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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.


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.


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.


Burroughs Bell, Chamberlain Sign Football Letters of Intent

Burroughs High running back Chance Bell and offensive linemen Jesse Chamberlain signed letters of intent to play college football Wednesday as part of National Signing Day.

Bell, a 5-foot-10, 180-pound running back who rushed for 2,023 yards and 27 touchdowns as a senior, signed with San Diego State University.

Chamberlain, a 6-foot-3, 280-pound three-year starter on the offensive line, signed with San Jose State after originally committing to Fresno State University.

“We’re excited about their future and feel lucky we’ve come in contact with them and thankful for what they have contributed to our program,” Burroughs coach Mike Reily said. “We’re excited to see them playing football on Saturdays.

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Bell and Chamberlain mark the first time Burroughs has had a football player sign with an NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision school, formerly known as Division 1, since 2009 when offensive lineman Sebastian Valenzuela signed with Washington State.

Bell committed to San Diego State back in July and stuck with his commitment.  He said he loves the area and many other factors.

“The football program, they run the ball a ton and their offense is based on running the ball and they rotate two to three running backs, so that gives me a chance to go in there and get some playing time early, possibly even as a true freshman,” Bell said. “They’ve been honest with me through the whole process. I love the coaching staff. It is a stable coaching staff that is going to be there for a while, so I liked that. Overall it is a great fit for me and my family.”

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Bell said he was offered by Boise State University just a few days ago and also received some Pacific-12 Conference interest from UC Berkeley and Washington State University.

Chamberlain spoke of making the switch to San Jose State from Fresno State, which brought in a new coaching staff when former UC Berkeley head coach Jeff Tedford was hired to take over the program.

“What I liked about San Jose was the coaching staff. That was the main thing.  I had them over for dinner a week before my official visit there,” Chamberlain said. “It was the head coach, offensive line coach, receivers coach, quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator. It was like I had known all these guys for years. I was like this is a group of guys I’d love to play for.”

Chamberlain was recruited by offensive line coach Joe Bernardi all along.

Bernardi, who played at Hart High in Newhall, is the son of former Burroughs head coach Gary Bernardi. Bernardi coached Burroughs for the 1993 season, when current Burroughs head coach Mike Reily was a senior at the school.

Joe Bernardi coached at Fresno State last season before moving over to San Jose State.

“I was waiting for Bernardi. He said he had something working out for him,” Chamberlain said. “I waited it out and then I got the word that he was going to be the offensive lineman coach at San Jose State. I said this was the best opportunity staring me in the face so I was like I better take it.”



Burroughs Football Looks to Continued Success Under Reily

Replacing 37 graduated seniors from a Pacific League championship team with a 10-2 record is something the Burroughs High football will not have an easy time duplicating.

That has left the Indians relatively young and inexperienced heading into the 2016 season, the first season for Mike Reily as the head coach.

Reily is no stranger to Burroughs. He graduated from the school in 1994. He earned a scholarship to play at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas before returning to his alma mater and has spent the past 14 seasons as an assistant to longtime head coach Keith Knoop. Knoop is now one of Reily’s assistants.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

One of the brightest notes for Burroughs is that for the first time in more than a quarter of a century, the Indians enter the season with two players already committed to major college football programs.

Running back Chance Bell (5-foot-9, 180 pounds) is committed to San Diego State and offensive lineman Jesse Chamberlain (6-3, 280) has pledged his allegiance to Fresno State.

“It’s comforting to have guys like that in your program,” said Reily. “They are two of the five captains. We’re expecting a great season out of them, but this is a team sport and you need nine other guys.”

Bell, who was the Pacific League Player of the Year last year, is clearly the go-to player on offense.

Seniors Hayden Zepeda (6-1, 185) and Gabriel Pellott (5-7, 130) are competing for the chance to hand the ball off to Bell.

Bell is backed up by junior Benjamin Peters (5-7, 160), senior Nico Frugone (5-10, 180) and senior Oscar Perez (5-7, 150).

Burroughs’ group of receivers features two seniors in Taiyo Gibbs (6-0, 185) and Sammy Duran (5-9, 160) and two juniors in Cerain Baker (6-2, 185) and Gavin Aguilar (6-3, 185).

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

The offensive line is led by Chamberlain, an All-CIF pick last season and center Tommy Howe (6-0, 230), a returning all-league player. Juniors Erwin Hernandez (5-7, 250), Jacob Real (5-11, 245) and Adam Sporkin (6-2, 235) make up the rest of the offensive line.

“Those 37 seniors had played football together for a long time,” Reily said. “We have a young team with some key seniors. We have some kids playing varsity football for the first time. We’re trying to get up to speed and be competitive.”

On defense, Burroughs faces even more questions as Reily said few have secured starting spots.

On the defensive line, junior Daniel Duran (5-8, 180) and senior Jake Redcloud (5-11, 190) figure to see time along with Chamberlain and Howe.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

In the linebacker positions, Frugone, Gibbs, senior Diego Tovar (6-0, 175), and junior Kevin Hebri (5-10, 200) appear to have the inside track at getting significant playing time.

In the secondary, senior Jerel Turla (5-6, 150) , junior Evan Osegueda (5-8, 160), junior Nick Manna (6-0, 180), Peters and Baker are fighting for playing time.


Burroughs’ Chamberlain Picks Fresno State

Burroughs High offensive lineman Jesse Chamberlain has become the second member of his family to accept an athletic scholarship to a major university.

Following in the footsteps of his older brother, Max, who plays volleyball at Pepperdine, Jesse has announced he will play college football at Fresno State University.


“This recruiting process has been amazing. Just thinking back a couple years ago I would never in a million years think I would be going this far with football, the sport I love,” Jesse wrote on his Twitter account. “I would like to thank my parents and coaches who helped me get this far.”

A 6-foot-4, 285-pound guard, Chamberlain was an All-CIF selection and first-team Pacific League pick last season.  He chose Fresno State over an offer from the University of Idaho.

Chamberlain led the offensive line that helped pave the way for running back Chance Bell, who rushed for 1,378 yards and 23 touchdowns last season.

The commitment of Chamberlain is Burroughs’ second for the class of 2017. Last month Bell announced he was committing to San Diego State.

If Fresno State’s coaching staff remains the same a year from now, Chamberlain will be playing for offensive line coach Mark Weber, who coached Burroughs coach Mike Reily at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Also on Fresno State’s staff is tight ends coach Joe Bernardi. Bernardi, who played at Hart High in Newhall, is the son of former Burroughs coach Gary Bernardi. Gary Bernardi, who is now an assistant at the University of Colorado, coached at Burroughs in 1993, Reily’s senior year.

Fresno State offensive coordinator Eric Kiesau is another with local ties as he played at Glendale Community College and Glendale High.

Burroughs Football Hooks Up With Elite

When nothing is at stake it certainly doesn’t hurt to aim for the top.

That’s exactly what Burroughs High coach Mike Reily and his team had in mind Wednesday evening when the Indians hosted three others schools in a round robin passing league at Memorial Field. Score was not kept for any of the games.

Chaminade, which has been placed in Division I in the new CIF Southern Section playoff structure, was the headline team at the event. Also coming to Burroughs was Sierra Canyon, which will play in Division 4 next season and former Foothill League rival Saugus, which will play in Division 5.

Burroughs is slated to compete in Division 8.

“We like bringing in great teams so we use that as a gauge or measuring stick of where we might be going into our season,” Reily said. “Having high caliber teams does us good.”

Burroughs has three vying for the starting quarterback job in Hayden Zepeda, Gabriel Pellot and David Lennstrom.


Zepeda played quarterback for league rival Pasadena last season .

“He was in their rotation,” Reily said. “He suffered some injuries last year, which kept him out of some games.”

With teams having the option of when to take their dead period, Burroughs got a late start.

“We took our three-week dead period at the beginning of the summer,” Reily said. “We’re going to take another little break. Next week is our last week of summer ball.”

The Indians were hit hard by losses to graduation, but have their main offensive weapon back in running back Chance Bell, who was the Pacific League Player of the Year last season. Bell has already received a number of college scholarship offers with the most recent coming from the Air Force Academy.

“He’s not only a great athlete, he’s a great leader,” Reily said of Bell. “He leads by example – not only on the field, but also in the weight room.”


Burroughs is hoping Bell will have lots of room to run behind 6-foot-4, 285-pound lineman Jesse Chamberlain, a first-team all-league pick last season.

Tommy Howe (5-11, 230) is also a third-year varsity player who will probably be the starting center.


Burroughs will play a scrimmage against former Foothill League rival Hart, before opening the season on the road against Cathedral. Hart and Cathedral are both Division 3 playoff teams.

The Indians’ two others nonleague opponents are Royal of Simi Valley and Diamond Ranch of Diamond Bar. Both of those teams are in Division 7.