Tag Archives: Pacific League

Burroughs Football Has Spectacular Second Half, Beats Host Glendale

By Rick Assad

Over the course of a 10-game, regular-season schedule, there’s always some tough teams and a few others that aren’t as difficult.

For the Burroughs High football squad, when facing Glendale, it would fall in the latter category.

On Friday night at Moyse Field in the Pacific League opener, the Indians emerged with a resounding 49-6 win, but the opening half wasn’t as lopsided.

Nicholas Garcia uncorked three scoring passes in a lopsided win over Glendale. (Photo by Steve Garden)

The Nitros, who now have a four-game losing streak, fell behind 20-6 at the intermission, but it could have been much closer if not for a terrific defensive stand.

Burroughs, which is an impressive 5-0 and ranked No. 9 in the CIF Southern Section Division XI, scored 29 unanswered points in the second half to blow the contest wide open.

“Glendale played with a ton of passion and a ton of heart and I respect what Cary Harris is dong with that program,” Burroughs second-year coach Rand Holdren said. “They pushed us in the first half and we put it together and played a ballgame.”

Holdren said the week of practice leading up to Friday’s match could have been better.

Garcia hands off to Jon English, who had a rushing score and a receiving touchdown. (Photo by Steve Garden)

“We’ve got to work on executing,” he said. “That’s been our theme all year. We got a little lethargic in practice this week. We’ve put together a lot of good weeks in a row. We’ve got to learn how to win.”

After punting on its initial series, Burroughs had the ball after a Glendale fumble. It took one play for senior wide receiver Aiden Forrester to race 50 yards with 9:07 on the clock for a 7-0 lead.

“Our practice weren’t the best and you practice how you play,” said Forrester, who had 72 yards on two carries and one catch for 87 yards. “We didn’t do well in practice. In the second half, we were able to pull it together for that, even though score-wise, we won the first half, they really won the first half because we were shooting ourselves in the foot with mistakes. I feel like in the second half, we came out and executed.”

Burroughs coach Rand Holdren addresses the team during a time out. (Steve Garden)

The Nitros, who fumbled five times, then fumbled on their next possession. This miscue was turned into a 15-yard burst by sophomore running back Jon English (game-best 113 yards on 13 carries) that made it 13-0 with 5:35 remaining in the first quarter.

The Indians (5-0 and 1-0 in league), who had two fumbles, extended their advantage to 20-0 when senior quarterback Nicholas Garcia (six of 14 for 180 yards) drove his team from the Burroughs one-yard line and capped the march with an 87-yard strike to Forrester as 5:54 remained in the second half.

The Nitros (99 total net yards) cut the deficit to 20-6 when junior quarterback Juan Estrada (five of 12 for 66 yards) hit senior wide receiver Ethan Aldrete (two receptions for 46 yards) with a 31-yard toss as four seconds remained in the period.

Lineman Isaac Reyes (No. 66) celebrates with his teammates after a key play against the Nitros. (Photo by Steve Garden)

Two possessions earlier, Glendale (1-4 and 0-1 in league) forced a Burroughs fumble at the Indians’ 48-yard line and marched to the one before Estrada was turned away on fourth down.

Early in the third period and the Nitros punting at their seven-yard line, the ball was snapped way over senior Edgar Ovasapyian’s head, who picked up the ball, but bobbled it.

Forrester, a defensive back, pounced on the ball and after Garcia (four rushes for 13 yards) ran the two-point conversion into the end zone, the Indians were ahead 28-6 with 9:22 left.

The next time Glendale had the ball, it was forced to punt as Burroughs (427 total yards) began its next possession at midfield.

It required just one play to score as Garcia tossed a well-designed screen pass to English, who raced 50 yards as 7:19 remained in the third period for a 35-6 edge.

After yet another Glendale punt, the Indians forged a 42-6 cushion when Garcia drilled sophomore wide receiver Vincent Harris with a 13-yard strike for his only catch as 1:37 was left before heading to the fourth quarter.

The Indians secured another Glendale fumble which was turned into a score as sophomore running back Carlos Andres Rodriguez (41 yards on 10 carries) found the end zone on a one-yard plunge, capping a five-play, 34-yard drive.

“Our main focus was to come out and execute and whatever the coach called, we were going to execute,” said senior offensive lineman Caden Cardenaz. “We ended up running a little bit more tonight and that’s what we did and we just executed.”

How can every player do better? “I watch film and I hope to communicate with other linemen and just work together to fix that up [mistakes] and make sure that we got the right calls so we know what we’re doing, so that we’re all on the same page, so that we can execute,” Cardenaz said.

The next league game will be Friday at 7 p.m. when Burroughs plays host to undefeated Crescenta Valley.

Burbank Girls Volleyball Lose To Crescenta Valley In Four Sets

By Rick Assad

It was only the first set and there would be at least two more sets for the Burbank High girls’ volleyball team.

In retrospect, this set proved vital because it helped catapult visiting Crescenta Valley to a 27-25, 18-25, 25-14, 25-18 Pacific League victory on Tuesday.

Hoping to get out quickly, the Bulldogs dashed ahead 23-16 when junior opposite hitter Tamryn Betts (nine kills and five digs) collected a spike.

“It’s a tough one to swallow, but with the mental toughness that we have and the resiliency that we have, we’ll bounce back, go back in the lab and work hard again,” Burbank coach Karl Rojo said of his team’s tough loss.

The Falcons would get to within 23-17 on a winner from junior outside hitter Jamie Santos.

A spike from senior setter/opposite hitter Isabella Doom would make it 23-18, but Burbank would ease in front 24-18 on a stuff from junior middle blocker Bianca Hudson (six kills with five blocks).

Katie Treadway, shown in a match against Providence, had a team-best 11 kills in a four-set loss to Crescenta Valley. Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Crescenta Valley drew within 24-20 on an ace from Santos and 24-21 on a kill from Santos.

When Doom and senior middle blocker/opposite hitter Laine Stubbs combined on a jam, the Falcons were within 24-22.

A tapper from Stubbs saw the visitors get within 24-23 as the Bulldogs (7-9 and 3-2 in league) asked for time.

Doom’s spike evened it at 24-24 and a service winner from Santos pushed the Falcons ahead 25-24.

A kill from senior outside hitter Brandice Hibbard (10 kills and six digs with an ace) leveled it at 25-25.

Crescenta Valley (19-8 and 4-1 in league) would capture the next two points including the set-winner by Santos (15 kills and four aces).

The initial set was close early on and included five ties before a winner from senior middle blocker Leah Tawil (four kills and one block) handed the Bulldogs an 8-6 lead.

A kill from Betts evened it at 10-10 and a spike from Tawil tied it at 12-12.  It would be deadlocked at 14-14 on Doom’s blast.

The Bulldogs would go on a 10-4 spurt and lead 24-18 that included kills from Hudson that made it 16-14 as the Falcons asked for time, and senior outside hitter Katie Treadway’s dagger for a 19-15 edge.

Senior setter Ashley Eskander, shown in a recent nonleague match against Providence, had 40 assists and 22 digs in a loss to the Falcons. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“The first set I thought we were doing good, but we were making little mistakes that kept adding up, so we kind of lost our momentum a little bit and we couldn’t get back into it. In the second set we did a lot better,” said Treadway, a senior outside hitter who had a team-high 11 kills with five aces and 25 digs. “We need to be calm and execute.”

Treadway then added: “For me, I need to remember this game and know what I did wrong and what we can do better,” she noted. “And what I notice that I can talk to the team about. And what we can do better for the next game. How we need to be on the same page mentally and our plays. But after this day, though, we forget about it.”

The second frame saw the Bulldogs bolt ahead 10-0 on a kill from Treadway. “If we lose a set, I try to get their energy up and try to get them excited,” she pointed out. “Me and Ashley [Eskander] try to calm each other down. We also need to know that we need to be more aggressive.”

Eskander is a senior setter and one of the team leaders who finished the match with 40 assists and 22 digs.

The Falcons answered with five straight points that cut the lead to 10-5, but Burbank still held a 14-7 lead when Hibbard added a kill.

A spike from Hudson gave the Bulldogs a 17-11 cushion and it became 19-11 on a service winner from Treadway as the Falcons asked for a halt in the action.

A kill from Betts made it 21-13, Treadway’s bullet pushed the advantage to 24-17 and a spike from Betts evened the match at one set each.

The third game was tied 3-3 on an ace from Burbank junior setter Kassandra Gonzalez, but the Falcons forged a 7-4 lead on a kill from senior middle blocker Ellie Song.

Crescenta Valley darted in front 10-7 on a kill from senior outside hitter Lizzy Kerman (match-best 17 kills with four aces) and 13-8 on a winner from junior libero Emily Boghozian.

“When we started out, we seemed a little rattled, a little nervous. We just kept telling the girls to stay calm. Stay calm. Take a deep breath,” Crescenta Valley coach Matt Simons said. “In that first game, the pressure came off because we were down so much. They stopped making silly mistakes. The girls played with a confidence that they didn’t play with earlier in the set.”

Simons went on: “When we were passing well, we were able to run our offense and the game is so much easier,” he said. “When we pass well, we’re able to run all aspects of the offense. It kind of stabilizes us.”

Doom’s kill made it 14-8 and when Doom (18 assists with four kills and four blocks) tossed in another spike, the Falcons were in front 18-8.

Back-to-back aces by Santos made it 23-11 as the Bulldogs needed time to regroup. A stuff from junior middle blocker Emma Glaza for the Falcons put them ahead 24-11 and a kill from Kerman salted the set.

An ace from junior libero Hannah Tanita handed the Falcons a 4-2 lead in the fourth set, but the Bulldogs rallied and moved ahead 7-5 on an ace from Gonzalez.

Crescenta Valley settled down and led 13-9 on a kill from Santos and 16-12 on an ace from Tanita.

“On any given day, a different girl can be the hero,” Simons said. “We don’t have one girl that we rely on. That we lean on. That balanced attack really helps.”

The Falcons darted ahead 19-15 on a kill from Kerman and 21-15 on a service winner from Kerman.

Crescenta Valley inched in front 23-16 on a kill from Santos and Doom’s rocket was the set and match winner.

Senior defensive specialist/libero Morgan Bolger added 25 digs for the Bulldogs, while junior setter Cadie Carlson had 15 assists and two blocks for the Falcons.

Burroughs Girls Tennis Much Improved, But Lose To Glendale, 12-6

By Rick Assad

Often times a tennis match or even a scrimmage can be very useful because it allows an individual to know just what to expect the next time they’re on the court.

Entering Tuesday’s Pacific League girls’ tennis match, Burroughs High hadn’t played in a match or scrimmage, while Glendale notched two nonleague victories.

The Indians’ No. 1 doubles player, senior Suzy Kim, is about to serve in a match against Glendale. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

This clearly helped the visiting Nitros settle down and play with confidence and at a high level as they grabbed six points in singles and doubles action and came away with a 12-6 victory.

“If we would have had some practices, I think they would have been a little more into it,” said longtime Burroughs coach Roy Bernhardt of his team. “They were nervous. I’ve got ninth graders and they were nervous.”

Bernhardt said he was satisfied with two of his three doubles teams.

“I was very pleased with my No. 1 doubles and my No. 3 doubles was okay,” he noted. “But my No. 2 doubles, what happened there?”

Bernhardt added: “We were supposed to play Saugus and I think Hart and Alhambra and it just didn’t come off,” he pointed out.

Junior Celine Khachiki, the No. 1 singles player for the Nitros, went 6-1, 6-0, 6-0.

The Indians are a young team, but are steadily improving. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“I was definitely expecting closer set scores,” Khachiki said of the improved Burroughs squad. “We’ve played well these other past two years so we want to continue our reputation. I don’t think there’s a limit to how well we can play so hopefully we continue to improve.”

Khachiki continued. “I think we’re playing a lot more competitive each match and we’re learning from each match,” she said.

Tom Gossard is Glendale’s coach and said in his opinion, Khachiki is the team’s Most Valuable Player the last two years.

“It gives me a lot of confidence, but it’s also a lot of pressure to uphold,” she said of Gossard’s assertion. “I just try to play my game each time and not worry about what’s going on off the court.”

Khachiki’s opponents were No. 1 sophomore Isabella Harris-Bermudez, No. 2 sophomore Valerie Lentine (substitute) and No. 3 freshman Elane Shane.

Alice Weber is a senior and a leader for the Indians. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Three played at No. 2 for Glendale, which captured the only girls’ title in the school’s long history, a CIF Southern Section Division IV championship in 2017, and they included junior Annette Petrosyan, senior Sara Rahimi and junior Suzanna Poghosyan.

Only Rahimi managed to pull out a win, 6-1, over Harris-Bermudez, while sophomore Lauren Pieri prevailed 6-1 over Petrosyan and Shane won 6-1 against Poghosyan.

At No. 3 for Glendale was sophomore Ani Harutyunyan, who defeated Harris-Bermudez 6-3 and Shane 6-1, while Pieri was victorious 6-3.

Glendale’s No. 1 doubles tandem of senior Nicole Avakian and junior Karen “Momo” Guzman won two points after beating No. 2 sophomore Vanessa Muga and junior Keili Brahms 6-2 and No. 3 Isabella Munguia and Kaitlyn Glaim 6-2.

The Indians No. 1 team of senior Alice Weber and senior Suzy Kim prevailed 7-6 (7-3) over Avakian/Guzman.

At No. 2 for Glendale, senior Karen Enriquez and junior Eleen Garemanian garnered two points by beating Muga/Brahms 6-0 and Munguia/Glaim 6-4, while Weber/Kim knocked off Avakian/Guzman 6-2.

Glendale’s No. 3 squad of senior Janet Louie and senior Anna Sarookhanian nabbed two points as they held off Muga/Brahms 6-4 and Munguia/Glaim 6-4, while Weber/Kim won 6-0.

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 Girls Volleyball Poised For Success

By Rick Assad

 

Getting to and then advancing deep into the CIF Southern Section playoffs is always a top priority for any coach.

This being the case, it’s crucial for the team to do extremely well in the Pacific League because this is how the selection committee places seeds the squads in the postseason.

So for the Burroughs High and Burbank girls’ volleyball teams, each wants to finish as high as possible in the league standings.

The Burbank girls volleyball team in a recent practice. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The Indians, who are coming off a 27-8 overall season and a 13-1 mark in league for a share of the title, always have high expectations.

Longtime Burroughs Coach Edwin Real is optimistic.

“We’re expecting to be competitive,” he said of the league season. “We have some kids who are somewhat younger and we lost several really good players to graduation and we’re trying to get better in those positions.”

A season ago, the Indians advanced to the Division III quarterfinals where they lost to eventual champion Village Christian in five tough sets.

This campaign, Burroughs is 2-1, having beaten Downey and Harvard-Westlake, but losing in five sets to Cypress, in tournament matches, which required three sets in order to determine a winner and not the customary two.

The Indians will pay a visit to Burbank on September 24 and then host the rival Bulldogs on October 17.

Spearheading the Indians will be senior outside hitter Lydia Grote, who has verbally committed to play volleyball for the University of California at Berkeley.

Grote’s older sister, Marin, is a sophomore on the University of Washington women’s volleyball team, and before that was a key cog and four-year starter for Burroughs.

Burroughs, which lost to Village Christian in a CIF quarterfinal match in 2018, is going to be one of the favorites to win the Pacific League. (Photo by © Ross A Benson)

Also key for the Indians will be junior defensive specialist Lily Rogers, who will be a floor leader and an important contributor.

Junior outside hitter Catie Virtue will also be asked to lead the troops, while senior middle blocker Camila Sanchez-Tellez as well as two sophomores, setter Meagan Lynch and defensive specialist Charlotte Hobson, will be vital if Burroughs is to go far, according to Real.

There are several other upperclassmen who will also have a significant hand in the team’s success and they are opposite hitter Joelle Burras, setter Milana Abrahamian and defensive specialist Natalie Hooper.

The rest of the team includes junior middle blocker Emily Caneday, junior outside hitter Camila Palma, junior outside hitter Mariah Bowman and junior defensive specialist Reese Coblentz.

Being in tip-top shape is always a key to winning. Here the Bulldog girls’ volleyball team is racing down the floor. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Rounding out the Indians’ squad will be sophomore defensive specialist Kylie Colton and middle blocker Bella Lomet.

This is Karl Rojo’s fifth season as Burbank’s coach and in the four previous campaigns, saw his squad make the postseason.

“I believe it’s going to be a good season, almost similar to the one before and maybe better than that,” Rojo said. “With the core that we have, they’re pretty experienced and with the young core that we have, they’re learning a lot from the experienced players. It’s working out pretty fine. They’re working hard each day and that’s all I can ask from them.”

Rojo then added: “They’re improving. It could be small improvement. It could be big improvement, but they’re improving,” he said.

Rojo said he likes the attitude of this squad. “They’re all good teammates towards each other,” he said. “But I think it’s drama-free. Not as much drama. It’s going to be positive.”

Burbank posted a 14-16 record and a 9-5 mark in league, but Rojo would like to see definite improvement on those numbers.

Lydia Grote, a senior outside hitter for the Indians, will be one of many weapons. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“I see us making a big statement in the Pacific League,” he said. “I think we should finish in the top three. But we have a lot of competitive teams. I think we’ll proceed past the first round this year.”

There is enough talent to reach the playoffs according to Rojo and several mainstays will have to play well.

The Bulldogs are 1-3 this season with a sweep over visiting Chatsworth and losses to visiting Providence in four sets, a four-game loss at Saugus and a three-set defeat at Calabasas.

Burbank was swept over three games in a Division IV wildcard match in 2018 against host Calabasas.

Burbank’s top-shelf players are senior outside hitter Katie Treadway, senior libero/defensive specialist Morgan Bolger, senior middle blocker Leah Tawil, senior setter Ashley Eskander, junior middle blocker Bianca Hudson and junior libero Mikayla Kim.

Also expected to contribute for the Bulldogs will be senior setter Kassandra Gonzalez, senior middle blocker/opposite hitter Ava Danesh, senior outside hitter Brandice Hibbard and senior opposite hitter/setter Andrea Paun.

The remainder of the team includes junior opposite hitter Tamryn Betts, sophomore outside hitter Alaina Melgar and sophomore middle blocker/opposite hitter Gabriella Damroze.

Melissa Sanchez Chosen As Next Burbank Softball Coach

By Rick Assad

 

Melissa Sanchez has been named as the next Burbank High girls’ softball coach.

Sanchez replaces Mike Delaney, a longtime softball coach in Southern California, who recently stepped down from the position.

For Sanchez, it’s a homecoming of sorts after playing for the Bulldogs and now stepping in as coach.

“I’m so excited for the opportunity,” said Sanchez, who played for East Los Angeles College and then won a scholarship to Cal State University East Bay where she played center field. “I can’t wait to start. This is not a hobby. It’s a full-time job and I’m going to give 110 percent.”

Melissa Sanchez will lead the Burbank softball team. (Photo credit Melissa Sanchez)

At this point, Sanchez, who has been a travel ball coach, is just getting her feet wet, but thinks the future is going to be bright for the Bulldogs.

Under Delaney, the Bulldogs were usually in the top half of the Pacific League standings and more often than not advanced to the CIF Southern Section playoffs.

This is Sanchez’s first head coaching job, but played for Burbank beginning with her freshman season in 2006 and capping it off in 2009 when she graduated.

“My values and philosophy are to push the girls hard in order to be the best players that they can be. They will be confident and will have a winning mentality.”

Sanchez they added: “There’s going to be structure during practice and it’s going to be regimented. I’m going to develop the girls. It begins at the junior varsity level. That’s why you need a good JV coach in order to bring along the young ones.”

Sanchez was asked what’s the main difference between coaching travel ball and high school.

“The difference in travel ball is you can pick and choose the players,” she said. “In high school, you get what you get. But on the softball field, I control the energy level.”

Sanchez said loyalty is a key. “I think it’s important to learn loyalty,” she said. “Loyalty to the program is important. To make that commitment. I’m from Burbank. I want to build the program.”

Sanchez continied: “I know that it takes time to build that trust. But as long as I’m prepared, I think that I’m going to build a solid program that’s going to be good. I want to show that they made the right choice in hiring me.”

Sanchez believes it’s the coaches responsibility to get the team pulling in one direction, as Tom Lasorda, former Dodger and Hall of Fame manager famously once said.

“It’s the coaches job to motivate the girls to play,” she noted. “To explain why it’s important to work hard, to be excited and want to go to practice.”

In Sanchez’s system, everyone on the team will contribute, and that includes the substitutes. “The bench will have a big role,” she explained. “It’s going to be a positive environment.”

Burbank Baseball Caps Regular Season With 10-3 Win Over Burroughs

By Rick Assad

 

Because of proximity and history, any time Burbank High and Burroughs face each other in athletic competition, something is always at stake.

On Friday night at Tomahawk Field, the stakes were raised even higher because if the Bulldogs captured this Pacific League baseball encounter, they had a chance to pull even with Crescenta Valley for second place behind first place Arcadia.

But if the Indians prevailed, they would be tied with Muir at 8-6 and have a chance for the postseason.

Davis Mieliwocki went five innings and collected the win as Burbank prevailed 10-3 over Burroughs. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

In a game that lasted almost three hours and saw nine total pitchers employed and eight combined errors committed, Burbank walked away with a 10-3 victory.

With the triumph over their longtime rival, the Bulldogs are 10-4 in league, tied with the Falcons while the Indians posted a 7-7 mark, one game behind the Mustangs, and are out of the CIF Southern Section playoffs which begin next week.

For the seniors who win, there is always extreme joy and happiness, while for the losers there is only pain and sadness.

“Tough preseason for us. We played the monsters. But it seemed to kind of work in our favor,” said Burbank coach Bob Hart, whose team went 8-3 down the stretch. “I liked the resiliency. I like the fact that they were in every game. I had juniors wanting to give at-bats for the seniors. Ultimately that’s a testament to their character and that’s probably what I’m most proud of. I love to see guys who are selfless. We’ve got a bunch of those guys. I’m probably more proud of that than the score.”

Xavier Dubon was one of seven pitchers used by the Indians. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Craig Sherwood, who has coached baseball for 39 years and has also won a CIF championship, knows the other side.

“Sixteen seniors,” he said. “All I did was get those kids into the ballgame tonight. Hopefully we would do well and we just didn’t do well. The ball didn’t bounce our way.”

Sherwood went on: “I’m proud of all my players,” he said. “Every single one of them. The toughest part is you’re a family. You spend 10 months together. Then suddenly it’s gone after the third out is made. It’s tough. It’s emotional.”

Neither team scored in the first inning, but the Bulldogs (10-12-1), who scored three runs in the third and fourth inning, struck for two runs in the second as junior Jakob Duarte’s double into the left field corner scored junior Troy Lee, who walked to begin the frame.

Duarte then advanced to third base on a passed ball and eventually crossed the plate on an error.

The Indians (10-19), who committed four miscues, evened it at 2-2 in the second frame when senior Nicco Chuidian was hit by a pitch that nipped his nose, went to third on a double to right field by senior Preston Lemus and scored on a wild pitch.

Jakob Duarte stretches at first base as Nicco Chuidian runs hard. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Lemus took third base on a wild pitch and scored on a single from junior Brian Garcia, who also doubled to left center in the sixth inning.

Chuidian was the starting hurler and allowed one hit, striking out one with three walks across two frames.

“It hurts. It really does,” said the right-hander. “Coming into this season and having our heads high and expecting to win. Having that high note. Having that high goal. That expectation.”

Chuidian added: “My team. We’ve been through it all. We’ve been through countless walkoffs. Countless wins. Countless losses. We’ve been together,” he said.

Aidan Gonzalez motors down the line as Collin Johnson readies for the catch. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Was there a point that changed the season?

“I wouldn’t say there was a tipping point, per se,” he noted. “But it would seem that after Pasadena, that loss, really got to us. From there we got on a consistent losing streak.”

Chuidian, who will attend Cal State Fullerton, but not play baseball, went on: “We came out and gave it our all. I am glad that I was able to play with this team,” he said. “This team has been battling with me for over three years It’s been a blessing to play for these coaches and be part of this family.”

After that 6-1 setback to Pasadena at home on March 29, the Indians went 2-7 that included a 3-2 loss in eight innings to Burbank on Tuesday.

In a cloud of dust, the Bulldogs score a run in a 10-3 victory over the Indians. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burbank, which also turned in four errors, made it 5-2 in the third inning as senior Daniel Ruiz lashed a run-scoring double to left field that brought in sophomore Ryan King, who led off with a base hit to right field.

Lee’s single to right field plated senior Davis Mieliwocki, who walked and a sacrifice fly to left by junior Dominik Severo brought home Lee.

Mieliwocki toured five innings and was credited with the win after surrendering three hits, fanning nine, walking four and hitting two batters.

Senior Joey Clark entered in the sixth inning and struck out three and allowed two hits over two frames.

A three-run fourth was helped because of three errors by the Indians as Burbank, which didn’t get a hit in the frame, extended its lead to 8-2.

Neither visiting Burbank or Burroughs played stellar defense. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Junior Oaklee Spens walked and scored, King was nicked by a pitch and scored and Mielowicki, who reached on a two-base fielding error, also crossed the plate.

Burbank tacked on two runs in the fifth inning when it rapped out four hits including a run-scoring single by Mieliwocki that drove in junior Aidan Gonzalez, who singled to left field.

The other run scored via a walk to Lee with the bases filled as Spens, who singled to left field, scored.

A run in the sixth sliced Burbank’s lead to 10-3 as senior Jesse Rodriguez, who was safe at third base on a throwing error, scored on senior Andres Salazar’s grounder.

Senior Julian Jaramillo singled in the third and seventh inning for the Indians and senior Cody Winters doubled off the fence in the fifth for the Bulldogs.

Senior Nathaniel Metz took the loss and didn’t retire a batter, yielding one hit with one walk.

Senior Xavier Dubon went one inning, striking out one and allowing two hits and senior Josh Hooker hit two batters, issued one walk and whiffed one over one inning.

Senior Brandon Aguilar failed to retire a batter and allowed one hit, Jaramillo gave up three hits, struck out two with one walk in one inning and Salazar fanned three with one walk in two innings.

Burroughs Softball Takes Out Host Burbank 7-1

By Rick Assad

 

There were two vastly different emotions on display after Thursday night’s Pacific League softball game at McCambridge Park.

After the final out was recorded on a grounder to third base, the Burroughs High team and its faithful were elated after a 7-1 win over city rival Burbank.

Of course, there was dejection in the Bulldogs’ dugout, but at least one game remains when the CIF Southern Section playoffs begin with sites and matchups to be determined in the next few days.

Isabella Kam allowed five hits across seven innings for Burroughs, which won 7-1 over Burbank. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The Indians (12-10 and 10-4 in league) also have an important postseason game next week.

The contest was nip-and-tuck after three innings as the Indians led 2-1, but a run in the sixth inning and four runs in the seventh would put the game out of reach.

Junior pitcher Isabella Kam was in the circle and hurled with cool confidence, allowing no hits in the second, fourth, fifth and seventh inning.

“Yes, honestly I was in the beginning because it was my first actual Burbank-Burroughs game where I’m pitching,” said Kam, who went seven innings with five hits yielded, five strikeouts and two walks of her early nerves. “It was kind of nerve-wracking for me, but I had a few girls calm me down and that was the most important thing, calming down.”

The Indians forged ahead 3-1 with a tally in the sixth inning as junior Sabrina Englebrecht’s single to center field off senior Alyssa Porras scored junior Chloe Bookmyer, who drew three walks and led off with a base on balls.

Alyssa Porras gave it everything she had in her last game against Burroughs. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Porras has been a workhorse and was on Thursday, touring seven frames, giving up eight hits, walking three and striking out two.

“Last year Allie [Benson] motivated me so much because I always wanted to be the pitcher. I always wanted to start every single game. This season, everyone was hurt. Savannah [Benson] was hurt, Alex [Davis] pitched, played center and short,” Porras said. “I have to act like I wasn’t tired even if I was just so I could finish the game.”

The next inning was the backbreaker as Burroughs trotted eight hitters to the plate that included a two-run single to right center from senior Sierra Harvey (two hits) and a two-run base hit to left field by senior Megan Williams (three singles).

In the third, the Indians marched ahead 2-0 on a two-run homer by Kam as junior Memorie Munoz came around to score after reaching on an error.

“I’m just so happy that I did really well,” said senior Mia Storer, the center fielder who had tears in her eyes. “I’m so happy. I’m a four-year player and this means so much for me and to play really good in the last Burbank-Burroughs game. This will stay with me forever.”

Storer had two sensational catches including a running grab off the bat of senior Amaya Broyls in the fifth inning for the first out and a diving stab off the bat of senior Sarah Garelick in the sixth for the first out and sophomore Erika Montoya on base after an infield single.

The Bulldogs (11-12-1 and 8-6 in league) shaved the lead to 2-1 as Montoya’s hit brought home senior Desi Gomez, who singled.

“It’s always tough to lose your final league game on your home field,” Burbank coach Mike Delaney said. “At some point we didn’t do what we were supposed do to.”

Davis singled in the first inning and left with an injured shoulder and Broyls also singled in the first inning.

Burroughs, Burbank Swimming Teams Fares Well In Pacific League Finals

By Rick Assad

 

There wasn’t a lot of drama in the Pacific League swimming finals as Crescenta Valley High, a longtime power, had its boys’ and girls’ team each place first on Thursday at the Burbank pool.

The Falcon boys’ squad collected 685.5 points and the girls’ crew finished with 502 points.

Arcadia, another perennially strong school, had a strong showing as the boys’ and girls’ team each took second with the boys’ getting 614 points and the girls’ picking up 469.5.

Burroughs and Burbank also fared well in the meet as the Indian boys’ team placed fifth with 254 points and the girls’ squad grabbed third with 272 points.

The Pacific League swimming finals saw strong outings by Burroughs and Burbank. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“I thought the teams did really well. A lot of PRs (personal bests). Three school records broken. Overall I’m proud of them,” Burroughs swim coach Jacob Cook said.

The Bulldog boys garnered third place with 309 points and the girls nabbed fourth with 173.5 points.

Burroughs junior Maya Wilson took first place in the 100 yard butterfly in a time of 59.68 and was second in the 500 yard freestyle (4:59.37).

Wilson is also part of the 200 medley relay team that was second (1:56.95) and included freshman Lilliana Noriega, freshman Elana Merrit and junior Emanuella Nathan.

Wilson is on the 400 freestyle relay squad that included sophomore Madeline Spangler, junior Isabel Oporta and freshman Kelly Long that finished third (3:59.67).

“It was a great practice day because some of my races were what I wanted them to be and others were not. This is just leading up to CIF which is where I’m going to be the most rested,” Wilson said of her day’s work. “It was a good, but not a great day.”

The Burroughs boys’ team placed fifth overall in the Pacific League finals. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Wilson said she was tired coming into the meet. “I felt terrible,” she noted. “I would say mostly physically and obviously that would play a role in my mentality. When I’m going through my resting periods leading up to big meets like CIF, my body fluctuates a lot and some days I’ll be extremely sore and some days I’ll not be sore at all.”

The Burbank foursome of senior Michelle Morlock, junior Simone Bethel, senior Emily Udall and junior Geneva Bethel were fourth (2:04.32) in the 200 medley relay.

Udall placed sixth (1:05.79) in the 100 butterfly and grabbed third in the 500 freestyle (5:39.61).

In the 100 butterfly, Burroughs senior Samantha Leandro was 13th (1:24.12) and Burbank senior Sharlene Nazari picked up 16th (1:31.32).

Spangler was fourth (58.12) in the 100 freestyle and Morlock captured sixth (59.11) in the same race.

Nathan placed 12th (1:02.06) and Burroughs sophomore Sophia Liwag was 15th (1:02.95).

Spangler was second (2:09.00) in the 200 yard freestyle and Burbank junior Geneva Bethel was fifth (2:14.97).

They’re off to a flying start in a Pacific League finals race. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burroughs sophomore Isabella Mucha took eighth (2:15.42) and Burroughs junior Isabel Oporta was 10th (2:17.02).

In the 200 individual medley, Burroughs sophomore Angelina Lee was 10th (2:39.80) and Long took 11th (2:39.97). Long also placed 12th (6:21.81) in the 500 freestyle.

In the 200 IM, Burbank’s Ilona Oganesian was 15th (2:57.94) and Burbank senior Melody Moradi was 16th (2:59.87).

In the 500 freestyle, Burbank’s Hannah Nersissian was 14th (7:04.15). Noriega was fifth (26.48) in the 50 freestyle, Morlock placed seventh (26.62), Nathan grabbed 10th (26.28) and junior Simone Bethel was 16th (29.18).

In the 100 breaststroke, Merrit was seventh (1:17.32) and Simone Bethel took 10th (1.20.30) in the same race while Liwag finished 15th (1:24.84).

The team of Spangler, Mucha, Nathan and Noriega were third (1:49.61) in the 200 freestyle relay and Burbank’s sophomore Piper Mills, Moradi, Oganesian and Nazari took seventh (2:07.27).

The Burbank squad of Geneva Bethel, Simone Bethel, Udall and Morlock garnered fourth (4:07.75) in the 400 freestyle relay.

Burbank junior Ryan Feldman was fourth in the 200 freestyle (1:50.65) and Burbank senior Dorian Andrei placed 11th (1:58.71).

Burbank junior David Lee was fifth (50.45) in the 100 freestyle, Burbank sophomore Michael Jones placed 12th (53.07) and Burbank senior Charlie Thorpe was 16th (54.98).

Lee grabbed fourth (22.98) in the 50 freestyle, Burroughs senior Drew Baelly was eighth (23.58), Jones placed ninth (23.10) and Burroughs senior Isaack Dowling nabbed 16th (24.37).

Burbank sophomore Arsen Rostomyan was fifth (59.97) in the 100 backstroke, Burroughs junior Jehu Morning was ninth (59.86), Dowling was 11th (1:03.53) and Burroughs freshman Kristian Solano took 16th (1:10.30).

Burroughs senior Reigh Abaoag was sixth (54.12) in the 100 butterfly, Burbank sophomore Arsen Rostomyan took seventh (54.20), Burbank senior Gevorg Vardanyan was ninth (54.29), Gavurmadzhyan was 10th (54.91), Burbank senior Dorian Andrei placed 15th (58.59) and Burroughs senior Arshak Berberyan took 16th (59.67).

Abaoag placed fifth in the 100 breaststroke (1.02.88), Feldman finished sixth (1:03.00) and Burbank freshman Edward Mezhlumyan took 14th (1:12.85).

Burbank senior Gevorg Vardanyan was ninth in the 200 IM (2:09.34), Burbank senior Ashot Gavurmadzhyan took 10th (2:11.52), Burbank senior Gavin Jay grabbed 12th (2:25.31) and Burroughs senior Ryan Jaramillo finished 14th (2:33.74).

Burbank junior Henry Margaryan was 11th (6:07.72) in the 500 freestyle, Burbank sophomore Daniel semizyan took 12th (6:10.16), Burbank freshman Edward Mezhlumyan was 14th (6:23.78) and Burroughs junior Matthew Mucha was 15th (6:44.84).

The team of Feldman, Lee, Gavurmadzhyan and Rostomyan were third (3:21.78) in the 400 freestyle relay while senior Nathan Gault-Crabb, Dowling, Berberyan and Baelly took sixth (3:35.87).

Rostomyan, Feldman, Gavurmadzhyan and Lee were third (1:41.80) in the 200 medley relay and Morning, Abaoag, Gault-Crabb and Baelly finished fourth (1:43.14).

Andrei, Jones, Thorpe and Vardanyan placed fourth (1:33.71) in the 200 freestyle relay and Abaoag, Dowling, Gault-Crabb and Baelly were fifth (1:33.86).

Burbank Baseball Wins Thriller, 3-2, Over Visiting Burroughs

By Rick Assad

 

There’s something magical it seems when the Burbank High baseball team plays in a Pacific League game and it’s a one-run differential.

On Tuesday night, the team participated in its eighth such contest and came away with its seventh victory after defeating visiting Burroughs 3-2 in eight innings before a capacity crowd.

Runs and hits were somewhat hard to come by, but errors seemingly weren’t as each team had four.

The eighth inning began with sophomore Ryan King drawing a walk off senior Julian Jaramillo, who took the loss after working one and one-third innings while walking three.

Burbank pitcher Andrew De La Torre went eight innings and allowed four hits and two runs. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

King stole second base and senior Davis Mieliwocki, who belted a towering home run to right field in the fourth that tied it at 2-2 and singled in the first, was intentionally walked.

“We definitely settled down and Andrew [De La Torre] pitched a really good game so we had to pick him up with the at-bats,” said Mieliwocki of Burroughs’ two-run first.

Mieliwocki then spoke about his long homer.

“I knew he was going to give me a pitch to hit,” he said. “I just remember getting a pitch I could handle and doing damage with it.”

Both runners then moved up a base when senior Daniel Ruiz laid down a well-placed sacrifice bunt.

Junior Troy Lee stepped into the batter’s box and hit a ball back to the pitcher, who didn’t handle it cleanly as King raced home with the winning run.

Bob Hart, the Burbank coach, thought that Burroughs would walk the bases loaded and one out to force a play at home plate or a double play that would end the inning.

“I kind of thought they would do that,” he said of the strategy. “They were all pumped up. It’s a big Burbank-Burroughs game,” he said of the longtime rivalry that can be tough on your nerves. “You try to not panic. You take a business-like approach.”

The Indians (10-14 and 7-6 in league), who will host the Bulldogs (9-12-1 and 9-4 in league) on Friday night at 6 p.m., bolted ahead 2-0 in the first inning with the assistance of two Burbank miscues.

Julian Jaramillo was tagged with the loss. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Junior Brian Garcia lined to center field and senior Michael Le struck out looking by De La Torre, a senior who went eight innings.

“I don’t really focus on throwing hard as long as I’ve got defense,” said De La Torre, who yielded four hits with four strikeouts and four walks. “Yes, I was tired. I always want a chance to get my team through.”

Senior Collin Johnson walked and Jaramillo drilled a double down the left-field line.

Senior Nicco Chuidian was safe at first base when two errors were committed on one play as both runners crossed the plate.

“We took the lead because they threw the ball around,” Burroughs coach Craig Sherwood said. “We average about two runs a game and our pitching is just over-taxed when they have to be perfect on the mound all the time.”

Sherwood, whose team is hitting a collective .230 with a team pitching staff earned-run average of 2.50, then added: “You’ve gotta play defense and you’ve gotta score runs. There’s three things in this game. Pitching. Hitting and defense.”

Burbank shortstop Ryan King making the throw to first base. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Sherwood said he should have pulled senior Xavier Dubon after three innings.

“That’s on me,” he pointed out. “They had a left-hander leading off and he struggles with left-handers. Our kids play hard. Our kids play well. I’m proud of our kids. I’m proud of all our guys.”

The Bulldogs came up with one run in the first inning with one out as  King was safe at first base on an error.

Mieliwocki’s single to center field off Dubon, who toiled four innings, striking out one with four hits surrendered, moved King to third base and cut the lead to 2-1 when Ruiz was safe on a force out.

After fanning senior Preston Lemus swinging and getting junior Hyatt Entz to ground to third base, De La Torre walked junior Albert Prado, but induced Garcia to bounce to third base.

Dubon worked a perfect second inning as junior Dominik Severo grounded to third base. Junior Jakob Duarte grounded to second baseman Lemus, who made a spectacular play, and senior Cody Winters grounded to first base.

De La Torre faced five batters in the third as Le walked to begin the frame. De La Torre whiffed Johnson swinging and Jaramillo popped up to the pitcher.

Both Burroughs and Burbank were a bit sloppy defensively as each committed four errors. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Chuidian was safe on an error as Le moved to second, but the inning ended when senior Andres Salazar popped up to shortstop.

Junior Aidan Gonzalez led off the third with a single to left center, but junior Oaklee Spens bounced into a double play and King hit back to De La Torre, who tagged him.

Lemus flied to center field to lead off the fourth and Entz was aboard on an miscue. De La Torre hit into a double play to end the frame.

Dubon is a submarine-style hurler and left an offering slightly up and in where Mieliwocki likes it and sent the pitch high and deep over the fence.

Dubon faced seven batters in the fourth inning as Burroughs committed two errors and beside the homer, allowed only a single to Severo.

De La Torre saw Garcia bounce back to the box and Le fly to center. Johnson walked, but Jaramillo flied to center.

Chuidian replaced Dubon and worked a 1-2-3 fifth inning as Spens flied to center, King lined to second base and Mieliwicki fanned, catcher to first base.

The Indians collected two hits in the sixth off De La Torre as Chuidian had an infield single to lead off the stanza and Lemus added a one-out base hit to left.

Salazar, the second batter in the frame, struck out swinging, while Entz was safe on a fielder’s choice as Chuidian was out at third base. Prado’s liner to second base concluded the inning.

Chuidian tossed another perfect inning in the sixth when Ruiz flied to left field, Lee fanned swinging and Severo lined to center field.

Garcia opened the seventh inning by grounding to shortstop, but Le roped a single to right center. The inning was over when Johnson bounced into a double play.

Jaramillo took the mound in the seventh inning and issued a leadoff walk to Duarte and senior Vincent Romano entered as a pinch runner.

Pinch hitter, junior Tyler La Marsna, grounded into a force out, Gonzalez grounded to second base and Spens bounced to Jaramillo.

De La Torre worked a perfect eighth frame as Jaramillo was out on a terrific stop and throw by King, the shortstop.

Chuidian, who fanned two hitters across two innings, lined to second base and Salazar popped to second.