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A Look Back at the Best Teams of 2019

With a lot of talent in many sports at both Burbank and Burroughs highs, being a top 10 team out of the many there are in the city does not come without a tremendous amount of hard work and success. We take back a look at what we feel were the 10 best teams between the two schools during the 2019 calendar year. This includes winter and spring sports teams during the 2018-2019 school year as well as fall sports teams from the 2019-2020 school year.

No. 1 Burbank boys cross country

The Bulldogs may have not won a Pacific League title, but they are still deserving of the top honor. In the season finale, the California State Meet in Fresno, Burbank topped league champion Crescenta Valley, which had finished second in the CIF Southern Section Division 1 just a week earlier.
Burbank finished fifth in the Southern Section Division 1 championship and were the 10th best team in California (all divisions combined) in Fresno. Senior Victor Goli led the Bulldogs in rebounding from an injury plagued junior year. Fellow seniors Dayne Ellis, Anthony Chiaravalle, Steven Wright and Tadeh Shanazari will certainly have plenty of great memories to last a lifetime. Juniors Andres Leon and Tyler Jenkins will return next season in hopes of leading the next group of great Burbank runners.

(Photo by Ross A Benson)

No. 2 Burroughs boys volleyball

If any program in the city deserves the program of the decade award, it is clearly the Indians’ boys volleyball program. Burroughs has won 10 consecutive league titles under Coach Joel Brinton. Although the Indians’ record at 20-13 may not look overly impressive, Burroughs schedules a number of elite teams in nonleague matches and also plays in several top tournaments. The Indians were also relatively young last season. Kade McGovern had an outstanding sophomore season and has the potential to be as good as any player that has ever played for the Indians. Outside hitter Connor Burroughs is another top returner for 2020.

Niko Coccio

No. 3 Burroughs boys golf

The Indians finished second in the Pacific League, but made things very interesting because they gave traditional power Arcadia all it could handle. Burroughs even defeated Arcadia by 20 strokes in one league match at DeBell Golf Course. The good thing for Burroughs is that much of the team returns in 2020. Lincoln Melcher, who has committed to UCLA, was outstanding as a freshman and along with Kodiak Hernandez give the Indians a great 1-2 punch for two more seasons. Niko Coccio, Daniel Gonzalez and Ryan McGowan are expected back in 2020.

No. 4 Burroughs girls soccer

The Indians won their first league title since 1993 and finished the season 16-4-2. Senior Abbie Riggs as well as sophomores Lauryn Bailey and Lily Gonzalez played a key role in giving Burroughs the historic title. Burroughs lost in the second round of the CIF Southern Section Division 4 playoffs to Hemet.

No. 5 Burroughs boys soccer

A young Burroughs squad won the Pacific League title and the 11th time under longtime coach Mike Kodama. The Indians advanced to the second round of the CIF Southern Section Division 3 playoffs, finishing the season with a 15-6-3 record. Sophomore Manny Gonzalez earned All-CIF honors as he scored 18 goals.

No. 6 Burroughs girls volleyball

The Indians went 18-6 overall and captured the Pacific League crown under veteran coach Edwin Real. Unfortunately, a tough playoff draw saw the Indians end their season in the first round of the playoffs against a very talented Murrieta Valley team, which entered the match with a 23-8 record.

Senior Lydie Grote led the way and signed a letter of intent with the University of California, Berkeley.

 

No. 7 Burbank girls cross country

Like the Burbank boys’ team, the Burbank girls’ cross country team finished second in the Pacific League behind Crescenta Valley. Also like the boys’ team, Burbank defeated the Falcons in their final head-to-head race, the CIF Southern Section Division 1 finals. Perhaps the greatest thing that happened to the team was the fact that star runner Mckynzee Kelley was able to survive a terrible car accident and actually return to the team. With a strong group of runners led by Kelley, Megan LaCamera, Elin Markarian, Zoe Zeron and Noela Kim, Burbank should be ready for another fine year in 2020.

Kiara Hernandez of Burbank High

No. 8 Burbank girls golf

The Bulldogs gave traditional power Arcadia a run for its money in the Pacific League title chase, only to come up just six strokes short at Brookside Golf Course. Burbank was led most of the season by freshman Lisette Orellana. The Bulldogs finished 11th in the tough Eastern Division in CIF competition and won the Optimist Tournament. In dual meet competition, Burbank posted a 28-7 season record. Sophomore star Kiara Hernandez joined the team late in the season after transferring from Burroughs. With her returning for the next two seasons, there is lots of reason for Burbank to be optimistic about the future.

No. 9 Burbank boys track and field

The Bulldogs came just one event away from winning the Pacific League dual meet title. Burbank had a solid group across the board and many return for 2020. Sprinters Bryan David and Jack Sapyta, middle distance runner Mher Matesvoyan and distance runners Victor Goli and Andres Leon led the way.

No. 10 Burroughs boys water polo

The Indians didn’t have a great regular season, finishing fourth in the Pacific League. But Burroughs earned itself onto this list because of its postseason play. Burroughs earned two CIF Southern Section playoff victories and nearly pulled off an upset of second seeded St. Francis in the quarterfinals, losing 9-8. Vahagan Sahakyan was one of the Indians’ key players.

 

 

 

 

 

Burroughs Boys Golf Finishes Second and Burbank Gets Third At DeBell

By Rick Assad

 

While the Masters conducted its first day in Augusta, Georgia, the fifth Pacific League boys’ golf match took place at the DeBell Golf Club on Thursday afternoon and for Burroughs High’s Kodiak Hernandez and Arcadia’s Josh Kwon, each had an impressive outing, as both shot a 4-under-par 67.

Hernandez fired a 3-under-par 33 on the front nine where he eagled the par-5 No. 1 and the par-5 No. 8 and then shot a 1-under-par 34 on the back nine.

“I tried to hit the ball straight and just play the best I can. DeBell’s a tough course if you don’t hit it straight,” Hernandez said of the course’s challenges.

Kodiak Hernandez shot a 4-under-par 67 and was tied for first place in a Pacific League match at DeBell Golf Club. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

What makes DeBell so difficult? “How short and narrow it is,” he said. “You just have to know where to position the ball to play well.”

How was Hernandez able to overcome the obstacles?

“My wedge shots and I was putting really well on the greens even though my tee shots weren’t on point,” he noted. “I felt pretty confident especially coming around the turn. I play DeBell very often and it helps a lot because you learn where to put the ball, the distances and the greens.”

The Apaches, who are the defending league champions, are in first place this season and were the overall team winner after shooting 367.

The Indians took second place at 388 and are in second with two matches remaining on the regular schedule.

Burbank came in third place at 402 as J.J. Nakao fired an even-par 71 that included a 1-under-par 35 on the front nine.

Burbank was third in the Pacific League match at DeBell on Thursday. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“Overall I’m happy with my day, but I could have done a lot better,” Nakao said of his outing. “Midway through the round I could have focused a little more. Went shot-by-shot instead of thinking of the overall score.”

Does he also find DeBell especially tough? “It’s a pretty interesting course,” he said. “You’ve got to hit it straight every single shot. A couple of shots I hit left to right. You just have to take it stroke-by-stroke. I would say my long game saved me today. My putting was an issue.”

Ryan McGowan came into the clubhouse with a 5-over-par 76 for the Indians.

Lincoln Melcher finished with a 77 and Daniel Gonzalez capped his day with an 82 for Burroughs.

Trey Sanchez was next for Burroughs after shooting an 86, while Niko Coccio carded a 94.

Kevin Kienlen posted a 77 for the Bulldogs, and Ari Ahmed ended his 18 holes with an 82.

Burbank’s Frank Masyk closed out his day with an 83, Devin Blazon came into the clubhouse with a 89 and Hayden Chase shot a 102.

Crescenta Valley garnered fourth place with a 424 and was led by Hank Norman’s 76. Placing fifth was Pasadena with 477 as Jerome Dimalaluan paced the Bulldogs after shooting an 84.

Burroughs Golf Evens Things Up With Arcadia

The race to a Pacific League title in boys golf got a little more interesting Monday afternoon.
In a makeup from a match that was rained out earlier this season, Burroughs pulled even with Arcadia at DeBell Golf Course.
The Indians were just 11 strokes over par en route to a 20-stroke victory over the Apaches on the par-71 course.
Burroughs shot 366 and Arcadia shot 386. Crescenta Valley finished third by shooting 422. Burbank, which was without top golfer J.J. Nakao, who was celebrating his birthday, shot 437. Pasadena was fifth shooting 464.

Niko Coccio

“We all feel real comfortable here. The punched greens are kind of killing us because we’re not able to make as many puts as possible,” Burroughs Niko Coccio said. “I’m feeling confident that we can come out Thursday and win again. That will give us a good shot to win league.”
Burroughs sophomore Kodiak Hernandez was the low medalist shooting an even par.
“It feels good, but I hope the team can come together again on Thursday,” Hernandez said.
Freshman Lincoln Melcher and Coccio, a junior, were both just one stroke behind. Burroughs sophomores Daniel Gonzalez and Ryan McGowan followed by shooting 75 and 76 respectively. Senior Jake Panikowski shot 84.
Burbank High was led by sophomore Frank Maslyk, who shot 82. Senior Louie Calzado shot 84. Sophomore Kevin Kienlen shot 87. Senior Devin Blazon shot 91 adn freshman Ari Ahmed shot 93. Freshman Luke Carnegie shot 102.

Arcadia, like Burroughs has just one senior in its top six. Juniors Warren Oetojo and David Ju each shot 75 and fellow junior Justin Chen shot 76. Junior Josh Kwon shot 80 as did senior Kylen Yu. Sophomore Warren Lin shot 84.
For Crescenta Valley, Nate Frink shot 76 and Hank Norman shot 77.
Pasadena High was led by Jerome Dimalaluan, who shot 81.

Burroughs Football Overcomes Injuries to Top Hoover

If there was one noticeable difference about the Burroughs High football team Thursday night, it was that the coaching staff could have used a compass to locate a lot of its players as they were playing in different roles.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Injuries definitely hurt the Indians, who overcame a slow start to top a vastly improved Hoover High team 49-14 in a Pacific League contest at Memorial Field.

“At one point we were without two starting offensive linemen, we were without two or three starting defensive backs, without three starting linebackers,” Burroughs coach Mike Reily said. “We had a lot of guys that were visibly absent tonight.”

Things didn’t get any better as the game went on.

“By halftime we had a young man ejected and another young man with a knee injury,” Reily said.

Burroughs (4-4, 3-3 in the league), didn’t really break out a slump until late in the contest as Hoover received 320 yards passing from sophomore quarterback Mattis Richards, a native of France, who was playing in just his seventh game of his career.

Fortunately, Ben Peters came up big for Burroughs. He finished the game with 23 carries for 306 yards and three touchdowns.

After Burroughs led 19-8 at halftime, Jonathan Rivas kicked a 32-yard field goal at the 5:21 mark of the third quarter pushed the lead to a pair of touchdowns.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Hoover (1-8, 0-6) fought right back as Richards and receiver James Chang hooked up on the second of two long touchdowns.

“Those kids played their hearts out,” Reily said of Hoover. “Those coaches have them coached up and hats off to that program and those kids. They hung in there for quite a while.”

Peters quickly answered back with his third touchdown.

The Indians got three fourth-quarter touchdowns, two of which came at the hands of interception returns.

Daniel Gonzalez had a 76-yard return with 10:25 to play. Alex Perez also had an interception return. The

Indians’ other touchdown came as a result of a 24-yard run by James Duarte.

Burroughs will conclude its regular season next Friday at Memorial Field against Burbank. The Indians will have an opportunity to spoil any chances Burbank has of winning the league title.