Tag Archives: Craig Sherwood

Burroughs Collects 24th Win in 3-2 Playoff Victory

Max Haddad leads off second after a double (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Max Haddad leads off second base after a double (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

By Dick Dornan
MyBurbank Sports Editor

Burroughs took the field Friday afternoon on a 13-game winning streak highlighted by a league title. The stands were full, alumni and friends gathered behind home plate, distinct guests dotted the surroundings, and excitement wafted through the air. Ahh…it must be playoff time.

Picking up where they left off, the Indians played a stellar game in all phases en route to a 3-2 first-round victory over the Paramount Pirates. No. 5 seed Burroughs (24-4) advances to play Moorpark at JBHS at 3:15 pm on Tuesday.

It was Burroughs’ first playoff win in the first round in more than a decade. The Indians do own wild card victories in 2008 and 2013. Burroughs hasn’t reached the CIF Quarterfinals since 1998. A victory over Moorpark would match that feat 17 years ago.

Thomas Wilson won his ninth game of the season (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Thomas Wilson won his ninth game of the season (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“Every game is tough. It’s emotion, it’s concentration, it’s all those things,” Burroughs coach Craig Sherwood said. “It’s the playoffs. It’s the greatest time in the world. It’s what you work for nine months of the year.”

“We came out fired up and we knew we had to win this game,” Indians’ second baseman Max Haddad added. “I felt we took pretty good at-bats at the plate and hit balls hard. We just need to stick with the same approach and let the baseball gods do the rest.”

Entering the game having won 19 of their last 20 contests, the Indians received another quality outing from Thomas Wilson (9-0) who threw a complete game five-hitter. Wilson also induced two key double play ground-outs that ended potential Pirate threats. Burroughs’ defense shined again.

The infield duo of Haddad and shortstop Ryan Galan turned two crisp double plays to thwart Paramount (16-17) in the second and fourth innings.

“Wilson throws a lot of ground balls so we have to be ready for the double plays,” said Haddad. “We work every day on infield. We take ground balls and work on those double plays. Hard work pays off.”

Haddad and Roy Hirota each had two hits apiece as the Indians mustered just enough runs to slide by their first round opponent.

Roy Hirota smashed a two-run double (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Roy Hirota smashed a two-run double (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Chris Peres drove home the Indians’ first run on an RBI groundout scoring Max DeAmicis who had doubled. Hirota’s towering blast over the Pirates’ leftfielder plated Anthony Bocanegra and Peres giving Burroughs a commanding 3-0 lead at the end of four innings.

“He’s capable of doing that. He’s got a little bit of power,” said Sherwood of Hirota’s blistering double. “He’s an overlooked player that schools should be looking at now.”

Paramount rallied in the fifth inning scoring two runs on three hits to cut the deficit to one run.

The Pirates made one last attempt to upset the champions of the Pacific League in the top of the seventh. A single, sacrifice bunt and passed ball had the tying run 90 feet away. True to form as he has done all season, Wilson dug deep and recorded a 6-3 groundout to end the game.

Legendary coach Scott Muckey watched the Indians survive and advance (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Legendary coach Scott Muckey watched the Indians survive and advance (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Galan’s smooth fielding and accurate throw across the diamond sent the Indians into the second round to face the Musketeers who beat JBHS 7-3 back on March 5 in the Easton Tournament.

With graduation set for May 28 and the playoffs still ongoing, this is quite the exciting time for the 15 Burroughs seniors.

“It feels great. Just happy to play another high school game,” Haddad said. “None of us want it to be our last. We are going to keep grinding and pushing to the end.”

Bring on Moorpark.

Baseball Preview: Burroughs and Burbank Swing Into Action

The two cross-town rivals will meet on April 24 and May 15 (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The two cross-town rivals will meet on April 24 and May 15 (Photo by Dick Dornan)

By Jim Riggio
Special to MyBurbank

Most high school programs go through their ups and downs, as players graduate and are sometimes difficult to replace. For the baseball teams at Burroughs and Burbank highs, both are fortunate to not be in the rebuilding phase. Many key players return from both teams which have high expectations.


The Indians return 15 varsity players to second-year coach Craig Sherwood’s squad. Burroughs went 14-14 overall and 7-7 in league last season.

Sherwood likes the depth his team has.

Burroughs senior class (Photo by Mitch Haddad)

Burroughs senior class (Photo by Mitch Haddad)

“I think we are consistent from one to nine in the order,” Sherwood said. “The question is will they be consistent. If someone stumbles, I have other guys who are ready to play. We don’t have a weak bench.”

Burroughs will rely on seniors right handers Danny Bustos and Thomas Wilson as well as junior right hander Jesse Galindo to get the majority of the starting assignments on the mound.

Ryan Galan has a very impressive off-season and become the everyday shortstop (Photo by Mitch Haddad)

Ryan Galan had a very impressive off-season and became the everyday shortstop (Photo by Mitch Haddad)

Juniors Kyle Nicol and Jason Whaley will also see lots of time in relief as the setup men.

Senior Max De Amicis, who will also see significant playing time in left field, is the Indians’ closer.

Senior Chris Peres is expected to be the starting first baseman and is backed up by senior Noah Hoed.

Max Haddad (rt) and Max DeAmicis (lt) must supply leadership for an experienced group of Indians (Photo by Mitch Haddad)

Max Haddad (rt) and Max DeAmicis (lt) must supply leadership for an experienced group of Indians (Photo by Mitch Haddad)

Senior Max Haddad, a second-team all-league selection last season at shortstop, has moved to second base. Senior Ryan Galan, who played second base a year ago, has taken Haddad’s place at shortstop. Haddad and Galan will be backed up by junior Tanner Whitlock.

Senior Brennan Brown and junior Omar Tejeda are expected hold down the third base position.

Senior Aidan Anding, who was injured much of last season, is expected to be the Indians’ leadoff hitter and starting center fielder. Anding had three hits and three stolen bases in Burroughs’ 7-6 season-opening win over Camarillo on Saturday.

“He’s an exciting player to watch,” Sherwood said.

Anthony Bocanegra makes one  of his spectacular catches in right field (Photo by Mitch Haddad)

Anthony Bocanegra makes one of his spectacular catches in right field (Photo by Mitch Haddad)

Senior Anthony Bocanegra, who started in center field last season, moves over to right field. Junior Jason Whaley and senior Kevin Navarro are also expected to compete for playing time in the outfield.

Behind the plate, Sherwood has seniors Roy Hirota and Tyler Lewis. Hirota started most games a year ago, but Sherwood said Lewis has greatly improved.

“It’s a dilemma,” Sherwood said. “They both can hit and throw. It’s a dogfight. You want to have guys competing for a job.”

Sherwood said he expects the Pacific League will be tough.

“Crescenta Valley with (Brian) Gadsby coming back, they have to be the favorite,” Sherwood said of the UCLA-bound pitcher, who quarterbacked his school to a CIF title in football last fall. “Burbank is also one of the favorites. They have lots of experience. We’re going to fight for a playoff spot.”



The Bulldogs are eager to improve from last season when they went 8-15 overall and 5-9 in league. Two years ago Burbank won a share of its first league title since 1991.

Coach Bob Hart, who is now in his 10th year, returns 11 varsity players and is looking forward to making big improvements.

Cameron Briggs will be plahying at UC Davis next season (Photo by Dick Dornan)

Cameron Briggs will be playing at UC Davis next season (Photo by Dick Dornan)

“We had a rough year last year, but we’ve worked very hard this year. I don’t think anyone has outworked us this offseason,” Hart said.

Burbank showed promise in a 4-1 loss to Chatsworth, which is generally the top team in the CIF Los Angeles City Section.

Hart said his team is facing injury issues as the seasons begins, but likes the depth of his team.

“Our pitching and defense is our strength,” he said. “We have a lot of guys that can (pitch). That will set us up for tournaments. We’re definitely an improved team.”

Burbank could use up to eight players on the mound.

Ryan Porras is the ace of the Bulldog staff (Photo by Dick Dornan)

Ryan Porras is the ace of the Bulldog staff (Photo by Dick Dornan)

Senior left hander Ryan Porras along with senior right hander Randy Higgens and junior lefty Garrett Dolan figure to get a bulk of the starting assignments on the mound.

Sophomore Danny Porras, who earned all-league honors as a freshman, is expected to start at first base. Junior Adrian Johnson, a transfer from Highland of Palmdale, is expected to take over at second base.

Senior Cameron Briggs, who has signed with UC Davis, is expected to play shortstop and could also contribute on the mound.

Higgens is expected to start at third base.

Senior Chandler Robbins, who has accepted an academic scholarship to DePaul University, is expected to start in left field.

Randy Higgens will be the cornerstone at third base (Photo by Dick Dornan)

Randy Higgens will be the cornerstone at third base (Photo by Dick Dornan)

Senior Alex Minnick, who also has pitching capabilities, is expected to play many innings in center field.

Senior Reece Loock is a strong candidate to get quality innings in right field.

Seniors Ozzy Dominguez and Jake Noud return as catchers.

The Bulldogs also have junior Fischer Cabot, who will pitch and play third base. Junior Jake Zedlar, a transfer from Sherman Oaks Notre Dame, is a pitcher and outfielder.

Sophomore Henry Leake is a pitcher and second baseman who finished up for the Bulldogs in the game against Chatsworth.

Hart said he expects the Pacific League to be tough.

“The bottom of the league has gotten better,” he said. “I anticipate us being very competitive.”

Burroughs and Burbank will square off on April 24 and again on May 15.

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.


(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.


(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.


(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.”


(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