The Burbank High football team has had its share of star players in the past. The 2022 Bulldogs figure to rely on the team element, as they look to improve on their 3-7 mark last year.
Prior to the 2020-2021 year in which there were no CIF playoffs due to COVID-19, Burbank earned eight consecutive postseason appearances.
“It was great to have a full offseason for the first time since 2018-2019 and our kids took advantage of it between the weight room, film study, and team bonding. We have a great leadership committee and great team chemistry,” said sixth-year coach Adam Colman. “Everyone gets along and pushed each other to be better every day. The difference between where we were in January and where we are now is night and day and that’s a testament to their work ethic.”
Burbank was hit by the transfer bug and lost some players but has back senior Dylan Robinson (5-foot-7, 155) at quarterback.
Behind him in the backfield are senior Zakk Estrada (5-9, 180) and junior Jacob Mendieta (5-8, 180).
His passing targets are senior Ben Forster (6-5, 180) and senior Evan Miller (5-10, 140).
Junior Mike Martinez (5-11, 200), senior Jarrett Bose (6-2, 190) and junior Jake Reyes (5-11, 195) will compete for playing time at the tight end position.
The offensive line, which was hit hard by graduation, is led by senior Alex Hossepian (6-0, 210). He is joined by senior Francois Taillefer (6-0, 220), junior Eduardo Martinez (6-1, 250), senior Elijah Becker (6-5, 340), senior Rene Harris (5-11) and sophomore Sebastian Mirzakanian (5-10, 235).
On defense, Burbank’s pass rush will be led by Hossepian, as well as senior Mher Sahakyan (6-1, 205) and junior Levon Bakmazian (5-9, 180).
The Bulldog linebacking core is young and led by Bose. Juniors Abraham Zyada (5-9, 160), Marcus Ojeil (5-9, 160), Bryce Angeles (5-11, 160) and Mendieta will also be in the mix.
In the defensive secondary, Burbank will rely on Miller and Estrada, Forster, juniors Brandon Elizalde (5-9, 150) and Salim Alaiya (6-0, 150).
Juniors Chris Aguirre (5-10, 130) and Brian Butchko (5-11, 130) will compete for the kicking and punting duties.
The race to the Pacific League title is expected to be between Pasadena and rival Muir highs.
That leaves one playoff spot for four teams, the Bulldogs, Burroughs, Crescenta Valley and Arcadia highs.
“We’ve got a very competitive nonleague schedule that should test us and get us ready for league play,” Colman said. “The Pacific League is going to be a battle every week and you’re going to have to earn a playoff berth. We’re excited to compete and get back to the playoffs.”
Burbank opens the season Friday night at Memorial Field against Dos Pueblos of Goleta.
The Bulldogs will also take on Santa Fe, Castaic and St. Genevieve highs as well as the Brentwood School in nonleague action.