Tag Archives: Keith Knoop

Burroughs’ Keith Knoop Moves Into New Role

It isn’t often that high school football coaches stay in place for many years, especially in a public school.
Burroughs High has been fortunate enough that it hasn’t had that problem. Keith Knoop has been part of the Indians’ coaching staff for 26 years, 19 of those as the head coach.
Friday night against his alma mater, Burbank High, Knoop coached in his last game.
Having been an assistant coach the past three seasons, Knoop will now take on a full-time role as the school’s athletic director.

He takes over for Marty Garrison, who retired at the end of the last school year.
“I was at peace with the knowledge I was not going to coach after that game,” Knoop said. “I have been coaching since 1987 and have enough memories to last. So I am good. Plus I am excited to focus on Athletic Director.”

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

For parents who look at their son’s report cards, Knoop said he will still be the teacher of record, since head coach Rand Holdren is a walk-on coach. But aside from that Knoop will be a spectator next season.
Knoop, who coached at Glendale Community College before coming to Burroughs, said the wins and losses were not the most important thing in being a coach and teacher.
“(We have) sent hundreds of fantastic young men and women into society to be productive human (beings) who are great people,” Knoop said. “We also brought back tradition to Burroughs and won a few football games in the process.”
Over the years Knoop has witnessed changes in high school football.
“We have gone from a blue-collar mentality to a don’t hurt my feelings mentality. Everything is out there now with social media,” Knoop said. “We need to teach kids failure is a tool, not an outcome that cannot be overcome. There is no reset button in life. Each of us must continue to dig down deep and fight to get what we want.”
A member of the Burroughs Athletic Hall of Fame, Knoop began coaching at Burroughs in 1993 before the internet even took off. He thinks it has contributed to the change of sports.
“Players today want instant gratification, personal coaches, Division 1 scholarship offers and winning records without the hard work,” he said. “But deep down kids are kids no matter what generation they are from, they just need guidance.”

Coach Keith Knoop speaks to his team about possessing a blue-collar mentality (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

With many students and parents now looking at various educational options, Knoop said he hopes to keep Burroughs as a school of choice for prospective student-athletes.
“John Burroughs has excellent academics and sports facilities,” Knoop said. “We need to fight every day to keep our local student-athletes in the city of Burbank. We need the students who are supposed to be at Burroughs to have a reason to come here and stay here.”

Burroughs Adds Four to Hall of Fame Class


John Burroughs High School added four members to its Sports Hall of Fame Friday evening.

Joining the ranks of Burroughs’ greatest were longtime football coach Keith Knoop, distance runners Gilbert Tobon and Dave De Long and multi-sport star Gina Punaro Natividad.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Knoop, who is now an assistant coach, was Burroughs’ head football coach from 1997 until 2015. Knoop led Burroughs to five league championships in his 19 years as the head coach and was named the Pacific League Coach of the Year three times.  Since joining the Pacific League from the Foothill League, Knoop’s teams had a 54-16 league mark.

Knoop, who graduated from Burbank High, noted that he is most proud of the relationships he made and for preparing young people prepare for life as adults.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

A 1979 graduate, Tobon, who later joined the Los Angeles Fire Department, played basketball in addition to running cross country and track. He earned six varsity letters.

Following his days at Burroughs, Tobon competed for many years in the Firefighters Olympics, earning silver and bronze medals.

Like Tobon, De Long is mostly known for his distance running accolades. But he too played multiple sports, having lettered also in basketball and golf. His Burroughs cross country team was ranked No. 1 in the CIF Southern Section before he broke a bone in his foot at league finals his senior year and had to miss the rest of the season.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

De Long also graduated from Burroughs in 1979 and returned to coach at the school for two years before moving to Canyon High in Canyon Country, where he has coached for nearly 30 years.

At Canyon, De Long has long had one of the top programs in the CIF Southern Section, winning two state titles.

He also coached Alysia Johnson Montano, who represented the United States in the 2012 Olympics in the 800 meters.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Punaro graduated from Burroughs in 1994. She played basketball, softball, volleyball and ran track. She was twice a first-team All-Foothill League team in softball and volleyball. She also twice earned second-team all-league honors in basketball.

She played softball in college, starting at Pasadena City College before moving on to San Diego State, where she set a school record with 32 stolen bases in a season.

Punaro Natividad is now a teacher at Redondo Union High School in Redondo Beach.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)


(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)



Longtime Burroughs Football Coach Keith Knoop Steps Down

By Rick Assad
Sports Editor


In what seems like a surprise, longtime Burroughs High football coach has resigned his position. Knoop, who just completed his 19th season at the helm, announced his decision via Twitter:

It read: “Want to say thank you to everyone I have meet [met] who has made my coaching stint at John Burroughs great. I have stepped down as head coach.”

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Burroughs Coach Keith Knoop has decided to step down. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Knoop’s team came off a wildly successful season in which it went 9-1 during the regular season and 7-0 in Pacific League play. This was the first time since 2006 that the Indians (10-2) reached these figures.

Knoop, who has coached for 29 years, also picked up his 100th career win this season, which ended with a 21-7 loss to St. Francis in the CIF Southern Section Southeast Division quarterfinals.

No one has been named to succeed Knoop, who captured five Pacific League titles during his tenure.

Burroughs Football Seeking Successful Season After Strong Summer

Burroughs celebrates after passing game win (Photo courtesy of Stephen Garden)

Burroughs’ linemen will be a force to reckon with this season (Photo courtesy of Randy Sanchez)

By Dick Dornan
MyBurbank Sports Editor

At the conclusion of a recent Burroughs’ football practice, Coach Keith Knoop was about as fired up as one can be. The excitement was palpable and the adrenaline was increasing with every name and adjective that he could describe about his team.

Fall training camp opens August 10 for the Indians in what appears to be a very strong team on paper. Knoop’s enthusiasm was predicated upon the success and growth of his team this summer.

Erick Hernandez returns with plenty of skill at the wide receiver position (Photo by Stephen Garden)

Erick Hernandez returns with plenty of skill at the wide receiver position (Photo by Stephen Garden)

“I’m excited to get going. The summer went well. We are senior heavy and a lot of these guys have been together for a long time playing since Pop Warner,” Knoop said.  “They have been coming together as a team like you wouldn’t believe. They’ve been really working on their leadership. We have seen some guys blossom as leaders the last couple of weeks. The young guys are enamored with the older guys who have taken charge.”

Since the beginning of the summer, Burroughs has been hosting 7-on-7 passing league games on Wednesdays as well as participating in tournaments on the weekends.  The Indians have competed in tournaments at Crescenta Valley, Mountain View, San Dimas and Santa Fe and have held their own against stiff competition.

Looking to improve upon last season’s 6-4 overall record and 4-3 league mark (fourth place), the Indians have been on a mission to rise up and return to the CIF playoffs which they missed a year ago.

Only time will tell but Knoop, who begins his 19th season as coach at Burroughs, likes the early signs of a solid team developing on both sides of the ball.

Nick Tipton breaks up a pass in summer action (Photo by Stephen Garden)

Nick Tipton breaks up a pass in summer action (Photo by Stephen Garden)

“The whole summer has been a highlight for our first and second group of guys. They’ve been getting better and better,” said Knoop, who takes over as defensive coordinator while his brother, Kenny, steps aside for an administrative role at JBHS. “We have a lot of healthy competition going on. These guys are really pushing each other. It’s been really neat watching this group. Things are looking really good this year. We are expecting big things.”

Andy Amela and Steven Hubbell are currently engaged in a great tussle for the starting quarterback job. A seasoned Chance Bell returns at running back with a trio of very strong receivers in Erick Hernandez, Hunter Guerin and Nick Mercado. Jesse Chamberlain anchors the offensive line.

Connor Garden, Anthony Garcia, Justin Gonzalez, Brandon Garcia, Josue Chicas Ortiz, Nick Tipton and Guerin lead a stellar and veteran defense.

Connor Garden and the linebackers should form the core of the Indians' defense (Photo by Stephen Garden)

Connor Garden and the linebackers should form the core of the Indians’ defense (Photo by Stephen Garden)

Robert Awunganyi, a transfer from Riverside, has caught the eye of Knoop and could be the “X” factor this season at wide receiver and free safety.

“What an athlete he is,” said Knoop. “He’s going to be special.”

Burroughs begins fall training camp on August 10 leading up to its opener at Calabasas on September 4. The Indians’ home opener will be on September 18 against Santa Fe with a road trip to Rosemead sandwiched in between. Pacific League action kicks-off at Memorial Field on Sept. 25 versus Muir.

This Tribe of Indians believes in their program motto of ‘F.E.A.S.T’ which also defines their personality and reveals their inner character. Only the men in the red and white know what ‘F.E.A.S.T’ truly means.

When asked if he had the choice to ‘F.E.A.S.T’ or ‘E.A.T.T,’ Knoop responded in the same manner as his counterpart up the hill did with the utmost confidence and without hesitation except for one thing. F.E.A.S.T took priority over E.A.T.T.

“You’ve got to ‘F.E.A.S.T,’” Knoop said. “Feast all the way!”








Burroughs Football Preview: Working 9-to-5 the Indian Way

Coach Keith Knoop speaks to his team about possessing a blue collar mentality (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Coach Keith Knoop speaks to his team about possessing a blue collar mentality (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

By Dick Dornan
myBurbank Sports Editor

They may not possess the glitz and glamour like their neighborhood rivals from up the street. They do, however, represent a brand of football that the Stanford Cardinal would be mighty proud of.

The Burroughs Indians kick-off their regular season slate of games tonight against Calabasas at Memorial Field sporting a fresh look with new uniforms quite similar to the boys on the Farm in Palo Alto. Why not when both schools don red and white as their school colors and play a style that patterns each other?

The Indians love to go mano a mano in the trenches (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The Indians love to go mano a mano in the trenches (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

One look in the mirror and the Indians see the Cardinal. After all, Stanford was known as the Indians until the name change in 1972. But the similarities don’t end there.

Since becoming head coach of Burroughs 18 years ago, Keith Knoop has built a program that prides itself on toughness, discipline, respect and hard-nosed football. It is the Indian way akin to the Cardinal way at Stanford.

While Burbank High might represent the look of a Pac-12 school with its high-flying spread offensive attack, the Indians are your classic Big 10 smash mouth  group of players who will mix it up in the trenches anytime, anywhere.

This year’s team will follow in the same footsteps of past Burroughs’ squads. Scratch and claw, push and pound, scrape and grind; the Indians will get the job done reminiscent of your everyday 9-to-5 blue collar working class man.

“That’s who we are. Blue collar,” Knoop told his players one day after practice. “We are not handed anything. We need to earn everything we get.”

From the intense weight room sessions to their ironman mentality on the field, the Indians bring the wood every night.

Andrew Mills anchors a tough offensive line (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Andrew Mills anchors a tough offensive line (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

It’s only fitting that leading the way for JBHS this season is a trio of offensive lineman who are as good as anybody in the Pacific League.

“Anytime in high school that you can get three-fifths of your offensive line back that have been together for a while is an advantage. This will really help us,” Knoop said. “They are big, strong guys who love the passion of football.”

Left tackle Andrew Mills, left guard Anthony Olea and center Shawn Edie form the left side of a line that will bring sheer brute force as they go “mano a mano” with opposing defenses. Just as Stanford does.

“We will have a really strong running game. We have a great line this year,” said Mills, a three-year starter. “And we should have a strong passing game too. We have a new quarterback who is doing really well. He’s been slinging the ball pretty well.”

Andrew Mills

Andrew Mills

Mills is the iconic symbol for the Indians and their blue collar attitude. A year ago, Mills played the entire season with an assortment of injuries but refused to ever quit or leave his teammates behind.

“You can’t keep me off the field,” he said. “I love this game too much.”

Mills is one of several captains this season. He cherishes the new role as the team is top-heavy with juniors and a few sophomores.

“I’m more of a leader now. I’m happy to be a leader on this team,” Mills said. “I’m really excited to come out here and play.”

Running behind the behemoth 300-pound hogs will be senior Michael Ospina, junior Hunter Guerin and sophomore Chance Bell. Ospina and Guerin combined for 536 yards in 2013. Be ready to ring the bell once the lightning quick Las Vegas transfer carries the ball in open space.

Seniors Aidan Anding and Anthony Archuleta and junior Erick Hernandez bring experience at wide receiver while junior Aidan Jensen has a promising future.

Andy Amela takes over at quarterback for the Indians (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Andy Amela takes over at quarterback for the Indians (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Making his debut at quarterback will be junior Andy Amela, a defensive back who was converted to QB after promising prospect Steven Hubbell decided to stop playing football.

Amela has transitioned well to his new position and Knoop is optimistic about Amela’s future as the Indians’ signal-caller.

“He has quietly and eagerly just taken the role on. He’s soaking it all in like a sponge,” Knoop said. “He still needs to work on the full speed aspect of the game. When the game is slow, he has really gotten it down fairly well. One day at a time. I just need to get him game ready.”

Kicker Andres Aguilar might be the team’s biggest weapon with his powerful leg. The senior will have a major impact on special teams.

The Indians are extremely inexperienced on the defensive side of the ball. However, Anding, Archuleta and Guerin will play on defense as well in the secondary providing much needed leadership. Guerin is one of a handful of players who signifies the ironman mentality playing both ways.

“It’s really hard,” Guerin said. “I just have to be conditioned and go hard and full speed at all times.”

Junior linebackers Connor Garden and Branden Garcia, junior defensive end Anthony Garcia and junior cornerback Nick Tipton will help aid the cause for the youthful Indians defense.

Burroughs football (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burroughs football (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“We have a lot of talented players but on the flip side of that is we are pretty young,” Knoop said. “A lot of our players are juniors and we even have a few sophomores. Many of whom haven’t started a varsity game yet. They are young but they are only going to get better. They are going to have to grow up fast.”

This we do know. Burroughs embraces its identity more so than any other program at school. Tough on the outside and even tougher on the inside.

The Indians will begin the season at home for the first two games before hitting the road for five consecutive weeks. The 66th “Big Game” vs. Burbank will be held on November 7.

Christmas Arrives Early for Burroughs in 30-7 Rout of North Hollywood

Eric Gordon (rt) rips the ball away en route to a touchdown (Photo by Craig Sherwood)

Eric Gordon (rt, #10) rips the ball away en route to a touchdown (Photo by Craig Sherwood)

By Dick Dornan
MyBurbank Sports Editor

Christmas came early for the Burroughs football program- on the field and at school this past week. In a dust-filled game that was reminiscent of Memorial Field circa 1980, the Indians defeated North Hollywood, 30-7, on the road behind two spectacular plays that literally stole the show.

Seniors Eric Gordon and Davion Barker each made game-changing plays that fueled Burroughs’ first win over a non-league opponent since 2009.

Eric Gordon scores after his quick heist (Photo by Craig Sherwood)

Eric Gordon scores after his quick heist (Photo by Craig Sherwood)

First, Gordon ripped the ball out of a Husky ball carrier and proceeded to score from 13 yards out that gave Burroughs a 17-0 lead mid-way through the third quarter.

A few possessions later, Barker stripped North Hollywood quarterback Michael Zurita of the ball on a fourth-and-one and promptly returned his theft 88 yards for a touchdown and a 30-0 lead with 6:23 left in the game.

But the biggest gift for Burroughs (1-1) arrived at the door of Athletic Director Jose Valle. Standing in front of him was Hawkins Mann, a 6-foot-4, 220-pound senior transfer from Boise, Idaho. Mann recently left Borah High School in Boise and moved to Burbank. He was a four-year starter on defense for Borah and was selected to the All-State Defensive Line AND All-State Offensive Line last season.

After one week in practice, Mann could be described as a “Mann-child” with his imposing figure, tremendous skill level and relentless energy. Mann, who wore No. 51 along the sidelines but did not play against North Hollywood, hopes to be cleared by the CIF in time for the Indians next game against Camarillo.

Hawkins Mann (left, #51) watches alongside his new teammates and coaches (Photo by Craig Sherwood)

Hawkins Mann (left, #51) watches alongside his new teammates and coaches (Photo by Craig Sherwood)

Burroughs coach Keith Knoop and his brother, Kenny, both acknowledged after Thursday’s contest that Mann’s presence will be a huge addition on the defensive side of the ball. Mann, a self-described “hybrid” defensive end, has already verbally committed to Boise State.

It’s not often a prized division one recruit arrives at your door unexpectedly. Burroughs welcomed Mann with open arms. Mann will join a stingy defense that made play after play against the Huskies on Thursday night.

Leading 3-0 at the end of the first quarter, Gordon intercepted a Husky pass that set up the next Indians score.

Hunter Guerin plows his way in for a touchdown (Photo by Craig Sherwood)

Hunter Guerin plows his way in for a touchdown (Photo by Craig Sherwood)

On fourth-and-six from the North Hollywood 17-yard line, Burroughs quarterback Andrew Williams connected with Conor Joyce (37 yards on three catches) for a 13-yard gain. Two plays later, sophomore Hunter Guerin punched in the touchdown on a 4-yard run that gave JBHS a 10-0 halftime lead.

On the Huskies first possession of the second half, Gordon again came up with a big play stripping the ball and returning it for a touchdown. Gordon’s play sparked the Indians.

“I was just going for the ball. The ball wasn’t exposed. I just took it from him,” Gordon said. “Coach said he wanted the ball back so I thought I would step up on defense and make good game-changing plays. We have to work hard as a family so when that play came I took my opportunity. We all played together as a family and we made big plays.”

Quarterback Andrew Williams (Photo by Craig Sherwood)

Quarterback Andrew Williams fires a pass to a receiver down field (Photo by Craig Sherwood)

Williams added a 40-yard touchdown run with 1:10 left in the third on a quarterback keeper right up the gut of the Husky defense. The subsequent PAT was missed giving Burroughs a 23-0 advantage.

Then it was time for Barker to perform his Houdini trick. On fourth-and-one on the Indians 12-yard line, Zurita pushed behind his center trying to gain the one yard needed for a first down. What he didn’t expect was for Barker to suddenly rip the ball away and sprint 88 yards the opposite direction that stunned everyone in attendance.

“I wanted to make a big play in the red zone,” Barker said. “My team did a good job at stopping him. They had him wrapped up and I just came up and stripped it from him. The defense played hard and I thought the defense won us the game today.”

North Hollywood finally found the end zone with 2:01 left on a 22-yard touchdown pass.

The Indians swarmed on defense dominating the Huskies (Photo by Craig Sherwood)

The Indians swarmed on defense dominating the Huskies (Photo by Craig Sherwood)

“The defense stepped up. We played well,” Knoop said. “We knew physically we were better than they were. The turnovers were fun to watch. It’s great when you score 30 points and know your defense scored 14 of them.”

Williams led the team in rushing with 45 yards and 53 yards through the air completing 5 of 11 passes. Six other Indian ball carriers combined for 82 yards. More production will be needed when the Scorpions come to town.

“We have some work to do on offense. We have to get a lot better when we play Camarillo next week because they are good,” Knoop said.

Adding Mann to the mix will be an intriguing story line this upcoming week.

Burroughs plays Camarillo in its home opener on Thursday at 7 p.m. at Memorial Field.

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Brothers in Arms Represent Loyalty and Longevity at Burroughs

Brothers in Arms: Kenny (lt) and Keith Knoop (Photo by Dick Dornan)

Brothers in Arms: Kenny (left) and Keith Knoop (Photos by Dick Dornan)

By Dick Dornan
MyBurbank Sports Editor

When Marjorie Knoop arrives to a football game, she takes her seat in the stands and cheers on Burroughs. She will hoot, holler, scream and yell her beloved Indians on to victory.

But the game within the game for Marjorie occurs outside the hash marks and along the sideline. As each play develops and ends, she will keep a keen eye on the success of the Indians offense as well as the defense.

After all, how could she not?

Marjorie Knoop

Marjorie Knoop

As the mother of Burroughs coach Keith Knoop and his brother, Kenny, Marjorie is invested in the program as much as her two sons. Keith calls the plays as the offensive coordinator while Kenny buckles down as the defensive coordinator.

She can feel her sons’ exhilaration in victory as much as their pain in defeat. The amount of pride she has for Keith and Kenny is evident in her smile and devotion to Burroughs football. She is a coaches’ mother true and true.

“I love it. I love to come to every game. I enjoy watching them coach,” she said. “I’m very proud of both of them. They do a great job and it’s great to be here.”

As with many legacy families in the city of Burbank, loyalty is divided amongst the household between mothers and father, aunts and uncles, brothers and sisters whether they attended Burroughs or Burbank High.

Burroughs head coach Keith Knoop

Burroughs head coach Keith Knoop

The Knoop family is no different. Marjorie hails from the Burbank class of 1961 while Keith graduated from atop the hill in 1981. During Keith’s playing days with the Bulldogs, Kenny served as the team’s ball boy.

“I’m still a Burbank fan because I am a Burbankian,” Marjorie said quietly.

A second later….

“But I love Burroughs more.”

Now the twist begins. Or shall we say a detour down Olive Avenue with a stop at 1920 W. Clark Ave. Home of the cross-town rivals.

Marjorie’s daughter, Karin, graduated from Burroughs in 1988 after an All-CIF career in basketball and softball. Karin parlayed her amazing high school career into an All-American softball player at Cal State Fullerton. She is a JBHS Hall of Fame honoree who is now a Licensed Financial Advisor in Burbank.

Kenny followed Karin to JBHS and received his red diploma in 1995.

Kenny (left) and Keith begin another season together at Burroughs (Photo courtesy of Kenny Knoop)

Kenny (left) and Keith begin another season together at Burroughs (Photo courtesy of Kenny Knoop)

After a solid career at Glendale City College and San Jose State, Keith became a member of the Burroughs football coaching staff. Now in his 17th year as the head coach of the Indians, Knoop is a pillar of strength and stability for the JBHS athletic department.

Kenny took a similar path through GCC only to take a different route than Keith’s and play at Fresno State. Kenny is now in his 12th year on the Burroughs staff including eight years as the defensive coordinator.

Together Keith and Kenny have taken the life lessons that Marjorie raised them on and instilled them in their past and present day Burroughs student-athletes. The two have the ultimate respect for each other as brothers and as football aficionados.

“He has such a great understanding of football and especially on the defensive side of the ball,” Keith said. “He brings an incredible depth of knowledge for a young guy only in his 30’s. He has learned a lot from me when he was just my DB coach. Once I became the offensive guy and turned it over to him, he’s run with it.”

Defensive coordinator Kenny Knoop instructs his players (Photo by Dick Dornan)

Defensive coordinator Kenny Knoop instructs his players (Photo by Dick Dornan)

After learning how to throw a football from his older sister, Kenny began to look up to his big brother for a better understanding of the game. Football not only brought them closer, but enriched their relationship despite the 14-year gap in age.

“He means everything especially in the game of football. He has taught me so much,” Kenny said. “From being a ball boy to playing at Glendale College all the way up to sitting in meetings as a 36-year-old man. He’s been my coach, mentor, teacher, parent, father figure and role model. He’s been in every aspect of my life as my brother.

“Even though we are so far apart in age, we have that close brother relationship. That has really benefitted us. We can talk about anything, we can take care of any situation on the team that needs to be addressed, and we think like each other.”

Pacing back-and-forth along the sideline, Keith and Kenny will provide an environment where boys become men throughout the course of the season. Discipline, teamwork, mental toughness and accountability will be emphasized as much as the fundamentals, X’s and O’s that accompany an Indians’ practice.

The Knoop Brothers (Photo by Dick Dornan)

The Knoop Brothers (Photo by Dick Dornan)

As September kicks into gear with high school football games being played across the Southland, we know this for sure- the Knoop brothers will take to the field again for another season of Burroughs football and Marjorie will be there as usual to support her two sons. Home or away. Rain or shine.

“She will travel to the earth’s end to watch us either play or coach. Our mom is very supportive,” Kenny said. “She never misses a game and she’s been a part of our booster club for a long time. She comes to our scrimmages, clinics, fundraisers. She has been part of everything.”

Well, almost everything. When asked if she provides advice before the game or would want to give a halftime pep talk, Marjorie laughed and emphatically said, ‘Absolutely not.’”

Marjorie also added that “if I didn’t support the team, I wouldn’t see my sons for months at a time.”

The Burroughs community is fortunate to have two men who represent the school and football program with class and integrity.

“Being the faces of this program is pretty important to us and the community,” Kenny said.

In the end, Keith and Kenny Knoop are a reflection of each other and most importantly, a reflection of their mother.

“They have become such good people from what they learned playing football and eventually in coaching,” Marjorie said. “They love it and I think it will probably go on forever.”

Burbank Rumbles to 37-14 Win Over Burroughs in The 64th Big Game

The Burbank Bulldogs celebrate their 37-14 victory (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

By Dick Dornan
BurbankNBeyond Sports Editor

Burbank claimed the city championship with a convincing 37-14 win against Burroughs in the 64th meeting of the “Big Game” Friday night at Memorial Field. With the win, the Bulldogs secured second place in the Pacific League behind champion, Muir High School.

The 64th Big Game (Photo by Craig Sherwood)

“This win was for all the seniors,” Burbank’s James Williams said. “This was the first Burroughs game they won and I wanted to do it for them so bad.”

“This is the greatest feeling. I never got this in my first three years and I finally got it my senior year,” said Burbank senior defensive lineman Steven Kim.

The dominating effort by Burbank was the largest margin of victory for the Bulldogs against Burroughs since a 28-0 shutout of the Indians in 1984.

“It was awesome. These games are so intense and so emotional,” Burbank Coach Hector Valencia said. “We were fired up and never played out of our character.”

Burbank outgained Burroughs, 288 to 148. The Bulldogs held the Indians ground game to 75 yards on 24 carries. In contrast, Burbank rushed for 246 yards while controlling the line of scrimmage throughout the night.

“I have to give a lot of credit to the defense. They came out and forced Burroughs out of its game plan,” Valencia explained. “Our defense set the tone and our offense kept us going at all times. The line opened up huge holes and our backs ran their butts off. It was a great showing.”

James Williams, #21, had 149 yards rushing including an 89-yard TD run (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Williams rushed for 149 yards on 14 carries; including an 89-yard touchdown burst on Burbank’s first play of the second half that gave the Bulldogs a commanding 30-0 lead.

Seeking its first win in the cross-town rivalry since a 28-21 triumph in 2009, Burbank set the tone early as it has all season by establishing a strong running game and daring Burroughs to stop it. The Indians never did.

Burbank (7-3, 6-1) took the opening possession of the game and drove 50 yards on 11 rushing plays from Williams, Teddy Arlington and Joseph Pendleton combined. A 33-yard field goal by Yervand Umrikyan gave BHS the early 3-0 lead.

After forcing Burroughs (4-6, 4-3) into a poor three-yard punt, Burbank took over on the JBHS 42 yard line. Quarterback Ryan Meredith completed a 34-yard pass to Williams that gave the Bulldogs first and goal on the Indians 1-yard line. Pendleton punched it in and Burbank led 10-0 with 1:38 remaining in the first quarter.

Burbank’s defense shut down the strong running game of the Indians (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Plagued by quarterback problems early on in the year, it reared its ugly head again for Burroughs on back to back possessions that in essence took the wind out of their sails.

Indians quarterback Angel Manzanero, filling in as the starter for Andrew Williams who was injured the week before at Pasadena, threw an ill-advised interception into the hands of Burbank’s Joshua Nersissian who returned it 25 yards to the Burroughs 15 yard line.

Facing fourth and one from the 3-yard line, Meredith ran a quarterback keeper in for a touchdown and a 17-0 advantage.

On the ensuing possession, Burroughs Coach Keith Knoop called upon Williams to run the offense in replace of Manzanero.

After a penalty on Williams for intentional grounding put the ball back on the JBHS 4-yard line, Williams fumbled the very next snap and Kyle Hunter of Burbank fell on the ball in the end zone for a gift of a touchdown.

Teddy Arlington enjoyed his last Big Game with 57 yards rushing and a touchdown (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Suddenly it was 24-0 in favor of Burbank with 3:24 left in the second quarter.

The Bulldogs entered halftime with the 24-point lead and smelling the kill. The fatal blow occurred moments later.

Williams’ 89-yard touchdown sprint in the blink of an eye made it 30-0.

“There was a hole in the middle but I bounced it outside. I saw two people coming so I juked them out,” Williams said. “I thought I was going to get caught. The whole time I was running I kept telling myself not to get caught.”

Two years ago Burroughs found itself in a similar position being down 28-0 and roaring back for a historic 38-35 win. It was the greatest comeback in Big Game lore. This year would prove differently.

Arlington tacked on a one-yard touchdown run to make it 37-0 with 10:38 left in the contest before Burroughs scored the game’s final two touchdowns.

The Indians avoided what would have been their worst defeat in the history of the Big Game. Burbank pounded Burroughs 44-8 back in 1969.

Arlington finished with 57 yards on 12 carries while Pendleton added 43 yards on 13 rushes.

Burroughs Josh Storer scores the game’s final touchdown (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Josh Storer broke free up the middle for a 17-yard touchdown run and caught a 16-yard touchdown pass from Andrew Williams to make it 37-14. Storer ran for 52 yards on 11 carries. Williams completed seven of 11 passes for 66 yards.

While Burroughs’ season has come to an end, Burbank continues its march into the CIF Southeast Division playoffs on a high note. Pairings will be determined on Sunday afternoon.

“I can’t wait,” Williams said. “We just need to practice harder and work harder this week and be ready for whoever we play.”

After 64 meetings on the gridiron dating back to 1949, Burroughs now leads the all-time series 41-23.


Burroughs vs. Burbank; BIG GAME Preview

By Dick Dornan
BurbankNBeyond Sports Editor

The 2012 “BIG GAME”


Friday, 7 p.m., Memorial Field

Rivalries are like no other. Especially a cross-town rivalry. They bring out the best in each team.  When both teams hail from the same city, it creates an atmosphere that exudes with enthusiasm, electricity, passion and pure fanaticism.

There is nothing like a Burbank vs. Burroughs football game on a Friday night at Memorial Field. It’s the boys from the hill vs. the boys from the valley. It is simply, the “Big Game.”

For one day a year, the “5” freeway separates personalities and egos by a mere 1.87 miles and friendships are put on hold for 48 wild and gut-wrenching minutes.

Loyalty and devotion to their respective schools will be evident as each player, coach, cheerleader, administrator, teacher, trainer, parent, brother, sister, grandpa, grandma, uncle, aunt, cousin and alum gather at a venerable and renovated stadium to see their schools clash for city supremacy and bragging rights for the 64th time.

After 62 meetings at the old Memorial Field with natural grass and last year’s contest held at Arcadia High School while an extreme make-over was going on, this year the “Big Game” is back at the ‘new’ Memorial Field with an artificial grass surface and state of the art amenities.

The game features two talented teams with hopes and dreams to not only be crowned city champions for a year, but for the right to possibly make the postseason. Only the top three teams from the Pacific League gain an automatic berth into the CIF Southeast Division playoffs.

Burbank (6-3, 5-1 in league) is looking for a share of the league title. The Bulldogs need to beat Burroughs and have Pasadena (1-8, 1-5 in league) upset Muir (6-3, 6-0 in league). A playoff berth for the Bulldogs is definite with a win in the “Big Game.”

Burroughs (4-5, 4-2 in league) needs to beat Burbank and have a little help from the outside. A Crescenta Valley win against Arcadia (4-5, 4-2 in league) would help the Indians immensely. Even a JBHS win and Arcadia win would force a three-way tie with BHS meaning a coin flip would determine the league’s third and final entry. A loss to Burbank ends the Indians season.

The home team for the 64th edition will be the red-clad, Burroughs Indians. Leading them into battle is Coach Keith Knoop.

“This is not only the biggest game of the year for the city, but this year it is a big game for us because if we don’t pull it off, then we are pretty much done,” said Knoop, who is in his 16th season as head coach. “The only thing we can control is trying to win the game.”

The Burbank Bulldogs will be dressed in their home blue but will be the designated visiting team. Fourth-year coach Hector Valencia will lead his team in search of a playoff berth for the third time in his four seasons.

“This game always has meaning. It has a lot of implications this year. We have to win,” Valencia said. “We told the players that there is nothing else to look forward to if we don’t win this game. This is like a playoff game for us.”

Both teams possess a strong running game and excellent defenses. Quarterback play for both teams has been inconsistent throughout the season.

The winner of this game could very well be determined by special teams and a lack of turnovers. Expect a hard fought game with the victor being determined in the fourth quarter. Who wants it more will be crowned city champion.

Memorial Field will be colorful with blue and red paraphernalia all around the stadium. One city, two teams, one champion.

“It’s a legendary matchup,” Knoop said of the rivalry that he and Valencia competed in as Burbank alum. “Hopefully we can entertain the crowd and make it a good competitive game.”

“They are going to give us their ‘A’ game and their best effort. So will our kids and we are excited about that,” Valencia added.

Rivalry week is here and the “Big Game” will be another instant classic.

Burroughs leads the all-time series against Burbank, 41-22.