: Lacrosse. Building a program and building relationships with players that become men that end up doing great things — even coaching — has been a dream come true.
DuPuis: With this being your 12th year coaching lacrosse at Heritage, how have you seen the sport grow over the years at Heritage and around the area?
Choppy: Short version — There are so many more options available for youth through the high school level for young men and women to learn, play and help grow the game for those that follow them.
DuPuis: You teach elementary school students and coach high school student-athletes. What do you like about teaching and coaching the younger generations?
Choppy: The relationships formed, fostered and maintained over the years. I learn as much from them as I hope they learn from me and my assistant coaches I’ve had over the dozen years. It’s one of the main reasons I participate in social media and haven’t changed my phone number.
DuPuis: With this team coming off a rough season last year, how do you think the team has most improved on over the offseason?
Choppy: Experience. Those that stuck with the game over other sports and endeavors, and their teammates worked to get better, improving the team.
DuPuis: Without giving your players too much insider knowledge, do you mind sharing your most embarrassing moment in sports?
Choppy: Running onto the field and into the offensive huddle after suffering a concussion earlier in the game. I was the only player not wearing his helmet and didn’t even know it.