Tag Archives: David Arakelyan

Burroughs Boys Water Polo Ends Campaign With 18-11 Loss To Dos Pueblos

By Rick Assad

A decent opening half by the Burroughs High boys’ water polo team was followed by an unsteady second half as Dos Pueblos outscored the host Indians 10-4 and cruised to an 18-11 triumph in a CIF Southern Section Division III second-round playoff match on Thursday.

The Indians, who won the Division V title in 2016, had too many turnovers and poor offensive execution as the Chargers played relentless defense, especially junior goalie Angus Goodner, who had 13 saves.

Burroughs was paced offensively by senior utility David Arakelyan’s four goals.

Leading Dos Pueblos was freshman Sammy Arshadi with five tallies while senior Jason Teng and sophomore Ethan Parrish each knocked in four.

David Arakelyan, shown in a match against Burbank, capped his career with four goals in a CIF second-round loss to Dos Pueblos. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“We just stopped executing,” Burroughs coach Jacob Cook said. “We started rushing a little bit and lost control of the game.”

Cook added: “There was a loss of focus which led to not executing, which led to them countering, which led them to scoring,” he said. “Even with timeouts we couldn’t execute.”

With the Chargers (23-7) ahead 8-7 at the half, the third quarter opened up with Parrish scoring on a six-footer and 5:47 left and Arshadi adding a five-footer with 3:54 on the clock that made it 10-7.

Senior utility J.J. Ambartsumyan’s tally from eight feet and 3:47 left trimmed the lead to 10-8 and senior setter Marko Vucetic’s goal from four feet sliced it to 10-9.

“During the third quarter we discussed on the wall that we still have like five minutes left and it’s not over. It’s five points,” Ambartsumyan said. “But we just said it. We didn’t follow what we said on the wall. Today we walked in a little too confident.”

Dos Pueblos tacked on four straight goals to make it 14-9 heading into the fourth period.

J.J. Ambartsumyan tacked on three goals for the Indians, but it wasn’t enough in an 18-11 setback to the Chargers. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

In this stretch, Arshadi’s tally from six feet and 2:40 left made it 11-9, Teng’s six-footer with 1:45 showing pushed it to 12-9, Parrish’s six-footer with 1:24 on the clock made it 13-9 and junior Wyatt Meckelburg’s five-footer with 40 seconds left saw the Chargers take control 14-9.

When Arakelyan scored from five feet and 6:43 left in the fourth period, the lead was reduced to 14-10, but Meckelburg’s five-footer 11 seconds later pushed the margin to 15-10.

“I think defensively we couldn’t execute, especially in the second half and first half too,” Arakelyan said. “When you let up eight goals in the first half, you can’t expect to win. They scored on a lot of counterattacks. They converted on their opportunities and we didn’t.”

Senior setter/defender Arthur Sefayan’s five-meter penalty shot failed the locate the target, but Arakelyan’s five-meter penalty toss with 4:13 left shaved the lead to 15-11.

That was it for the Indians (15-13) as Dos Pueblos ended the frame with three straight goals as Teng tacked on a five-footer with 2:44 left, followed by sophomore Alex Reilly’s five-footer with 2:18 left and freshman Rex Goodner’s three-footer with 1:41 on the ticker.

The first frame was deadlocked at 3-3 as Ambartsumyan scored on an eight-footer with 4:58 remaining that made it 1-0 and a six-footer with 3:23 left as the Indians led 2-1. Arakelyan’s three-footer with 22 seconds on the clock tied it at 3-3.

“Since it’s my last year, it’s was a little tough losing second round at CIF,” Ambartsumyan said. “I was still excited about winning league. That was also an accomplishment. We were just looking forward to going to CIF, but that didn’t work out this year.”

Arshadi’s five-meter penalty shot evened it at 1-1 with 4:07 left, his eight-footer with 1:10 showing gave the Chargers a 3-2 edge, while Parrish’s tally from two feet tied it at 2-2.

Dos Pueblos outscored Burroughs 5-4 in the second period as Teng collected a two-footer with 5:01 left that evened it at 4-4 and a three-footer with 4:20 left that leveled it at 5-5.

Arshadi’s two-footer with 2:39 remaining tied it at 6-6, Reilly’s five-footer with 1:25 left gave the Chargers a 7-6 edge and Parrish’s five-footer with three seconds left made it 8-7.

Vucetic scored two goals in the second frame as he nailed a three-footer with 4:39 remaining as the Indians darted ahead 5-4 and added an eight-footer with 46 seconds left that tied it at 7-7.

Arakelyan’s 12-footer with 5:33 on the clock put the Indians in front 4-3 and Sefayan’s three-footer with 4:39 left supplied the Indians with a 5-4 edge.

Burroughs Boys Water Polo Knocks Off Beckman, 12-11

By Rick Assad

With the game in the balance, senior utility David Arakelyan came to the rescue for the Burroughs High boys’ water polo team.

David Arakelyan scored eight goals in a CIF Division III opening-round 12-11 win for the Indians over Beckman. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

In the waning moments of Tuesday’s CIF Southern Section Division III first-round playoff match against visiting Beckman, Arakelyan tossed in his match-best eighth goal which helped the Indians survive 12-11.

Arakelyan’s eight-footer came with 1:36 left and gave the Indians a one-goal advantage.

“This is a tough team. They have a really good goalie. They have really good offensive weapons,” Arakelyan said. “We wanted to come out strong like we did against Hoover.”

J.J. Ambartsumyan contributed three goals for the Indians. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Arakelyan spoke about the brief lull that Burroughs experienced late in the third quarter when the Patriots scored five straight goals.

“When we were up big I think we got comfortable,” he said. “They scored five or six goals in a row. I just wanted to take over the game. I wanted to get in there and help my team out. It’s Division III. It’s harder than Division V so we want to go as far as we can.”

Arakelyan thinks the team is capable of getting to the title game. “Ultimately to the championship or the semifinals would be satisfying,” he said. “This is a tough team. They’re ranked No. 6 and for us unranked to pull out a win is amazing.”

Burroughs, which captured its first Pacific League championship since 1995 and won the Division V title in 2016, has a second-round encounter at home on Thursday.

Burroughs and Beckman played a close CIF first-round match with the Indians winning 12-11. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“They had a good run back against us,” Burroughs coach Jacob Cook said. “The defense held out in the final quarter. We stayed resilient and we got them in the final few minutes of the game.”

Still there was enough time for the Patriots to rally, but the Indians (15-12) played solid defense the rest of the match.

“Our guys got tired,” Cook said. “They got some momentum and they came back on us a little bit.”

The fray was deadlocked at 4-4 after the opening quarter, but saw the Indians dart in front 5-4 at the half and lead 10-9 heading into the fourth period.

Defense played a major factor in the one-goal victory by the Indians. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The Patriots scored the first two goals when senior Aviv Zohman, who finished with six goals, tossed in a five-meter penalty shot with 5:24 remaining and added a six-footer 23 seconds later.

Arakelyan’s eight-footer with 4:15 left in the period sliced Beckman’s lead to 2-1, but senior Baylor Reynoso’s six-footer with four minutes left gave the Patriots, who finished third in the rugged Pacific Coast League, a 3-1 edge.

When senior setter/defender Arthur Sefayan scored on a six-footer and 3:41 on the clock the Indians drew within 3-2.

Arakelyan’s 10-footer with 2:20 showing evened it at 3-3, but Zohman’s 10-foot blast supplied Beckman with a 4-3 cushion.

Burroughs tied it at 4-4 on an eight-footer from senior utility J.J. Ambartsumyan.

The Patriots moved ahead 5-4 on an eight-footer from sophomore Eli Schwartz with 4:39 left in the second quarter.

Ambartsumyan’s 10-footer 19 seconds later evened it at 5-5 and Arakelyan’s 25-foot rainbow with 3:26 on the timer made it 6-5.

Burroughs scored the first four goals of the third frame with Arakelyan knocking home an eight-footer with 6:35 left that made it 7-5, a seven-footer with 5:19 on the clock for a 9-5 advantage and a five-footer with 4:54 left that made it 10-5.

The Patriots (17-12) proved their worth by scoring the final four goals of the third quarter with Zohman tallying two that included a rocket from six feet with 4:45 left that cut the lead to 10-6 and a three-footer with 12 seconds remaining that trimmed the margin to 10-9 heading into the final frame.

Zohman’s three-footer with 6:30 in the fourth quarter evened it at 10-10 and Reynoso’s three-foot tally and 3:37 left handed the Patriots an 11-10 edge.

Burroughs Boys Water Polo Defeats Burbank, 27-21, In Regular Season Finale

By Rick Assad

Balls were flying around like guided missiles and goals were being tallied in bunches during the Pacific League boys’ water polo regular season finale between Burroughs High and host Burbank on Wednesday afternoon.

The Indians, the No. 1-seeded team when the league playoffs commence next Tuesday at Arcadia, jumped ahead early and were never headed en route to a 27-21 win behind senior utility David Arakelyan’s career and team-high 14 goals.

Burroughs senior David Arakelyan delivered a career and team-best 14 goals in a 27-21 win over Burbank. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burroughs, along with Crescenta Valley and Hoover, all finished in a three-way tie for first place in league play.

“Both sides know each other really well,” Arakelyan said. “We play club together, most of our guys and most of their guys. We wanted to have fun today. But also wanted to come in serious and hard.”

Arakelyan went on: “We wanted to come in to set the tone for next week, to really play against CV and Hoover no matter what the draw is. We don’t care about a coin flip. We don’t care who we end up playing. We’re going to win next week.”

Burbank’s Varuzhan Bilbulyan (#5) had two goals in the Pacific League regular-season finale. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Arakelyan chimed in with five goals in the opening quarter as the Indians led 8-2.

Arakelyan’s goal from four feet with six minutes remaining made it 1-0 and Arakelyan’s 10-foot backhander with 4:39 left pushed the advantage to 2-1.

Another backhanded tally from Arakelyan, this time from five feet and 2:30 on the clock gave the Indians (12-12 and 5-1 in league) a 4-1 edge.

“We wanted to come in here after that tough loss against CV with really guns blazing,” Arakelyan said. “We wanted to come out really hard and fortunately my teammates got me the ball and I put it in the cage. I like creating space for myself to shoot the ball. Also they give me the perfect passes. Our starters click really well.”

The Indians set the tone early and never trailed against city rival Burbank. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Twenty-eight seconds later, Arakelyan’s five-foot rocket made it 5-1 and his six-foot blast with 1:24 on the clock pushed the lead to 6-2.

Senior driver Brandon Wilson scored both goals for the Bulldogs in the opening frame and finished with a match-best 16 goals.

“I didn’t expect it to be as high scoring, but it was definitely a fun game and I’m glad that even though we lost to Burroughs everybody had fun,” Burbank coach Allyson Young said. “I saw my players grow as a team and grow as individual players.”

Young said that she could ask for an at-large bid to compete in the CIF Southern Section playoffs.

Arakelyan was once again steady, tossing in five goals in the second frame as Burroughs shuffled ahead 13-8 at halftime.

David Arakelyan gets ready to shoot while Daniel Azarian defends. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

An eight-footer from Arakelyan with 5:40 left made it 9-3 and his 12-footer with 4:55 showing extended the margin to 10-4.

When Arakelyan found the back of the net from eight feet and 3:04 left before the half, the Indians dashed ahead 11-5.

Arakelyan’s 12-footer with 1:51 on the ticker made it 12-7 and his 20-footer with 57 seconds on the clock saw the Indians forge a 13-7 cushion.

“Both teams had fun,” Burroughs coach Jacob Cook said. “They were joking around and having fun.”

Wilson was the primary scorer in the second period for Burbank (7-11 and 1-5 in league for sixth place) after knocking in six goals and coming within 13-8 at the break.

Host Burbank put up a good fight against Burroughs, losing 27-21 on Wednesday. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The Indians had a more balanced attack in the third quarter as Arakelyan and senior utility J.J. Ambartsumyan each drilled in two goals.

Wilson’s three goals in the third period helped the Bulldogs climb to within 20-14 heading into the final quarter.

Five players scored for Burroughs in the fourth quarter with Arakelyan and junior setter/defender Richard Legoretta each hammering in two goals.

Wilson contributed six scores in the final stanza, including tallies that enabled the Bulldogs to get within 20-16 on a 10-footer with 6:13 left and 24-17 on an eight-footer with 3:28 showing.

Wilson scored the final three goals of the match and four of the last six goals including an eight-footer with 2:21 left that sliced the lead to 25-18 and a five-footer with seven seconds remaining that made it 27-21.

Senior setter Marko Vucetic had four goals for the Indians, while junior driver Varuzhan Bilbulyan collected two tallies for the Bulldogs.


Burroughs Boys Water Polo Edged By Crescenta Valley, 12-9

By Rick Assad


Knowing the importance of the match, the Burroughs High boys’ water polo team needed a victory in order to avoid being in a three-way tie with Crescenta Valley and Hoover for first place in the Pacific League.

Try as they might, the Indians still lost to the visiting Falcons 12-9 on Thursday afternoon.

Senior utility David Arakelyan and senior setter Marko Vucetic each scored three goals for the Indians, who finish the regular season on Wednesday at Burbank.

The league preliminaries will be held on Oct. 24 and the finals on Oct. 26 at Arcadia.

Even though the Falcons (17-5 and 4-1 in league) were outshot in the first quarter 9-5, they led 2-0 on a goal by Alec Abrahamian from eight feet with 5:03 left and an eight-footer from Bodoe Wyss with 1:01 on the clock.

J.J. Ambartsumyan scored a goal for Burroughs in 12-9 loss to Crescenta Valley. (Photo By: Edward Tovmassian)

Arakelyan’s 12-footer trimmed Crescenta Valley’s lead to 2-1 with 16 seconds on the ticker, but Noah Kim’s 10-foot blast with two seconds remaining made it 3-1.

“They shut us down early defensively in the first quarter,” said Arakelyan. “I think in that second quarter we went on a 4-0 run. Kind of got momentum back on our side. We just couldn’t cash in on the third and fourth quarter. They [CV] really clamped down on defense.”

The Falcons came out determined in the second frame and outshot Burroughs (12-11 and 4-1 in league) 10-8 and led 6-5 at the half.

A Wyss tally from six feet and 6:31 left made it 4-1, but Burroughs scored four consecutive goals and forged a 5-4 lead.

Arakelyan’s five-footer with 5:36 left sliced the margin to 4-2 and Vucetic’s two-footer with 4:49 remaining cut it to 4-3.

The Falcons’ defense was on display in win over the Indians. (Photo By: Edward Tovmassian)

When Arakelyan scored from five feet and 4:31 left, it was even at 4-4.

Vucetic’s five-footer with 3:51 remaining gave the Indians a 5-4 edge.

CV tallied two straight goals, including Kim’s five-footer with 2:50 left that tied it at 5-5 and Kurtis McNevin’s seven-footer with 47 seconds on the buzzer for a 6-5 cushion.

“We had opportunities,” said Burroughs coach Jacob Cook, whose team took the CIF Southern Section Division V championship in 2016 and second place in league behind Hoover. “We couldn’t put them in. They played a great game. We’re going to make adjustments in practice and be ready for the league tournament.”

Once again, the Falcons were offensive-minded as they came out in the third period and outshot Burroughs 9-7.

David Komjathy scored all of his three goals in the third stanza for the Falcons including a 10-footer with 6:37 remaining that made it 7-5.

Burroughs goalie Simon Kharazyan tries to keep the ball out of the net. (Photo By: Edward Tovmassian)

Komjathy’s four-footer with 5:04 left pushed the Falcons ahead 9-6 and added a 15-footer with 2:11 left for a 10-6 lead.

“Defense wins games. If a team can’t score, they can’t win,” Komjathy explained. “You just gotta play as a team, too. There’s six people on the field, one player in the goal. You just gotta play together. Play smart. Water polo is a mental game.”

Kim’s two-foot, back-handed laser with 5:42 remaining gave the Falcons an 8-5 lead.

“Always our first priority is defense,” Crescenta Valley coach Jan Sakonju said. “That’s something that every team we’ve had at CV is focused on.”

Senior utility J.J. Ambartsumyan’s 10-foot rocket and 5:23 left shaved CV’s lead to 8-6.

Senior setter/defender Arthur Sefayan’s eight-footer with 41 seconds left saw the Indians get within 10-7.

Each team scored a pair of goals in the final stanza, including Vucetic’s from five feet as 5:27 remained and lowered CV’s margin to 10-8.

Sefayan’s five-footer with 1:31 showing enabled the Indians to climb within 11-9.

Crescenta Valley had goals from McNevin from eight feet and 5:05 that made it 11-8 and McNevin’s five-meter penalty shot with 1:07 moved the Falcons in front 12-9.

Burroughs Boys Water Polo Ambushes Hoover, 23-12

By Rick Assad

For the better part of a year, it could be said that the Hoover High boys’ water polo team has dominated the Pacific League, but still stumbled on Thursday afternoon against host Burroughs.

The Indians, who captured the CIF Southern Section Division V title in 2016 and placed second in league to the Tornadoes, came out focused, forced turnovers, never trailed and behind David Arakelyan’s match-best nine goals waltzed to a 23-12 triumph.

Burroughs (10-8 and 3-0 in league) outscored the Tornadoes, who had an 11-game league winning streak and reached the Division II quarterfinals last season, 15-8, in the second half as Arakelyan scored six goals, including five in the final period.

Arthur Sefayan scored four goals for the Indians in a 23-12 win over Hoover, which took the Pacific League in 2016. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burroughs surged ahead 5-2 after the first quarter and then bolted in front 8-4 at the intermission.

“This has been a game we’ve been waiting for all season,” Burroughs coach Jacob Cook said. “Obviously we got second to them last year and so a lot of my guys played club with a lot their players and this is a big rivalry between them.”

Cook went on: “I told them to get a good warmup,” he noted. “That’s really important. I did not see that score at all. They’re (Hoover) a good team.”

The Indians shifted ahead 3-0 on a back-handed goal from 10 feet with 6:07 left from senior utility J.J. Ambartsumyan, a 10-footer from Arakelyan with 5:51 left and senior setter/defender Arthur Sefayan’s five-footer 22 seconds later.

The Indians led from the start in a home match versus the defending Pacific League champion Tornadoes. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“It’s amazing. I don’t think we’ve beaten Hoover in a couple of years,” said Arakalyan, a senior utility who leads Burroughs in scoring. “To get this win, especially against a tough Hoover team by that much is really amazing for our team. We’ve been working really hard in practice.”

Hoover junior Armando Honarchian (team-high four goals) had a tally from 15 feet that trimmed the lead to 3-1 with 3:36 remaining and his 10-footer with 2:37 on the buzzer shaved the lead to 3-2.

The Indians scored the next two goals on a five-footer from sophomore utility Vahagn Saakyan with 2:01 on the clock and Ambartsumyan’s 15-foot skipper with 22 seconds left.

Arakelyan delivered two goals in the second quarter including a three-footer with 5:36 left that made it 6-3 and a 15-foot blast with eight seconds remaining for an 8-3 edge.

“This rivalry, it’s amazing. Hoover always puts out a really good fight,” Arakelyan said. “That third quarter we set it down. We took that lead and just kept it going for the rest of the game and our defense really stepped up.”

Burroughs played superb defense against Hoover. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Senior setter Marko Vucetic’s goal from three feet with 5:05 left pushed the Indians’ advantage to 7-3.

Honarchian’s shot from eight feet with 6:33 left sliced the lead to 5-3 and Hoover freshman Hakop Ansuryan’s 30-footer with one second left cut it to 8-4.

The Indians outscored the Tornadoes 7-6 in the third frame as Sefayan dropped in three goals, including an 11-footer with 4:26 left that made it 12-7.

Sefayan’s 12-footer with one minute showing made it 14-9 and a 10-footer with 22 seconds left gave Burroughs a 15-9 lead.

Ambartsumyan’s attempt from 10 feet and 6:21 left made it 9-4 and his tally from point-blank range and 2:04 on the ticker extended it to 13-8.

The Indians are undefeated in the Pacific League after knocking off Hoover. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Saakyan’s shot from eight feet with 5:56 remaining made it 10-5 and Arakelyan’s 12-foot loft with 4:56 left gave the Indians an 11-6 margin.

“This is definitely a confidence booster, but we still have to stick to the same methods we’ve been doing the whole season,” Arakelyan said. “We still have to be pushing hard at practice. This Hoover team, they’re not gone. We’re going to see them later on in league. Later on in the season.”

Junior David Ashkharian (three goals) had two tallies in the third quarter for Hoover (10-5 and 3-1 in league) and came with 6:08 left on a seven-footer that trimmed it to 9-5 and a 10-footer with 4:39 on the clock that lowered the lead to 11-7.

Arakelyan’s attempt from 15 feet with 5:20 left supplied the Indians with a 16-11 edge in the fourth frame and his tally 22 seconds later from three feet increased the margin to 17-11.

Arakleyan then added three consecutive goals that pushed the lead to 22-12. His 15-footer with 2:13 left made it 20-12, his five-footer with 1:59 showing extended it to 21-12 and his 10-footer with 1:36 saw the advantage balloon to 22-12.

Junior setter/defender Richard Legoretta had a goal from five feet and 3:19 left that increased the margin to 18-12, junior attacker Manuel Esparza chipped in with a six-foot rocket with 2:48 showing that made it 19-12 and Saakyan’s goal from 10 feet with seven seconds left capped the scoring.

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.

Burroughs Boys’ Water Polo Team Honored at School, by City Council

The Burroughs High boys’ water polo team was honored by the Burbank City Council Tuesday evening for winning the CIF Southern Section Division 5 title in November when the Indians defeated San Juan Hills 12-7.

This comes after the team was honored last month with an on-campus lunchtime ceremony, in which the players were able to show off their CIF championship rings.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Mayor Jess Talamantes presented the team with a certificate of recognition.

“I know it is a long road. I was never part of a CIF championship team, but we always strived at the beginning of the season, whatever sport you were playing for, you always strive to be the champion,” Talamantes, a former Burroughs student-athlete said. “With one senior leaving, everyone is coming back. We’ll see you again.”

CIF Southern Section Division 5 Player of the Year David Arakelyan talked about the honor.

“It’s great to get recognized by the city. It’s great to be part of this team and to accomplish something as good as winning CIF,” Arakelyan said. “It’s a great feeling for all of us to be here for one another.”

Burroughs coach Jacob Cook also spoke of his team’s success.

“This was the first CIF championship for our program and second in the school’s 68-year history,” It was a huge deal for us. I’m really proud of these guys.”

Burroughs Princiapl Deborah Madrigal was also on hand for the celebration.

“These boys did an amazing job and their team spirit and how they represented our school (was great),” she said. “We’re all very proud of them and know they’ll keep doing great things.”


Burroughs Water Polo Runs Away With CIF Title

The Road to Ring motto that the Burroughs High boys’ water polo team adopted before the start of the season went from a fantasy to reality Saturday morning.

The third-seeded Indians defeated San Juan Hills of San Juan Capistrano 12-7 to win the CIF Southern Section Division 5 title at William J. Woollett Aquatics Center in Irvine.jb2

“It feels really amazing. We’ve worked very hard this season,” said David Arakelyan, who was one of two Burroughs players to score four goals. “From two years ago to be 4-21, we came back and brought this program to turn around. This moment feels great.”

Burroughs coach Jacob Cook has also been amazed at the turnaround of the program.

“They had the Road to Ring slogan since before the first game,” Cook said. “That was our common goal. We had a bunch of tournaments over the summer. We did really well in those and I think at that point they knew we were going to do well. Our first win of the season against Notre Dame was a big confidence booster. I don’t think we had ever beaten them.”

Burroughs (25-8) pressured its opponent right from the first whistle.

The Indians scored just once in the first quarter, but forced San Juan Hills goalie Andrew Mansoor to make eight saves.

Burroughs scored three more times in the second quarter to go up 4-0 at halftime.

Aram Nordanyan had two of his four goals in the quarter and Arakelyan added another.

Burroughs went up 5-0 before San Juan Hills (18-12) got on the board at the 4:41 mark of the third quarter.


The Stallions went on a run and got within 7-4 with 19 seconds left in the third.

But J.J. Ambartsumyan put a shot in the lower left corner with 5 seconds left to and give Burroughs a four-goal cushion going into the final period.

Ambartsumyan, who finished with three goals, scored the first goal of the fourth period and Marko Vucetic and Nordanyan followed up as Burroughs went up 11-4 with 4:10 to play.

Arakelyan added another goal to make it 12-5.

“We just put in a lot of work. In the summer we would go two a days,” Arakelyan said of his team, which finished second in the Pacific League. “We played some great teams in league like Hoover and Crescenta Valley. That helped us to get to where we are right now.”

Nordanyan, who is a senior, reflected on his final match of his career.

“In the summer we started scrimmaging and we knew we needed work and we kept improving from our mistakes and we won CIF,” he said.

Burroughs sophomore goalie Andre Abramyan finished with 11 saves. The Indians forced San Juan Hills goalie Andrew Mansoor to make 17 saves.


Burroughs Water Polo Earns Ticket to CIF Title Match

The Burroughs High boys’ water polo team created a motto called Road to Ring.

Wednesday evening the third-seeded Indians moved within one step a CIF Southern Section championship ring, as they defeated second-seeded La Canada 9-7 at Pasadena City College.

“We didn’t expect to get this far, but Road to Ring is still out there,” said JJ Ambartsumyan.

Burroughs coach Jacob Cook said the team has far exceeded his expectations.

“It’s surreal right now,” Cook said. “The Road to Ring that they started at the beginning of the season, I was like ‘oh yeah guys’, but then we beat Notre Dame and then we started our season.”

Burroughs (27-6) will face San Juan Hills of San Juan Capistrano (21-9) in the championship match Saturday at William Woollett Jr. Aquatics Center in Irvine. San Juan Hills defeated top-seeded Corona 8-6 in the other semifinal match.


Burroughs and La Canada (22-8) were in a tight battle until the third quarter when the Indians built a lead and were able to hold off the Spartans in the end.

Aram Nordanyan got Burroughs on the board at the 4:59 mark of the first quarter when he took an Eric Aperian pass and put it into the right corner of the goal.

La Canada tied things with a goal by George Avakian at the 3:56 mark of the first quarter.

David Arakelyan gave Burroughs a 2-1 lead when he scored a long distance goal. But Avakian countered less than a minute later.

Aperian set up Jerry Solano, who scored at the 4:03 mark of the second quarter to give Burroughs a 3-2 advantage.

La Canada rallied to tie things up, before Arakelyan gave the Indians 4-3 advantage 49 seconds before halftime by shooting the ball off the water and into the lower left corner.

It appeared at first that the teams would be tied at halftime as La Canada scored with nine seconds left.

However that goal was waved off after it was determined that a Burroughs player who had been off from an exclusion was wrongly not waved back on following the end of the 20-second penalty.

L.J. Burns celebrates for Burroughs. Photo courtesy Emaad Elhardouzi

L.J. Burns celebrates for Burroughs. Photo courtesy Emaad Elhardouzi

Arakelyan and Hambartsumyan helped open things up as they combined to score the first three goals of the third quarter. Hambartsumyan added his third goal of the third period at the 3:21 mark to make it 8-4.

La Canada fought back and got within 8-7 before Hambartsumyan scored with 4:16 left. It was the final goal of the match.

“We prepared very well for this game,” Hambartsumyan said. “We were glad that we made Burroughs history passing the semifinal.”

Cook applauded his team.

“I know the talent these guys have. They made it happen,” he said. “We’re super proud and super excited we can represent our school.”


Burroughs Water Polo Off to CIF Semifinals

Nothing comes easy deep into the CIF Southern Section playoffs.

The Burroughs High water polo team knew that Saturday when the Indians hosted Jurupa Valley in a Division 5 quarterfinal match.

If one thing was evident, it was that Burroughs made things tough for the visitors and came up with a 16-8 victory.

“We knew who their top offensive players were and we adjusted our defense to play around that. I felt we did exactly what we needed to do,” Burroughs coach Jacob Cook said. “All around we had great play today.”

JBHS Boys Water Polo PRE SEASON-4

Burroughs (23-6) will play La Canada High Wednesday in the semifinals at 5 p.m. The site of the match will either be at Burroughs or at Pasadena City College.

The semifinal appearance is Burroughs’ first since 1998 when the team was led by current UCLA assistant coach Jason Falitz and lost to 11-6 to Santa Monica in Division III.

La Canada defeated a short-handed Burroughs team 17-11 in September.

Jurupa Valley (25-7) surprised Burroughs with the first goal of the match on a quick counter attack.

But that was when Burroughs stepped up the defensive pressure.

The Indians came back and tied things when Aram Nordanyan scored on a pass from David Arakelyan at the 5:41 mark of the first quarter. Less than a minute later Burroughs took the lead for good when Arakelyan scored on a shot in the left corner.

JJ Ambartsumayn scored his first goal of the match at the 1:45 mark of the first quarter to make it 3-1.  Arakelyan scored at the 5:09 mark of the second quarter to make it 4-1.

Jurupa Valley came back to score two quick goals and Burroughs went into the halftime break with a 4-3 advantage.

But the in the third quarter Ambartsumyan took over. The junior scored four straight goals to help the Indians go up 8-3. A goal by Arakelyan stretched the lead to 9-3.  Burroughs led 9-4 going into the fourth quarter.

“Once he’s on, he’s on. He just had a very on quarter,” Cook said of Ambartsumyan. “We had a rough second quarter, but I think they learned what mistakes they made and moved on from there.”

Ambartsumyan said at halftime his team knew something had to change.

“The third quarter we all came and got our heads together,” he said. “We wanted to step it up because the score was getting closer. We all played smart defense and starting scoring.”

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

The match shifted in the fourth quarter as it went from being a man-to-man battle to a wide-open affair as fatigue took over.

Burroughs got two goals each from Arakelyan, Ambartsumyan and Marko Vucetic in the fourth quarter. Nordanyan also added a goal in the final period.