Tag Archives: Burbank High

Burbank Girls Tennis Dominates Burroughs, 16-2

By Rick Assad

For the Burbank High girls’ tennis team, it still holds sway over city rival Burroughs.

On Thursday afternoon, the visiting Bulldogs took out the Indians 16-2 in a Pacific League match.

But despite the loss, Burroughs coach Roy Bernhardt said the experience will be useful.

“The positive spin will be that this is a good little warmup before we play Hoover and Glendale next week,” he said. “We have to beat Glendale next week to make it to the CIF playoffs. We need matches and that’s what we got.”

Burbank defeated Burroughs 16-2 in a Pacific League match. (Photo By: Edward Tovmassian)

Kristina Kirakosyan, a sophomore and Burbank’s No. 1 singles player, defeated the Indians’ No. 1, senior Jackie Samsell 6-0 and beat No. 2, sophomore Chloe Bookmyer 6-4.

Sophomore Natalie Khachikian substituted for Kirakosyan, but Burroughs No. 3, junior Sandy LeMay, came through with a 6-4 triumph.

Alice Avedikian, a senior and No. 2, beat Samsell 6-4, Bookmyer 6-1 and LeMay 6-1.

Johana Faraj, a junior, is Burbank’s No. 3 singles player and went 6-4 over Samsell, 6-2 against Bookmyer and 6-1 against LeMay.

Burroughs will use this match to prepare for Glendale and Hoover, according to Coach Roy Bernhardt. (Photo By: Edward Tovmassian)

In doubles action, Burbank’s No. 1 tandem of junior Daisy Kim and senior Krystal Hirahara, knocked off No. 1 senior Leah Diystypa and junior Savannah Doris 6-3.

They tamed No. 2 senior Emma Jones and senior Camryn Thompson 6-3 and went 6-2 versus No. 3 sophomore Alice Weber and junior Phuong Nguyen.

Burbank’s No. 2 team of sophomore Elza Vardanyan and sophomore Bella Lamahna, knocked off Diystypa/Doris 6-1, Jones/Thompson 6-4 and edged Weber/Nguyen 7-5.

At No. 3 for the Bulldogs (8-3), senior Emilie Siraki and freshman Jinette Faraj downed Jones/Thompson 6-1, Weber/Nguyen 6-2, while Diystypa/Doris emerged with a 7-5 decision over Siraki/Faraj.

Burbank Football Shoves Aside Pasadena, 42-0

By Rick Assad

It took the Burbank High football team one series in order to set the tone and score its first touchdown.

Five more touchdowns followed and a 42-0 rout of Pasadena was on in a Pacific League match Thursday night at Memorial Field.

Junior quarterback Matthew Porras and Drew Pendleton connected on three scoring passes.

Drew Pendleton grabbed three scoring passes in a 42-0 shellacking of Pasadena. (Photo By: Edward Tovmassian)

“He stepped up huge,” Burbank coach Adam Colman said of his senior wide receiver and linebacker, who had a game-best 160 yards on five receptions. “You see the raw talent. You can see the work he’s put in. He’s a workaholic and it shows in his play.”

Porras added a fourth touchdown toss and finished with 266 yards on 19 of 23 pass attempts.

Burbank (5-2 and 4-0 in league) jumped out to an early 7-0 lead when Porras located Pendleton with a 32-yard strike and 8:16 left in the opening quarter that capped a 10-play, 78-yard drive.

Burbank’s advantage became 14-0 on a 43-yard pass from Porras to Pendleton with 2:54 on the clock in the same period that ended a 62-yard, three-play march.

“We want to do that every game,” said Pendleton of the early lead that swelled to 21-0 at the intermission. “We had fun tonight. We got the early lead and we were in the driver’s seat and then we do whatever we want.”

Quarterback Matthew Porras threw four scoring passes. (Photo By: Edward Tovmassian)

That tally was made possible when senior defensive back Kaydon Spens intercepted senior quarterback Randy Santellan (nine of 25 for 106 yards with three interceptions).

Spens had another pick that resulted in a 23-yard touchdown with 6:57 left in the third quarter, but it was called back after a roughing the passer penalty.

Junior defensive back/wide receiver Erik Harutyunyan snared four passes for 23 yards and also contributed an interception.

Darnell Williams accounted for only 12 yards on four carries because of an ankle injury. (Photo By: Edward Tovmassian)

When Porras unloaded a 27-yard toss to junior tight end Duncan Smith (64 yards on six catches) and 10:55 left in the second quarter, Burbank’s lead became 21-0.

On Pasadena’s first possession of the second half, senior defensive lineman Anthony Lira scooped up a loose football and returned it 43 yards for a score and a 28-0 lead with 9:55 remaining.

The score was set up after senior defensive back Christian Fajardo’s jarring tackle.

Pasadena (1-6 and 1-3 in league) fell behind 35-0 with 7:06 remaining in the third period on a 74-yard pass from Porras to Pendleton, who did most of the work.

Pendleton had an interception and also contributed a pick that resulted in a 28-yard score with 3:56 left in the opening frame, but was nullified on a roughing the passer penalty.

Burbank ended its scoring with a 16-yard scamper from sophomore running back Isaac Glover (39 yards on 10 rushes) as 2:54 remained in the contest.

Burbank’s defense was hard-hitting in a 42-0 shutout of visiting Pasadena. (Photo By: Edward Tovmassian)

Junior running back Chadz Vang had 22 yards on five carries and caught three passes for 19 yards.

Senior Darnell Williams chipped in with 12 yards on four rushes after injuring his ankle.

Pasadena was limited to 68 total net yards in the opening half and finished with 169 yards while Burbank had 360 yards.

Senior Andrew Rovira added six extra points, but missed a 52-yard field goal that sailed wide left with 11:05 left in the fourth quarter.

The Bulldogs have a showdown next Friday at Glendale’s Moyse Field with a 7 p.m. kickoff when they meet Crescenta Valley, which is also undefeated in league play.

Burroughs Girls Volleyball Sweeps Past Host Burbank

By Rick Assad

City bragging rights, Burbank High hoping to keep sole possession of first place in the Pacific League and Burroughs wanting to make it a three-way tie for the top spot along with Arcadia were all on the line Thursday night when these longtime rivals met in a girls’ volleyball match.

The visiting Indians came out strong, something Coach Edwin Real wanted, and partially because of this early charge only three games were needed, 25-11, 25-12, 25-23, in order to deal the Bulldogs a defeat.

Burbank senior outside hitter Melissa Daniel (#1) had nine kills in a three-set loss to rival Burroughs. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“We were pretty focused, pretty determined,” Real said of the first two sets. “We have some goals and we needed to attain those goals and we start off passing well and once we get passing we have the setters. We have the hitters. We have people that can put the ball away. It’s just getting the ball to the hitters.”

Senior outside hitter Marin Grote finished with a match-high 15 kills and junior outside hitter Juliana Van Loo added six.

Burbank and Burroughs will meet once again on Oct. 24 at the Indians’ gym with a 6 p.m. start.

Burbank trailed throughout the third game, but came within 20-19 when senior middle blocker Ricki Patenaude’s shot found the net.

Marin Grote rises and is about to add one of her match-high 15 kills in a Pacific League match against host Burbank. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Another point for the Bulldogs would have evened it, but Van Loo’s kill made it 21-19.

Burbank didn’t give up as it drew within 22-20 on a kill from senior outside hitter Melissa Daniel.

“We weren’t keeping it simple in terms of what plays we were running in terms of passing,” said Daniel, who had nine kills. “We were shanking balls left and right. We were thinking too much when we were playing instead of just playing.”

When senior opposite hitter Erin Lashkari served up an ace, the Bulldogs (12-2 and 6-1 in league) climbed within 22-21 and leveled it at 22-22 on a sizzler from Daniel.

When senior opposite hitter Suzy Torosyan added a spike, Burbank pulled into the lead, 23-22, as the Indians asked for time out.

But Grote’s bullet evened it at 23-23 and senior libero Sabrina Sullivan’s service ace made it 24-23.

The match clincher came when Burbank used four touches in order to get the ball across the net according to the referee, with Grote standing in front and ready to pounce.

Senior middle blocker Ricki Patenaude gets the ball over the net for Burroughs while Arpi Garibyan jumps to defend. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The Indians (14-2 and 6-1 in league) dashed ahead 3-1 in the third stanza on Grote’s spike and Grote’s smash made it 6-4 and her ace made it 7-4.

“In practice we’ve really been drilling strong starts,” said Grote, “so I think we had that under our belts as well as our team came in focused. We came here to win and that was our job and we did it.”

Van Loo’s tapper put Burroughs, which has now defeated Burbank five consecutive matches, in front 9-6, but Daniel’s spike saw the Bulldogs get within 10-8.

“We just did not play well tonight,” Daniel said. “We made too many errors and it just came down to that. We missed a lot of serves. We were not strong in service games.”

Burbank made too many errors in its Pacific League match versus visiting Burroughs. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

When Grote added a kill, the Indians took over at 13-10 and Grote’s spike made it 14-11.

Burroughs opened the initial stanza by claiming 11 of the first 14 points that included a tapper from junior middle blocker Maggie Harris which prompted Burbank Coach Karl Rojo to ask for time.

“Our sense of urgency wasn’t really there the first set, second set,” Rojo said. “We didn’t live up to our serving standards. Too many in the net. Giving away too many points. We didn’t start with that sense of urgency. Couldn’t get our momentum right.”

Rojo went on: “You can kind of call it some sort of complacency the last couple of weeks,” he said. “That’s also a battle that we’re trying to overcome in practice, too. That complacency, when we play teams that aren’t as tough as we want them to be.”

The Indians seized control 15-6 on a kill from Patenaude and 16-7 on Grote’s bomb.

When junior opposite hitter Shea McGovern (four aces) unloaded three straight aces the lead swelled to 20-8 and it became 21-8 and 23-8 on a pair of Grote kills.

It was more of the same in the second game as the Indians captured the first five points before Daniel’s kill broke the spell to make it 5-1.

Burroughs took over 12-5 and 15-7 on kills from sophomore outside hitter Lydia Grote.

The Bulldogs rallied and shaved the lead to 17-10 on Lashkari’s kill, however, Marin Grote had back-to-back bullets that made it 20-10 as Burbank needed a respite.

Marin Grote’s tapper put the Indians ahead 21-11 and Van Loo’s spike forged a 22-12 advantage.

Senior libero Lizzy Jessen’s service ace gave Burroughs a 23-12 lead and the Indians then took the next two points.

Burbank Girls Volleyball Extended Five Sets, Beats Crescenta Valley

By Rick Assad

It seemed that whenever the Burbank High girls’ volleyball team needed a point or a key play, Melissa Daniel was ready to deliver.

In the fifth and deciding game in Thursday’s Pacific League match, Daniel had six kills and a combined stuff as the host Bulldogs took down Crescenta Valley, 25-22, 27-25, 20-25, 22-25, 15-7.

Melissa Daniel led the way for Burbank with 20 kills and 22 digs against Crescenta Valley. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Daniel scored the first two points on kills before sophomore outside hitter Katie Treadway (six aces and three kills) tossed in an ace that made it 3-0.

Daniel’s spike pushed the lead to 4-0, while senior middle blocker/opposite hitter Erin Lashkari’s stuff extended it to 5-0.

“Yeah, that’s so important, getting off strong because CV is a strong team, too,” said Daniel, a senior outside hitter who contributed a match-best 20 kills and 22 digs. “But we need to establish that lead to make sure that we could take this game.”

Lashkari and Daniel then teamed up on a jam as the advantage swelled to 6-0.

Burbank’s defense was stellar, especially in the fifth set versus the Falcons. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The Falcons (1-7 and 0-3 in league) scored a point on a net violation, but Daniel added a kill and senior opposite/outside hitter Arpi Garibyan (three kills) tossed in a stuff that made it 8-1 as Crescenta Valley asked for time.

“We’re definitely coming on stronger this year,” Daniel said. “We want to make a better showing than last year which wasn’t our best effort. This team this year is super close and it’s helping with our connection and I think we’re working great together.”

Daniel’s spike made it 10-1 and her smash supplied the Bulldogs with a 12-6 lead.

Crescenta Valley’s Teny Noordermeer rises up, but is met by Erin Lashkari in a Pacific League match. (Photo by Ross A. Benson).

Eventually Burbank (4-0 and 3-0 in league) would take the match after winning three of the next four points including Treadway’s dagger that made it 14-7 and senior defensive specialist/libero Katie Marcy’s service ace for the clincher.

When asked if it was intentional that she had the ball set in the fifth set, Daniel said that it wasn’t.

“It just happened to turn out that way,” she said. “I definitely didn’t play my best the first couple of sets. But I definitely came out with more stronger energy and the whole team had a lot more energy in that fifth set because we want to win.”

Burbank Coach Karl Rojo also felt confident in the fifth set. “With that experience she’s (Daniel) going to put that ball away for us,” he said. “We just had to feed the hot hand. We practice these games where you gotta feed the hot hand and the hot hand’s gotta figure it out. She contributed a lot today.”

Ashley Eskander, who had 25 assists, serves in a match against the Falcons. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The opening game was tied 1-1, 2-2, 3-3, 5-5, 6-6, 9-9, 10-10 and 11-11, but the Bulldogs took over 16-14 on an ace from senior opposite hitter Suzy Torosyan (six kills and 13 digs) and 20-16 on Treadway’s bullet.

When Lashkari had a tap-stuff, Burbank led 21-19, but the Falcons tied it at 21-21 on an ace from senior outside/opposite hitter Marley Gang.

A kill from Daniel gave the Bulldogs a 22-21 edge, and the Bulldogs would take three of the next four points for the set.

Burbank led 4-1 in the second game on Garibyan’s stuff and 12-5 on Torosyan’s winner.

A kill from Daniel gave the Bulldogs a 16-10 edge and it would be even at 20-20 on a stuff from Treadway.

Crescenta Valley tied it at 24-24 on junior opposite hitter/middle blocker Grace Holland’s kill, only to see Lashkari’s spike make it 25-24 and Daniel’s kill push it to 26-25.

Burbank moved in front 3-0 in the third set on Treadway’s ace, and it would be tied 14-14 on Treadway’s tapper.

The Bulldogs darted in front 17-14 on Marcy’s ace as Crescenta Valley asked for time and then outscored Burbank 11-3 for the set.

It was tied eight times in the early going in the fourth set before the Bulldogs led 12-10 on an ace from sophomore setter Ashley Eskander (25 assists).

The Falcons forged a  20-16 advantage on Gang’s blast as the Bulldogs needed a time out.

Burbank came within 23-20 on Treadway’s service ace as the Falcons asked for time, but when Lashkari’s serve sailed out of bounds, the fifth set became necessary.

Burbank Makes the Effort, But Loses To Downey, 35-7

By Rick Assad

Burbank High and Downey came into Friday night’s nonleague football game with identical 1-1 records.

The Bulldogs bolted out of the gate and beat Monrovia 23-8, but then lost to Canyon 14-6.

The Vikings were defeated by powerhouse Santa Margarita 56-0, but bounced back with a 42-35 triumph over Hart.

Quarterback Matthew Porras scored the only touchdown for the Bulldogs. (Photo by Ross. A. Benson)

It was apparent early that Downey’s schedule was much more demanding as the No. 7th-ranked team in the CIF Southern Section Division IV, handled the Bulldogs 35-7 at Memorial Field.

Burbank avoided the shutout when quarterback Matthew Porras scampered in from 12 yards out as 3:55 remained in the fourth quarter.

Porras, a junior, completed 15 of 26 passes for 124 yards, but was intercepted twice by senior free safety Nicholas Whitney in the opening half.

Senior running back Darnell Williams gained 34 yards on 20 carries against Downey. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Another Bulldog highlight was senior cornerback Kaydon Spens picking off junior Kijon Foots in the second quarter.

Senior wide receiver Drew Pendleton grabbed five catches for 55 yards and junior tight end Duncan Smith nabbed six for 53 yards for the Bulldogs.

The Bulldogs are coming off a season in which they went 10-4 overall before losing in the Division VIII title game.

Burbank has a bye next week, but will host Glendale on Sept. 21 to commence the Pacific League portion of its schedule which culminates Nov. 3 when it meets city rival Burroughs.

“This is the best team we’re going to play all season,” first-year Burbank coach Adam Colman said. “This is a young team and it’s still learning.”

Colman, who played quarterback for the Bulldogs a number of years ago, said that he was pleased with the effort.

“I’m proud of how they fought and that’s pride,” he said. “That touchdown at the end was important. We moved the ball well, but we didn’t convert in the red zone.”

Burbank’s defense was on the run most of the night versus the Vikings, who won 35-7 in a nonleague game. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Downey senior running back Baraq Ross finished with a game-best 202 yards on 19 carries and tallied four rushing touchdowns, including three in the second half when the Vikings outscored the Bulldogs 21-7.

After Burbank (1-2) punted on its initial possession, Downey took over at the Burbank 33-yard line.

Four plays later, Ross found the end zone on a one-yard carry as 8:55 was left for a 7-0 lead.

Senior wide receiver Drew Pendleton snared five passes for 55 yards. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The next time the Vikings (2-1) had the ball, Foots unloaded a 62-yard pass to wide receiver Whitney (89 yards on four receptions) and 5:21 left in the first period as it became 14-0.

Downey’s advantage was extended to 21-0 on its first series of the second half when Ross broke off a 70-yard sprint down the left sideline for a touchdown with 10:55 remaining in the third quarter.

It’s off to the races for Pendleton against highly-ranked Downey. (Photo by Ross A. Benson).

Burbank (212 total net yards) followed that with a march from its own 40-yard line to the Vikings five when Porras (54 yards on 11 carries) failed to complete a pass on fourth down.

Burbank senior running back Darnell Williams accounted for 34 yards on 20 carries.

The Vikings (524 total yards) proceeded to make it 28-0 when Foots, a quick and agile quarterback who passed for 213 yards on 15 of 22, drove the team from their five-yard line and used 13 plays with a five-yard run by Ross the capper as 1:53 was left in the third quarter.

Downey powered ahead 35-0 with 8:10 on the ticker in the fourth frame when Foots directed the Vikings 62 yards as Ross located the end zone with a 17-yard dash.

Burbank, Burroughs Girls Volleyball Shoot For Moon

By Rick Assad

The prize is the same for the Burroughs High and Burbank girls’ volleyball teams and that’s capturing the Pacific League title and then advancing deep into the postseason.

In recent years, the edge in these departments have usually gone to the Indians while the Bulldogs have had some success.

A season ago, Burroughs placed second in league to Arcadia with a 12-2 record and pushed its way to the CIF Southern Section quarterfinals, but lost to Foothill.

“We expect the Pacific League to be more competitive than in years past,” Burroughs coach Edwin Real said. “We have seen improvements in Glendale and Pasadena and we are always expecting Arcadia to be toward the top.”

Burbank Coach Karl Rojo addresses the team at a recent practice. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

With regard to Burbank, Real said he expects the matches to be close.

“The rival game with Burbank is always competitive as well,” he said. “Our goal is to win the league title, though.”

The Indians play at Burbank on Sept. 28 and then host the Bulldogs on Oct. 24.

Leading the charge for the Indians will be senior outside hitter Marin Grote, who at 6-feet-4, also plays center for the basketball team.

Grote, a powerful hitter and a defensive stalwart, is expected to attend and play volleyball for the University of Washington.

Other key individuals include senior outside hitter Julianna Cottrell and junior opposite hitter Juliana Van Loo.

Burroughs senior outside hitter Marin Grote is one key to success for the Indians. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Also on the squad are senior setter Lauren Zedlar, senior opposite hitter Jewel Musich, senior defensive specialist/libero Sabrina Sullivan, senior defensive specialist Lizzy Jessen and senior middle blocker Ricki Patenaude.

The others include junior opposite hitter Jolene Solimon, junior opposite hitter Shea McGovern, junior defensive specialist Caitlin Lim, junior middle blocker Maggie Harris, sophomore outside hitter Lydia Grote and freshman outside hitter Catie Virtue.

“Our goal for the season is to play consistent, match by match in order to win the Pacific League and also have a memorable playoff run,” Real said. “We are hoping that our talent and team chemistry helps us advance beyond the quarterfinals, a feat no other girls volleyball team at Burroughs has done.”

Likewise, Burbank Coach Karl Rojo, who begins his third season, also expects good things from the Bulldogs, who finished above .500 overall.

But Rojo will have to replace two offensive and defensive forces, Hailey Heath and Rachel Wiley, who graduated.

Still there is enough talent on the roster to compete and that includes senior outside hitter Melissa Daniel, senior middle blocker/opposite hitter Erin Lashkari and senior middle blocker/opposite hitter Bene Snyder.

Daniel, Lashkari and Snyder are all on the softball team and extremely versatile athletes.

“The chemistry is nice,” Rojo said. “Not too much drama. We’re hoping for a better season than last season.”

Rojo then added: “We lost some key players,” he noted. “We were able to fill in those spots. They’re working hard and ready to play.”

In last year’s match, host Burbank and Burroughs shake hands afterward. Both are gunning for Pacific League banner. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Daniel, Lashkari and Snyder are capable of pushing the Bulldogs beyond a 7-7 league record and fourth place, which is where they placed last season.

There is going to be help in the form of senior outside/opposite hitter Suzy Torosyan, sophomore outside hitter Katie Treadway and sophomore setter Ashley Eskander.

Other key players are senior opposite hitter/middle blocker Arpi Garibyan and junior opposite/outside hitter Amaya Broyls.

One thing the Bulldogs will have to avoid are instances when they didn’t play well down the stretch of matches.

“We need to keep this core group mentally sharp,” Rojo said. “We can fix those issues in practice. We need to put the ball away early.”

The rest of Rojo’s squad includes senior libero/defensive specialist Katie Marcy, senior outside/opposite hitter Elizabeth Kvryan, junior outside/opposite hitter Carmen Camacho-Platas, junior middle blocker/opposite hitter Olivia Price, junior libero/defensive specialist Hannah Cericos, sophomore libero Morgan Bolger and sophomore setter Kassie Gonzales.

Burroughs, Burbank Boys Water Polo Ready For Action

By Rick Assad
 
 
 
 

 

It’s going to get a little tougher for the Burroughs High boys’ water polo team this season after capturing the CIF Southern Section Division V championship in 2016.

Because of their successful campaign, the Indians were moved ahead to Division III this season so the road to the title is going to be slightly more difficult, but certainly still within reach.

The Burroughs boys’ water polo team is gunning for another successful season. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burbank missed out on the playoffs, but despite this there are still expectations of making a strong run in that direction.

“We’re looking forward to having a good year and taking league,” Burroughs coach Jacob Cook said. “We lost only one player from last year, but I think that we’re getting an even better player.”

The Indians, who were 25-6 overall and 6-2 for second place behind Hoover in the Pacific League, are loaded with 13 seniors.

They include driver Nathan Anicich, utility J.J. Ambartsumyan, utility David Arakelyan, driver Manuel Esparza, setter Nathan Gault-Crabb, setter Brenner Goldsen and setter Sean Keane.

Burroughs Coach Jacob Cook saw the Indians win the CIF Southern Section Division V last season. They were moved up to Division III. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

The rest of the upperclassmen includes attacker Vahagn Saakyan, driver Scott Sauve, utility Arthur Sefayan, utility Marko Vucetic, driver Max Zekowski and setter Nicholas D’Agostaro.

The rest of the team includes junior goalie David Jimenez, junior attacker Simon Legoretta and junior attacker Eric Aperian.

The Indians opened their season with a 22-0 win over Jordan and will meet rival Burbank Oct. 18 on the road.

For Burbank Coach Allyson Young, a Burroughs graduate, her upperclassmen includes driver Daniel Azarian, goalie Jonathan Ragheb, goalie Rory Rickey, utility J.C. Angel, driver Ejmin Vartani and driver Brandon Wilson.

“We didn’t make the playoffs last year,” she said, “but this year we hope to do a lot better. All of my guys are working hard and working together.”

The other players are junior utility Harout Abrahamian, junior driver Varuzhan Bilbulyan, junior driver Arthur Gasparyan, junior driver Gevork Kvryan, junior driver George Sarkissov and sophomore goalie Sarkis Ter-Petrossyan, sophomore driver Kourosh Dolatshahi and sophomore driver Hakop Pilavjyan.

Former Burbank High Standout Brooks Shines At Notre Dame

By Rick Assad

 

Caitlyn Brooks is one of the most decorated athletes in Burbank High history, so it came as no surprise when the three-time All-CIF first-team pitcher received a scholarship from the University of Notre Dame.

During her four years playing prep softball, Brooks ended her career with an 80-17 won-loss record along with 1,011 strikeouts.

In terms of Brooks’ most dominant season, it was likely her sophomore campaign in which she fanned 309, went 25-3 with an 0.78 earned-run average.

Eye-popping numbers, for sure, but was the jump to Notre Dame seamless?

“The transition from high school to college was not bad,” said Brooks, who batted .304, smashed eight homers, with a .388 on-base percentage, a .506 slugging percentage, 39 runs batted in and 24 runs scored and was named to the Atlantic Coast Conference All-Tournament team in 2017. “Softball wise, it was very smooth since it is a game that I have played since I was 5. However, academically Notre Dame has been more of a challenge, but one that is manageable.”

Caitlyn Brooks up looks up after hitting the ball. (Photo courtesy Notre Dame sports information).

Being on the South Bend campus offers challenges and also rewards. Are there added expectations?

“I definitely feel pressure to perform, but it is the same pressure I have dealt with since I was little,” said Brooks, a sophomore who plays first base, right field and pitches. “Due to the competition being so strong, I do feel that it is a little harder to excel at the college level, but the pressure is the same, it just depends on if I am going to let it get to me or not.”

Brooks, who batted .335 with a .416 on-base percentage and led the Fighting Irish with a .639 slugging percentage and 11 homers with 55 RBIs, the most-ever for a first-year Notre Dame player, and 28 runs tallied, went on: “I try not to think about the pressure and just focus on one pitch at a time, and like I said before, I have been playing this game since I was young and it’s the same game.”

Former Burbank High pitcher Caitlyn Brooks is also seeing time in the circle for Notre Dame. (Photo courtesy Notre Dame sports information).

Notre Dame finished this season 34-23 and 13-11 in the ACC after going 43-13 and 13-7 in 2016.

Deanna Gumpf is Notre Dame’s coach and feels that Brooks is going to get even better with time.

“She has become more of a leader for our team,” she said. “You become more comfortable in that leadership role, which will be a huge asset for us in her upcoming season.”

Does Brooks think she’s made strides since her freshman season?

“My past two years have been great, but the main difference between the two is maturity and knowing what to expect,” she said. “Freshman year I didn’t know how things ran from a strength and condition standpoint to the season and the academic.

“This past year I knew what to expect in the weight room, on the field and in the classroom. From my first year, this experience I have now is what helped me mature in all of these aspects,” she said.

How does Brooks, a film, television and theatre major with a focus on television, relax prior to taking the field?

Notre Dame’s starting pitcher/relief pitcher Caitlyn Brooks (16) celebrates her home run with her teammates during the quarterfinals of the 2017 ACC Softball Championship in Chapel Hill, N.C., Thursday, May 11, 2017. (Photo by Sara D. Davis, the ACC.com)

“Before a game I just hang out with my team or listen to music,” she said. “I don’t really get nervous, but listening to music helps me get in the zone, ready to play.”

Brooks said her team has made it so much easier for her.

“My support group is my teammates, especially the girls in my class,” she said. “We all get along great and are always there for each other, which is very helpful. We can always lean on each other when we need it.”

How does Brooks, who went 5-4 in eight starts with a 4.22 ERA across 61 and one-third innings in 2017, retain a fresh outlook?

“Success is what keeps the game fun,” she noted. “We all love to win and crave success on the field, so when we succeed, that is what I live for on the field, and even when we fail, that feeling to succeed still burns within and makes us want to grow and get better.”

Brooks added: “My teammates make softball fun. Every year we lose a couple of girls and gain more which is awesome, because we get to play alongside the best girls in the country and I love being around them. They make what we do on and off the field fun.”

Because Notre Dame is nationally recognized, the Fighting Irish have been on television a number of times. Does Brooks notice the cameras?

“I don’t really know when I am on television or when our games are televised compared to when they’re not,” she said. “I usually get a text from family saying that they watched the game. That’s the only way I pay attention to it, if I was on TV or not.

“Sometimes we notice the cameras when they interview our coach and we try to get on TV and joke around in the back, but other than that we are pretty focused on the game and don’t see the cameras,” she said.

Caitlyn Brooks waits patiently in the batter’s box. (Photo courtesy Notre Dame sports information).

Gumpf really likes that Brooks is able to play multiple positions. “She’s versatile and wants to do anything she can for her team,” she said. “Cait is a competitor and focused, but also loves to have fun.”

Brooks said she still keeps in contact with Mike Delaney, her high school coach.

“He is a great guy,” she said. “We usually try to catch up when I am home. I loved playing for him in high school, so it’s nice to catch up every now and then.”

What did Brooks learn from Delaney? “High school definitely helped me these past two years in the sense that I am with the same people for four years and the camaraderie with your teammates on the field is crucial,” she said. “We fail together and succeed together, and that mind-set for me was formed in high school and I have carried it here with my team.”

Delaney said he expected Brooks to do well in college. “I had her during her junior and senior seasons and you could tell right away she was a different type of high school athlete,” he said. “She continued to work hard and has a great work ethic.”

“I always knew she was going to have success at the plate. She has a really nice swing, but she was going to have to make an adjustment when pitching,” Delaney said. “In high school there might be five or six good hitters. In college, they’re all good.”

Burbank, Burroughs Will Be Well Represented in College

Graduation season is always one with mixed emotions, as a new group of graduates are sent out into the world.

Burbank and Burroughs Highs will both miss a number of graduates who will be tough to replace as leaders in sports.

The following summarizes where student athletes from the two schools will continue their education and athletic careers.

Burbank

With two teams that reached CIF Championship contests, the Bulldogs will certainly have some representation at the college level.

Burbank’s football team has at least six that will continue their careers, all in separate directions.

Burbank High’s Joey Miller will be playing for UC Davis. ( Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Receiver Joey Miller is headed to the University of California, Davis. Linebacker Jake Kelley is headed to the University of La Verne. Quarterback Guy Gibbs will move on to Glendale Community College. Receiver Forrest Fajardo will play at Pasadena City College. Offensive lineman Scott Breslin will continue at Ventura College and defensive end Matthew Villagran will play at Los Angeles Valley College.

From the basketball team, Michael Woods is headed to UC Merced. Thomas Clark is headed to Macalester College in St. Paul, Minn.  Point guard Cameron Sweeten is going to play at Compton Community College. Faraz Khandaker plans to play, but has yet to make a decision.

Michael Woods will continue at UC Merced. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

From the Burbank baseball team, Danny Porras is headed to Claremont McKenna. Matt Lungaro will attend the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. Lungaro will have a teammate nearby, as Henry Leake is continuing his career at Babson College in Massachusetts.

Girls’ soccer and track star Kira Bochard will compete in both sports at the University of Montevallo in Alabama. Her soccer teammate Dani Yanez is moving on to play at Chico State University. Track star Haleigh Cusumano will continue her career at UC San Diego.

Kira Bochard (left) and Haleigh Cusumano (right) will both run in college. Photo By: Edaward Tovmassian

Boys’ track star Vedavit Shetty will move on to Glendale Community College. GCC will also get a boost from distance runner Angel Flores. Burbank girls’ distance runner Jamie Giammichele will move on to Cal State Northridge, where she will make an attempt to compete with the cross country team.

From the girls’ volleyball team, Rachel Wiley will continue her career at Pierce College in Woodland Hills.

Burroughs

The Indians’ class of 2017 is headlined by football players Chance Bell and Jesse Chamberlain. Bell, a running back, is headed to San Diego State. Chamberlain, an offensive lineman, signed a letter of intent with San Jose State University.

Jesse Chamberlain (left) and Chance Bell (right) will both be playing major college football. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Burroughs boys’ basketball star Tristen Hull will continue his career at St. Cloud State University in Minnesota.

Diego Galaviz, a left-sided defender on Burroughs’ Pacific League champion boys’ soccer team, has signed with Cal State Dominguez Hill. Cameron Kelly and Jake Lasso-Spell are both planning on playing at Los Angeles Mission College.

Goalkeeper Jordan Morgan is uncommitted, but will play in college. Defender Richard Alonzo is also considering the idea of continuing his career, but is undecided.

From the girls’ soccer team, Mireya Gonzalez and Alondra Solis will both move on to Alcorn State University.  Golfer Maddie Riggs, who also played soccer, will bring her clubs to UC Irvine.

Also from the girls’ golf team, Ashley Phelps will play at Cal State Northridge and Raelinn Arnold will play at Buena Vista University.

Ashley Phelps will play golf at Cal State Northridge.

From the boys’ golf team, Louis D’Aquila will play at College of the Canyons.

Boys’ volleyball star Connor Ludlum is planning on playing at Santa Barbara Community College.

Distance runners Patrick and Timothy Wells will continue their cross country and track careers at Pepperdine University.

Timothy Wells is moving on to Pepperdine University. Photo By: Edaward Tovmassian

Middle distance star Daniel Fendrich is still undecided between Glendale Community College and Cal State Northridge.

Distance runner Heidi Eligio will continue at Northridge. Izzy Funes, a jumper and sprinter, will continue her career at Occidental College. Sprinter Megan Wade will continue at the University of La Verne.

Burroughs’ softball team will continue have a few more players moving on. Lauren Lopez will continue  at Wilmington College in Delaware next year. Brianna Johnson will be playing at Bloomfield College in New Jersey and Amanda Flores will be at Pasadena City College.

From the girls’ basketball team Haley Wilson and Caitlyn Pentland are expected to play at Glendale Community College.

Burroughs baseball players Justin Palafox and Riley Hooper are also expected to play at Glendale Community College.

Burroughs swimmer Nathan Armstrong will continue his career at Beloit College in Wisconsin.

 

Adult School Students Graduate as Burbank High Prepares For A Change

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

The Adult School Class of 2017 graduated Wednesday evening in the Luther Middle School Auditorium. There were speeches, scholarships were presented and all the Pomp and Circumstance that those students deserved.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

While across town the Burbank High School football field was being outfitted with a stage, sound system and seating for over 7,000 students and guests.

The school’s administration decided to relocate this year’s graduation exercise from the Starlight Bowl to the school’s football field, saving the school district over $25,000. 

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Logistics have taken months of planning, which included meeting with Crown Development, the owners of the former IKEA site, to use their vacant parking structure to house over 1500 cars.  Meetings were also held with Burbank’s Traffic Engineer and Police Traffic Department to handle the traffic around the school during graduation.

Traffic advisories and postings have been put out that include most streets around the school that  will be closed from 4 pm until 9 pm on Friday.