Tag Archives: Pacific League

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.


Burroughs and Burbank Baseball Honor All-League Players

By Dick Dornan
MyBurbank Sports Editor

Burroughs and Burbank officially concluded their respective baseball seasons with team banquets and the recognition of several of their best players. Each team had a trio of players that were selected All-League; four of whom return for the 2015 season.

After transferring from Las Vegas for his senior year, Cole Meyer proved to be the pitcher that Burroughs coach Craig Sherwood expected him to be. The right-handed sidearm pitcher dominated the Pacific League with several standout performances.

Cole Meyer delivers his trademark slider (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burroughs hit the jackpot with Cole Meyer (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

In seven league contests consisting of 41 2/3 innings, Meyer went 3-2 with a .84 era. He struck out 44 batters and walked 14 while allowing only five earned runs.

Against crosstown rival Burbank, Meyer tossed 13 innings giving up zero runs, seven hits and striking out 16 in winning both head-to-head matchups against the Bulldogs. He was the difference between the Indians making the playoffs or the Bulldogs getting the nod.

His superb season efforts earned him first-team all-league honors.

“He’s been our number one guy all year and he did what a number one guy does. He goes out and battles,” Sherwood said.

Meyer finished the season 5-3 overall with a 1.17 era. He was the heart and soul for Burroughs which finished 14-14 and in fourth place (7-7) in the Pacific League.

Junior shortstop Max Haddad received second-team honors for the Indians. Haddad batted .308 while leading the team with 24 hits, 12 RBI’s and 10 runs scored. In league, he hit .326. He also provided reliable leadership at shortstop after moving over from second base halfway through the season.

Roy Hirota earned honorable mention for JBHS after stepping up and becoming a defensive force behind home plate. The junior catcher managed a pitching staff that recorded a 2.85 era for the year. He also batted .355 in league action.

Camden Palmisano was a steady influence at second base (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Camden Palmisano was a steady influence at second base (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burbank struggled to an 8-15 record this season, 5-9 in league, but provided a lot of promise for the future behind the multi-talented Cameron Briggs.

The junior shortstop earned first-team all-league honors after hitting .368 in league play. Overall, he hit .292 and led the Bulldogs with 19 hits and 13 runs. Briggs also went 4-2 with two saves and a 3.50 era as a reliever.

Senior second baseman Camden Palmisano made second team after hitting .312 in league. As a pitcher, Palmisano had a 1.59 era overall.

Promising freshman Danny Porras was named honorable mention after hitting a team-best .440 in league (overall hit .317 with nine RBIs).


Burbank and Burroughs Softball Garner All-League Honors

Burbank Bulldogs: 2014 Pacific League champions (Photo courtesy of Mike Delaney)

Burbank Bulldogs: 2014 Pacific League champions (Photo courtesy of Mike Delaney)

By Dick Dornan
MyBurbank Sports Editor

For the second consecutive season, Burbank softball star Caitlyn Brooks has been named the Pacific League’s Player of the Year. Brooks led the Bulldogs (24-4, 14-0) to back-to-back league championships going undefeated in 2013 and 2014.

This season Brooks compiled a 21-4 record with a 1.18 era. She struck out 258 batters, walked only 22, and recorded seven shutouts. Not only was she the most dominant pitcher in the league, Brooks was also the best hitter.

Caitlyn Brooks: Two-time Pacific League Player of the Year  (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Caitlyn Brooks: Two-time Pacific League Player of the Year (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The junior Notre Dame-commit hit a whopping .513 with 42 RBIs, seven doubles, six triples and five home runs. She led BHS in RBI’s, doubles and home runs.

“It was well-deserved,” Burbank coach Mike Delaney said. “She is a difference maker both offensively and defensively. She is a hard working athlete that always strives to get better.”

Joining Brooks on the first team were junior third baseman Lily Winn, sophomore first baseman Julia Duarte and junior catcher Bridgette Pisa.

Winn had a phenomenal season batting a team-high .535 with a team-best 46 hits. She also drove in 34 runs with five doubles, eight triples and three home runs. Duarte hit .374 with 34 RBI’s, five doubles, five triples and four home runs. Pisa had a .410 avg. and a team-best 30 runs scored.

Senior Kaitlin Brooks (.303, 17 RBIs) and junior Jazmin Orozco (.360, 31 hits, 22 RBIs) were named second-team and sophomore Cailey Stevenson (.296, 16 runs) received honorable mention.

“It was a great season and I am very proud of our team,” Delaney said.

Burroughs (19-7-1, 11-3) had an outstanding season finishing second behind Burbank in the Pacific League.

Cheyenne Steward had a strong season in the circle and at the plate (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Cheyenne Steward had a strong season in the circle and at the plate (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The Indians were represented on the first team by junior catcher/third baseman Michelle Santiago and senior pitcher Cheyenne Steward.

The battery mates had a productive year with Santiago on fire with a team-best .531 average, 43 hits, 32 runs, 21 RBI’s and 10 doubles.

Like Brooks, Steward had a strong season in the circle and at the plate. She went 9-5 with a 2.95 era, four shutouts and two saves. Steward batted .516 with 32 hits, a team-high 32 RBIs, seven doubles, four triples and a team-best five home runs.

Senior Sidney Ortega (.518, 43 hits, 21 RBIs) and sophomore Kaitlin Okimoto (.485, 30 runs, 27 RBIs) earned second-team honors.

Sophomore Danielle Ryan (.456, 36 hits, three home runs) was named honorable mention.


High School Sports Weekly Recap


Burroughs 5 Burbank 0 (see story)

Indians clinch playoff berth with 4th place finish (7-7); Bulldogs end season 8-15 overall and 5-9 in league (tied for 5th).

Burbank 7 Glendale 6

Tied 4-4 in a must win game, the Bulldogs plated three runs in the top of the 7th inning to hold off the Nitros who scored two in the bottom half. Danny Porras and Ryan Higgens had two hits apiece. Chandler Robbins had a single, two RBI’s and a run scored. Cameron Briggs picked up the win pitching the final two innings, allowing two hits, no earned runs with three strikeouts. Conner Lockheimer had an RBI single in the 7th and Robbins drove home the winning runs on a two-run single with two out to keep the playoff hopes alive for Burbank.

Pasadena 6 Burroughs 2

Max DeAmicis had two doubles and Anthony Robles had a double and run scored in the loss. Ben Hobson threw three innings giving up five hits and one run. With the game tied 1-1, Pasadena scored three runs in the fifth and two more in the sixth to pull away. The Indians have a one game lead on Burbank and Hoover for the fourth and final playoff spot.


Burbank 5 Burroughs 4 (9 innings)  see story

The top-ranked Bulldogs complete 14-0 league season for the second year in a row. Indians finish second in league at 11-3.

Burbank 2 Glendale 0

The Bulldogs won their second straight league championship behind the incredible pitching performance by Caitlyn Brooks. She fired a two-hitter and struck out 19 Nitros, walked no one, while facing the minimum amount of batters. Lily Winn went 3 for 3 with an RBI and Jazmin Orozco went 2 for 2 with an RBI as Burbank won its 20th consecutive game.

Burroughs 14 Pasadena 0

The Indians rolled to the win behind Delaney Nicol who went 3 for 3 with four RBI’s and two runs scored. Sidney Ortega was 2 for 2 with three runs scored and two RBI’s and Kaitlin Okimoto had a double, three RBI’s and scored three runs. Cheyenne Steward and Naelyse Garcia combined on a one-hitter.


Long Beach Poly 3 Burroughs 1 (25-13, 25-21, 14-25, 27-25)

Nick Van Loo: 10 kills; Max Chamberlain and Dalton Burroughs: 8 kills each; Ryan Van Loo: 36 assists. Indians finish the season 21-8 overall and 12-0 in the Pacific League (1st place).

Burroughs 3 Anaheim Canyon 0 (25-19, 25-20, 25-19)

Nick Van Loo 18 kills; Max Chamberlain 7 kills; Ryan Van Loo 28 assists; Danny Casillas 10 digs. Indians will host Long Beach Poly on Thursday at 7 pm in a second round match.

Foothill 3 Burbank 0 (25-13, 25-13, 25-17)

Joseph Servin and Willie Perryman 5 kills each; Peter Jang 12 assists; Paul Shim 6 digs. Bulldogs finish season 16-6 overall and 9-3 in league (2nd place).


(CIF Prelims)


Burbank results at CIF Prelims (Top 9 move on to CIF Finals):

GV 4 x 100- Haleigh Cusumano, Julia Newton, Keren Zepeda, and Felicia Tomitsa 48.90 (school record)- 18th out of 41 teams

1600- Candela Fernandez 5:00.03 (school record)- 8th out of 35;   Brennan Doyle 4:28.37- 21st out of 36

110HH- Jonathan Afzali 15.52- 21st out of 39

400 – Josh Cantong 50.04 (personal record)- 15 out of 37

100- Julia Newton 12.57- 25 out of 49

3200- Candela Fernandez 10:57.51 (school record)- 7th out of 43

BV 4 x 400- Swan, Mkrtchyan, Doyle, Roe 3:27.27 (seasonal best), 21 out of 43

PV- Chris Miranda 14-6- 12th out of 40; Julia Newton- no height

DT- Andy Hurtado 157-9- 11th out of 48

TJ- Chris Walker 40-2.75- 45 out of 52

HJ- Trevor Strang- no height



 PV – Sarah Prystupa – 9’9” – 12th


100 – Niko Guerrero – 11.24 – 27th

400 – Robert Brennan – 49.90 – 12th


110H – Corwin Scherer – 15.73 – 15.73

300H – Corwin Scherer – 40.50 – 14th

300H – Nathan Bradley – 42.04 – 29th

4×100 – Augusto Corea, Robert Brennan, Andrew Williams, Corwin Scherer – 44.43 – 33rd

4×400 – Robert Brennan (51.7), Augusto Corea (50.3), Ricky Mendez (51.1), Everth Vargas (52.3) – 3:25.34 – 16th


PV – Matt Schwartz – 15’0” – Tied for 1st


PV – Kent Truong – 14’6” – 13th


TJ – Niko Guerrero – 41’9.5” – 31st

Code Red: Burroughs Baseball Shuts Out Burbank, 5-0, to Clinch Playoff Berth

Cole Meyer was dominant as he has been all season (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Cole Meyer was dominant as he has been all season (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

By Dick Dornan
MyBurbank Sports Editor

Ahh, the joy of victory. It wasn’t quite the same feeling of winning a league championship as it was a year ago. Clinching a berth in the CIF playoffs and sweeping your crosstown rivals, however, was the next best thing for Burroughs coach Craig Sherwood.

Burroughs coach Craig Sherwood gets doused with ice water after the game (Photo courtesy of Mitch Haddad)

Burroughs coach Craig Sherwood gets doused with ice water after the game (Photo courtesy of Mitch Haddad)

A year ago as an assistant coach at Burbank High School, Sherwood celebrated the program’s first league title since 1991. A year later, his players at Burroughs showered Sherwood with a bucket of ice water to revel in the team’s 5-0 victory over Burbank that secured fourth place in the Pacific League and an automatic entry into the postseason.

Burroughs (14-13, 7-7) began the evening one game ahead of Burbank (8-15, 5-9) and Hoover for the last playoff spot. A victory would guarantee the Indians another week of baseball where as a loss would have caused too many headaches and tiebreakers to deal with.

As it was at Burbank last season, this year’s success was a team effort. Everyone earned the accomplishment. No one individual was bigger than the team. Not from the coaching staff down to the players.

Burroughs celebrates the victory and playoff clinching berth (Photo courtesy of Mitch Haddad)

Burroughs celebrates the victory and playoff clinching berth (Photo courtesy of Mitch Haddad)

“It’s a big step for us. With one returning starter back, we accomplished the same thing as last year’s team did that was basically senior-ridden,” said Sherwood, who took over at his alma mater back in the fall. “I’m glad they stepped up.”

The Indians will learn their playoff fate on Monday morning. A likely matchup at a league champion such as Camarillo or Buena is a strong possibility.

“If you don’t get in, you don’t have a chance to win,” Sherwood said.

Now the chance is there. Anything can happen in the playoffs.

As they have been doing all year long, the Indians rode the arm of submarine specialist Cole Meyer to victory. Meyer threw six innings of shutout ball, giving up five hits, three walks and striking out eight.

Max DeAmicis slammed the door in the ninth by striking out the side.

Meyer lowered his league ERA to a minuscule .84 and 1.17 for the season. In 13 innings against the Bulldogs this season, Meyer allowed zero runs, seven hits while fanning 16.

Cole Meyer reacts after striking out the side with the bases loaded (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Cole Meyer reacts after striking out the side with the bases loaded (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“Cole is a senior and he stepped up,” Sherwood said. “He’s been our number one guy all year and he did what a number one guy does. He goes out and battles. In that one inning, he rose right up.”

After Cameron Rodriguez drove home pinch-runner Ronny Jimenez on an RBI single in the top of the third to give JBHS a 1-0 lead, Burbank loaded the bases on an error, walk and hit in the bottom half.

But Meyer “rose up” to the occasion and proceeded to show everyone in attendance why he is one of the top two pitchers in the Pacific League. Meyer struck out the side as Danny Porras (2 for 3, double), Randy Higgens and Conner Lockheimer could not come up with the clutch hit.

“I had the defense behind me. They came out to play,” Meyer said humbly. “I appreciate what the defense did tonight. I didn’t have to strike everybody out but it ended up that way by accident. A happy accident.”

Burroughs added single runs in the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh innings to cement the victory.

Anthony Robles blasts a majestic RBI double to left field (Photo courtesy of Mitch Haddad)

Anthony Robles blasts a majestic RBI double to left field (Photo courtesy of Mitch Haddad)

DeAmicis and Anthony Robles had RBI doubles in the fifth and sixth innings, respectively, and Gerardo Munoz drove in the game’s final run on a pinch-hit single in the seventh.

Rodriguez went 2 for 4 with a run scored and knocked in the game-winning RBI in his final game against Burbank. All Meyer needed was one run just as he did in Burroughs’ 1-0 win against BHS back on April 25.

“Cole (Meyer) kept saying, ‘Just get me a run. One run,’” Rodriguez said. “I was getting real nervous. I was scared it was going to be my last baseball game ever. So I came into this ready to play my heart out. It’s huge.”

Ryan Porras had a solid effort in only his second start of the season (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Ryan Porras had a solid effort in only his second start of the season (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burbank has a bright future with Ryan Porras, Danny Porras, Cameron Briggs, Andy Reyes and Higgens all returning. Ryan Porras made his second start of the season and pitched well going four and a third innings and limiting the Indians to four hits, one earned run and recording nine strikeouts.

With only one returning starter and a handful of varsity lettermen back from 2013, the youthful and inexperienced Indians grew up just in time to earn a trip to the postseason. Their roster is filled with 16 juniors, many of whom have seen plenty of action this year.

“It feels great. A lot of weight off my shoulders,” said Meyer, one of eight seniors on the team. “We were sitting there biting our nails. Now we are in and I couldn’t be happier.”

Last season Sherwood celebrated on Burroughs’ field as a member of the Burbank staff. Last night he celebrated on Burbank’s field as the proud coach of the Burroughs Indians. Just another memorable day in the life of a coach whose passion for baseball remains constant and unwavering.