Tag Archives: Craig Rushton

Class of 2020 Produces Many Future College Athletes

The class of 2020 wasn’t able to end its high school experience the way it had hoped to due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

But the 2019-2020 school year still provided a number of quality student athletes, even though we didn’t get to see all of them.

A large number of them performed well enough in their respective sports to continue at the next level.

The following is a list of Burroughs and Burbank High graduates as well as others who live in the city and attend private schools that will play collegiate athletics.

Burroughs

The Indians have a strong graduating class with a number of athletes who will move on to top colleges.

CIF champion swimmer Maya Wilson, who leaves Burroughs with every single individual event record in school history, will continue her career at UCLA.

Volleyball star Lydia Grote will follow in her older sister Marin’s footsteps by playing in the Pacific-12 Conference.

Lydia Grote (2) will continue her career at UC Berkeley. (Photo by Ross A Benson)

Lydia will play for UC Berekley, whereas Marin is at the University of Washington.

Water polo goalie Emmanuella Nathan will continue her career at the University of the Pacific.

Softball player Isabella Kam was solid in the classroom as well as on the field and will play in the Ivy League for Dartmouth.

Cross country runner Robert McGraham will continue his distance running career at Loyola Marymount University.

Golfer Nico Coccio has signed to continue his career in Oklahoma at Rogers State University.

Also from the Burroughs softball team, Sidnie Dabbadie will go across the country to attend New Jersey City College. Sabrina Englebrecht will move on to El Camino College in Torrance and Memorie Munoz will play at College of the Canyons.

From the Burroughs baseball team, Ricky Perez and Brian Garcia will both attend Morningside College in Iowa. Teammate Albert Prado will also be moving to the Midwest as he is continuing his career at Ottawa University in Kansas. Johnny Angel and Jorge Gutierrez will both stay local at play at LA Mission College.

Distance runner Samantha Hoxsie will continue her career at Glendale Community College.

She will be joined at Glendale College by a few more classmates.

Basketball players A’sia Morales and Sophie Hawkins will suit up for the Vaqueros where they will join their high school coach Vicky Oganyan, who will play her sophomore season.

Glendale College is also expected to gain a large group of Burroughs football players.

Carson Cardenaz, Nick Garcia, Henry Diaz, Chance Spinks and Eric Quintero all plan on playing for the Vaqueros. Boys basketball player Corwin Smith will continue his career at College of the Canyons.

Boys volleyball player Connor Burroughs will play at Moorpark College.

Camila Sanchez-Tellez will continue her volleyball career at Pasadena City College.

Burbank

The Bulldogs are led by their distance runners, who have without question been the most successful sport in the school’s history.

The group of Victor Goli, Dayne Ellis, Anthony Chiaravalle and Steven Wright will all run at Cal State Northridge.  They led Burbank to fifth place finish in the state meet in cross country and a top-10 overall state ranking that combined all divisions.

Victor Goli is one of four Bulldogs headed to CSUN.

Sol Fernandez, who had a stellar career with the girls cross country team, will continue at Humboldt State University.

From the Burbank baseball team, Jakob Duarte will play in the Ivy League at Cornell.

OakLee Spens will continue his career at Lakeland College in Wisconsin.  Josh Balos and Luis Martinez will continue their careers at LA Valley College.

Troy Lee will move on to Pasadena City College and Dominik Severo will play at LA Mission College.

Burbank’s football team will be well represented.

Lineman Craig Rushton will continue at Glendale College. Devin Housholder will play at College of the Canyons.

Shawn Wilson will be playing at LA Valley College.

Issac Glover, Ben Burnham and Armando De La Cruz all plan on playing on the gridiron but remain undecided.

From the Burbank track team, Amira Ottosson will continue her sprinting career at the University of San Diego. James Smyth will continue his throwing career locally at Occidental College in Eagle Rock.

Water polo player Sera Shahbazian will continue her career at LA Valley College.

Girls soccer player Ani Akopyan will continue her career at Los Angeles City College.

Providence

The Pioneers Andrew Dabbaghian will continue his career at College of the Canyons. Teammates Michael Joanou, A’Jahni Levias , Jordan Shelley and Bryce Whitaker will also their respective careers.

Jonou will play for Aurora University in Illinois. Levias is moving on to Central Wyoming College. Shelley will be playing at Northwest Tech in Kansas and Whitaker will be at Lamar College in Colorado.

Also from Providence, Nadia Singleton will continue her track and field career at Sonoma State University.

Village Christian

Kendall Jensen will give the UC Berkeley women’s volleyball a second player from Burbank as she joins her close friend, Burroughs grad Lydia Grote.

Also from Village Christian, Bella Orozco will continue her softball career at Alfred University in New York. Jalyne McFall will continue in football at New Mexico State. Mackenzie Woo will play lacrosse at Gordon College in Massachusetts.

Quentin Roberts, who played for the Burbank Raptors Basketball Club, will continue his volleyball career at Thomas More University in Kentucky.

 

Burbank, Burroughs Boys Hoops Set Sights High

By Rick Assad

The task is a tall one, no doubt, but the Burbank High and Burroughs boys’ basketball teams are each gunning for the top spot when it comes to the Pacific League standings, hoping to unseat Pasadena.

The Bulldogs are athletic with dependable shooters and defenders and will be led Sid Cooke, who has an impressive and deep resume, having coached Renaissance Academy to a pair of CIF Southern Section championships across 16 years.

“We’re trying to build a culture. Commitment and accountability. Do the right thing every time,” said Cooke, a first-year coach at Burbank, who was also an assistant coach at Glendale Community College for three years. “They do play hard, but they’ve got to play different as far as the understanding of the game.”

You can never practice enough as Burroughs goes through some drills. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burbank played well last season after going 17-12 and 8-6 in league for fourth place.

The Bulldogs fell to La Canada 57-43 in the opening-round of the CIF Division II A playoffs.

Burbank will not have shooting guard Miles D’Agostin, who averaged just over 26 points and was selected All-CIF second team, because of graduation.

Cooke is a tough taskmaster who demands perfection on the court, but knows how to motivate.

Four players were on last year’s squad and they will be asked to lead Burbank on the floor.

Kevin Sarkes is a 6-foot-5 senior center who will rebound, play solid defense and shoot in the paint.

“We have a good group of guys,” he said. “We hope to capture the first league title in a long time, it’s been about 20 years. And then heading to CIF, we’ve been knocked out two years in the first round. Our goal is to capture the first CIF title.”

Senior Ben Burnham (6-0) is a standout wide receiver on the football team and will offer grit, points, hard-nose defense and rebounds from the point guard position.

“Transitioning from football to basketball is not that hard. I’m not in basketball shape,” he said. “We’re looking to do some damage in league. We’re focusing on getting better every week.”

Junior small forward Abiel Pearl (No. 25) will be a key player for the Bulldogs. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Senior shooting guard Leo Tahmasian (6-0) is a clutch long-range artist who can score points in a hurry.

“Three coaches in three years. Yes, it’s not easy, but when you have a great coaching staff it’s pretty easy to adjust,” he said. “They have a system in place.”

Sarkes then added: “Coach Sid has won multiple championships at different levels,” he said. “His resume speaks for itself. He’s a great coach. We have a great group of guys. I’m very confident in what we can do this year whether it’s in league or CIF. We’ve got a good core and a good group of guys to build around.”

Junior shooting guard/small forward Abiel Pearl (6-3) is athletic and a leaper who has a soft touch in the paint, is a ball hawk on defense and a splendid rebounder.

There are four other seniors on the team and they include shooting guard Gor Keshishyan (6-2), shooting guard Danny Contreras (5-7), shooting guard A.J. Blake (5-10), small forward/power forward Craig Rushton (6-2) and center Greg Zadikian (6-5).

Up and in the basket. The Indians hope to see more of this during the season. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The juniors include point guard Vartan Avetisyan (5-9), shooting guard Elmer Reyes (5-10), small forward Kelton Shea (6-3) and shooting guard Armen Nazarian (6-3).

Three sophomores are on the team and they are small forward J.G. Lambert (6-3), point guard/shooting guard Phoenix Mosley (5-9) and shooting guard Nigel Dickens (6-1).

The Indians are deep in talent this season and hope to forget last season in which they went 11-16 and 4-10 in league for sixth place while missing the postseason.

Four players return and they include senior swingman Emery Goulet, senior point guard Nicholas Garcia, senior shooting guard Carson Cardenaz and reserve forward Tyler Cantrell.

Goulet is a first-team all-league selection, team captain and one of the floor leaders.

Garcia, who was the quarterback for the Indians, will distribute the basketball and look for his shot when it’s available.

Senior guard Leo Tahmasian (No. 23) should have a solid season for the Bulldogs. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Cardenaz played wide receiver and always showed his toughness on the field.

“We are bigger and stronger physically than last year’s team,” Burroughs coach Allan Ellis said. “I think last year’s experience for our starting guards will help us a lot on and off the court for our younger players.”

Ellis knows it’s not going to be easy to capture the league title, but likes what he’s seen.

“We know we are in a tough league, but the majority of these players have been a part of my program for four years,” he said. “We look forward to the challenge and the guys are hungry to show what they are capable of on the basketball court.”

The rest of the backcourt will consist of shooting guard Jase Sadsad, shooting guard Blake Ballard, shooting guard Elijah Duller, shooting guard Evan Zamora and point guard Coleman Chennault.

The frontcourt will be comprised of Jack Nitzsche, Chance Spinks and Corwin Smith, who is 6-6, and will play center.

Burbank Football in a Good Position Again

(Photo by Ross A Benson)

A pattern has developed for the Burbank High football program and that’s a good thing.

The team is generally young and talented in odd years and championship ready in even years.

(Photo by Ross A Benson)

Things don’t figure to change in 2019 as Burbank looks like it has more than enough talent to qualify for the CIF Southern Section playoffs for an eighth consecutive year.

Burbank once again has a number of solid underclassmen to go along with a solid but not as spectacular senior class.

“(There’s) a lot of guys that played important roles on last year’s team. They weren’t the guys getting their names in the paper or scoring the touchdowns necessarily, but they know what it takes, which is nice,” third-year head coach Adam Colman said. “Varsity isn’t a new experience for them. It is something that they are used to. They have a little chip on their shoulder to show now that we belong. It’s a fun group to coach. There’s a lot of competition. We’ve got a lot of positions that are two deep, two to three deep at most.”

(Photo by Ross A Benson)

Most notably gone from last season’s 7-4 squad are quarterback Matthew Porras (Whitworth University) and two-way stars Erik Harutyunyan (UC Berkley) and Duncan Smith (Fresno State).

They won’t easily be replaced.

Junior left-handed quarterback Aram Araradian (6-foot, 175 pounds) takes over for Porras but is hardly new to the role as he has seen game action on the varsity each of the last two seasons.

Senior running back Issac Glover (5-9, 195) who missed part of last season due to injury is back at full strength and will be the main threat out of the backfield. Junior Max Mendieta (5-7, 165) could also see time carrying the ball.

Araradian’s passing options are solid with senior Ben Burnham (6-1, 175), junior Brandon Pena (5-10, 165) and sophomore Jack Sapyta (5-10, 155) all returning.

Senior Vincent Vang (5-3, 125) is a slotback who will replace older brother Chadz Vang, who graduated.
Senior Devin Householder (6-3, 200) will take over the tight end position that was held down by Smith for the last two years.

The offensive line returns two starters in senior center Armando De La Cruz (5-7, 250), who will be a three-year starter, and senior Craig Rushton (6-2, 265).

Senior Seth Jones (6-2, 270) , who spent time at tight end last year, will also fill a role on the line. Juniors Rene Amirian (6-1, 235) and Danny Akopyan (5-9, 220) figure to also see significant playing time on the line. Another name to look for is sophomore Jakob Zuniga (6-2, 275), who transferred from Hoover since the Tornadoes will not play varsity football the next two seasons.

(Photo by Ross A Benson)

The defensive line will boast many of the same players who are also on the offensive line along with senior Thomas Chiaravalle (5-8, 205) and sophomore Steilen Varga (5-10, 265).

The linebacker core is led by senior Tyler Murphy (5-8, 185). Mendieta, Glover, and Householder also figure to see time as linebackers.

Others to watch for are juniors Austin Blacano (6-3, 225), Kube Raymond (5-10, 185) and Lucas Sheppe (6-1, 205).

In the defensive secondary, senior Ian Miller (5-10, 165) leads the way. Juniors Owen Cusumano (5-10, 165) and Jarren Flowers (6-0, 175) are also both very talented. Vang, senior Oaklee Spens (5-6, 150), senior Shawn Wilson (6-1, 170) and junior Kaze Gibbs (5-5, 145) figure to add depth.

Colman said there is no clear favorite for the Pacific League title.

“It is going to be very competitive across the board. Pretty much every team has improved since last year,” he said. “Top to bottom there are no sleepers. Everyone is going to be competitive. I could see it shaking out four or five different ways.”