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Midland Roundtable AOY: Billings Senior's Mackey Burckley embraces in-game banter

Mackey Burckley AOY
Posted at 3:02 PM, May 14, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-14 17:02:46-04

(Editor's note: MTN Sports is featuring a Midland Roundtable Athlete of the Year finalist nightly leading into this year's awards banquet Wednesday, May 15, at the Billings Hotel and Convention Center. Ten graduating seniors (five boys, five girls) in the Billings area are nominated annually by coaches and activities directors before Roundtable members, a group of longtime sports enthusiasts in Billings, vote on one male and one female winner. In rare instances, the award has been shared.)

BILLINGS — Mackey Burckley loves to kick the football. He just didn't get a shot at many field goals throughout his Billings Senior career. But connecting on a game winner as time expired his sophomore year against Butte may have been the most satisfying.

“Yeah," he recalled. "(But) I didn’t kick a lot of field goals. Probably kicked three or four after that … like, they just went for it (two-point conversion) after that. I probably kicked two my junior year and two my senior year.”

Burckley was terrific for the Broncs, earning all-state honors as a kicker, punter, punt returner and receiver. Everything but defense.

“I didn’t want to play defense, really. I don’t know, I was just doing everything else,” he said.

Same thing in basketball where Burckley was voted the Broncs' offensive player of the year by teammates. In regard to playing D in that sport, he said he stepped it up — slightly.

“Yeah, I played a little defense," he said.

Burckley helped Senior win a divisional title a couple years ago and that same year earned all-state track honors in the 4x100-meter relay.

But his go-to is football where he’s rostered for next month’s Montana East-West Shrine All-Star Game at Daylis Stadium. Then Burckley has a preferred walk-on offer at Montana State where he says he’ll take a shot at receiver and plans to study business.

When it comes to competitive nature, especially in rivalry games like Senior's big basketball win over Billings West this season, Burckley admits he’s not afraid to talk a little trash — even to the student section after he hit a big, step-back 3-pointer on the Broncs' home court.

“I’m just not very smart when those games get down to that," he admitted with a big smile. "I’m just in the moment and stuff ... and that was like, the only time I beat West. I never beat them in football, so it was pretty special to do that."

Asked what he told West's basketball fans in the moment:

“I don’t even know; I was just yelling,” he said with a continued smile.

Midland Roundtable Athlete of the Year

2024 Female finalists: Kourtney Grossman (West), Halle Haber (West), Torie Jamieson (Senior), Piper Jette (Senior), Breanna Williams (Skyview).

2024 Male finalists: Maclain Burckley (Senior), Tyce Casterline (Lockwood), Keyan Hernandez (West), Kyler Northrop (Central), Braden Zimmer (West).