Tag Archives: Matthew Mucha

Burroughs Boys Water Polo Gets Good Start, Knocks Off Crescenta Valley

By Rick Assad

One objective that Jacob Cook, the Burroughs High boys’ water polo coach wanted his team to accomplish was get off to a productive start in Thursday’s Pacific League match against visiting Crescenta Valley.

This is exactly what happened as a six-goal, first-quarter outburst allowed the Indians to waltz past the Falcons 13-6 behind five goals each from senior attacker Chet Conlan and senior utility Vahagan Sahakyan.

Chet Conlan scored five goals for Burroughs in a 13-6 win over Crescenta Valley. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“We capitalized on a lot of opportunities,” Burroughs coach Jacob Cook said. “They came out aggressive. We didn’t come out too hard against Glendale on Tuesday. We made sure we came out hard and didn’t play catchup.”

Conlan tallied two goals and Sahakyan knocked in three in the initial frame as Burroughs (8-5 and 1-1 in league) took control 6-1 entering the second period.

“I think we’re doing well. We have a lot of potential,” Cook said of his squad, which can score goals in a hurry. “We have threats everywhere. We want to be league champs and that’s the goal.”

With this kind of cushion it was seemingly going to be real tough for the young Falcons to rally.

The Indians’ goalies were spectacular versus the Falcons. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“Burroughs did a good job of coming out, playing good press defense, our drivers were not getting open and then offensively Burroughs did a good job of being assertive,” Crescenta Valley coach Jan Sakonju said. “They got goals out of the center and they got good outside shots and it was a good offensive attack on their part which is why at the end of the first quarter there was such a point differential.”

Sakonju also thinks that the Falcons are going to be much better in the future.

“Burroughs beat us pretty decisively today, but it was a good learning experience for us,” he said.

The period commenced with senior center Matthew Mucha scoring on a 10-foot rocket with 6:18 left for a 1-0 lead.

When Conlan drilled home a six-footer with 5:35 left on the timer, the Indians’ lead swelled to 2-1.

Playing defense and getting loose balls was vital in Burroughs’ decision over Crescenta Valley. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Sahakyan’s laser from six feet, thirty seconds later, made it 3-1 and Conlan’s eight-foot bullet with 3:23 showing pushed Burroughs’ margin to 4-1.

A winner from eight feet by Sahakyan with 1:47 remaining handed the Indians a 5-1 advantage.

Sahakyan’s 14-foot dagger, 45 seconds later, made it 6-1.

Each team scored two goals in the second quarter, including senior utility Ryan Jaramillo’s five-meter penalty attempt with 3:51 left on the clock that saw Burroughs pull ahead 7-1.

Conlan’s six-footer with 38 seconds showing in the opening half gave Burroughs an 8-2 edge.

The third quarter was likewise even as both squads scored three goals that included Conlan’s 10-footer with four minutes left as the Indians darted ahead 9-4.

Sahakyan’s eight-footer with 2:41 remaining made it 10-5 and Sahakyan’s five-meter penalty toss with 12 seconds left allowed the Indians to glide ahead 11-6.

Vahagan Sahakyan also tallied five goals for the Indians. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burroughs tacked on two insurance goals in the fourth period when Jaramillo scored from 10 feet with 6:04 left for a 12-6 advantage.

Conlan closed out the offensive festivities for the Indians with a six-footer and 2:49 showing for a seven-goal lead.

George Saroyan led the way for the Falcons (6-10 and 1-1 in league) with three goals and Saroyan’s six-foot cannon shot with 5:51 remaining in the first quarter evened it at 1-1.

When Saroyan found the back of the net from eight feet and 1:18 left in the second period, Crescenta Valley drew within 7-2.

Saroyan’s five-meter penalty throw with 2:49 left in the third quarter sliced the Indians’ lead to 9-5.

A point-blank toss from Jacob Choe with 38 seconds showing in the second quarter saw the Falcons get within 8-2.

Charlie Ward’s 16-footer with 5:03 left in the third stanza shaved the Indians’ edge to 8-4 and when Alden Marriott scored from eight feet with 44 seconds left in the same frame, Burroughs’ lead was reduced to 10-5.

The Indians outshot the Falcons 15-12 in the first half and 29-22 overall, and Burroughs goalies, senior Arthur Eldridge and senior David Karagezyan, turned away multiple shots and played exceedingly well.

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.

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.