Tag Archives: John Burroughs High School

Mike Kodama Shares Personal Experiences from World Cup in Brazil


Burroughs soccer coach Mike Kodama (far left) enjoyed a memorable trip to Brazil for the FIFA World Cup

Burroughs boys soccer coach Mike Kodama was gracious enough to provide his personal insight from his trip to Brazil for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Here is his story-






myBurbank Honors Its Scholar-Athletes of the Year for 2013-14

Sidney Ortega of Burroughs and Burbank's Ethan Moskowitz (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Sidney Ortega of Burroughs and Burbank’s Ethan Moskowitz (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

By Dick Dornan
MyBurbank Sports Editor

To excel in sports is a great achievement. To shine in sports and in academics is even a greater honor.

After four years of hard work and studious attention to academics and countless hours of sacrifice and commitment to their respective athletic teams, Sidney Ortega of John Burroughs and Ethan Moskowitz of Burbank High School earned their greatest reward- college acceptances to UCLA and Cal Poly Pomona, respectively.

Simply the best (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Simply the best (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Pursuing excellence in the classroom and in sports has gone hand-in-hand for the two recent graduates. They embodied the true essence of a ‘student-athlete’ playing multiple sports while maintaining tremendous grades.

Their success in both realms of life has earned them the distinction as the myBurbank “Scholar-Athletes of the Year.”

Ortega, 17, excelled on the basketball court and on the diamond in softball while Moskowitz thrived in cross country and in track. Their sports are vastly different yet each had one common goal in mind at the end of the day- be the best you can be at whatever you choose to do.

Ortega was a member of the 2014 Pacific League champion JBHS girls basketball team and earned all-league second-team honors. She led the Lady Indians with a 10.1 scoring average and knocked down a team-high 54 three-pointers as Burroughs completed an undefeated league season at 14-0.

In softball, the Indians had a strong season as well finishing in second with Ortega again receiving all-league second-team recognition. She batted .518 and led the team with 43 hits and 37 runs.

Sidney Ortega

Sidney Ortega

Ortega carried an astounding 4.55 cumulative GPA during her four splendid years.

Burroughs recognized her outstanding accomplishments by naming Ortega the 2014 Mike Torrez Memorial Athlete of the Year this past spring.

Ortega fulfilled a dream come true when she was accepted into UCLA. From Luther Burbank to Burroughs and now to becoming a Bruin, Ortega has triumphed with flying colors.

“I didn’t plan on going to UCLA because I thought I wasn’t going to get in. But when I heard I did, I was doing backflips and cartwheels. I was so excited,” she said. “I get a good education and get to watch great sports there. It’s been a happy ending to a fairy tale.”

Moskowitz, 17, received the BHS cross country team’s ‘most inspirational runner’ award and was a second team all-league honoree as a senior. This past fall, the Bulldogs had a phenomenal season finishing second in league, placing ninth at the CIF Finals and sustaining a top-10 Division 1 ranking all season long.

In track, Burbank took second place in the Pacific League after another strong showing by the long distance squad in which Moskowitz played a pivotal role.

Moskowitz steadily progressed over four years into a reliable and consistent runner for Burbank. His best track times were 4:29 for the 1600 and 9:31 in the 3200. His top cross country marks were 15:37 at Mt. SAC and 15:09 at Arcadia Park.

Ethan Moskowitz

Ethan Moskowitz

Moskowitz’s efforts in school (an exceptional 4.25 cumulative GPA) and in sports resulted in Cal Poly Pomona accepting and welcoming him on to the cross country and track teams.

From John Muir to Burbank and now to becoming a Bronco, Moskowitz has deserved everything that has come his way.

“It’s very exciting. When I actually took a tour of the campus, I knew when I walked around that this would be the school I would go to. It’s a beautiful campus,” he said. “I’m going to major in business and it’s a great business school. And I’m going to be running on their cross country and track teams. I’m going to fit right in.”

As the two scholar-athletes begin the next chapter in their lives, they reflected upon what their high school experience meant to each of them.

“It was great playing two sports. The sports made a difference and getting good grades was important,” Ortega said. “I’m also glad I did it because it changed who I met. Some of those people are my closest friends. They made a big impact on me.”

“Burbank gave me so many great life lessons and experiences. I also made so many lifelong friends,” said Moskowitz. “I learned how to balance academics with athletics by just going home after practice and getting straight to work. I learned how to discipline myself how to get the work done. I wanted to make sure I took care of grades and do well in athletics.”

Both were also very appreciative of their coaches’ support and guidance through the years.

“My coaches (Vicky Oganyan and Doug Nicol) helped me get through adversity. If I was at a low point in sports, they would always help me keep pushing. I will take that through college,” Ortega said. “They were always helpful, encouraging and wanted me to do well. They pushed me to strive to do my best. Slacking wasn’t an option. Without them, I don’t think I would have been as successful as I am now.”

“They (Trevor Marca and Darin Wolf) pushed me and motivated me to be successful. They created an environment where the whole program helped each other with academics. The upperclassmen tutored me when I was a freshman and I tutored when I was a senior. We all helped each other. Being a runner for four years played a large part in that.”


Michael Ospina, Burroughs Football

Burroughs' Michael Ospina will look to lead the Indians into a successful football season (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burroughs’ Michael Ospina will look to lead the Indians into a successful football season (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

By Dick Dornan
MyBurbank Sports Editor

Anchors Aweigh!

Stand Navy out to sea, fight our battle cry!
We’ll never change our course so vicious foes steer shy-y-y-y!
Roll out the TNT, anchors aweigh!
Sail on to victory, and sink their bones to Davy Jones, hooray!

Anchors Aweigh, my boys, Anchors Aweigh!
Farewell to Foreign Shores, we sail at break of day-ay-ay-ay;
Through our last night on shore, drink to the foam,
Until we meet once more, here’s wishing you a happy voyage home!

When music accompanies these verses, the words come to life for any Midshipmen. Those are the first couple of verses of the U.S. Naval Academies’ fight song. Just hearing and visualizing the song gives me the chills in my head as our proud naval servicemen defend our country.

For senior Michael Ospina of Burroughs High School, these are the words that he hopes one day will apply to him as a future student at Navy.

Michael Ospina

Michael Ospina

Recently, Ospina returned home after visiting the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, for six days (May 31 – June 6). He was invited by the United States Naval Academy as part of a select group of 2,550 men and women from across the nation and abroad to attend the Naval Academy Summer Seminar program.

“It was a lot of fun. I learned a lot and met a lot of new people,” Ospina said. “Everyone was so nice. All the leaders led by example. I did some physical activity. It wasn’t too bad but it was a taste of what I will experience if I do go there.”

Ospina, 16, was selected to attend the U.S. Naval Academy’s accelerated leadership program for rising seniors. This is a USNA sponsored summer seminar that teaches prospective applicants about life at the Naval Academy, where academics, athletics and professional training are key elements in developing our nation’s future leaders.

During his time there, Ospina took academic and leadership sessions (eight 90-minute workshops such as information technology, naval architecture, mechanical engineering, oceanography, meteorology, etc.) and was also a part of seamanship and navigation classes aboard a Navy Yard Patrol Craft.

Ospina participated in physical training classes involving group runs and conditioning exercises. Physical training went from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“I really pushed myself to my limits,” he said. “I didn’t know how far I could push myself. It did show us that your mind will give up before your body actually does.”

It was the experience of a lifetime for Ospina as he had the unique and special opportunity to examine the life of Midshipmen up close and personal.

It his dream and goal to be accepted into Navy and to attend school there in the fall of 2015. In addition, Ospina has the desire and fortitude to serve his country upon graduating from the Naval Academy.

As he approaches the fall at JBHS, Ospina has his sights set on a tremendous academic and athletic school year. Two of his top priorities are maintaining his cumulative 4.0 grade point average as well as excelling as a leader for the Indians’ football team.

“I feel like I have the leadership qualities being out here on the football team leading by example,” he said. “I hope to have a great season, keep my grades up and do my best.”

His success in the Burroughs’ football program began as a freshman when he was starting quarterback and earned team MVP honors. As a member of the JV squad the following year, Ospina was named the MVP Offensive Back.

Michael Ospina gains yardage in a game last season (Photo by Craig Sherwood)

Michael Ospina gains yardage in a game last season (Photo by Craig Sherwood)

Last year as a junior in his first season at the varsity level, Ospina rushed for 386 yards on 65 carries (5.94 yards per carry). This season he is competing to be the starting running back for an Indians’ program that has a rich tradition in its rushing attack.

Sound familiar Navy fans?

The Midshipmen ranked No. 2 in the country this past college football season averaging 325.4 yards per game, second only to Auburn’s 328.3.

Ospina would fit in well at Navy as a student-athlete if he chose to play football.

Balancing the demands of a hectic athletic lifestyle and a commitment to high academic standards has put Ospina in the position of pursuing his lifelong dream of attending the Naval Academy.

“He’s one of those kids you want in your program,” Burroughs coach Keith Knoop said. “Michael is a good leader. He’s not afraid of talking to kids on the team about doing the right thing. Anytime you can get to the Academies in any way, shape or form, you’ve done something right. When you can get in, it’s pretty special.”

In 2013, he was selected to attend the National Student Leadership Conference focusing in Medicine and Healthcare, at American University, Washington D.C.

MOHis experience at the Naval Academy Summer Seminar opened his eyes and reaffirmed his commitment to apply to Navy for admission. It also taught him a valuable life lesson that he has brought back to share with his Burroughs’ teammates.

“One thing I really took from it was, ‘If not me, then who?’” Ospina said. “I learned that if I’m not going to be the one that will do my hardest, then who will? I have to lead by example to have others follow me. It’s a really good way to live my life and especially out here on the football field.”

Let’s hope Michael is granted his wish and desire to attend the Naval Academy. Then he can sing the fight song regularly walking across the beautiful campus with his head high at one of America’s greatest college institutions.

“Hopefully everything goes well and I get accepted. It would mean a great deal to me and especially for my parents (Fabian and Darlene),” Ospina said. “One thing they always talk to me about is service for my community. I would be happy to be able to do that because I would be making my family and community proud.”



Charlie Peebles, DPM: Burbank Native Provides Friendly Foot Care in Atlanta, Georgia

By Dick Dornan
MyBurbank Sports Editor

On July 4, 2014, the United States of America will commemorate its 238th birthday of independence. It will be a festive day throughout our country and rightfully so.

July 4th also marks a special and celebratory day down South in Atlanta, Georgia. More than 65,000 runners are expected to compete in the 45th running of the Peachtree Road Race, the largest 10K in the world.

As the throng of runners navigates its way through the 6.2 mile course with thousands of fans and spectators cheering and looking upon, a Burbank native and Burroughs alum will be working behind the scenes as a member of the medical staff.

Meet Charlie Peebles, DPM, of the Atlanta Foot and Ankle Center. He is a podiatrist specializing in the medical, biomechanical and surgical treatment of problems of the foot, ankle and lower leg with an emphasis on lower extremity sports medicine.

Doctor Charlie Peebles, Burroughs Class of 1987

Doctor Charlie Peebles, Burroughs Class of 1987

In addition to the Peachtree Road Race, Dr. Peebles also serves as a staff physician for the Atlanta Half Marathon and Georgia Marathon. He has served as Medical Director and race chairman for the Jingle Bell Run to support the Arthritis Foundation.

“I do a job that I love. The biggest part I love is keeping people active; keeping the weekend warriors going,” Dr. Peebles said. “I really enjoy working with people who will run the half marathon for the first time.”

The 1987 graduate of John Burroughs High School currently resides in Alpharetta, Georgia, with his wife Michelle, and children Jaymi and JT. His parents, John and Fran, remain happy residents of Burbank. Dr. Peebles is the oldest of three children, with Mac in the middle and John the youngest brother.

The name might sound quite familiar as his brother, John, is the Cross Country and Track head coach for Burroughs. While John continues to be an inspiring coach, teacher and mentor for the boys and girls at JBHS, older brother Charlie has established a career to be proud of also.

He credits his parents as his biggest supporters but was quick to point out that three coaches from his days at Burroughs had a positive and influential impact upon him. Dave DeLong, Art Sullivan and Terry Scott were three men who “brought me along from a coaching and life perspective.”

Since his days as a Burroughs tri-sport athlete participating in cross country, basketball and track, Dr. Peebles always had the passion and interest in sports medicine. After graduating from Burroughs, Dr. Peebles attended U.C. Irvine where he majored in Biology.

Dr. Peebles earned his Doctor of Podiatric Medicine degree from the California College of Podiatric Medicine in San Francisco, Calif., in 1995. He completed his surgical residency in 1998 in reconstructive surgery of the foot and ankle at Northlake Regional Medical Center in Tucker, Georgia. He returned to Atlanta in 2006 after practicing with Bluewater Orthopedics on the Florida Panhandle.

Dr. Peebles has been the team podiatrist for the Atlanta Hawks since 2006 and also works with the Atlanta Braves, Atlanta Falcons, University of Georgia, Georgia Tech and many high school athletes in town.

Dr. Peebles has been the team podiatrist for the Atlanta Hawks since 2006

Dr. Peebles has been the team podiatrist for the Atlanta Hawks since 2006

Working for the professional franchises of the Hawks, Braves and Falcons has been a rewarding experience. He assists the athletes by modifying shoes, customizing orthotics and working with the different trainers on staff. When needed, Dr. Peebles will perform surgery for an ingrown toenail or other foot ailments.

Before any professional athlete can shoot a jump shot, swing a bat or throw a football, they must be comfortable in their own shoes. Dr. Peebles’ valuable insight, knowledge and care are as important to each athlete as the agent they hire or the coach they play for.

Aside from meeting with the players in the locker room prior to their games or at his office, Dr. Peebles has enjoyed the relationships he has developed with the athletes such as the Hawks’ Al Horford and former Hawks’ Josh Smith (Detroit Pistons) and Jason Collins (Brooklyn Nets).

“The coolest thing for me is to see them off the court. They are down-to-earth people who are very respectful and kind,” Dr. Peebles said. “It’s fun to keep up with them after their careers seeing their families and kids.”

Dr. Peebles and his partner at work, Dr. Perry Julien, take care of numerous Olympic athletes as well Paralympic athletes.

PeeblesRacemed1He is board certified in Reconstructive Foot/Ankle surgery by the American Board of Podiatric Surgery and holds fellowships in the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons and the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine. Dr. Peebles has served on multiple international medical missions and lectures nationwide on various surgical and sports medicine topics for the Podiatry Institute and other state organizations.

During his free time, Dr. Peebles is active in running and basketball and has coached youth basketball, soccer and football. He is a two-time qualifier and finisher of the Boston Marathon in 1995 and 1996. At the 100th running of the Boston Marathon in 1996, Dr. Peebles ran alongside his brother, John, who “pulled me through” across the finish line.

From his youthful days at David Starr Jordan Middle School to raising a family and working in the field of Podiatry, Dr. Peebles has experienced much joy and pleasure being there for others.

“I feel very blessed to be here,” he said. “I feel like God put me here to help others. He opened some doors for me. It’s just been a blast.”


Burroughs & Burbank Girls Summer Basketball Leagues Now in Action

Burroughs Girls Basketball (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burroughs Girls Basketball (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

This summer will provide fans a lot of opportunities to see the future of Burroughs and Burbank girls basketball. Each school is hosting a varsity summer league on their respective campuses. Here are the schedules for the two programs:

Burroughs Varsity Summer League on Tuesdays-



Burbank Girls Basketball (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burbank Girls Basketball (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burbank Varsity Summer League on Wednesdays-


Local Chef Cooks Up Well On Food Network Show

A Burbank woman has become an overnight celebrity after she appeared recently on the Food Network program “Cutthroat Kitchen.”

Chef Elyse

Chef Elyse Elshenawey

Elyse Lain Elshenawey appeared on the episode of “Cutthroat Kitchen” that aired on October 20.  On the show four chefs compete against each other in three different cooking challenges until just one remains.  Each receives $25,000 to use for bidding for ingredients, or the right to take away ingredients from the others to sabotage their cooking. A judge eliminates one contestant after each challenge, until only one remains.  That winner gets to keep any of the cash they have leftover after the bidding.

Chef Elyse’s rise to celebrity began about two months ago when she got a call from the production company asking her to audition for the show.  A screen test followed. She got an email about a week later telling her things were progressing. Then came the email and voice mail messages, all at the same time, informing her that she had been selected.

“It’s very overwhelming,” said Chef Elyse, referring to the process of getting on the show.

It took about 10 hours of taping to put together the hour-long show.  Viewers didn’t get to see all the sabotages that happened during the taping.  In one sabotage that didn’t air, she had to share a single burner with one of her opponents, who she described as “a little pushy.”  Although he was the eventual winner, Chef Elyse was able to sabotage part of his winning creation.

Her pancakes, followed by her jambalaya, won praise from the judge, and got her into the final cooking challenge — meatloaf and mashed potatoes.   Using her cash to outbid her opponent, she was able to take away all of his ground meat for his meatloaf. He was forced to cut up some not so tender beef.   She also won the right to take all his potatoes and replace them with potato peels.

At this point things were looking good for Chef Elyse, until she remembered that she forgot to get any Worchester Sauce.  As she bemoaned on the air, it really adds flavor to a meatloaf.  Then she was also faced with an oven that didn’t heat up properly.  In a “Hail Mary” effort to save her meatloaf, she fried it like a hamburger — which unfortunately, was how the judge described it.  At least the judge called her mashed potatoes one of the best she had tasted.  Although her opponent’s fried potato peels, in the words of the judge, “tasted like potato peels,” they weren’t bad enough to overcome her “hamburger” meatloaf.

The winner walked away with just over $9,000.  Runner-up Chef Elyse got a travel mug. She described the experience as “a little bit of both work and fun.” She was quite impressed by the show’s host, Alton Brown.

“I’d love to be like Alton Brown,” said Chef Elyse, “He has cooking skills and knowledge about food.”

Although a relative newcomer to the culinary arts, Elyse says it was something she always wanted to do.  She attributes her interest to when she was a child, and her mom worked for a cruise line.  “I was inspired by all the fancy food we ate on cruises,” said Elyse.  The 2003 graduate of John Burroughs High School didn’t take any foods or cooking classes in high school, mainly because they weren’t offered until after she graduated.  She did work at Disneyland in food services after she graduated.  That was in sharp contrast to her next job.

In 2006,  Elyse enlisted in the U.S. Army.  During her 4-year hitch she worked in Air Defense Intel and as a Trauma Nurse/Volunteer as a medical assistant for which she received paramedic training.   She served a tour in Afghanistan doing convoy duty, foot patrols, and helicopter supply, where she came under enemy fire.  Her last duty station was at Ft. Bliss near El Paso, Texas.

Once out of the Army in 2010, Elyse attended the Institute of Culinary Education. She currently works as a chef and pastry chef at Froma On Melrose.  The restaurant specialized in hybrid French/Italian cuisine. When asked about her hobbies, she said, “I love to cook.”  Instead of pictures of herself, family, or pets, her Facebook page featrures pictures of her culinary creations.   She also likes to watch scary old “B Movies,”  sing karaoke, do yoga, and spin.

Chef  Elyse is a relative newcomer to the world of celebrity chefs, but she has certainly caught the attention of a lot of people after displaying her impressive cooking skills.  Although she came in second to a more experienced chef, her culinary skills under less than ideal conditions didn’t go unnoticed.   “I got recognized on the street last week,” she noted

If you missed it, that episode is set to air again on Oct. 29 and again on Dec. 17, both at 6 p.m. on the Food Network.

Burroughs Inducts Athletic Director Marty Garrison into its Athletics Hall of Fame

Burroughs Athletic Hall of Fame Class of 2013

Burroughs 2013 Athletics Hall of Fame Class (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

By Dick Dornan
MyBurbank Sports Editor

Burroughs held its annual athletics “Hall of Fame” induction ceremony last Friday and it concluded in grand style. The best was saved for last. After years of serving as the presider and master of ceremony for the special evening, Marty Garrison was a recipient this time.

A graduate of John Burroughs in 1962 and the school’s current Athletic Director since 1988, Garrison earned his place alongside Burroughs greatest coaches and athletes. It was a moment that Garrison will never forget as Jay Gudzin welcomed him into the Hall of Fame.

Marty Garrison

Marty Garrison

“It’s one of the highlights of my life,” Garrison said. “My entire family was here so that’s pretty awesome too. I’m pretty lucky.”

Garrison found out about the surprise induction two weeks prior to the event. At the time, Garrison was preparing to honor the 1981 Football team, Suzy Babko, Kimberly Farrell, and Coach Mickey McNamee. Then he received word of his distinction which caught him off-guard but no less was a humbling sense of pride and excitement.

“I was pretty excited when I first heard,” he said. “I now know how these people feel because I do it every year for them. I know what it means and it’s pretty special.”

After Gudzin presented him with his medal after a heart-warming speech, Garrison thanked everyone and then had time afterwards to reflect upon his induction and the words that Gudzin shared.

Marty Garrison's grandkids shared the moment with him (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Marty Garrison’s grandkids shared the moment with him (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Gudzin spoke highly of Garrison, his character and the enormous positive impact that Garrison has had on the Burroughs community for so many years.

“You don’t hear those words that often,” said Garrison, who has coached for more than 35 years. “You never hear anyone saying how good of a job you are doing. It’s usually ‘will you do this or will you do that?’”

Garrison has coached 10 league championship football teams, made 16 CIF appearances and was a coach on the 1986 football team that made it to the CIF Finals.

Now that he has reached the pinnacle in his career, Garrison was asked if he would ever consider retiring after such a poignant time in his life.

“No,” Garrison said with hearty laughter. “I’ve got a lot more work to do here.”

Brian Hurst (left) with Marty Garrison (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Brian Hurst (left) with Marty Garrison (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Former Athletic Director Brian Hurst, who named Garrison as the Athletic Director to replace him, and Burroughs Softball Coach Doug Nicol, shared their thoughts on Garrison’s Hall of Fame induction.

“It’s awesome and long overdue. It couldn’t have happened to a better guy,” Hurst said. “It’s well-deserving, he’s a hard worker and he is loved by everybody.”

“Like Jay (Gudzin) said in his speech, it’s hard to follow an icon like Brian Hurst but he did it with flying colors,” said Nicol. “Marty is literally the heart and soul of the school now. I’ve had the opportunity to coach his kids before I came here and also to work with him. If anyone is deserving, it’s Marty Garrison.”

In addition to Garrison, the night also belonged to the 1981 Football team, Suzy Babko, Kimberly Farrell, and Coach Mickey McNamee. Former football coach and Burroughs Hall of Famer Bob Dunivant was on-hand to see his 1981 gridiron squad receive their due recognition.

The Indians were the first team at JBHS to play in a CIF championship football game.

1981 Football team (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

1981 Football team (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“I’m really happy about it,” Dunivant said. “We had a number of Foothill League championships and I remember that one probably as much as any of them.”

With many dignitaries in attendance from the Burbank Unified School District as well as current and former coaches, family and friends, Burroughs High School once again showed why its Hall of Fame is one to be proud of.

“It’s a great event. This is what makes Burroughs great,” Nicol said. “Burroughs has always had a huge sense of community ever since I was a student here in 1979. Marty understands that. It’s great to see old friends and people you care about at an event like this.”

“I’m glad to see the tradition keep going on,” Hurst added. “It’s keeping the history of the school and athletics alive.”

The ceremony also honored Roberto Perez, Hall of Fame class of 2006, who had his No. 13 soccer jersey retired by Burroughs Soccer Coach Mike Kodama. He was an All-American and the CIF Player of the Year in 1994.

(Photo gallery below)

2013 Hall of Fame honorees:

1981 Football team

The 1981 Football team, ranked second in the CIF, was the Foothill League Champs for the fifth consecutive year and earned the school’s first trip to the CIF Championship game.

Coaches: Bob Dunivant, John Plevack, Jay Gudzin

Players: Chris Vanole, David Strasser, Don Bender, Bill Tebbe, Joe Tofoya, Jim Frankian, Tim  Radecki, Jerry Mersola, John Marx, Charlie Cusumano, Bo Williams, Tom Tlton, Mark Bozeman, Mike Lesi, Eriz Ziegler, Jeff Markland, John McHorney, Kiyo Watanable

Suzy Babko- 1994

Suzy graduated from John Burroughs in 1994. While at Burroughs, Suzy played basketball, volleyball, and ran track. She earned first-team All-League honors in both basketball and volleyball. After graduating from JBHS, Suzy attended UC Riverside on a basketball and track scholarship. In 2007 Suzy earned her Doctorate degree and began her current position as a Cal State Fullerton Special Ed. Teacher.

Kimberly Farrell- 1978

Kim graduated from John Burroughs in 1978 where she led the girls’ basketball team to their first Foothill League Championship. Kimberly demolished the Foothill league basketball records in scoring, rebounding and shooting percentage averaging 26 points and 18 rebounds her junior and senior year. She was voted MVP her sophomore, junior, and senior years. She was the first girls’ basketball player to be selected as the Los Angeles Times Player of the Week. She earned a scholarship to Long Beach State and started for the NCAA Division one top-ranked team in the nation.

Mickey McNamee- 1957

Mickey graduated from John Burroughs in 1957 and played baseball for the 1957 team which delivered the first Foothill League Baseball Championship title for JBHS. At the end of the season, Mickey was named to the All-CIF team. Mickey went on to play at USC and later coached at USC with Rod Dedeaux. In 1963 Mickey went to San Marino and was the varsity baseball coach for 44 years. During that span the Titans qualified 30 times for the CIF playoffs.  They were in the Finals seven times and emerged as CIF champions on five occasions. Mickey was named “Coach of the Year” six times.







National Championship-Winning Choirs Roll Out The Red Carpet For Burroughs On Broadway 2013

John Burroughs High School’s Vocal Music Association kicks off the 2013-14 season with its most ambitious presentation ever of “Burroughs on Broadway.”  Featuring the Program’s four award-winning choirs, including the 2013 National Show Choir Champions POWERHOUSE (Mixed Division) and SOUND SENSATIONS (Womens Division),  this annual event, affectionately known as B.O.B., is the JBHS VMA’s  biggest, most extravagant fundraiser of the year, helping offset the costs that arise though the program’s participation in local and national competitions.

Performances are Friday, October 11th and Saturday, October 12th at 7p.m. and Sunday, October 13th at 2p.m., at the John Burroughs High School Auditorium, 1920 W. Clark Avenue , Burbank 91506. Tickets on sale now at www.jbhsvma.com.

The school’s award-winning choirs: POWERHOUSE, SOUND SENSATIONS, SOUND WAVES and DECIBELLES will each be performing a mini-musical, with selections and highlights from popular Broadway shows, including SHREK THE MUSICAL, THE WILL ROGER’S FOLLIES, BARNUM & PETER PAN.

In addition to the choirs performance, there will be individual students and small groups showcasing other well-known Broadway tunes while interacting with the audience up close and personal, cabaret-style. This, in fact, is what makes Burroughs On Broadway especially exciting. The personal interaction with the performers and the audience brings an entirely new and different dynamic to the show that is not to be missed.  Premium Reserved Cabaret Seats include a reception buffet prior to the show, and dessert/drink service at your own table during the intermission.

The John Burroughs High School Vocal Music Association includes five competitive show choirs, involving over 200 student choir, tech and musical performers.  The program’s advanced mixed choir, POWERHOUSE, has long been recognized as one of the nation’s finest show choirs. An inspiration for the television series “Glee,” POWERHOUSE was invited to perform on the Oprah Winfrey Show in 2010 as a representative of the modern high school show choir phenomenon. This summer, POWERHOUSE performed alongside “Glee” series star Darren Criss at the Hollywood Bowl’s Opening Night Hall of Fame Induction. POWERHOUSE has performed opposite the cast of “Glee,” Christina Aguilera, Nelly Furtado, The Canadian Tenors and Foreigner. Additionally, the group was featured in “Gleeful: The Real Show Choirs of America”, a British documentary as well as profiled on the “CBS Evening News.” The choir has traveled and performed in a variety of cities around the U.S., and has traveled internationally to Hong Kong and Beijing in recent years.

In addition to being named the 2013 National Grand Champions, POWERHOUSE has accumulated countless awards and accolades on both the local and national levels, including Grand Championships at the FAME Hollywood Show Choir Regional Competition; the 2009 FAME National Show Choir Cup in New York, the 2008 FAME Chicago National Show Choir Competition and the 2007 FAME Orlando National Show Choir Competition. For more information, go online at jbhsvma.com.

A Little Salsa Under the Stars

submitted by Suz Ryan

Sizzling, syncopated Latin beats and a dance floor of samba-stepping feet returned to Burbank Saturday evening September 7th at the John Burroughs High School outdoor amphitheater for the 3rd annual John Burroughs Instrumental Music Association’s Salsa under the Stars live music and dance concert.

(Photo  by Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

After a toe-tapping warm up set by the JBHS Jazz Combo, State Assemblymember Mike Gatto introduced the event by presenting certificate honors to members of the JBHS Instrumental Music Association for their contributions and dedication to musical excellence in the Burbank community, most notably the continued efforts of JBHS Music Director Tana Barnett.

Professional dance lessons were offered by former Burroughs alumna Linda Shoemake.   Then full sets of Latin flavored jazz standards were arranged and performed by the JBHS Jazz Ensemble.

(Photo  by Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Over 300 Latin jazz and salsa fans and dance couples enjoyed the event, which was generously underwritten in part by the Arturo Sandoval Institute and former Burbank mayor Marsha Ramos, also a Burroughs High School alumna.  The money raised goes towards supporting the instrumental music program.

The weather was perfect.  The music was great.  It was a beautiful evening under the stars.

(Photo  by Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

(Photo  by Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Nathan Bradley playing the Fugal horn. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Nathan Bradley playing the Fugal horn. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

(Photo  by Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Christmas Arrives Early for Burroughs in 30-7 Rout of North Hollywood

Eric Gordon (rt) rips the ball away en route to a touchdown (Photo by Craig Sherwood)

Eric Gordon (rt, #10) rips the ball away en route to a touchdown (Photo by Craig Sherwood)

By Dick Dornan
MyBurbank Sports Editor

Christmas came early for the Burroughs football program- on the field and at school this past week. In a dust-filled game that was reminiscent of Memorial Field circa 1980, the Indians defeated North Hollywood, 30-7, on the road behind two spectacular plays that literally stole the show.

Seniors Eric Gordon and Davion Barker each made game-changing plays that fueled Burroughs’ first win over a non-league opponent since 2009.

Eric Gordon scores after his quick heist (Photo by Craig Sherwood)

Eric Gordon scores after his quick heist (Photo by Craig Sherwood)

First, Gordon ripped the ball out of a Husky ball carrier and proceeded to score from 13 yards out that gave Burroughs a 17-0 lead mid-way through the third quarter.

A few possessions later, Barker stripped North Hollywood quarterback Michael Zurita of the ball on a fourth-and-one and promptly returned his theft 88 yards for a touchdown and a 30-0 lead with 6:23 left in the game.

But the biggest gift for Burroughs (1-1) arrived at the door of Athletic Director Jose Valle. Standing in front of him was Hawkins Mann, a 6-foot-4, 220-pound senior transfer from Boise, Idaho. Mann recently left Borah High School in Boise and moved to Burbank. He was a four-year starter on defense for Borah and was selected to the All-State Defensive Line AND All-State Offensive Line last season.

After one week in practice, Mann could be described as a “Mann-child” with his imposing figure, tremendous skill level and relentless energy. Mann, who wore No. 51 along the sidelines but did not play against North Hollywood, hopes to be cleared by the CIF in time for the Indians next game against Camarillo.

Hawkins Mann (left, #51) watches alongside his new teammates and coaches (Photo by Craig Sherwood)

Hawkins Mann (left, #51) watches alongside his new teammates and coaches (Photo by Craig Sherwood)

Burroughs coach Keith Knoop and his brother, Kenny, both acknowledged after Thursday’s contest that Mann’s presence will be a huge addition on the defensive side of the ball. Mann, a self-described “hybrid” defensive end, has already verbally committed to Boise State.

It’s not often a prized division one recruit arrives at your door unexpectedly. Burroughs welcomed Mann with open arms. Mann will join a stingy defense that made play after play against the Huskies on Thursday night.

Leading 3-0 at the end of the first quarter, Gordon intercepted a Husky pass that set up the next Indians score.

Hunter Guerin plows his way in for a touchdown (Photo by Craig Sherwood)

Hunter Guerin plows his way in for a touchdown (Photo by Craig Sherwood)

On fourth-and-six from the North Hollywood 17-yard line, Burroughs quarterback Andrew Williams connected with Conor Joyce (37 yards on three catches) for a 13-yard gain. Two plays later, sophomore Hunter Guerin punched in the touchdown on a 4-yard run that gave JBHS a 10-0 halftime lead.

On the Huskies first possession of the second half, Gordon again came up with a big play stripping the ball and returning it for a touchdown. Gordon’s play sparked the Indians.

“I was just going for the ball. The ball wasn’t exposed. I just took it from him,” Gordon said. “Coach said he wanted the ball back so I thought I would step up on defense and make good game-changing plays. We have to work hard as a family so when that play came I took my opportunity. We all played together as a family and we made big plays.”

Quarterback Andrew Williams (Photo by Craig Sherwood)

Quarterback Andrew Williams fires a pass to a receiver down field (Photo by Craig Sherwood)

Williams added a 40-yard touchdown run with 1:10 left in the third on a quarterback keeper right up the gut of the Husky defense. The subsequent PAT was missed giving Burroughs a 23-0 advantage.

Then it was time for Barker to perform his Houdini trick. On fourth-and-one on the Indians 12-yard line, Zurita pushed behind his center trying to gain the one yard needed for a first down. What he didn’t expect was for Barker to suddenly rip the ball away and sprint 88 yards the opposite direction that stunned everyone in attendance.

“I wanted to make a big play in the red zone,” Barker said. “My team did a good job at stopping him. They had him wrapped up and I just came up and stripped it from him. The defense played hard and I thought the defense won us the game today.”

North Hollywood finally found the end zone with 2:01 left on a 22-yard touchdown pass.

The Indians swarmed on defense dominating the Huskies (Photo by Craig Sherwood)

The Indians swarmed on defense dominating the Huskies (Photo by Craig Sherwood)

“The defense stepped up. We played well,” Knoop said. “We knew physically we were better than they were. The turnovers were fun to watch. It’s great when you score 30 points and know your defense scored 14 of them.”

Williams led the team in rushing with 45 yards and 53 yards through the air completing 5 of 11 passes. Six other Indian ball carriers combined for 82 yards. More production will be needed when the Scorpions come to town.

“We have some work to do on offense. We have to get a lot better when we play Camarillo next week because they are good,” Knoop said.

Adding Mann to the mix will be an intriguing story line this upcoming week.

Burroughs plays Camarillo in its home opener on Thursday at 7 p.m. at Memorial Field.

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