Tag Archives: John Burroughs High School

Burroughs Triumphs in the Midst of Tragedy, 45-17

Andy Amela was symbolic of the Indians' heart on Friday night (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Andy Amela was symbolic of the Indians’ heart on Friday night (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

By Dick Dornan
myBurbank Sports Editor

The perfect pass. The perfect catch. The perfect touchdown. Just maybe the pass was guided and delivered from heaven above. From cousin to cousin.

On a day that was filled with emotions ranging from pain, shock, hurt and emptiness ended in a temporary feeling of elation on the football field.

Hours after learning about the death of his cousin, April Townsend, and two others (Jake Gnasso, Ian Bulbenko), Burroughs quarterback Andy Amela showed the heart of a champion and guided the Indians to a 45-17 victory over Rosemead on Friday night at Memorial Field.

Erick Hernandez caught an 86-yard TD pass from Andy Amela (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Erick Hernandez caught an 86-yard TD pass from Andy Amela (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Amela completed 13 of 19 passes for 258 yards including an 86-yard touchdown pass to Erick Hernandez that shook the stadium from the ground up. The picture-perfect throw nestled into the hands of a streaking Hernandez up the Rosemead sideline. It gave JBHS an insurmountable 38-17 lead midway through the fourth quarter.

“He threw it out there and I just kept running,” Hernandez said. “I didn’t know if I was going to get there but I kept running and I got to it. I turned on the jets and that was it.”

The 86-yard touchdown was the sixth longest pass in Burroughs history and the longest since 2008. The record is 93 yards set on October 19, 1996, when J.K. Scott found Glenn Adriatico in a 32-28 victory against Saugus.

Amela completed his final four passes of the game for 157 yards. He ended the contest with one TD pass and no interceptions. Hernandez led the Indians with five catches for 127 yards.

The Indians upended the Panthers with a strong second half (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The Indians upended the Panthers with a strong second half (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“Andy Amela, for a guy who has never played quarterback in high school football, stepped in and made adjustments on some throws that were amazing,” Burroughs coach Keith Knoop said. “You can’t teach veteran guys sometimes that stuff. We tried to spread the ball around and take advantage of what they were giving us.”

The win was the first of the season for Burroughs (1-1) who played with heavy hearts having to deal with the death of Gnasso, a wide receiver for the Indians in 2012, as well as Amela’s cousin and Bulbenko.

“It was really big for us. Everyone was distracted by it,” Hernandez said. “We had a couple of guys who were affected by it. We came out kind of slow but we picked it up. We did it for them.”

The victory was bittersweet for Burroughs Principal John Paramo whose younger brother, Mark, is the head coach for Rosemead.

Aidan Anding breaks free on a punt return (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Aidan Anding breaks free on a punt return (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“My brother and I are both very competitive and it’s kind of a sentimental game because we just lost our dad about a year ago. My dad was a huge football fan and a big supporter of Rosemead High School,” Paramo said. “So this is kind of an emotional one for my brother and I. But it’s kind of nice to win.”

Paramo smiled proudly from the sidelines as Burroughs broke away from a 10-10 halftime deadlock and dominated the second half. Considering the difficult circumstances, the win was soothing for many.

“It’s really hard to describe because you are coming out here and trying to be supportive of the football players and all the football families that are out here to support the team,” Paramo said. “But the kids have been amazing. We have really good kids. This is indicative of the students here at John Burroughs. I’m very proud of them.”

Hunter Guerin scored two touchdowns (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Hunter Guerin scored two touchdowns (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The Indians began the scoring when Hunter Guerin scored on a 1-yard run with 7:50 left in the first quarter. Aidan Anding’s 29-yard punt return gave JB good field position which it capitalized upon.

Trailing 10-7, Andres Aguilar nailed a 30-yd field goal as time expired in the first half to tie it for Burroughs.

The Indians set the tone for a strong second half by taking the opening kickoff and driving 70 yards in nine plays. An 18-yard pass from Amela to Hernandez followed by an 18-yard run from Chance Bell set up Bell’s 1-yard plunge for a 17-10 lead.

Guerin returned the ensuing Rosemead punt 55 yards to the house for a 24-10 advantage.

After the Panthers (0-3) cut the deficit to seven, the Indians roared right back. Hernandez returned the kickoff 25 yards to give JBHS excellent field position on its own 43 yard line.

Chance Bell scored twice for Burroughs (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Chance Bell scored twice for Burroughs (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

A 36-yard pass from Amela to Nick Mercado and runs of nine and one (TD) by Bell pushed the Indians’ lead back to 14 at 31-17 at the 1:19 mark of the third period.

That set the stage for Amela’s heroics finding Hernandez on the 86-yard TD pass with 8:09 left in the game.

Burroughs capped off the win when Ash Hawkins scored from six yards out for the final margin of victory.

“It took a little bit of time because they changed some things on defense,” Knoop said. “Once we figured out what they were doing, then the run game opened up. They tried to press our receivers and we took advantage of that.”

Bell ran for 57 yards on 12 carries while Guerin rushed for 33 yards on 10 carries. Guerin played a strong game at safety with multiple pass breakups. Anding caught five passes for 64 yards.

The Indians are now on the road for five consecutive weeks starting at Santa Fe on Sept. 19.

 

Candlelight Vigil Held in Memory of Three Burroughs Graduates

A powerful and emotional candlelight vigil was held in memory of Jake, Ian and April (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

A powerful and emotional candlelight vigil was held in memory of Jake, Ian and April (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

By Dick Dornan
myBurbank Sports Editor

Hundreds of students, parents, teachers and local community members attended a candlelight vigil held on the campus of John Burroughs High School Friday night in memory of Jake Gnasso, Ian Bulbenko and April Townsend who died in a tragic car accident early Friday morning.

A memorial was set up just outside the main office at Burroughs where students by the droves came by to pay their respect. A chaplain presided at the beginning of the vigil at 9:30 p.m. offering words of encouragement, providing spiritual guidance and reciting the Lord’s Prayer with those who came. Three red candles were lit representing each of the victims.

The crowd of mourners grew throughout the evening (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The crowd of mourners grew throughout the evening (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

As the evening progressed and the crowd swelled, candles and flowers were placed at the Memorial and students and alumni signed posters with words of remembrance, love and affection for Gnasso, Bulbenko and Townsend.

Plenty of tears and hugs were shared throughout the emotional vigil as friends and peers struggled to cope with the shocking deaths of three loved ones.

“We have been dealing since late this afternoon with the tragedy of the families here and it’s just been a lot of mixed emotions,” Burroughs Principal John Paramo said.

According to the California Highway Patrol, the three victims along with Zachary Maina and Timothy Gorman were a part of an accident that occurred at approximately 2 a.m. at Sierra Highway and Rush Canyon in Santa Clarita.

The five teenagers, all of whom were 19 years old and 2013 graduates of Burroughs High School, were in a red Chevy Silverado truck when it veered off the road and rolled down a hill for more than 200 feet into a canyon.

A friend writes her condolences on a poster dedicated to former Burroughs football player, Jake Gnasso (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

A friend writes her condolences on a poster dedicated to former Burroughs football player, Jake Gnasso (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Three people were pronounced dead at the scene when paramedics arrived at 7:30 a.m. Maina and Gorman, one of whom made the 911 call hours after the crash, are currently hospitalized with moderate injuries and are expected to make a full recovery.

Gnasso played football for Burroughs two years ago as a wide receiver/cornerback. Townsend was the cousin of current Indians quarterback Andy Amela.

Behind a sterling and inspiring performance by Amela, Burroughs defeated Rosemead, 45-17, last night despite the pain and heavy hearts that the players carried around. The Indians’ resiliency shined brightly during the most difficult of times.

“We have really good kids here at John Burroughs High School. This is indicative of the students here,” Paramo said. “I’m very proud of them.”

Tears, hugs, hurt, disbelief,and pure love resonated at the vigil (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Tears, hugs, hurt, disbelief,and pure love resonated at the vigil (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The unfortunate incident follows the horrific fiery car crash that took the lives of five Burbank teenagers less than a year ago on September 28, 2013. Tragically, the Burbank and Burroughs communities mourn again the loss of young adults at too early an age.

At this time law enforcement does not know the reason behind the accident as the investigation continues.

What we do know is that the Burbank community has caring hearts and strong love for one another. Through the toughest of times, the city of Burbank has always and will continue to prevail through strength, faith and support.

Life is too precious. Love one another each and every day of your life. We are one. We are Burbank. We are Burroughs.

Burroughs Girls Volleyball Features a Fountain of Youth

By Jim Riggio
Special to MyBurbank

Losing three all-league league players in a sport where just six are on the court at one time might devastate some programs.

But that does not appear to be the case for the Burroughs High girls’ volleyball team.

Last season the Indians went 18-10 overall,  11-3 in Pacific League play.

Lost to graduation are first-team all-league players Dani Gonzalez and Caitlin Cottrell as well as second-team all-league pick Katie Rutecki.

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Coach Edwin Real, who is entering his 11th year as the head coach after being a longtime assistant under legendary Buroughs coach Linda Murphy, has reason to be optimistic with five returning varsity players.

However, it could be a newcomer that becomes the player Real builds his program around for the next four years.

Burroughs has been bolstered by 6-foot-3 freshman middle blocker Marin Grote, who was recently named Most Valuable Player of the Foothill Invitational.

“Our team is improving every time we get together,” Real said. “We had a slow summer, but everybody does because kids are with their club team or doing something else.”

Real got an idea of what his team could be like during the Foothill Invitational.

“We got everyone here about three weeks ago and we did well in that tournament,” he said. “We played a scrimmage (Wednesday). Now we’re kind of up and down a little bit. We know what we have to come back and work on. We don’t need to work on skill. We have to work on our hustle and work ethic.”

Junior middle blocker Danielle Ryan (6-0) is a returning honorable mention all-league selection.

Senior setter Lizzy Gunn (5-6) is another key returner. Senior outside hitter Kelsey Strong (5-8) is a third year varsity player. Senior opposite hitter Jaclyn Offerman (5-7) and junior defensive specialist Sammie Sullivan (5-6) also return.

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The Indians have a strong core of young players as seven of the 13 varsity players are either freshmen or sophomores.

Freshman opposite hitter Jules Cottrell (5-8) and freshman setter Payton Jenson (5-5) are two who figure to be stars before they graduate.

Sophomore middle blocker Caleigh Paster (5-10) moves up from the junior varsity. Sophomore Abby Bolde (5-7) will offer help as a setter. Sophomore Cecera Suarez (5-7) is a versatile player and sophomore Sophia Rizzotti (5-9) will help as an opposite hitter.

Real said he likes the feeling of being an underdog in the Pacific League and knows Arcadia is the heavy favorite to repeat as the league champion behind star Lexi Resch, who is regarded as one of the best players in league history.

“Arcadia is pretty good. They should be strong. I think Burbank has everybody back so they will be strong,” said Real. “I think we’ll be competitive and we’ll challenge (for the league title). I don’t think people will think we’ll challenge because of the people who graduated, but now we have others. You can’t just give up.”

Burroughs hosts Hoover to begin Pacific League play on September 18 and travels to Arcadia on October 2. Battles against rival Burbank will be on Oct. 9 and November 4.

 

Burroughs Football Preview: Working 9-to-5 the Indian Way

Coach Keith Knoop speaks to his team about possessing a blue collar mentality (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Coach Keith Knoop speaks to his team about possessing a blue collar mentality (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

By Dick Dornan
myBurbank Sports Editor

They may not possess the glitz and glamour like their neighborhood rivals from up the street. They do, however, represent a brand of football that the Stanford Cardinal would be mighty proud of.

The Burroughs Indians kick-off their regular season slate of games tonight against Calabasas at Memorial Field sporting a fresh look with new uniforms quite similar to the boys on the Farm in Palo Alto. Why not when both schools don red and white as their school colors and play a style that patterns each other?

The Indians love to go mano a mano in the trenches (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The Indians love to go mano a mano in the trenches (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

One look in the mirror and the Indians see the Cardinal. After all, Stanford was known as the Indians until the name change in 1972. But the similarities don’t end there.

Since becoming head coach of Burroughs 18 years ago, Keith Knoop has built a program that prides itself on toughness, discipline, respect and hard-nosed football. It is the Indian way akin to the Cardinal way at Stanford.

While Burbank High might represent the look of a Pac-12 school with its high-flying spread offensive attack, the Indians are your classic Big 10 smash mouth  group of players who will mix it up in the trenches anytime, anywhere.

This year’s team will follow in the same footsteps of past Burroughs’ squads. Scratch and claw, push and pound, scrape and grind; the Indians will get the job done reminiscent of your everyday 9-to-5 blue collar working class man.

“That’s who we are. Blue collar,” Knoop told his players one day after practice. “We are not handed anything. We need to earn everything we get.”

From the intense weight room sessions to their ironman mentality on the field, the Indians bring the wood every night.

Andrew Mills anchors a tough offensive line (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Andrew Mills anchors a tough offensive line (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

It’s only fitting that leading the way for JBHS this season is a trio of offensive lineman who are as good as anybody in the Pacific League.

“Anytime in high school that you can get three-fifths of your offensive line back that have been together for a while is an advantage. This will really help us,” Knoop said. “They are big, strong guys who love the passion of football.”

Left tackle Andrew Mills, left guard Anthony Olea and center Shawn Edie form the left side of a line that will bring sheer brute force as they go “mano a mano” with opposing defenses. Just as Stanford does.

“We will have a really strong running game. We have a great line this year,” said Mills, a three-year starter. “And we should have a strong passing game too. We have a new quarterback who is doing really well. He’s been slinging the ball pretty well.”

Andrew Mills

Andrew Mills

Mills is the iconic symbol for the Indians and their blue collar attitude. A year ago, Mills played the entire season with an assortment of injuries but refused to ever quit or leave his teammates behind.

“You can’t keep me off the field,” he said. “I love this game too much.”

Mills is one of several captains this season. He cherishes the new role as the team is top-heavy with juniors and a few sophomores.

“I’m more of a leader now. I’m happy to be a leader on this team,” Mills said. “I’m really excited to come out here and play.”

Running behind the behemoth 300-pound hogs will be senior Michael Ospina, junior Hunter Guerin and sophomore Chance Bell. Ospina and Guerin combined for 536 yards in 2013. Be ready to ring the bell once the lightning quick Las Vegas transfer carries the ball in open space.

Seniors Aidan Anding and Anthony Archuleta and junior Erick Hernandez bring experience at wide receiver while junior Aidan Jensen has a promising future.

Andy Amela takes over at quarterback for the Indians (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Andy Amela takes over at quarterback for the Indians (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Making his debut at quarterback will be junior Andy Amela, a defensive back who was converted to QB after promising prospect Steven Hubbell decided to stop playing football.

Amela has transitioned well to his new position and Knoop is optimistic about Amela’s future as the Indians’ signal-caller.

“He has quietly and eagerly just taken the role on. He’s soaking it all in like a sponge,” Knoop said. “He still needs to work on the full speed aspect of the game. When the game is slow, he has really gotten it down fairly well. One day at a time. I just need to get him game ready.”

Kicker Andres Aguilar might be the team’s biggest weapon with his powerful leg. The senior will have a major impact on special teams.

The Indians are extremely inexperienced on the defensive side of the ball. However, Anding, Archuleta and Guerin will play on defense as well in the secondary providing much needed leadership. Guerin is one of a handful of players who signifies the ironman mentality playing both ways.

“It’s really hard,” Guerin said. “I just have to be conditioned and go hard and full speed at all times.”

Junior linebackers Connor Garden and Branden Garcia, junior defensive end Anthony Garcia and junior cornerback Nick Tipton will help aid the cause for the youthful Indians defense.

Burroughs football (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burroughs football (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“We have a lot of talented players but on the flip side of that is we are pretty young,” Knoop said. “A lot of our players are juniors and we even have a few sophomores. Many of whom haven’t started a varsity game yet. They are young but they are only going to get better. They are going to have to grow up fast.”

This we do know. Burroughs embraces its identity more so than any other program at school. Tough on the outside and even tougher on the inside.

The Indians will begin the season at home for the first two games before hitting the road for five consecutive weeks. The 66th “Big Game” vs. Burbank will be held on November 7.

Burroughs Wins the 2013-14 “myBurbank CUP” Trophy

(L to R) Burroughs Athletic Director Jose Valle, Athletic Director Marty Garrison, Assistant Principal of Athletics Matt Chambers and Principal John Paramo hold up the coveted myBurbank CUP trophy  as champions of 2013-14 (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

(L to R) Burroughs Athletic Director Jose Valle, Athletic Director Marty Garrison, Assistant Principal of Athletics Matt Chambers and Principal John Paramo hold up the coveted myBurbank CUP trophy as champions of 2013-14 (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

By Dick Dornan
myBurbank Sports Editor

Drum roll please….

Without further ado, it’s time to officially present the winner of the “myBurbank CUP” trophy presented by Trophy King and Gifts to John Burroughs High School.

By virtue of its 79-56 victory over Burbank High for the 2014-14 athletic calendar year, the Indians have won the inaugural “myBurbank CUP.”

“It is an honor for our school to win the ‘myBurbank CUP’ because it is the first time that our community has a competition that takes into account all team sports,” said Matt Chambers, Burroughs Assistant Principal of Athletics. “This trophy is not about an individual’s performance, but rather the efforts and success of all programs.”

Burroughs Principal John Paramo sits alongside the school's newest prize (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burroughs Principal John Paramo sits alongside the school’s newest prize (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

For the very first time in the school’s athletic histories, a challenge was presented to each school’s athletic departments to compete and earn enough points to claim the newest trophy in town.

This coveted and stunning trophy will be annually recognized for “the spirit of cross-town competition and the pursuit of athletic excellence.”

The “myBurbank CUP” presented by Trophy King and Gifts will be presented in August of each year to the athletic department of either Burbank or Burroughs High School. The trophy will remain at the winning school to showcase to its community until the winner is decided the following year and so forth.

The winner between Burbank and Burroughs was determined by the accumulation of points based on head-to-head varsity competition and athletic achievement (league titles, playoff success, bonus points for season sweeps against each other) during the school year. This pertains only to team competition and not individual achievement.

During fall competition, Burbank ran out to an early and huge 35-12 lead by taking the head-to-head battles (13-7) and conquering in athletic excellence (22-5).

Burroughs vs. Burbank

Burroughs vs. Burbank

Burroughs responded with a strong winter by dominating Burbank, 26-6. This included a 7-3 advantage in head-to-head matchups and a 19-3 victory in athletic excellence.

The spring sports season arrived with Burbank holding a narrow 41-38 lead in the race for the “myBurbank CUP.” An anticipated close duel turned out to be a mere afterthought as JBHS poured it on with a decisive 18-4 win in head-to-head competition and a 23-11 advantage in athletic excellence as BHS struggled down the stretch.

Burroughs took the spring by a total of 41-15 which resulted in a surprisingly easy 79-56 win in cumulative points to take ownership of the first annual “myBurbank CUP.”

myBurbank Sports Editor Dick Dornan (rt) presents the trophy to Burroughs Principal John Paramo (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

myBurbank Sports Editor Dick Dornan (rt) presents the trophy to Burroughs Principal John Paramo (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“Any success that was earned during the 2013-14 athletic year can be attributed to the commitment of our players, dedication of our coaches, and support from our parents,” said Oscar Macias, Assistant Principal of Instruction at Burroughs and loyal supporter at many Indian sporting events.

Last week myBurbank Sports Editor Dick Dornan presented the “myBurbank CUP” trophy to Burroughs Principal John Paramo and the athletic administration (Matt Chambers, Athletic Directors Marty Garrison and Jose Valle).

Home Sweet Home for JBHS (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Home Sweet Home for JBHS (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

We would like to thank Burbank’s own Trophy King and Gifts located at 1509 W. Magnolia Blvd. They helped create and design this incredible trophy that will be kept each year at the winning high school. Please visit at http://burbanktrophies.com or call at (818) 848-3566.

The trophy features a base where each year Trophy King and Gifts will inscribe the winner of that year’s competition in either blue for Burbank or red for Burroughs.

On top of the base are beautiful acrylic pieces that feature the logos of both Burbank and Burroughs High School.

The top of the trophy features a magnificent silver cup that will stand out in the trophy case for the winning high school each year.

Wear your red or blue with school pride. Each athletic event now carries more meaning in the city than ever before. With that being said, best of luck to both schools this year as the battle for the “myBurbank CUP” resumes.

Here are the 2013-14 results sport by sport; contest by contest; season by season-

MyBurbank CUPMyBurbank CUP- continued

Burroughs Boys Basketball Concludes Productive Summer

Coach Adam Hochberg and the Indians made a lot of progress during the summer (Photos by Dick Dornan)

Coach Adam Hochberg and the Indians made a lot of progress during the summer (Photos by Dick Dornan)

By Dick Dornan
MyBurbank Sports Editor

Many of the local high school sports programs have been busy for the past seven weeks since the school year ended. Basketball, soccer and baseball have begun preparing for the 2014-15 season with a full slate of games. Many of the area’s softball and volleyball players have been playing on the club circuit as well.

The summer provides coaches the opportunity to evaluate individual talent while building their team for the future. Look no further than at the John Burroughs boys’ basketball program that ended a very productive summer last week. Coach Adam Hochberg was kind enough to send us a recap of their games, practices and workouts.

Burroughs' Chris Hovasapian

Burroughs’ Chris Hovasapian

This behind-the-scenes insight shows how much time and commitment a team invests during the summer. Building a strong program requires dedication, a passionate and selfless attitude, and a personal sacrifice to become the best you can be.

A year ago, Burroughs finished 16-11 overall and 8-6 in league (tie for third place). The Indians qualified for the CIF playoffs and are looking to repeat the success they had this upcoming winter. In order to reach their goals, every player and coach had to be committed as one.

“We had a very productive summer season working extremely hard and improving each day and week that passed,” Hochberg said. “After two weeks of running our youth camps at the start of June with our players as coaches, we got into a pattern of morning conditioning workouts consisting of track, weight room, and pool and then about 1.5 – 2 hours of basketball workouts consisting mainly of individual skill work/shooting, and breakdowns of what we do system wise offensively and defensively.

Steven Hubbell of the Indians

Steven Hubbell of the Indians

“The varsity played a little over 30 games this summer, mainly all in June. A lot of days we played multiple games. Many of our games during the week were after we had already worked out for about three hours. I was looking to challenge them mentally when their bodies were already tired.

“As June rolled along, we got mentally and physically better and had a stretch in which we won 15 out of 20 games including wins over Cathedral, St. Francis, La Canada, and West Ranch. We went 3-2 in the very tough Maranatha Block Party making it to the silver division. The best part was that this tourney culminated us playing 14 games over 10 days and we got stronger each day and outworked our opponents.

“We have returning players that got a lot of experience last season in close games and their growth has been very evident. We were led on the perimeter by junior Steven Hubbell, and seniors David Schwer and Chris Hovasapian. Our best line up though is with the three aforementioned guys playing outside and attacking the paint along with seniors Jakob Davis and junior Angelo Solis who are a tough duo inside. They simply outwork other teams’ interior players. With them, we are real competitive.

“Solis is our most improved player since this spring and his 6-foot-8 wingspan makes him a great help side defender, shot changer, and tremendous offensive rebounder. Both him and Davis have an instinct for the ball and are learning more each day playing together and off of each other.

Burroughs' Jakob Davis

Burroughs’ Jakob Davis

“Davis was our most consistent player this summer and has developed fundamentally with his perimeter footwork and ball handling making his game expand to be able to play outside and then attack the rim. He is strong and fearless.

“Juniors Eric Allen, Nick Howard, and Rocky Cascolan have also added to our depth since coming up from the JV and they each provide a spark to go along with the other guys already discussed.

“Overall, this team is going to be a pleasure to coach because we know we don’t pass the eye test and we are going to outwork most teams. If we communicate defensively, take care of the ball, and attack the paint and boards, we will be very competitive and have a solid chance to be in the top half of the Pacific League again this upcoming season.”

Hochberg has been the coach at Burroughs for the past five seasons and will begin his sixth year this fall.

Mike Kodama Shares Personal Experiences from World Cup in Brazil

kodama

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-

Kodama-Brazil

Kodama-Brazil(2)

Kodama-Brazil(3)

Kodama-Brazil(4)

 

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.”