By Dick Dornan
BurbankNBeyond Sports Editor
Burbank kicks-off the 2012 season when they host Chatsworth on Thursday at Memorial Field. Game time is set for 7 p.m. The Bulldogs are coming off a 4-6 campaign in 2011 and are anxious to unleash this year’s squad and make amends.
“I think we are ready. The attitude is good and positive,” said Burbank Coach Hector Valencia, who is 3-0 in regular season openers in his brief tenure. “We had a good scrimmage. We’ve been executing well. We are just excited and want to get this thing going.”
Burbank will unveil its talented backfield of Teddy Arlington, Joseph Pendleton, James Williams, Joe Argenziano and Martin Caro as BHS looks to make its ground game the focal point of the offense in the first contest.
“We need to run the ball well. That would be the key right now,” Valencia said. “It’s going to be a quick game for us. The offensive line will pretty much decide how we do. If they can set up the blocks for us and our misdirection, then we should be fine.”
“I feel really confident. We did outstanding in our scrimmage the other day,” senior quarterback Zak Tomlinson said. “We know our plays. We just need to execute in the game. I can’t wait to play against another colored jersey. I feel we will do really well.”
“We have a good offense and defense,” senior defensive lineman Steven Kim added. “Our team is ready for everything. If we put pressure on their quarterback, I think we are good.”
The Bulldogs scrimmaged Bell-Jeff and Panorama last Friday and held their own. Now it’s on to play Chatsworth who finished 5-5 a year ago after a 4-1 start to the season. They need to replace their top three offensive weapons in quarterback Cory Francies, running back Eric Waters and wide receiver Oscar Cruz all of whom graduated.
The Chancellors had a strong 2010 season when they went 11-4 and lost in the City Invitational championship game to Fairfax.
Valencia knows the talent Chatsworth brings year in and year out. This season will be no different.
“They have a nice stocky running back and a solid defensive line. They have good size and good numbers. Should be a great game.”
After months of lifting, conditioning and competing in several seven-on-seven passing events, it’s time for BHS to play as Memorial Field hosts its first game since the renovation.
“I can’t control the talent, I have nothing to do with that, but rather control what I can control and that is the management of the game,” Valencia said. “The kids know that too. What they control is how hard they can play and to run a play 100 percent to their abilities. That’s the kind of effort we are getting right now.”
Prediction- Burbank 24 Chatsworth 21