Tag Archives: Pacific League

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.


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.


Burbank Girls Volleyball Looks to Regain League Title

By Rick Assad
Special to MyBurbank

Kyle Roach isn’t about to rock the boat, especially after what the Burbank High girls’ volleyball team accomplished last season.

Under Sarah Brown, the Bulldogs placed second in the Pacific League behind Arcadia with an 11-3 record, finished 15-8 overall, and advanced to the second round of the CIF Southern Section Division 2-A playoffs.

“I admire what [Coach] Sarah has done,” said Roach, the first-year Burbank coach who inherits nine seniors. ”I’m going to try and build on what she’s already done, and add my own style.”

Roach said the Apaches are a slight favorite, but Burbank, Burroughs and Crescenta Valley aren’t too far behind.

Photo by Ross A. Benson

Photo by Ross A. Benson

“I think we have a real chance to win the league,” Roach said. ”We had a great summer. We won the Burbank [High] Summer League, the Van Nuys [High] Summer League, and tied for first with Valencia in the Pierce [Junior College] League.”

Burbank’s season begins at home versus Golden Valley on September 11, while league action commences at Muir on September 18.

“We do have our whole starting lineup back and they work really well together,” Roach said. ”They’re on the same page every play and they work as a team. We have a lot of senior leadership and many have playing experience.”

One of the leaders is senior setter Sara Treadway, a three-year varsity starter. Treadway, a tri-captain, is the school’s all-time leader in assists for a season with 600 and career with 925.

“Sara’s a great kid and a hard worker,” Roach said. ”She’s definitely one of our floor leaders.”

Senior middle blocker Allison Tiegs is Burbank’s tallest player at 5-foot-11, and will be asked to deliver this season.

“Allison led the team with 222 kills, which is a school record,” said Roach of Tiegs, who was also selected first-team all-league.

Senior libero Lily Winn will be counted upon heavily if the Bulldogs are to challenge for the league title.

“She’s a captain and set the school record with 317 digs,” Roach said. “Lily plays on the softball team and is very athletic. She needs to be on the court for us.”

Another captain, senior outside hitter Rose Cowart stands 5-foot-7, which isn’t especially tall, and is a three-year varsity player.

“Rose is under-sized for the position she plays, but is still effective,” Roach said. “She’s very athletic which also helps her.”

BHS volleyball2

Photo by Ross A. Benson

This will be senior outside hitter Denise Daniel’s third season on the varsity, and if everything falls into place, it could be her most productive.

“Denise has a high volleyball IQ, and she’s played club,” Roach said. ”She’s one of our main hitters and was third last year with 144 kills.”

In Burbank’s defensive scheme, senior middle blocker Nicole Mailhot is essential. “She’s our best blocker,” Roach said, ”and one of our hardest workers at the net. Her blocks start the defense.”

When it comes to knowing the nuances of volleyball, senior outside hitter Ashlyn Edwards is at the top of the list.

“She has a very high volleyball IQ and is one of the best all-around players on the team,” Roach said. ”You can put her in any position on the floor and she’s going to do well.”

Lauren Brenn is a senior opposite hitter and extremely versatile. “Lauren’s also one of the best all-around players,” Roach said. ”She’s adds energy and hustle during practice.”

Senior libero Lucia Estrada does the little things that draws attention from the opposing bench. “Lucia is one of the best diggers and main defenders we have,” Roach said, ”and she gets notice from the other coach. She’s a great kid and a hard worker.”

Junior outside hitter Cailey Stevenson isn’t tall, but is an explosive jumper. “Cailey can jump really high and works hard,” said Roach of Stevenson, a member of the softball team.

Hailey Heath is a sophomore opposite hitter who played soccer for the Bulldogs, and is expected to have an impact over many seasons.

“Hailey’s another fine athlete and she’s going to be one of the leaders over the next couple of years,” Roach said.

Sophomore middle blocker Nicole Winters lacks playing time, but the future appears bright. “Nicole is a quick learner and everything that I’ve seen from her has been impressive,” Roach said.

Freshman Melissa Daniel is a backup setter. “She plays club and is learning everything that she can,” Roach said.

Burbank won the Pacific League title in 2012. Will 2014 be another championship year for the Lady Bulldogs? Only time will tell but Roach would love to make his first year at the helm a special one.



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.

Burbank Football Preview: Keeping an Eye on the Prize

Burbank worked hard in the off-season to prepare for a long run this year (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burbank worked hard in the off-season to prepare for a long run this year (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

By Dick Dornan
myBurbank Sports Editor

Excitement abounds from the Burbank High School campus as the Bulldogs kick-off their football season tonight at 7 p.m. at Ayala High School. Expectations are high for Burbank as they attempt to take one step farther in their quest to win the school’s first-ever CIF championship.

First on the agenda is winning a Pacific League title and then the pursuit of a CIF crown begins.

Richard Broussard begins his first year as head coach (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Richard Broussard begins his first year as head coach (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“Expectations are high. This is a group of kids who gives what it takes to win,” First-year coach Richard Broussard said. “I don’t have any lower expectations because I’ve been here. I’ve been around all these kids and have seen them come up as freshmen.

“They are excited about the season and winning a league title. They need to get through all the steps required because it won’t be easy. They’ve accepted the challenge so far. They are ready to go.”

The Bulldogs, ranked No. 5 in the preseason Southeast division coaches poll, return plenty of offensive talent from a squad that went 10-3 (a school-record for wins) and reached the CIF semifinals, the farthest a Bulldog team has ever gone.

Back for one last hurrah is one of the area’s best running backs in senior James Williams. The Washington State-commit has had an illustrious career having rushed for a school record 2,912 rushing yards on 297 carries- a whopping 9.81 yards per carry in his two high school seasons. He ran for 1,443 yards in 2012 and 1,469 in 2013.

Ulises Ochoa currently has the single-season school record with 1,504 yards set in 2009. Count on Williams to surpass those numbers and own the record for himself.

James Williams has cemented himself as one of the best players ever in Burbank history (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

James Williams has cemented himself as one of the best players ever in Burbank history (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Williams scored a single-season school record 22 rushing touchdowns last year and has hit pay dirt 39 times overall running the ball.

When taking into account all-purpose yardage, Williams set the single-season school record in 2013 with 2,307 yards. He has lit up the scoreboard 46 times in his two seasons.

Against Crescenta Valley last year, Williams ran wild for 278 yards, the most ever in a game in Burbank history.

Along with Williams, the Bulldogs feature talented quarterback Ryan Meredith. A two-year starter, Meredith has thrown for 2,955 yards, 33 touchdowns and only three interceptions. Last year, Meredith tossed for 2,320 yards (second best mark ever in BHS history) while throwing 29 touchdowns and being intercepted a mere two times.

Ryan Meredith looks to lead the Bulldogs to the promised land (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Ryan Meredith looks to lead the Bulldogs to the promised land (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“Ryan is a totally different kid. We saw potential his sophomore year. Last year he did real well. Then he did a lot of work in the offseason,” Broussard said. “He’s ready to lead this team. His growth is going to be key offensively. We are going to put a lot more on his shoulders. He’s going to take our offense to new heights. It will be fun to see.”

After the heart-breaking semifinal loss to La Serna, the eventual CIF champion of the Southeast division, Meredith went right back to work with his personal trainer just two days later. His physical growth and mental maturity has been very evident in summer workouts.

“The game has slowed down a lot. I grew a lot from reads to coverages to little things,” said Meredith. “Coach Bru (Broussard) has really helped me.”

The senior signal-caller is prepared to lead the Bulldogs to greater heights than the school has ever seen.

“We need the preseason games to see where we are at but I feel that we are a team that could make a really good run. I like our chances,” Meredith said.

Other key offensive players include senior tailback Tony Toledo (584 yards, seven touchdowns in 2013), wide receiver Dorian Housholder (372 yards, three touchdowns) and senior left tackle Jordan Meza.

Burbank's defense will be the key to the season (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burbank’s defense will be the key to the season (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

If the Bulldogs are to win a league title or even capture the ultimate prize, the defense will be the difference. They are as green as the turf they practice on but as talented as anybody else in the league. Leading the defensive charge will be senior defensive end Kyle Alvarez.

“His growth is going to be huge because of how young our defense is. We are replacing seven or eight starters,” said Broussard. “We have some experience up front but everyone else is real green. He’s going to be important. He understands our system.”

Alvarez had a team-high 63 tackles a year ago. Despite the inexperience of the team’s linebackers and secondary, Alvarez likes what he sees.

“I feel the hunger every day at practice. I can see it in our eyes. We really want it,” he said. “Hopefully we can go to big places. People shouldn’t underestimate us.”

Sophomore Andy Reyes (51 tackles, 6 1/2 sacks as a freshman) returns with tons of untapped potential at linebacker. Other contributors will be senior cornerback Nick Cantong, senior safety Chris Wong and senior defensive end Alex Gonzalez.

The Bulldogs’ junior varsity team went 10-0 last season and the freshman followed suit also going 10-0 averaging 50 points a game including posting seven shutouts. Along with Reyes, sophomores Jake Kelley, Danny Porras and Forrest Fajardo represent the future for the program.

Burbank begins the season on the road for its first four games. The Bulldogs will finally return home to Memorial Stadium on October 3 in their second Pacific League game against Crescenta Valley at 7 p.m.

“They haven’t been afraid to work. I challenged them to be hungry and stay humble and grind every day. They respond well to challenges,” Broussard said. “They want to win a championship. They had some teams beat them last year that really get under their skin. They don’t like that. They feel like they deserve to win.”

Time for the season to get started and for the Bulldogs to get out and E.A.T.T.


Burbank’s Irene Maemura Looks to Rise to the Top of the Golf World

Irene Maemura of Burbank (left) could join former Burroughs' star Emily Tubert (right) as a league champion (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Irene Maemura of Burbank (left) could join former Burroughs’ star Emily Tubert (right) as a league champion (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

By Dick Dornan
myBurbank Sports Editor

President Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far.”

Burbank’s Irene Maemura could very well be the quintessential example of that infamous phrase. The standout golfer, quiet as a church mouse on the golf course but as determined as a hungry lion hunting down its prey, began her senior year this week with high aspirations.

Maemura has had an excellent career thus far for the Burbank High girls’ golf team but capturing the Pacific League individual title this fall would cap off an amazing journey.

Irene Maemura

Irene Maemura

“It would mean a lot,” Maemura said. “It’s something that I could look back at and be really proud of. It would be a great memory.”

It wasn’t too long ago that Maemura did not play golf. She began playing the sport in the seventh grade when family and friends took her out on a local golf course. Maemura has improved exponentially in a short amount of time.

“I’m amazed by all of it,” Burbank coach Branko Sevic said. “For playing since seventh grade, she has excelled so fast it’s unbelievable.”

Now six years later, Maemura embarks upon the opportunity of a lifetime as she attempts to etch her name alongside some of Burbank High’s greatest women golfers such as Grace Woo and Moah Chang.

“She definitely is in the top three ever at Burbank,” Sevic said. “I think she has a chance to be Pacific League champion, get to CIF Finals and qualify for State this year. I truly do. I think this can be her year that she has worked so hard toward.”

After finishing ninth in the Pacific League individual finals as a freshman, Maemura claimed second place in 2012 falling by six strokes to Crescenta Valley star Jocelyn Chia. Last year, Maemura fired a 75 to take third behind league champion Kayla Yn of Arcadia and runner-up Melissa Leo of La Canada. Chia wound up fourth snapping a string of three consecutive league titles.

Practicing is the daily norm for Maemura (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Practicing is the daily norm for Maemura (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Maemura, 16, trains every day in her pursuit to be the best she can be. She can be found at either Angelus National Golf Club, Hansen Dam or at the Moorpark Country Club fine-tuning her swing at the golf range or mastering her putting and chipping. Maemura meets with her swing coach, Brad Sherfy, once a week as well as with a personal trainer to strengthen her core.

Her love for golf is as much mental as it is physical.

“It’s more of a getaway for me after a hard day of school,” Maemura said. “It really relieves my stress. It’s a great sport. It gives me a lot of benefits like college offers and meeting new friends.”

Playing division-one golf on the collegiate level is one of Maemura’s goals though education takes priority. She currently maintains a 3.8 GPA at BHS and has interest in attending medical school after college and entering the medical field as a future career.

“It would be awesome to play in college,” she said. “But I know it will be tough playing golf and getting my education.”

Sevic believes that college golf is a strong possibility for Maemura.

“She can play at division one easily. She hits the ball as well as anyone,” he said. “It’s basically up to her. How badly does she want it?”

Maemura hopes to swing her way to a league title this fall (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Maemura hopes to swing her way to a league title this fall (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Maemura, a 4-handicap and a member of the SCPGA, spent this past summer competing in national tournaments as part of the American Junior Golf Association. She finished in the top 15 in tournaments held in Palm Desert, Calif., Indiana and Wisconsin. Maemura also played in the Callaway Junior World Golf Championships in San Diego.

Her ability to stay calm under pressure and not be deterred by a poor shot has enabled Maemura to be successful in major events. The past two years has seen Maemura advance to the CIF Southern Section individual finals.

“She never gets mad. She is even tempered,” Sevic said. “She internalizes it and it’s a great way to do it.”

As a sophomore, Maemura shot a 73 at CIF Regionals (8th place), 76 at the CIF Finals (7th place) and an 82 at the State Qualifiers. Last year she improved to a 71 at CIF Regionals (5th place), remained consistent with a 76 at CIF Finals before just missing the cut for State Qualifiers.

The sky is the limit for her. Not since Burroughs’ Emily Tubert has the city seen a talented golfer as the mild-mannered but dynamic Maemura.

“You can just see the confidence she has in her game,” Sevic said. “It’s scary and amazing how good she really is.”


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)




7-on-7 Passing Highlights Summer Football Action for Burbank and Burroughs

Max Haddad catches a touchdown vs. Village Christian in 7-on-7 action (Photos by Dick Dornan)

Max Haddad catches a touchdown vs. Village Christian in 7-on-7 action (Photos by Dick Dornan)

By Dick Dornan
MyBurbank Sports Editor

Two months remain before Burbank kicks off the 2014 football season at Ayala while Burroughs hosts Warren at Memorial Field. In the blink of an eye, Friday night football will be upon us.

James Williams prepares to snag a touchdown vs. Westlake (Photos by Dick Dornan)

James Williams prepares to snag a touchdown vs. Westlake (Photos by Dick Dornan)

Both teams have undertaken a busy summer with 7-on-7 passing competition being held every Wednesday at their respective schools as well as other tournaments on the weekends.

In addition, the Bulldogs and Indians are weightlifting throughout the week to bulk up for Pacific League play that starts during week 4 of the season.

Last Wednesday, Burbank hosted Westlake, San Fernando and Arleta while across town Burroughs welcomed Alemany, Village Christian and Vasquez in separate 4-way round robins of 7-on-7 passing. A photo gallery is below highlighting each team.

For more summer information on both football programs and youth camps, be sure to visit their respective websites:

Burbank Football on defense

Burbank Football on defense

Burbank Bulldogs-


Burbank Vikings 4th Annual Skills and Drills Youth Football Camp (with Coach Richard Broussard at BHS, July 7 – 10th, 8 am – 12 pm)-


Burroughs Indians on defense

Burroughs Football on defense

Burroughs Indians-


Burbank Vikings 12th Annual Keith Knoop Youth Football Camp (at JBHS, July 14 – 17th, 8 am – 12 pm)-


Burbank Football-

Burroughs Football-







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.”



Burroughs and Burbank Boys Volleyball Recognize 10 All-League Players

Burroughs Indians: 2014 Pacific League champions (Photo courtesy of Burroughs High School)

Burroughs Indians: 2014 Pacific League champions (Photo courtesy of Burroughs High School)

By Dick Dornan
MyBurbank Sports Editor

It was quite a year for the Burroughs and Burbank boys volleyball teams after they finished one-two in the Pacific League. The Indians won their fifth consecutive league title and advanced to the second round of the CIF Division II playoffs. The Bulldogs made the postseason for a second straight season after reviving a program that didn’t exist a few short years ago.

Together the two programs have raised the level of excellence to a new standard. Burroughs coach Joel Brinton and Burbank coach Patrick McMenamin represent two of the finest coaches at their respective schools.

Burroughs boys volleyball

Burroughs boys volleyball (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Recently the Pacific League announced the All-League recipients for boys volleyball. A total of 10 players were honored between the two programs.

Burroughs’ Nick Van Loo and Tristan Martin were named Co-Most Valuable Players while Jonathan Fuentes and Danny Casillas earned first-team honors. Dalton Burroughs and Ryan Van Loo made the second team and Max Chamberlain received honorable mention.

Nick Van Loo recorded 234 kills (tied for fourth most in a JBHS season), 60 aces (second most in a season), 27.5 blocks and had a season high of 21 kills against Glendale (fourth most ever in a single match).

Tristan Martin had 186 kills, made a whopping 97% of his serves (only six misses out of 213 attempts), 12 aces, 15.5 blocks, 114 digs and served as tri-captain of the team.

The powerful duo led the Indians to a 21-8 overall record and a perfect 12-0 mark in the Pacific League.

“To have both of these guys share the Player of the Year award is a testament to the balance that this team had. It is also speaks highly of the hard work and determination that this two have,” Brinton said. “Nick was honorable mention last year and Tristan did not make any part of the All-League team last year, and they both put in a ton of work and trusted their teammates and coaches and earned this honor.”

Other Indian stats included-

Jonathan Fuentes: 122 kills, 118 digs, 16 aces, 13 blocks, passed a 2.22 on the season

Danny Casillas: set new school record with 257 digs in the season, best passer at 2.4

Dalton Burroughs: 170 kills, led team in hitting % at .333, 10.5 blocks, 11 aces, tri-captain

Ryan Van Loo: 31 aces (tied for fifth most in a season), 34.5 blocks, set a new school record with 812 assists, 149 digs (2nd on the team), 46 kills, tri-captain

Max Chamberlain: 167 kills, 37 blocks, 5.5 blocks at Claremont (fourth most ever in a match), 13 aces on the year.

Burbank boys volleyball (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burbank boys volleyball (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burbank had an outstanding year finishing 16-6 overall and 9-3 in league. Leading the way was Joseph Servin who was selected first-team All-League. Willie Perryman earned second team honors and Paul Shim was named honorable mention.

Servin set a school-record with 185 kills in a season and had a .244 hitting percentage. He slammed a program-record 15 kills in one game versus Glendale back on April 4. He also had 101 digs, 28 assists, 15 aces and 12 blocks.

Perryman’s stats included 148 kills, .275 hitting percentage, team-best 81 blocks, 51 digs and 12 aces while Shim had a team-high 232 digs and 18 aces.