Tag Archives: Craig Sherwood

Burroughs Baseball Making Strides on the Diamond

The Indians are eyeing a league title in 2015 (Photos courtesy of Mitch Haddad)

The Indians are eyeing a league title in 2015 (Photo courtesy of Mitch Haddad)

By Dick Dornan
MyBurbank Sports Editor

Eleven months have flown by since Craig Sherwood was hired as the Burroughs baseball coach back on August 27, 2013. During that span, the Indians played 92 games and the fruits of their labor have now begun to show.

Yes, 92 games. That isn’t a misprint. Exactly 56.8% of a major league team’s 162-game grind. The Indians got a sniff of what a MLB professional player goes through.

Burroughs went 20-20-1 in winter ball, 14-14 during the spring and 16-7 this summer. The upcoming senior class played a primary role in that stretch which began October 15 and recently concluded on July 19 when JBHS was eliminated in the quarterfinals of the VIBL playoffs.

MEH_7818

(Photo courtesy of Mitch Haddad)

“This summer our players learned a little bit about how to win,” Sherwood said. “I was extremely happy with the dedication and hard work of our players.”

Sherwood, a passionate a coach as they come, has his sights set on bringing the Indians back to the forefront of the Pacific League (they haven’t won a league title since 1997). The journey will take some time but the ride will be well worth it. They are clearly on the right path.

“You can field, pitch and hit, but it is doing whatever it takes whenever it takes for the good of the team which is so important,” said Sherwood. “Only true team players will ever learn and embrace that important ingredient.”

The ‘masterchef’ of the Burroughs program has created a recipe for success. His ingredients include a mixture of sound fundamentals, constant repetition, attention to detail and executing a system that Sherwood has a firm belief in.

“I really felt them bonding not only as a team, but under a new system,” he said.

His foundation of baseball was instilled by Scott Muckey, the legendary coach who retired on Wednesday from Crespi High School. Muckey won 502 games, 11 league titles and two CIF championships during his time at Crespi.

Sherwood spent 16 years as an assistant at Crespi learning the system of success from one of the best high school coaches in the country. He has taken those ideals and principles to Burroughs.

MEH_7026.....

(Photo courtesy of Mitch Haddad)

In order to reach the ultimate destination of their choice (presumably a league title), the Indians rely on a heavy dose of competitive baseball. With it comes plenty of trial and error. But more than anything comes experience.

Nothing beats experience. Gaining valuable hands-on decision making and understanding of how the game should be played has benefitted Burroughs through their 92-game jaunt. The Indians’ stellar performance in VIBL sheds a ray of hope and optimism for the spring season.

“I felt that we had a productive summer this year,” senior infielder Ryan Galan said. “We had a lot of positives that can be built on. I expect this team to come out and play hard when the season comes around and contend for a league championship.”

The Indians are two-deep at every position and have shown the capability of fielding a different lineup each day and producing similar results. Competition will be fierce (in a positive way) when the team reconvenes for winter ball.

Remarkably, 10 players batted .364 or better during the summer. The Indians had a team batting average of .333. On the hill, Burroughs recorded a team era of 3.07. When these two aspects of the game are above average, good things happen.

MEH_7107

(Photo courtesy of Mitch Haddad)

Case in point: the Indians went 13-3 over the last 16 games of the summer and advanced the farthest the program has ever gone in the 14 years of the VIBL.

A healthy combination of productive returning players along with an infusion of young, talented junior varsity players has the program taking strides in the right direction.

“The administration at Burroughs has been nothing but supportive and mentoring,” Sherwood said. “Hopefully the players feel that there is now going to be some stability in the program and how it is run. Not only do our varsity players believe in themselves and their teammates, they are also setting an example for our younger players who look up to them.

“I am extremely excited about the future for not just next year, but for many years to come.”

MEH_7472

(Photo courtesy of Mitch Haddad)

 

 

 

New Baseball Coach Named at Burroughs High School

By Dick Dornan
MyBurbank Sports Editor

Welcome back home.

Craig Sherwood was named the new head baseball coach at John Burroughs High School on Tuesday replacing Kiel Holmes who resigned on August 1. Sherwood served as an assistant coach at Burbank High School for the past three years under Coach Bob Hart.

Craig Sherwood

Craig Sherwood

“I still sit here and find it hard to believe. It is going to be a process that may take a while, but when I wake up every day I know that there will be a daily goal to get better,” Sherwood said.

“I feel a tremendous responsibility to everyone who has supported me in this move, even (Burbank coach) Bob Hart who is a Burroughs’ alum.”

In a homecoming that seemed inevitable and destined to happen again at some point in his life, Sherwood has returned to Burroughs where he previously coached in 1984-85 and 1996-00 as an assistant varsity coach winning a league title in 1997. More significantly, Sherwood is a 1976 graduate of JBHS and has lived in the Burbank community his whole life.

“It has always been great to be an assistant coach at JBHS, but to be the head coach is an incredible honor and very humbling,” Sherwood said. “I have had former players that I had not heard from in over 10 years reach out with support. It is really important that we bring back traditions and celebrate our alumni.”

Coach Craig Sherwood (second from the left) leaves Burbank to return to coach at his alma mater (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Coach Craig Sherwood (second from the left) leaves Burbank to return to coach at his alma mater (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burbank won its first league title since 1991 this past spring. Sherwood played an integral part of the team’s success as the Bulldogs finished 17-9 overall and 12-2 in league.

After three years of witnessing the Burbank program improve each and every season, Sherwood reflected upon his time spent there.

“Bob Hart gave me an opportunity to come back to my hometown and do what I love, working and watching boys transform into young men. Bob has an incredible read on players and situations and has taught me volumes,” said Sherwood, who actually coached Hart when Hart was a young student of the game. “Those kids last year really bought into the system and will forever be able to visit the field, see that championship banner, and know they were part of something very special.

“I am also glad that the JV team also won the league title going away. I know the talent is still strong and the young players will have a bright future. They will battle the heck out of us.”

The one-two combination of Hart and Sherwood at BHS will be missed but the future matchups between friends and baseball peers will be full of intrigue and ultimate respect.

“Coach Sherwood did a great job for us at Burbank High School,” Hart said. “I’m sure he will continue to do the same at Burroughs. We wish him the best of luck.”

Prior to coming to Burbank, Sherwood was a varsity assistant at Crespi High School for 16 years covering two different stints (1986-93, 2001-08).

While at Crespi working under Scott Muckey, Sherwood coached current Minnesota Twins third baseman, Trevor Plouffe, and former MLB pitcher, Jeff Suppan, who won a World Series ring with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2006 and was the National League Championship Series MVP that same season.

A third Celt who played for Sherwood could very well make the Major Leagues soon as Crespi 2008 star Sean Gilmartin is a top pitching prospect for the Atlanta Braves. Gilmartin was a first-round draft pick of the Braves in 2012.

“I was lucky enough to have spent 16 years with the best high school coach in America,” Sherwood said of Muckey. “Here is a man who won State titles as a college coach, coached in the College World Series, and has even coached professional baseball at the Triple-A level and he still had the patience to mentor and teach me the respect of the game. He will always be one of the baseball gods.”

Sherwood won a CIF championship in 2003 at Crespi, the program’s first-ever title, capturing several league titles along the way in one of the toughest leagues (Mission) in the Southland.

His coaching career has now come full circle. Sherwood inherits a Burroughs program that went 17-12 and 10-4 in the Pacific League last season (3rd place). The Indians last won a league title in 1997; a season Sherwood knows too well.

From Burroughs to Crespi to Burbank and now back to Burroughs, Sherwood has been a winner everywhere he has coached.

“It’s well-deserved,” said Hart.

 

 

 

Papoo’s Hot Dog Show Closes It’s Doors

BurbankNBeyond was the first to report it last week and after 62 years, many makeovers and many generations of customers, Papoo’s Hot Dog Show shut it’s doors for good Sunday night. BurbankNBeyond’s John Savageau stopped by the local icon one last time to talk to longtime regulars who came by to relive a memory, and of course, a dog. See his full story on www.burbanknbeyond.com