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Durant’s Haydn Burgess – Athlete Spotlight – Presented by the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

Haydn Burgess, a dedicated student from Durant High School, is not only an accomplished athlete but also a proud member of the Choctaw Nation, showcasing the rich cultural heritage that shapes his life on and off the field.

“As a proud Choctaw tribal member, I’ve always taken advantage of every opportunity provided for me by my tribe,” Haydn shared, highlighting his deep-rooted connection with his culture. “I have been part of many summer youth camps, including STEM, culture, golf, stickball and wildlife. I enjoy learning about my culture and my heritage.”

“My Choctaw heritage is lived out on and off the field by my emphasis on collaboration, communication and teamwork,” Haydn explained. His cultural values of unity and shared effort resonate in his approach to sports and life, embodying the belief that “Together We Are More.”

Haydn’s sports journey began at the young age of three, with soccer becoming a cherished passion. “Soccer is more than a sport. It is like a family. We are truly a team.” His participation in cross-country adds a new dimension, where he challenges himself while being part of a supportive team environment.

As a student-athlete, Haydn values the teachings of respect and continuous learning from his Choctaw culture. “I respect not only my coaches but the sport itself,” he emphasized, highlighting the importance of dedication and self-improvement.

“My family and friends are my biggest supporters,” Haydn acknowledged, recognizing the vital role of community in his sports journey. He also takes pride in mentoring younger athletes and contributing positively to their development, reflecting the support and growth within the Choctaw community.

Looking ahead, Haydn envisions incorporating more visual Choctaw cultural elements into his daily life, expressing his pride and desire to share his heritage with others. “I plan to attend Kiamichi Technology Center to get a basic understanding of automobiles as an auto technician and later, attend Oklahoma State University to further my education.”

Haydn’s recent participation in the National Youth Leadership Institute underscores his commitment to representing Choctaw traditions and values on a broader platform. “It was my honor to speak to our state senators on behalf of the Choctaw Nation summer programs. It was a moment of pride for me in being able to contribute back to the tribe that gives me so much.” 

Haydn Burgess’s journey as a Choctaw student-athlete is a testament to resilience and cultural pride, inspiring not only his peers but also future generations within the Choctaw community and beyond.

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