The run the Burbank High football team has put together over the past decade is certainly impressive. Aside from the COVID-19 shortened season this past spring, the Bulldogs have been a regular in the CIF Southern Section playoffs, having missed postseason play just once since 2009.
This season figures to be a challenging one as the Bulldogs are young and will need to show they have grown up since the spring, when some of the current starters got their first taste of varsity football.
Coach Adam Colman, who helped Burbank get its playoff run started more than a decade ago, is now in his fifth year as the head coach.
“I’m just excited to get back to having a season. It has been great having a full summer to prepare. We take a lot of pride in preparation and that’s the key to success. All the stuff that takes place behind the scenes plays a part on Friday nights. We’re excited to get that going,” Colman said.
Burbank was hit hard by graduation, particularly in the skill positions where quarterback Aram Araradian, receiver Brandon Pena and safety Jarren Flowers will be tough to replace.
However the Bulldogs do have an experienced offensive line to protect new quarterback Dylan Robinson. The 5-foot-8, 160-pound junior played running back last spring.
Three-year starter Steinlen Varga (5-10, 300) is the leader of Robinson’s protection. He is joined by fellow senior Jakob Zuniga (6-3, 285). Junior Elijah Becker (6-5, 330) certainly has the size to play at the next level. Seniors Freddy Vicente (5-10, 245) and Chris Ortiz (5-11, 260) as well as junior Alex Hossepian (5-11, 225) figure to fill out the remaining spots.
In the backfield, Burbank will count on junior Rony Preza (5-5, 165) and sophomore Jacob Mendieta (5-8, 185) to get the bulk of the carries.
Junior receiver Jagg Richer (5-11, 175) showed a lot of promise in the spring and is one the Bulldogs will want to get the ball to.
“We have a lot of juniors, but we have a really good senior group that is hungry. They are really excited to get out there,” Colman said. “We have a very good leadership group. They’ve pushed each other and held each other accountable, so that’s exciting.”
Juniors Zakk Estrada (5-9, 175), Jonathan Powell (5-7, 150) and senior Jake Ferrat (6-2, 190) also figure to be passing targets for Robinson.
Defensively, Burbank will count on Vicente and Ortiz up front, along with junior Rene Harris (5-11, 275), who is an accomplished member of the school’s choir. Junior Mher Sahakyan (6-0, 185) will also contribute up front.
Junior Jarret Bose (6-2, 215) and senior Michelangelo Salazar (5-9, 175) figure to hold down two of the linebacker positions as Colman said he has a lot of hybrids between the defensive line and the linebacker position. Senior J.G. Lambert (6-3, 185) is another to watch for.
The secondary will feature seniors Christian Elizalde (5-11, 175), Nick Franco (5-6, 150), Luke Santoro (5-6, 150), Brekkan Spens (5-7, 155) as well as junior Evan Miller (5-8, 150).
The kicking and punting duties are expected to be performed by senior Freddy Cardenas, who is a veteran soccer player. Burbank opens the regular season Aug. 20 against Newbury Park at Memorial Field