Local Teams Just Want to Play

Season previews for Burbank and Burroughs boys' water polo, boys' and girls' cross country, girls' golf and girls' tennis teams.

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Burroughs High's No. 1 singles player Isabella Harris-Bermudez hits the ball in a match against host Burbank. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

With a new school year upon us, some students haven’t played a full season in their respective sport in a long time due to COVID-19.
Many teams have many new faces.
With so many uncertainties many coaches will learn about their respective teams as the season goes along. For many, just getting a chance to play is what they are most looking forward to.

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The following are players to look for in representing their schools at the varsity level.

Burbank Boys’ Water Polo
The Bulldogs are listed as a team to look out for in the CIF Southern Section Division 5 preseason watch list.

“I have very high expectations for this season. The guys have put in a lot of work during the summer and I expect the same work ethic to be applied during the season,” coach David Arakelyan said. “A lot of these guys are seniors and we want to make a good run at league and make playoffs this year.”

Johnny Agazaryan, a senior will fill the role at utility. Senior Robert Kharazyan should hold down the center position. Senior Narek Galamdaryan will be counted on to block shots as the goalie.
Senior attackers Avo Barsegyan and Hovo Baboudjian as well as junior Zack Gezalyan will give the Bulldogs some added strength.

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One to look out for the future is sophomore center defender Hayk Atanesyan.

Burroughs Boys’ Water Polo
The Bears did well two years ago in reaching the CIF Southern Section Division 5 quarterfinals, falling 9-8 to St. Francis.
Burroughs has a senior-heavy group coming back.
Utility Xavier Turla will be counted on as a leader. He scored a goal in the playoff loss to St. Francis as a sophomore. Center Harrison Zekowski is also expected to play a key role.
Fellow seniors Edward Leverett and Justin Cloutier figure to help out as attackers. Junior Ryan Rolando will also be in the mix for playing time as an attacker.
The goalkeeping duties will be run by a pair of seniors in Ethan McHorney and Luca Shaefer.
“We’re excited to be back. We have some talented guys and we hope to get them to their potential this season,” Burroughs coach Jacob Cook said.

Burbank High Girls’ Golf

The defending Pacific League champion Bulldogs have another solid group back, led by senior Kiara Hernandez.
“Our team expectations are to repeat at the Pacific League champions and play as well as we can. We worked hard this summer and we’ll see if all that work pays off,” Burbank coach Branko Sevic said. “
Hernandez reached the third round of CIF competition last year and junior Lisette Orellana went to the second-round of postseason play.
Juniors Alyssa Tran and Lexi Sullivan as well as sophomore Aleyna Doche and freshman Annabel Tran figure to make up the rest of the varsity lineup.

Burbank High School’s Lisette Orellana hopes to return to postseason play this year.(Photo By: Edward Tovmassian)

Burroughs Girls’ Golf

The Bears are led by junior Annika Lingad, who appears to be in solid form according to new coach Ashley Phelps, a former Burroughs star who later competed at Cal State Northridge.
Seniors Adelina Hernandez and Sophia Olin, junior Alexis Gopez and sophomores Justin Hamac and Sophia Wang figure to keep Burroughs in the hunt for a playoff berth.

Burroughs Boys’ Cross Country

The Bears do have a group of seniors who figure to give a strong push in the Pacific League. Seniors Jalen Leighton,  Leon Rubarts,  Robert Church,  Chase Eldridge,  Joseph Lighthill, Andrew Jitendran and Aiden Giampietro give Burroughs a group to get things started up again.

Burroughs Girls’ Cross Country
The Bears have a nice mix of juniors and seniors who figure to fight for postseason berth out of the Pacific League.

Seniors Sophia Navarro, Savannah Hernandez, Zoe Askerneese, Katie Levy and Anabela Sutter look to compete for spots on the varsity along with juniors Vivi Cannon and Natalie Shaby.

Burbank Boys’ Cross Country
The last time the Bulldogs competed, they were in the 2019 California State Meet, finishing as the 10th best team across all divisions.

The Bulldogs also have a new coach in Aide Suarez Gomez.
But Burbank will now be led by senior captain James Kwon, who has a best of 4:47 in the 1,600 in track. Senior Michael Mansour, juniors Jake Bastian, Christopher Camarena, Isaac Arroyo, Kyle Deng, and sophomores Ricardo Mujica and Dylan La Marsna figure to battle it out for the remaining spots on varsity.

Burbank Girls’ Cross Country
The Bulldogs are led by junior captain Maria Barajas. She will be joined by junior Nicole Mireles, sophomore Ashley Sosa and newcomers Amelie Guyo and Cassandra Ayala.

Burbank Girls’ Tennis

The Bulldogs should have a solid season with five seniors leading the way.
Elli Sumera is a four-year varsity player. Lilyan Hawrylo, Lena Jabourian, Arpi Krikorian and Meeneh Mirzaians will be asked to provide veteran leadership.
Junior Nairi Zeytounzian will also give Burbank a hand.
Sophomores Victoria Kalantar, Brianna Khobramasihi, Cleo Wang and freshman Sena Hammel figure to give Burbank some talent to look for.

Burroughs Girls’ Tennis
The Bears are a veteran group with eight of their 10 players being seniors.
Isabella Harris-Bermudez is a veteran singles player who figures to lead the way.
Burroughs will also count on seniors Nicole Cloutier, Eve Kim Brody, Gabrielle Mathis, Vanessa Muga, Isabella Munguia, Lauren Pieri and Madison Safarik.
Junior Kaitlyn Glaim and sophomore Ava Marye are two others to look for.

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