Tag Archives: Kourosh Dolatshahi

Burroughs, Burbank Boys Water Polo Ready For Action

By Rick Assad

 

There’s a saying that it’s hard getting to the top, but it’s even more difficult staying there.

This axiom doesn’t necessarily apply to the Burroughs High boys’ water polo team because while it hasn’t always been at the very top of the Pacific League standings, the Indians have usually been in the top portion.

Looking at rival Burbank’s boys’ water polo program, the same can’t be said, but then again, matters can and do change.

If practice makes perfect, then the Burbank High boys’ water polo team is headed in the right direction. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

This season, Burroughs will pay a visit to Burbank’s pool on October 23.

Another important date is the league preliminaries which take place at the Arcadia pool on October 29.

The league finals is at the same site, but will be held October 31.

The CIF Southern Section playoffs will be contested on November 5, 7, 9, 12 and 16.

Coach Jacob Cook has built and sustained an excellent program at Burroughs and this year’s edition should at least contend for the top spot in the league.

“I have high expectations for the season,” Cook said. “We have a talented group this year with a lot of talent and potential. I’m excited to see what we can do.”

Last year the Indians went 13-10 overall and 5-4 in league action, but lost in the CIF first round.

Burroughs, shown in a 2018 match against rival Burbank, look to better its 5-4 record in the Pacific League. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The projected starters for Burroughs will be senior goalie Arthur Eldridge, senior attacker Chet Conlan, senior attacker Tobey Ho, senior center Matthew Mucha, senior utility Vahagan Sahakyan, junior utility Ryan Jaramillo and sophomore utility Xavier Turla.

Here are the rest of the Burroughs upperclassmen and they include Jon Paul De Fabry, David Karagezyan, Nathan Magdaleno and Aaron Meza.

The juniors on the team are Fox Melo, Miguel Martinez and Alex Lewin, while sophomore Andrew Chapman and freshman Ryan Rolando are also on the squad.

Mike Lucero is the Burbank Aquatics Director and the first-year coach for the boys’ and girls’ water polo teams.

Lucero has been around and was the assistant swim coach for the Burbank boys’ and girls’ programs the last two years.

Mike Lucero is in his first season as the Burbank boys’ and girls’ water polo coach. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

In order to compete with the better teams in the league like Hoover, Glendale and Crescenta Valley, Lucero said it’s important to get faster in the water.

“We’re working on having some speed work,” Lucero said. “You need speed to keep up with teams like Crescenta Valley.”

Lucero then added: “I want to see the water polo team be a year-round program and the players stay with their conditioning. I want to see more team unity,” he said.

Lucero also wants to build a program that will be viable and contend. “Some of these club programs, major swim programs, these swimmers are starting at nine, 10, 11,” he said. “Here they’re coming in at 14. And for the first time they’re learning the basics of water polo.”

Burbank is coming off a campaign in which it went 8-10, failed to make the postseason and doesn’t have many seniors, but it does have players familiar with each other.

A four-year starter and a 2018 Burbank graduate, Varuzhan Bilbulyan is the Bulldogs’ assistant water polo coach.

The Indians, shown in a match versus the Bulldogs, have the talent to do well overall and in the Pacific League. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“This year we see a lot of young athletes that we have on both varsity and JV contributing a lot of hard work and we see a lot more attentiveness and a bigger drive than in past years to get better and improve themselves,” Bilbulyan said. “We see a very good attitude and very good behavior. Everybody is trying their best and everyone is getting better day by day.”

Bilbuyan went on: “This year’s powerhouses are probably going to be Hoover. They always have a lot of club players,” he said. “Glendale is also going to be good and they have club players. CV’s been good the last couple of years. We can finish in the top five, but our goal is top four so that we’re guaranteed to make the playoffs.”

Seven seniors populate the squad and they include driver Hakop Pilavjyan, driver Sahak Khobiarian, driver Ashot Keshishyan, driver Artush Hovannisyan, driver Edward Bowman, driver Kourosh Dolatshahi and goalie Sarkis Terpetrossyan.

There are four juniors and they are driver Brian Di Mascio, driver Grigor Gasabian, driver Michael Mehserdjian and setter Anthony Sarafian.

Five sophomores are on the team and they include driver Avo Barsegyan, driver Pavel Tantchev, driver Jonathan Agazaryan, setter Robert Kharazyan and goalie Narek Galamdaryan.

Seryozha Soghomonyan is also on the team after being promoted to the varsity at the end of July.

Burroughs, Burbank Boys Volleyball Reaching For Big Prize

By Rick Assad

 

Expectations are usually high for the Burroughs High and Burbank boys’ volleyball teams when it comes to the Pacific League race and beyond.

The Indians have captured the league title nine straight seasons, so naturally a 10th is a goal along with advancing far in the CIF Southern Section tournament.

“I think we have a good group of learners,” longtime Burroughs coach Joel Brinton said. “They show up to practice every day. They work hard. They’re open to the feedback. They want to be critiqued. They want to be coached.”

Brinton knows that nothing is ever given, but can rely on two strengths. “Even though we have a lot of seniors, we also have a lot of youth,” he noted. “I hope it will be our serving and our passing. I want our serving and passing to be our rocks.”

Junior outside hitter Connor Burroughs is a leader and offensive weapon for the Indians. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The Bulldogs made the playoffs and despite not winning the league title, also have serious designs on the prize.

Burroughs opened its season with a sweep of visiting South Pasadena, but lost at Palos Verdes.

The Indians bounced back with a sweep over Culver City in the Redondo Tournament, but dropped matches to Newbury Park, Redondo Union, Peninsula and Loyola.

“The guys have to understand that there’s nothing ever given. Everything is earned,” Brinton said of being the defending league champion.

Burroughs began its league season on Wednesday with a three-game shutout at Glendale and will play at Burbank on March 29 and then host the Bulldogs on April 23.

Senior middle hitter Dawson Koerper, shown in a recent match, will be a steady contributor for the Bulldogs. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

In any given match, the Burroughs’ offensive leaders will vary, but one that will always be at or near the top, is junior outside hitter Connor Burroughs.

Senior libero Sam Tipton will also have eyes on him and though a sophomore, setter Carter Cottrell is also vital.

There are eight seniors and aside from Tipton, includes outside hitter Luke Kvarda, outside/opposite hitter Evan Troncoso, middle/outside hitter Rickey Kahlon, setter Steven Grandinetti, outside hitter Caleb Reyes, middle hitter Jagger Green and middle hitter Louis Zekowski.

Sophomore setter Carter Cottrell will be a key cog for the Indians. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Other members includes junior middle hitter Ellington Simmons, junior outside hitter Malek Sadi and junior middle hitter Troy Outwater.

The rest are sophomore libero/outside hitter Cole Kvarda, sophomore middle hitter Shay Thornton and sophomore outside/opposite hitter Kade McGovern.

The Bulldogs, who began their campaign with a loss at Harvard-Westlake, rebounded with victories over Hart and Viewpoint, are primed for a successful season with senior outside/opposite hitter Chase Marcy leading the way.

Karl Rojo, the Burbank coach, likes what he has to work with. “Take it day-by-day and make sure we improve by two percent every day,” he said. “They need to focus on the effort and not worry about results.”

Senior setter Brandon Villaflor gets the Bulldogs’ offense in motion. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Rojo then continued: “They need to play with maximum effort every time. Their goals are playing well consistently, trying to knock off the big three [Burroughs, Crescenta Valley and Arcadia] and go as far as we can in the CIF,” he noted.

Senior opposite hitter Jack Raytis will also be asked to lead while senior setter Brandon Villaflor will get the ball to the hitters.

Senior middle blocker Kalam Park will have a key role as will senior Ryan Rickey for the Bulldogs, who begin their league trek with a match against visiting Hoover on Feb. 28.

The other seniors include opposite/middle blocker Luca Bily, middle hitter Dawson Koerper, setter Jason Kwon, libero Ryan Mehta, defensive specialist Minkyu Shin, middle blocker Kalam Park, opposite/outside hitter Dylan Vigar and outside hitter Nathan Mehta.

Also on the squad are junior defensive specialist Joe Gomez, junior outside hitter Kourosh Dolatshahi, junior middle blocker Eric Galoustian and sophomore outside/opposite hitter Jonathan Coleman.

Burbank Boys Water Polo Can’t Keep Pace With Hoover

By Rick Assad

 

For one quarter and then a half, the Hoover High boys’ water polo team held a secure six-goal edge over Burbank.

In the second half, that edge ballooned and became the Grand Canyon as the visiting Tornadoes outscored the Bulldogs 11-2 and raced off to a 21-6 victory on Tuesday afternoon in a Pacific League match.

“I’ve only been working with these guys for a month. They’ve had four years to get bad habits from really a lack of experience,” said Zachary Card, who is the interim coach in place of Allyson Young, who is on maternity leave. “They’re a Division III team playing a Division VI team.”

A five-goal effort by Hoover in the third quarter made it 15-5 with senior David Ashkharian scoring two of his match-best six.

Burbank and Hoover are about to meet in a Pacific League boys water polo match. (Photo by Francesca LaFratta)

Ashkharian’s tally with 4:06 left made it 13-5 and Ashkharian’s goal with 3:43 on the clock pushed it to 14-5.

“The problem with a Division III team playing in Division VI, is they also have a Division III bench,” Card said of Hoover, which is looking to win the league title two out of three years.

Senior Jordan Corpuz, who had five goals for Hoover, collected one in the third frame that made it 12-4 and 5:22 on the ticker.

Junior Hayk Nazaryan added a strike with 5:58 left for a 11-4 lead and senior Artur Khachatryan’s goal with one second gave the Tornadoes a 15-5 margin heading into the fourth quarter.

Hoover’s six-goal fourth frame put the match definitely out of reach with senior Nic Salandi tacking on two scores.

The Tornadoes (11-7 and 3-0 in league) came out in the opening period and seized control 6-2 with senior Jordan Corpuz getting three of his five goals.

A tally by Corpuz with 5:26 remaining made it 1-1 and Corpuz’s goal with 4:22 left pushed Hoover’s lead to 2-1. Late in the frame, Corpuz tacked on a five-meter penalty shot that made it 6-2.

Ashkharian scored two goals in the first stanza including a tally with 2:26 left that made it 3-1 and one with 1:42 remaining for a 4-2 lead.

Burbank freshman driver Johnny Agazaryan scored with 6:18 left in the first period to make it 1-0.

Senior driver Varuzhan Bilbulyan scored off a rebound for the Bulldogs with 1:59 showing that cut the deficit to 3-2.

Junior utility Kourosh Dolatshahi scored for Burbank, which is ranked No. 2 in the CIF Southern Section Division VI, with 5:59 left in the second that trimmed Hoover’s advantage to 7-3 and senior driver Artush Gasparyan added a goal with 4:15 on the clock that shaved it to 9-4.

Junior driver Edward Bowman had a goal in the third frame for Burbank (8-3 and 1-2 in league) with five minutes left as the Bulldogs drew within 12-5.

Dolatshahi also contributed a goal with 4:01 left in the fourth that shaved Hoover’s advantage to 17-6.

Burbank, Burroughs Boys Water Polo Gunning for Playoffs

By Rick Assad

Thinking big and reaching the CIF Southern Section playoffs are the goals for the Burroughs High and Burbank boys’ water polo teams.

Both are very capable, but there is one key difference and that is the Indians have recently been there, while the Bulldogs haven’t.

Burroughs is coming off a 13-13 campaign and a first-round defeat in the playoffs, but Coach Jacob Cook likes what he sees because many on the team are seniors.

On the negative side, 13 players have graduated including David Arakelyan, the team’s leading scorer.

The seniors include Chase Legorreta, David Rosales, Isaack Dowling, Josh Sanchez, Nathan Gault-Crabb and Ryan Jaramillo.

There are six juniors and they include Chet Conlan, Jon Paul De Fabry, Matthew Mucha, Sammy Lazaar, Tobey Ho and Vahagan Sahakyan while the rest of the team consists of sophomore Orion Hernandez and freshman Xavier Turla.

“We lost 13 seniors from last year,” Cook said. “We have a very young team, but we have a very committed and hard working team. These guys are really committed to bettering themselves and learning to play with each other.”

In order to compensate, Cook said that he will instill hard work and also the basics. “We’re going back to the fundamentals,” he said.

Still the goal is the same. “We want to go as far as we can,” Cook said. “We’re aiming for the top. If we don’t hit it, we don’t hit it, but that’s what we’re aiming for.”

Burroughs has played two matches and is winless. The Indians will open Pacific League play at Crescenta Valley on Sept. 25 and will host Burbank on Oct. 17.

Chances are decent that Burbank, which is 1-1 this season and will begin league action at Pasadena on Sept. 25, will fare better this year than the previous.

“I expect that we will do a lot better than last,” Burbank coach Allyson Young said. “Hopefully in the top four.”

Young said that she is basing the projection on being better prepared and diligent. “This year all of my guys are working hard and want to succeed,” she said. “We’ve got good players for both offense and defense.”

Young then added: “I like that this team is already working hard and wants to continue the hard work. This is a team sport, so they need everyone to be willing to give it their all,” she noted.

Young’s target is also the postseason. “We believe that this year we can make playoffs and that is what we are aiming for,” she said.

In 2017, the Bulldogs defeated Pasadena and Glendale in league play and this year’s leaders are senior Varuzhan Bilbulyan, senior Artush Gasparyan and freshman Johnny Agazaryon.

Young feels confident that these three will play well, along with the rest of the team. “A lot of my other guys are ready to step up and show what they’ve got,” she said.

The rest of the squad includes Eddie Bowman, Aleko Brice, Kourosh Dolatshai, Charlie Thorpe, Sarkis Ter-Petrossian, Pavel Tantchev, Jacob Shaw, Ford Roll, Hakop Pilavjian, Gevork Kvryan, Arthur Kadzhikyan and Avag Issagholian.

Burroughs, Burbank Looking Strong Again in Boys Volleyball

Both Burroughs and Burbank highs have enjoyed success in recent years in boys’ volleyball. Change doesn’t appear to be on the cards this season as both teams are looking to keep those traditions going.

Burroughs

The eight-time defending Pacific League champions went 17-14 overall last year and 10-0 in the league. The Indians lost in the second round of the CIF Southern Section Division 1 playoffs to national power Huntington Beach.

Two starters and seven players overall are back from last season’s team as the Indians have just six seniors on an 18-player roster.

(Photo by© Ross A Benson)

Outside hitter Diego Rosal (6-5) and opposite hitter Cole Kaitz (6-5) are both back.

Senior Jose Solano (5-11) takes over at setter. Backing him up are junior Steven Grandenetti (6-2) and freshman Carter Cotrell (5-11).

Junior Sam Tipton (5-9) takes over the libero spot from the graduated Skyler Bercini. He is backed up junior Luke Kvarda (6-0) and senior Marcus Sta. Maria (5-6).

Junior Jagger Green (6-4) figures to be a key at middle blocker. Seniors Diego Borja (6-7) and Drew Gorsuch (6-0) as well as junior Jack Weerts (6-0), sophomore Conner Burroughs (6-1) could also see time at middle blocker.

Backing up Rosal are freshman Kade McGovern (6-3), as well as juniors Michael Rumfola (6-1), Caleb Reyes (5-11), and senior Azael Estrada (6-2).

Sophomore Sammy Solis (5-11) will back up Kaitz.

“(We’re) hoping for another successful year as we push ourselves thru our nonleague schedule to prepare ourselves for the league,” Coach Joel Brinton said. “We are still in Division 1 for CIF Playoffs and we understand the battle that lies ahead, but we have a great group of guys that are ready to work every day and do a great job of taking everything a day at a time.”

Burbank

The Bulldogs went 22-14 last year to finish third in the league. They lost in the first round of the CIF Southern Section Division 2 playoffs to Long Beach Wilson.

Karl Rojo, who has been the coach of the girls’ team, is now coaching the boys’ team as well.

Senior outside hitter Jonathan Ragheb (6-0) is a key returner and team captain.

 

(Photo by © Ross A Benson)

Senior Rory Rickey (6-2) also returns and will play middle blocker.  He is backed up by junior Dawson Koerper and senior Jonathan Valmonte.

Senior Edward Curren (5-8) is a team captain and the starting libero. Junior Ryan Mehta (5-5) is his backup.

Senior Brian Valmonte (5-10) is the setter and is backed up by junior Brian Villaflor.

Junior Luca Bily (5-11) is a returner who will hold down the opposite hitter position. Senior Paul Won and junior Dylan Vivar offer depth at the position.

Helping out in the outside hitter positions will be freshman Jonathan Coleman, junior Ryan Rickey (5-8), sophomore Kourosh Dolatshahi.

 

 

 

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.