Missing the CIF Southern Section playoffs the last two seasons was tough on the Burroughs High football program after the Indians had been a regular playoff participant over much of the past decade.
First-year coach Rand Holdren realizes turning things around won’t be easy, but he feels the only direction his team is headed is up.
Holdren, who takes over for Mike Reily, is an offensive-minded coach who has most recently worked at Alemany High in Mission Hills after a stint at Harvard-Westlake in North Hollywood.
“The guys were a little beaten down after last year. I want to get them all going in the same direction. That’s been our goal and mindset since day one,” Holdren said. ” We’re going to need all hands on deck. We don’t have any of the five star or four-star players or all that fancy stuff. We’re a group of guys that work together and that’s how we’re going to win ballgames.
Holdren will benefit from having longtime head coach Keith Knoop on his staff as his defensive coordinator.The Indians open the season Aug. 23 on the road against West Ranch of Stevenson Ranch.
Burroughs, which has 14 seniors, returns starting quarterback Nathan Piper (6-1, 170), who Holdren said had a good summer. Junior Nick Garcia (5-9, 170) also impressed Holdren and could see some time at quarterback.
Junior David Garza (5-8, 150) and sophomore Luke Rogers (5-6, 145) have impressed as ball carriers.
Seniors Johnny Factora (5-11, 155) and Andrew English (5-9, 195) and junior Alex Perez (5-10, 145) look to be passing targets for Piper.
The offensive line is young, but appears to have a lot of potential.
Senior Ferdy Hernandez (6-2, 250) is the veteran of the group. Junior Donovan Reyes (6-4, 205) will certainly offer trouble to opposing teams due to his size. The Indians also have junior Oscar Pette (6-3, 280), junior Allen Arriaga (6-2, 240), junior Eric Quintero (6-1, 220) and sophomore Austin Sowers (6-3, 240).
The Burroughs defensive line will feature many of the same players that play on the offensive line.
Senior Daniel Foxx (5-10, 190), junior Henry Diaz Jr. (6-0, 200) and senior Alex Deptula (6-0, 170) have all looked solid as linebackers according to Holdren.
The defensive secondary figures to feature many of the players the Indians use offensively in the backfield and as receivers.
Juniors Ozzy Perez (5-10, 150), Ellington Simmons (6-3, 180), Aiden Forrester (5-10, 168), Chance Spinks (6-0, 150) all could see a role in the secondary. With a young team, Holdren is setting realistic goals for his team.
“For us it is to reach our full potential,” he said.