Meet the 2-sport Klein Forest HS star who raised a $22K steer

Saturday, February 24, 2024
Klein Forest HS football, wrestling star Trenton Burkhalter Jr. also excels at FFA, raised steer auctioned off at $22K
"TJ is just that model citizen and that model example of what we want to do," Klein Forest athletic coordinator said to ABC13 about the potential of his student-athlete. TJ aspires to play football at a Division I institution while utilizing his background in agricultural science.

KLEIN, Texas (KTRK) -- Trenton Burkhalter Jr. is at his best when he's busy.

"I don't have much free time," Burkhalter admitted Thursday during an interview with ABC13. "I always have a lot going on."

The Klein Forest High School junior maintains a 3.9 grade point average and is a district champion wrestler. He's also an all-district defensive end in football.

"I like to be aggressive and catch my opponent off guard," Trenton, who goes by TJ, said of the wrestling technique that helped him capture the 2023 district title at 215 pounds.

"I like to be the most aggressive person on the field," Burkhalter revealed when describing his play on the gridiron. "I play hard and run to the ball."

Strong, strapping, and successful in contact sports. You might say Burkhalter is an animal. That is, in fact, one of his passions, too.

"My dad is from Oklahoma, so he's always been around animals," TJ shared. "I've been around animals my whole life. I've been riding horses since I was little, and rodeoing since I was little."

Dating back to his middle school days, TJ has been involved with Klein ISD's FFA program - part of the district's career and technical education path. Earlier this month, he was named reserve champion goat showman at the 55th Annual Klein ISD FFA Livestock and Project Show. TJ also made history with his reserve champion steer. Quickdraw, who he raised since June, was auctioned for a record $22,000. It is a rewarding ending after a bumpy beginning.

"He didn't look the best," TJ said of his first interaction with his prize steer. "He had ringworm from head to toe. It looked disgusting. But I always believed in him. I thought he was going to be a good steer. I saw the potential in him."

Klein Forest athletic coordinator Darrick Vaughn recognizes potential, too. He says Burkhalter is taking on a perfect path to success.

"Our goal is to help them become great young men and women here at KF," Vaughn noted. "TJ is just that model citizen and that model example of what we want to do. Not just focusing in on one sport, but being a multifaceted gentleman. Not just sports, but anything."

TJ's goal is to play Division I college football and take his agricultural science background with him.

"I'll probably major in some agriculture course if I can," Burkhalter said of his college plans. "Working with animals and everything is something I love and enjoy doing, so after high school I still hopefully get to do it."

Animals and sports will keep him busy, just how TJ likes it.

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