Tag Archives: Pacific League

Burroughs Football Can’t Find End Zone, Lose To Crescenta Valley, 38-9

By Rick Assad


Good fortune wasn’t shining down on the Burroughs High football team when it faced Crescenta Valley at Moyse Field on Friday night.

Senior tailback Chance Bell injured his ankle in the opening half and senior quarterback Hayden Zepeda missed the second half with a right knee injury as the Indians lost 38-9 in a Pacific League showdown.

The Indians (4-4 and 3-2 in league) could muster only three field goals from junior kicker Jonathan Rivas.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Tailback Chance Bell (#22), who hurt his ankle talks with injured quarterback Hayden Zepeda. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

The Falcons (7-1 and 5-0 in league) have given up 29 points in league play and will face Burbank, ranked No. 8 in the CIF Southern Section Division VIII and undefeated in league, on the road Friday.

“We made good adjustments at halftime,” Burroughs coach Mike Reily said. “We just had bad luck [with the injuries]. I was happy with the kids in how they battled. They were playing inspired football.”

Reily said Bell, who holds the school career rushing mark, wanted to play. “He’s a team-first guy,” he said.

Rivas’ first kick was a 22-yarder and came with 6:41 left in the initial quarter that cut the Falcons, ranked No. 10 in Division VI, advantage to 7-3.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Bell was kept out of the end zone by the stubborn Falcons defense. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

When Rivas converted from 42 yards out and 27 seconds left before the half, Crescenta Valley’s cushion was shaved to 24-6 and his 43-yard attempt with 9:31 showing in the third quarter made it 24-9.

Bell battled and finished with a game-best 235 yards on 35 carries, but didn’t find the end zone.

It was a tough evening all around as the Indians managed just 298 total net yards.

Zepeda hit on seven of 15 pass attempts for 62 yards, but was intercepted by junior defensive back Grady Schilling, who returned the ball for a 45-yard touchdown and 3:18 left in the second quarter as the Falcons pulled ahead 24-3.

“If my MCL is only sprained, then I’m going to play in the next game [versus Muir],” Zepeda said. “If not, then I want to play in the Burbank game.”

Zepeda also said the offensive scheme was sound. “We had a good game play,” he pointed out. “But injuries happen. They’re part of the game.”

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Senior field general Hayden Zepeda about to pass the football. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Once again, Reily wanted to pass the football knowing the Falcons were going to key on Bell, who came into the contest having scored 25 touchdowns.

“We wanted a well-rounded game plan,” he said. “Spread the ball around.”

On Crescenta Valley’s first series, it drove 65 yards and was capped off by junior running back Joe Suh (team-best 155 yards on 16 carries), who had a 51-yard dash that made it 7-0 with 11:03 on the clock.

Senior kicker Alex Atanackovic’s 39-yard field goal with 4:10 left in the opening period ended a 53-yard march as the Falcons (338 total yards) took a 10-3 lead.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Crescenta Valley’s defense is stifling, allowing three field goals in a 31-point win. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Sophomore quarterback Cole Doyle found senior wide receiver Will Rees with a 14-yard strike and 6:45 remaining before the half to make it 17-3.

With 6:25 showing in the third quarter, the Falcons then darted ahead 31-9 on Doyle’s one-yard keeper, ending a drive that began at the Crescenta Valley 22-yard line and consumed nine plays.

It became a 29-point spread after an 18-yard jaunt by sophomore running back Daniel Cho with 2:42 left in the contest.

The Indians will face Muir on the road on Friday with a 7 p.m. kickoff.


Burroughs Girls Volleyball Shoves Aside Crescenta Valley

By Rick Assad


For the second time this season, the Burroughs High girls’ volleyball team took out Crescenta Valley in three games.

So there was nothing too unusual in the 25-18, 25-23, 25-18 Pacific League road victory by the Indians on Tuesday despite each team having the same record in league play.

The Indians were able to wear down the Falcons from the outset in the battle for second place. Meanwhile, powerful Arcadia sits atop the league standings.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Outside hitter Marin Grote, shown here against Burbank, had a match-best 21 kills versus Crescenta Valley. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

“I know we won in three, but I thought we played somewhat tentative, especially in the first game,” Burroughs coach Edwin Real said. “It [being tentative] changed about half way through the second game. We have to play well because they’re good.”

Spearheading the offense was junior outside hitter Marin Grote’s match-best 21 kills.

Senior middle blocker Caleigh Paster and junior outside hitter Julianna Cottrell both delivered five winners.

The first set was even at 5-5 and 10-10 on Grote’s block before the Indians pulled ahead 14-10 on Paster’s service ace.

Burroughs was able to secure 12 points when Paster was at the service line which tilted the match in the Indians favor.

Burroughs (17-5 and 10-2 in league) shoved ahead 20-13 on sophomore Juliana Van Loo’s stuff at the net, and led 24-17 on Paster’s smash. Cottrell’s dagger claimed the initial set.

Van Loo’s kill evened the second game at 3-3, but the Falcons moved in front 12-8 on a kill from junior Patty Kerman.

The Falcons (12-9 and 9-3 in league) evened the middle set at 15-15 on Kerman’s winner, however the Indians took over and led 18-16 on Van Loo’s block.

It was level at 19-19, but Burroughs rallied and went on a 6-4 blitz that included kills from Grote to make it 24-22 and Grote’s slam to secure the set.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Middle blocker Caleigh Paster (#33), pictured in a match against the Bulldogs, delivered five kills versus the Falcons. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

The Indians seized control 5-1 on a tapper from Grote in the final set which forced a time out from the Falcons.

From this point, it was clear that a sweep seemed likely and it was as Burroughs pulled ahead 8-4 on Grote’s dagger.

The lead ballooned to 14-7 when Paster collected a kill and 17-11 on Grote’s bomb.

Junior setter Lauren Zedlar’s winner pushed the advantage to 20-12 and Van Loo’s smash made it 21-12.  Junior defensive specialist Lizzy Jessen’s ace gave the Indians a 10-point advantage.

In short order, the Indians claimed the set and match on Cottrell’s kill and Paster’s bullet ice the victory.

“We were a lot more relaxed and not too hyper,” Cottrell said. “We’re much better when we play that way so we can focus on what we have to do.”

Burroughs Football Eases Past Glendale, 64-7

By Rick Assad


Because the Burroughs High football team was playing Glendale on Thursday night at Memorial Field, the coaching staff decided the team would be more diverse offensively.

It was in a sense, but old reliable, senior tailback Chance Bell, had another outstanding effort as the Indians routed the Nitros 64-7 in a Pacific League contest.

Bell ran for 332 yards on 16 carries which equaled his career-best total earlier this season against Hoover. For good measure, Bell also scored six touchdowns.

But senior quarterback Hayden Zepeda connected on 10 of 15 attempts for 106 yards and unloaded two touchdowns.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Senior quarterback Hayden Zepeda passed for 106 yards and two touchdowns. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

“Our game plan was to come out and throw the ball,” Burroughs coach Mike Reily said. “We feel comfortable with our run game, but we wanted to make an effort to throw the ball.”

A running clock began with one minute left in the second quarter after Burroughs led by 50 points.

The Indians (4-3 and 3-1 in league) pulled ahead 35-7 in the first quarter and then added 22 points in the second quarter.

Bell’s one-yard carry with 10:06 left capped a 60-yard, six-play drive to make it 7-0.

It was 14-0 after Bell’s 49-yard jaunt and 8:58 on the clock, and became 21-7 with 6:48 showing on a 10-yard Bell burst.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Senior tailback Chance Bell equaled his career best with 332 yards. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

“The line and receivers are doing a great job for me,” said Bell, who had six carries of 20 yards or more. “Everybody’s doing what they’re supposed to be doing.”

Burroughs (479 total net yards) took command 28-7 after a Glendale (1-6 and 0-4 in league) punt traveled minus eight yards as the drive started at the Glendale 10.

Three plays later, Bell, who had 285 yards at the intermission on 12 carries, found the end zone on an 11-yard dash with 5:12 showing.

On the next series, the Indians scored on Zepeda’s 13-yard aerial to junior wide receiver Gavin Aguilar (44 yards on four catches) with 1:07 remaining to make it 35-7.

The Nitros were held on fourth and seven at the Indians 17-yard line, which set up Bell’s 83-yard sprint that included several zigs, zags and field reversals before he danced into the end zone with 8:59 left before the half.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Ben Peters added a six-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Junior Jonathan Rivas was set to boot the extra point, but senior reserve signal-caller Gabriel Pellot instead added the two-point conversion to make it 43-7.

Bell was asked if he can see the holes before they open up.

“The game does slow down for me,” he said. “When I find the hole, I go for it.”

When Zepeda found senior wide receiver/running back Sammy Duran with a 10-yard toss and 7:22 on the clock, Burroughs darted ahead 50-7.

The Nitros were again stopped on fourth down, this time they needed two yards for the first down from the Glendale 28-yard line.

It took Bell one play to scamper in from 27 yards as 5:53 was left before the break and the Indians held a 57-7 lead.

The cushion became 64-7 when junior running back Ben Peters (35 yards on six rushes) delivered a six-yard run with 6:09 left in the fourth quarter.

Glendale’s only tally was a 74-yard pass from junior quarterback Sebastian Gonzalez to junior wide receiver Luis Alvarez about four minutes in the opening period that cut the lead to 14-7.

Burroughs travels to Glendale High’s Moyse Field on Friday night for a match against Crescenta Valley. The game commences at 7 p.m.

Burbank Girls Tennis Sweeps Rival Burroughs

By Rick Assad


For Burbank High and Burroughs, the Pacific League girls’ tennis season is coming to a conclusion.

There are a few matches left beside Tuesday’s which the host Bulldogs captured 13-5 over the Indians.

(Photo by © Brandon Buckley)

Burbank’s No. 1 singles Nicole Merrit won all three sets against Burroughs. (Photo by © Brandon Buckley)

Burbank, which swept both meetings from Burroughs (5-7 and 4-6 in league), is hoping for second place in league in order to get a more favorable seeding for the upcoming CIF Southern Section playoffs.

The only team that has defeated Burbank is first-place Arcadia, which won 14-4.

The Bulldogs (12-1 and 9-1 in league) pay a visit to the Apaches on Oct. 18 and end the regular-season campaign at home versus Crescenta Valley two days later.

Senior Nicole Merrit, Burbank’s No. 1 singles, claimed her matches 6-2, 6-1, 6-0 and knocked off No. 1 freshman Chloe Bookmyer, No. 2 junior Angelea Hayes and No. 3 junior Ellie Masson.

“It’s been a great year,” said Merrit, who hopes to play college tennis. “We’ve worked very hard and I think it shows.”

(Photo by © Brandon Buckley)

Burroughs senior Tricia Valadez gave it a good effort versus the Bulldogs. (Photo by © Brandon Buckley)

Merrit also believes the team is playing well at the right time.

“I think we’re definitely rising,” she said. “It’s kind of sad to see it coming to an end because I’ve had so much fun.”

Merrit addressed the upcoming playoffs. “We have to look at it a little different because it’s single elimination, but I think we’re going to do well,” she noted.

At No. 2, freshman Kristina Kirakosyan prevailed 6-1 over Bookmyer and 6-0 over junior Ellie Masson, who knocked off Burbank freshman Shushan Papoyan, 6-4.

At No. 3, junior Alice Avedikian went 6-0, 6-0, 6-1 as she beat senior Tricia Valadez, Hayes and junior Jackie Samsell.

The Indians grabbed four of the nine doubles matches to make it somewhat close.

The Indians’ No. 1 doubles tandem of senior Jennifer Drechsler and sophomore Sandy LeMay defeated No. 1 sophomore Johana Faraj and freshman Elza Vardanyan 6-4.

Burroughs’ No. 2 duo of junior Anny Yoo and sophomore Savannah Dorris were 6-3 winners over Faraj/Vardanyan.

(Photo by © Brandon Buckley)

The action was intense for these city rivals. Valadez is shown here in singles play. (Photo by © Brandon Buckley)

Faraj/Vardanyan downed Burbank’s No. 3 tandem of junior Leah Prystupa and junior Yshbel Piedrasanta 6-0.

Burbank’s No. 2 junior Krystal Hirahara and junior Emilie Siraki beat Yoo/Dorris 6-0.

Drechsler/LeMay continued their strong play by beating Prystupa/Piedrasanta 6-3.

Senior Britni Friedman and freshman Bella Stevens defeated Prystupa/Piedrasanta 6-1, and junior Camryn Thompson and junior Emma Jones 6-1, but lost to Drechsler/LeMay 6-1.

Writer’s Note: In the first meeting between the two schools, Bookmyer played in one set, which she lost 6-4, and was replaced in the other two sets due to illness.

Burbank Football Has Record-Setting Outing, Beats Hoover, 77-16

By Rick Assad


It took eight plays from scrimmage for the Burbank High football team to score three touchdowns.

The lead was 28 points heading into the second quarter as the Bulldogs capped the night with a record-scoring performance en route to a 77-16 Pacific League victory over Hoover on Thursday at Memorial Field.

Senior quarterback Guy Gibbs connected on 19 of 22 passes and finished with 386 yards.

“I want to thank my linemen,” said Gibbs, who had four first-half touchdown passes. “They give me the time to throw. We executed really well in the first half.”

Gibbs said despite the lopsided score, Hoover is much better than in year’s past. “They did improve a lot. They came out and played.”

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Quarterback Guy Gibbs tossed four touchdowns in 77-16 win over Hoover. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Burbank (4-2 and 3-0 in league) compiled 531 total net yards while limiting the Tornadoes to 177 yards.

A running clock was initiated early in the third quarter.

“We wanted to get after it,” Burbank coach Richard Broussard said. “We wanted to play with effort. We executed what we do in practice. I think we should always score when we do that [execute].”

The running clock should have begun at the start of the third as the Bulldogs were ahead 56-13.

It took three plays and 52 yards for Burbank to lead 7-0 when junior running back Darnell Williams (40 yards on four carries) found the end zone on a four-yard run and 11:47 left.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Nick Warren (#6) shaking hands with lineman Scott Breslin. Warren scored three touchdowns. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Burbank’s lead became 14-7 after a two-play, 58-yard drive when Gibbs found senior wide receiver Forest Fajardo (game-best 188 yards on seven receptions) with a 40-yard strike as 9:55 remained.

A three-play, 30-yard march ended when Gibbs found Williams (32 yards on three catches) with a 16-yard toss and 7:06 left on the clock for a 21-7 lead.

With 1:40 remaining in the first quarter, the Bulldogs were ahead 28-7 when Gibbs located Fajardo with a 29-yard missile.


Forest Fajardo caught seven passes for 188 yards and two scores. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burbank’s lead was extended to 35-7 with 19.8 seconds left in the opening period when senior defensive lineman Mathew Villagran blocked a punt which senior linebacker Jake Kelley recovered in the end zone.

It ballooned to 42-7 when senior running back Quinton Smith fumbled at the Hoover 31-yard line which Villagran pounced on.

Four plays later, senior running back Nick Warren (29 yards on eight rushes) ran it in from three yards out as 9:29 remained in the second quarter.

Burbank’s lead swelled to 42 points when Gibbs drilled senior running back Andy Reyes with a 27-yard bullet and 3:53 on the clock.

The Bulldogs took a 56-13 advantage into the locker room after Warren scored on a four-yard burst and 20.6 seconds left.

Is this what you call  Face masking??? and not called.   (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Darnell Williams running hard. Williams had 40 yards. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Consecutive interceptions led to touchdowns to begin the second half as Hoover sophomore quarterback Andrew Rangel (six of 18 for 101 yards) was picked off by junior defensive lineman Anthony Lira, who returned the ball 64 yards to make it 63-13 with 11:36 on the clock.

With 10:28 showing, Villagran raced 32 yards after an interception to make it 70-13.

“Our defense played well and really boosted that number [points],” Broussard said.

Senior running back Joey Miller (40 yards on two carries) added a 29-yard scamper and 5:27 left in the third quarter that made it 77-13.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Gibbs can also run with the football. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

The Tornadoes (3-3 and 0-3 in league) scored on a 78-yard sprint from Rangel (46 yards on eight carries) with 10:34 left in the initial period that evened it at 7-7 and Rangel’s 20-yard toss to junior running back Maurice Herrera (five yards on three carries) and 3:19 left in the second quarter cut the lead to 49-13.

Senior Johnny Hernandez booted a 32-yard field goal with 7:10 left in the final quarter to make it 77-16.

The Bulldogs will host Arcadia next Thursday in a league match with a 7 p.m. kickoff.


Burroughs Girls Volleyball Lose To Arcadia In Four

By Rick Assad


A tie atop the Pacific League standings awaited the Burroughs High girls’ volleyball team if it could beat Arcadia, which had taken out the Indians in four games early last month.

But it was not to be as the visiting Apaches prevailed, 28-26, 21-25, 25-15, 25-18 on Tuesday despite the inspired play from junior outside hitter Marin Grote, who finished with a team-best 14 kills.

“There was more intensity the first time we played Arcadia,” Grote said. “It was more back-and-forth. Today we were prepared to play, but we didn’t play as well as we could have.”

Arcadia was spearheaded by senior outside hitter Rachel Reedy with 14 kills and junior outside hitter Hannah Kennedy with 12.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Senior middle blocker Caleigh Paster (#33), shown here in a match against Burbank, played well against Arcadia. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

The critical set was the opener because it was truly up for grabs.

The Indians (14-4 and 6-2 in league) powered ahead 3-0 on Kennedy’s hit out of bounds and 12-8 on Grote’s winner.

Burroughs maintained a 17-13 advantage on junior opposite hitter Ricki Patenaude’s smash.

The Apaches (14-1 and 8-0 in league) evened it at 17-17 on a kill from Kennedy.

Grote’s block trimmed Arcadia’s lead to 22-20, and consecutive kills from Grote tied it at 23-23.

Grote said everyone has to pitch in if the team is to be successful. “Volleyball is a team game,” she said. “Everyone counts.”

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

The Indians battled the Apaches, shown here in a match versus the Bulldogs, but lost in four sets. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

The Indians darted ahead 26-25 on another winner from Grote, but the Apaches seized control with three straight blocks, including senior setter Cammie Dopke’s clincher.

“That was very much the key game,” said longtime Arcadia coach Charles Freberg, who has taken two teams to the CIF Southern Section semifinals. “They had to be smart about it [the match]. They all began to do something that they’re good at.”

Freberg went on: “But what happens sometimes is that everyone wants to hit the ball hard and when you do that, you don’t always win the point. Everything has to be just right.”

The Indians righted the ship in the second game as they pulled ahead 6-2 on a service winner from freshman setter Ali Perez.

Arcadia tied it at 9-9 on a kill from Reedy, but Burroughs junior outside hitter Julianna Cottrell’s kill evened it at 10-10.

“Our energy level is high when we’re winning, but sometimes it isn’t when we’re losing,” Burroughs coach Edwin Real said. “The first time we played them we were more consistent.”

Real added: “Arcadia is capable of making mistakes like in the second game. Tonight we made more errors than they did.”

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Burroughs Coach Edwin Real, shown at a practice, said his team made too many mistakes against Arcadia. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

It became 12-11 on Grote’s blast and the lead was extended to 17-12 on another Grote bullet.

The Indians darted ahead 22-18 on senior middle blocker Caleigh Paster’s dagger.

Grote’s kill made it 24-21 and Paster’s slam evened it a one game apiece.

Arcadia waltzed ahead 3-0 on an ace from Kennedy in the third game and 13-5 on a slam from Dopke.

The Indians shaved the lead to 15-8 on Grote’s tapper before the Apaches moved in front 18-12 on a winner from junior middle blocker Abby Martin.

Arcadia then went on a 7-3 explosion and sealed the game with a block from Kennedy.

The Apaches sensed the momentum and match was in their favor in the fourth set as they moved ahead 10-4 on sophomore middle blocker Ayala Plummer’s kill.

Arcadia’s lead became 15-9 on an ace from senior libero Malia Carr. Grote’s kill cut the lead to 16-12 and 16-13 on a service ace.

A 9-5 blitz sealed the deal as Kennedy’s kill put the finishing touches on the match.

Burroughs Girls Volleyball Needs Four Games To Subdue Burbank

By Rick Assad


An early one-game deficit wasn’t an obstacle for the Burroughs High girls’ volleyball team Thursday night at home against city rival Burbank.

Rebounding from that initial set, the Indians captured the next three and the Pacific League match, 22-25, 25-19, 25-15, 25-16.

The second game was crucial for the Indians because the final result could have swung in Burbank’s favor.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Sabrina Sullivan goes for a point while Hailey Heath (#16) and Nicole Winters (#27) try for a block. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

“We always want to play under control,” Burroughs coach Edwin Real said. “We don’t want to panic when we lose a game. Burbank came out with high energy in the first game like we knew they would.”

Real added: “We know teams are going to play us hard, but we can’t let that bother us. We just have to go back at it.”

The game was tied 1-1, 2-2 and 3-3 before the Bulldogs moved ahead 6-3 on a tapper from junior outside hitter Melissa Daniel.

Burbank (10-5-1 and 4-3 in league) extended its advantage to 10-5 on a service ace from senior libero Carly Palmisano.

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

There was emotion on the floor as Bene Snyder (#44) lets out a yell while Colette Reynolds (#21) and Carly Palmisano (#11) approve. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Slowly the Indians chipped away and caught the Bulldogs at 11-11 on a combined block from junior outside hitter Marin Grote and senior middle blocker Caleigh Paster.

Burroughs seized control 13-11 with a winner from Paster, who finished with seven kills.

It was deadlocked at 13-13 on a kill from Burbank junior opposite hitter Suzy Torosyan.

The Indians (12-3 and 5-1 in league) won the next seven points and led 20-13 on Grote’s stuff and pulled ahead 23-16 on Grote’s ace.

“I didn’t play very well in the first game,” admitted Grote, who had a match-best 10 kills. “I don’t think it was nerves. I wanted to get it out of my system. It seems like we always start off a little slow.”

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Marin Grote finished with a match-best 10 kills for the Indians. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Grote went on: “We want to play it one point at a time and not worry about the score. We never want to panic even if we’re behind.”

The Bulldogs took three of the next five points, but still lost the game and the match was even.

“We had too many service errors and when the other side is so strong, it’s going to be hard to win,” Burbank coach Karl Rojo said. “We just had a tough time taking control even though we won the first game.”

The third game saw the Indians skip out to a 7-2 lead on junior opposite hitter Ricki Patenaude’s slam.

Burroughs bolted in front 10-4 on senior libero Cesera Suarez’s ace. It became 15-8 on Grote’s tapper and 18-10 on Grote’s kill.

The advantage swelled to 21-12 on Patenaude’s smash and the Indians closed out the sesssion with a 4-3 run that was capped off with a blast from Paster for the game.

The final frame was even at 1-1, 3-3 and 5-5 before Burroughs assumed a 9-6 lead on Suarez’s ace.

It swelled to 13-8 on junior setter Lauren Zedlar’s service winner and 16-9 on Paster’s rocket.

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

After the four-game match the players shake hands. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Burroughs maintained a comfortable cushion and pulled ahead 20-13 on sophomore setter/opposite hitter Shea McCovern’s dagger.

From this point, the Indians took five of the next eight points for the game and match including Zedlar’s ace.

The initial stanza was even at 2-2 and 3-3 before the Bulldogs forged a 7-3 advantage on senior outside hitter Hailey Heath’s back-to-back service aces.

“The effort was there, but we made too many mistakes,” Heath said. “But we can’t worry about those things. We played hard and the effort was there, but there were points that we should have won, but didn’t.”

Heath continued: “For me, I can’t concern myself with mistakes, even though you’re going to make them. I’d rather concentrate on a real good dig or a real good hit than worry about a service mistake.”

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Action at the net is always fierce. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Burbank moved in front 10-7 on Daniel’s kill and it became 12-9 on Torosyan’s ace.

Burbank senior opposite hitter Rachel Wiley was productive.

“I think that we need to be a little more mentally tough,” she said. “We can’t dwell on the mistakes. We played a great first game, but we couldn’t keep it up.”

A kill from senior middle blocker Nicole Winters provided the Bulldogs with a 13-11 cushion, but the Indians evened it at 14-14 and eventually 18-18 on a service winner from Zedlar.

It became 21-21 on a combined stuff from Grote and sophomore middle blocker Juliana Van Loo, who chimed in with eight kills.

Burbank took four of the next five points including the game winner on senior setter Hannah Porter’s ace.

These two will meet once again on Oct. 25 at Burbank with a 6 p.m. start.

Burbank Girls Volleyball Can’t Keep Up With Arcadia

By Rick Assad


In the three-game sweep suffered by the Burbank High girls’ volleyball team at the hands of visiting Arcadia on Tuesday, the Bulldogs dug significant holes in each game.

As a result, the Apaches came away with a 25-9, 25-16, 25-16 Pacific League victory.

“The first set we didn’t really show up,” Burbank coach Karl Rojo said. “In the second set we made some changes, but we couldn’t keep up. In the third set we looked better but we couldn’t produced our own points.”

After losing the first two games, Burbank (9-3-1 and 3-1 in league) settled down in the third and led 4-1 on junior outside hitter Melissa Daniel’s kill.

(Photo by © Ross A Benson)

Senior outside hitter Hailey Heath goes up for a winner against Arcadia. (Photo by © Ross A Benson)

The Apaches evened it at 4-4 on a winner from senior outside hitter Rachel Reedy, who had a match-best 10 kills.

In short order, Arcadia (6-0 and 4-0 in league) jumped ahead 12-5 on Reedy’s service ace.

Arcadia’s lead swelled to 15-8 on a tapper from senior setter Cammie Dopke.

Burbank came within 16-11 on freshman setter Ashley Eskander’s ace, but the Apaches seized control and pulled ahead 19-11.

From this point, Arcadia outscored the Bulldogs 6-5 and captured the match on Dopke’s block.

The initial game saw the Apaches race off to a 7-3 advantage on a winner from junior outside hitter Haley Kennedy.

(Photo by © Ross A Benson)

Burbank senior middle blocker Nicole Winters shows off her leaping ability. (Photo by © Ross A Benson)

Reedy’s stuff made it 10-5, but Daniel’s smash drew the stubborn Bulldogs to within 13-8.

But Arcadia’s lead expanded to 16-8 on Reedy’s rocket.

“I’m always looking for consistency,” Arcadia coach Charles Freberg said. “We were consistent today. That’s a key for us to be successful.”

Freberg addressed the offense. “We have three hitters that we can go to,” he said. “That’s the minimum you need.”

Arcadia proceeded to outscore the Bulldogs 9-1 with Dopke’s block making it 24-9 and junior outside hitter Ashley McDonald closing it out with a kill.

The same pattern followed in the middle game as Arcadia leaped out to a 3-1 cushion on a winner from Reedy.

It became 11-5 on Kennedy’s kill, but senior outside hitter Hailey Heath’s blast trimmed the advantage to 11-7. Heath’s kill then shaved the gap to 13-8.

(Photo by © Ross A Benson)

Senior setter Hannah Porter assists a teammate versus the Apaches. (Photo by © Ross A Benson)

“Arcadia’s always good and I think that may have intimidated us,” Heath said. “We didn’t come out hard and ready. We just have to worry about the point at hand and not worry about the score.”

Heath added: “It was like a roller coaster. Up and down. But I think the next time we face them we’re going to be better.”

Arcadia went on a 3-0 spurt with Reedy getting a kill to make it 16-8. In time the lead would swell to 22-11 on McDonald’s service ace.

The Bulldogs closed within 23-14 on Heath’s winner, but the Apaches divided the next two points for the game.

Burroughs’ Ace Nicol Was A Winner Despite Not Throwing Hard

By Rick Assad

Even standing on a pitcher’s mound, Burroughs High’s ace hurler Kyle Nicol was hardly an imposing figure.

But don’t take this to mean that hitters weren’t in trouble when facing the sidearm throwing, 5-foot-9 right-hander, who helped the Indians claim the Pacific League title two years in a row.

“I think my success came from just working every day and trying to prove myself to everyone,” said Nicol, who went 7-2 with 66 strikeouts, 14 walks in 56 and two-third innings while posting an impressive 1.48 earned-run average his senior year.

The Indians, who went 19-7 overall, 12-2 in league action for a share of the title this past season, lost in the opening-round of the CIF Southern Section Division II playoffs, but Nicol was nonetheless recognized for his outstanding work.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Burroughs pitcher Kyle Nicol received a lot of attention after beating Harvard-Westlake 1-0 to win the Easton Tournament championship. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Nicol, who will attend Cal State Northridge where he will pitch, was named to the All-CIF second team, was the co-league Player of the Year, and will participate in the CIF Southern Section versus City Section All-Star game.

Nicol doesn’t throw especially hard, but was still able to be highly effective.

“My best pitch varied each day,” Nicol said. “When the slider was working, it was by far the most fun to throw.”

A night game in March at Birmingham High was the outing that catapulted Nicol, who probably throws in the mid-80s, into the forefront.

“The game that stands out the most was the Easton Tournament championship against Harvard-Westlake for me personally and for the team,” Nicol pointed out. “It got me a lot of attention from Division I coaches and it put Burroughs baseball on everyone’s radar.”

That game, against the always excellent Wolverines, was a 1-0 complete-game masterpiece as Nicol recorded 14 strikeouts with two hits allowed.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Nicol (#22) after knocking off the Wolverines in the Easton tourney. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

How did Nicol, named to the Daily News All-Area first team and the Glendale News-Press and the Pasadena Star-News league Player of the Year, develop his somewhat unusual pitching motion?

“Coach [Craig] Sherwood introduced me to pitching sidearm before high school and coach [Ryan] Matheson worked with me since my freshman year and throughout my four years at Burroughs,” Nicol noted.

When asked what big-league hurler Nicol most resembles, he said that it was an Angels reliever.

“The throwing motion is somewhat like Joe Smith’s with the submarine and sidearm angle,” he said.

Nicol’s next hurdle is facing college hitters, who are more advanced, technically sound and more mature than high school batters.

“I think college baseball will come with a lot more challenges,” Nicol said. “It’ll be fun pitching for some of the best pitching coaches in the country and seeing how I can improve.”

JBHS vs BHS Baseball Game 5-14-15=

Nicol joined his teammates after the Indians claimed the Pacific League banner in 2015. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Nicol, who was a relief pitcher before his senior campaign, said he focused on the job at hand and didn’t try to over think the situation.

“The crowd never entered my mind when I pitched even with always pitching on the road games,” Nicol said. “Some of the more important games would make me a little nervous, but the adrenaline helped more than anything.”

According to Nicol, whether he faced city rival Burbank or a weaker opponent like Glendale, he always wanted to shed the burden of expectations.

“I tried to treat every team the same before every game and not act any different towards a team,” he said.

For the most part, this formula has proved to be a winner, and one Nicol will take with him to the next level.

Burroughs Baseball Sweeps Burbank; Wins Historic Second Straight Pacific League Title

By Rick Assad


Voting for the Pacific League Most Valuable Player hasn’t taken place, but Burroughs High’s Justin Palafox is right at the top of the list.

On Friday night at rival Burbank in the regular-season finale, Palafox singled twice, drove in four runs and scored a run as the Indians defeated the Bulldogs, 7-6, in dramatic fashion with three runs in the seventh inning.

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Burbank pitcher Garret Dolan tossed 115 pitches and left in the seventh inning. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

The victory was historic because it gave the Indians back-to-back league championships, something no baseball team has ever done in school history.

Burbank, which placed fourth in league and will also make the CIF Southern Section playoffs, led twice, 2-0 and 6-2, but were not able to fight off the stubborn Indians, who finished 12-2 in league, tied with Crescenta Valley.

“I try to do what I always do,” said Palafox of the game-winning at-bat. “I don’t want to sound arrogant, but I think I’m one of the two best players in the league. I have a lot of confidence.”

The key blow in the seventh was Palafox’s two-run single to right center that gave Burroughs (19-6) a one-run lead.

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

“I think that Justin Palafox is the best player in the Pacific League,” Burroughs coach Craig Sherwood said. “He’s a five-tool player. He bats lead off so that he can get more at-bats.”

Three batters earlier, Jonathan Max came through with a run-scoring base hit to right center that trimmed the lead to 6-5 and plated Mitch Lefevre, who opened the inning with a single to center field.

The bottom of the seventh wasn’t as dramatic because reliever Shaine Leonard, who was credited with the win, retired Branden Philips on a fly ball to center fielder Jason Whaley and induced designated hitter Everett Fair to pop up to Palafox, the shortstop.

Leonard then intentionally walked Danny Porras, who hit a two-run homer to right center in the first inning that scored Fair, who doubled to left field, but then struck out pinch hitter Forest Fajardo to end the game.

Burroughs’ players celebrate after 7-6 win over city rival Burbank. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

“I think that game was really well played,” Sherwood said. “Burbank outplayed us for the first six innings. But we didn’t panic.”

Sherwood thinks this team has been overlooked and can make a strong run in the playoffs.

“This is great, but we need to keep our eyes on the prize,” he said. “We need to take it one game at a time.”

Burroughs cut Burbank’s lead in half in the second inning when it scored a run off Garret Dolan, who gave up a run-scoring triple to Riley Hooper that brought in Tanner Whitlock, who was hit with a pitch and one out.

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Danny Porras is congratulated after hitting a two-run homer in the first inning. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

The Indians knotted it at 2-2 with a run in the third inning when Palafox was safe on the first of three Burbank errors.

Palafox stole second base and scored when Nathan Palafox reached base on the second miscue of the frame.

The Bulldogs (9-12 and 8-6 in league) took a 6-2 lead with a four-run fifth as eight batters made their way to the plate.

Five consecutive hitters singled including Kyle Tanner, Andy Reyes, Philips, Fair and Porras.

Philips, Fair (three hits) and Porras all delivered run-scoring hits while Jeremy Chong’s ground out produced the final run.

“We played better, but they had the timely hits,” Burbank coach Bob Hart said. “We made some mistakes. Our kid [Dolan] was getting tired and I had to take him out. But they got to our bullpen and you have to give Burroughs credit.”

The Indians responded with a two-run sixth that lowered the lead to 6-4 as Palafox’s one-out single to right center scored Whitlock, who began the inning by getting nicked with a pitch and Max, who singled to left field.

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Omar Tejada sprints down to second base while second baseman Kyle Tanner is about to make the tag. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Kyle Nicol was the starting pitcher for Burroughs and went four innings, striking out four and allowing seven hits with two hit batters.

Leonard toured three innings, giving up one hit with five strikeouts and one intentional walk.

Garret Dolan yielded four hits and two walks with five hit batters along with seven strikeouts in six and one-third innings.

Dolan threw 115 pitches before he was taken out in favor of Henry Leake, who took the loss after working two-thirds of an inning and giving up three hits with one strikeout.