A year ago much of the talk around the Burroughs High football team was star running back Chance Bell and offensive lineman Jesse Chamberlain. While both did all they could, their supporting cast struggled.
Since then both Bell and Chamberlain have moved on to major college football and the Indians, who finished 4-6 last season, have become a team that is more versatile.
“We’re hoping to improve much from last season. It is no secret that we didn’t accomplish any of the goals we had set forth. We didn’t perform to what our expectations were,” second-year coach Mike Reily said. “We’re expecting to come in and play better team football and compete for a league championship.”
Burroughs opens the season at home Sept. 1 against West Ranch of Stevenson Ranch.
Offensively, Burroughs will hand over the keys to the offense to junior quarterback Nathan Piper (6-0, 150). Piper will be backed up by fellow junior Andrew English (5-7, 175). Last season Piper moved up to the varsity late in the season and completed 10 of 20 passes attempted.
Senior Ben Peters (5-9, 170) will try to fill the void of the loss of Bell as the Indians’ top ball carrier.
Burroughs is experienced in the receiver position as seniors Cerain Baker (6-2, 195) and Gavin Aguilar (6-3, 180) both return. Baker had 13 receptions for 156 yards and Aguilar had 14 receptions for 200 yards last season. Senior Devin Harrison (6-0, 170) is a slot receiver who had 12 receptions for 117 yards last season. Charlie Rodriguez (5-11, 185) is a newcomer from the junior varsity.
The offensive line has some experience.
Senior Ryan Bernal (6-2, 240) is the left tackle. Kevin Hebri (5-10, 210) joins him at left guard. Senior Erwin Hernandez (5-6, 270) is slated to play center. Jacob Real (5-11, 275) and Adam Sporkin (6-2, 230) are the other starting linemen.
“Our kids are gelling really well. There is some great team camaraderie going on,” Reily said. “It was a great summer and a great spring before that. We have some great leadership that I’m really excited about. We have kids who are willing to put the team in front of their own individual goals and are willing to come out and work hard every day. “
Defensively, Burroughs will have seniors Robert Howe (5-11, 180) and Danny Duran (5-8, 185) joining Hebri in putting pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Last season Howe had 29 tackles, Duran had 32 and Hebri had 21.
The linebackers group is led by seniors Brian Gutierrez (5-8, 185) and Hakeem Hickman (5-11, 200). Hickman had 26 tackles last season. Junior Daniel Gonzalez (5-9, 175) and sophomore Henry Diaz (6-0, 185) also figure to play key roles.
Junior Thomas Wilson (5-6, 150) and Peters could find themselves playing in hybrid roles on defense. Peters had 56 tackles last season.
In the secondary, Aguilar and Baker will be joined by sophomore Alex Perez (5-9, 135) as safeties.
The cornerback spots are held by seniors Evan Osegueda (5-8, 170), Ryan Macasaddu (5-8, 140) junior Nathan Turner (5-5, 135) and Wilson. Osegueda had 60 tackles last season, the second most of the team.
Senior Jonathan Rivas (5-10, 200) will handle the kicking duties. The punting job is up for grabs as Rivas, senior David Lennstrom (6-1, 160) and sophomore Aiden Forrester (5-11, 155) are all capable of handling the duties.