By Dick Dornan
MyBurbank Sports Editor
With summer practice completed and fall training camp just around the corner, Burbank High School football coach Richard Broussard couldn’t contain his emotions when speaking about his Bulldogs.
“Midnight Madness. Can’t wait! We’re taking advantage of every minute we can,” Broussard proclaimed, whose ball club takes the field at 12:00 a.m. on August 3 for the beginning of the regular season. “The progress of this team has been great.”
The Bulldogs will first practice and then spend the night under the lights sleeping on their football field. It’s the first practice of two-a-days and Broussard is jumping at the hip to get started. Why waste any time when you can start at midnight under the stars and full moon?!
Coming off the 2014 season where Burbank went 8-4 and placed third in the Pacific League with a 5-2 mark, Broussard returns a core of young talented players who gained valuable experience a year ago due to a rash of injuries up and down the roster. Thirteen players from the lower levels moved up to varsity to compensate for the injuries.
“We are young with 14 to 16 underclassmen starting for us this year. We’ve dealt with some peaks and valleys but we are peaking at the right time,” said the second-year head coach. “They are working hard. They are sponges. They are taking the life-lessons that we are teaching them on a day-to-day basis.”
In preparation for the regular season kick-off on August 28 at Monrovia, the Bulldogs spent their summer competing in 7-on-7 passing leagues every Wednesday and tournaments on the weekends. The highlight of the summer for BHS was participating in Nike’s 7-on-7 “team opening” at the Rose Bowl where only a handful of teams were invited.
“We did well. And we had fun playing football. That is what it is about,” Broussard said. “Hopefully they have learned some things about diligence and hard work and going out there with effort.”
Keep an eye out for a host of returners that should make an impact throughout the season. Offensive skill players include Aki Arlington, Brandon Alba, Noah Powell, Guy Gibbs, Nick Warren and Forrest Fajardo with David Medrano, Andy Reyes and Danny Porras leading the defense.
One newcomer whose last name will ring a bell but brings his own style of flash and dash is Darnell Williams, James Williams’ younger brother. Williams will add another dimension to Burbank’s up-tempo offense.
After the opener at Monrovia, Burbank returns home to play Ayala at Memorial Field on September 4 followed by Canyon on September 17 with a bye week in between. Pacific League action starts on September 25 at defending league champion Crescenta Valley.
The 2015 campaign promises to be an exciting one for the Bulldogs as long as they abide by the program philosophy.
“They just need to ‘E.A.T.T’ every day all day the entire time,” said Broussard.
Only the men in blue and white truly understand the acronym. It defines their persona and reveals their character.
When asked if he would rather ‘E.A.T.T’ or ‘F.E.A.S.T,’ Broussard responded with conviction and no hesitation.
“You eat every day and only feast two times a year….Christmas and Thanksgiving,” Broussard said. “I’d rather eat to live.”