Tag Archives: Sports

Youth Mentoring Presents: Miles of Music 5K

The Mission of Youth Mentoring is to awaken at-risk youth to their power, unique gifts and purpose by matching them with caring, adult mentors and placing that match within a structured group dynamic that provides the resources youth need to reach productive, conscious adulthood.

Our vision is of a community in which young people are truly seen and not just watched, where society understands and accepts its responsibility in meeting the needs of all young people, and where young people bring their gifts back into their communities as productive members of society.


Buy your raffle tickets online or at the event! The more raffle tickets you buy, the higher chances you have of winning! No matter what, you won because you are helping such an awesome organization!

Stay tuned for this year’s raffle prizes! Last year we raffled off the below:

  • Samsung Full HD TV 32″
  • Star Wars R2-D5 App-enabled Droid
  • GoPro Camera
  • Drone – Kaptur GPS with VR Headset
  • HBO Basket-Blu-Ray discs, clothing, toys, and more from the Sopranos, Westworld, and more!
  • Beats Headphones by Dr. Dre
  • Jumanji Basket – Games, toys, clothing from the hit movie, “Jumanji”

Arena Polo Returns to the LA Equestrian Center’s Equidome

On April 20 and 21, arena polo will return to the Equidome at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center for the first time since 1989, presented by the Will Rogers Polo Club.

(Photo by © Ross A Benson)

Attendees are encouraged to wear their best to the free admission event which will feature a cash bar, live music, and some of LA’s most popular food trucks.

“The Los Angeles Equidome Invitational” will feature the Sherman Memorial 3–6 Goal and the Arena Amateur Cup 0–3 Goal. Eight Southern California polo teams will go up against each other to win coveted USPA championship titles for the first of many tournaments to come.

From 1983 to 1989, the Los Angeles Equestrian Center was home to professional arena polo and featured the LA Stars and LA Colts, along with top ten goal players such as Captain Tom Goodspeed, “Smokin” Joe Henderson, and the “Hawaiian Hurricane” Ronnie Tong.

(Photo by © Ross A Benson)

During arena polo’s peak popularity in the 80s, Equidome events would attract celebrities, polo enthusiasts, and equestrians from all over the country.

Preliminary rounds for the Los Angeles Equidome Invitational will take place on Friday, April 20 at 6:00 p.m. and final rounds will kick off on Saturday, April 21 at 10:00 a.m. at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center, located on 480 W. Riverside Dr.

Doors open at 6:00 p.m. and tournaments start at 7:00 p.m.

For additional information, contact the LA Equidome at 818-840-9063 or visit their website at LA-EquestrianCenter.com

(Photo by © Ross A Benson)

Timmy Nolan’s Gives Irish Pub a Whole New Meaning

Photo by Madison Jones

Photo by Madison Jones

Sunday Funday is really underrated. It’s the day before a busy week and everybody is starting to feel the Sunday night blues. It is the perfect time to go out before the week ahead. Timmy Nolan’s in the Burbank/Toluca Lake area is a popular choice for a night out and it’s not hard to understand why.

Timmy Nolan’s is a spunky little Irish pub situated on Riverside Drive. It boasts great drinks, traditional food and Irish hospitality. Timmy Nolan’s seems to attract all sorts of people, from loyal regulars to younger sports fans.

On Sunday night, the bar was filled with the latter. While I know nothing about baseball, I am told that the Cardinals v. Red Sox world series game was what was attracting all the attention. Who won? I still don’t know.

Timmy Nolan’s used to attract more of an older crowd; the usual Toluca Lake residents who have had their regular seat at the bar for years. Lately, though, I have noticed that the crowd has gotten a lot bigger, with a variety of different people all enjoying themselves.

I sat upstairs with a friend for the first time. I usually sit at a small table downstairs by the bar, but this new spot was a nice change.

The crowd upstairs was reacting to the game, with loud cheers and boos whenever something happened. This completely transformed Timmy Nolan’s from a little Irish pub to a lively sports bar. The atmosphere was really energetic, but at the same time, it felt comfortable. No one was belligerent, and yet there was still an exciting and young scene.

Photo by Madison Jones

Photo by Madison Jones

The food at Timmy Nolan’s always exceeds expectations and can never be considered “bar food.” On Sunday, I tried the spicy turkey burger for the first time and was pleasantly surprised. As for drinks, I order the house cabernet sauvignon every time I go. However, Timmy Nolan’s has a huge selection of whiskeys and beers that are more suited to the pub experience.

Timmy Nolan’s is a nightlife gem because of its balance. It’s never empty and there is always something going on, and yet it is never too crazy to warrant an early night.

UPON FURTHER REVIEW – When Real Life is More Then Sports

I start this column with an apology, as I have been MIA most of June. I assure you my reasons are good.

Although school is out for the summer as a former coach I know how important the months of June and July are to our city’s local high schools. I would never disappear without just cause.

First the good news; On June 7 just a half-hour before midnight, my wife and I welcomed our second child into the world. Baby is doing well.

His mom has had a rough month, please allow me to bring you up to speed on our last two-and-a-half weeks.

Our son came quickly and abruptly into the world and weighed over nine pounds at birth. My wife bled a lot in the hours immediately after he was born. However, by 4:00 a.m. the next morning the doctors at Kaiser thought things were under control.

We went home and started to get use to the idea of being a family of four (my wife and I also have an amazing two year old). Unfortunately, there have been complications and a lot of stress.

My wife started bleeding again about a week after delivering our son, so much so that we had to make not one but two trips to the emergency room at odd hours of the night on consecutive days last week. When she was still bleeding this week her doctors recommended a surgical procedure. One they called “minor” and “low risk.”

Earlier today, I watched as my wife had a blood transfusion because she was so anemic she was at risk for all sorts of health issues. As I write this just before midnight on June 22, my wife is in surgery having yet another procedure. Words cannot convey how scary this ordeal has been. It puts all sorts of things into perspective. I just want to hear that my wife is now en route to recovery.

Enter the doctor on cue to tell me that the surgery went well and that they are optimistic they have solved what was causing the bleeding. It is good news, the best we’ve heard in some time, but not the guarantee I was looking for.

I am told we will know more in 24 hours and then even more in a week or so. I am also told she is in recovery and having another transfusion. I knew this was possible, perhaps likely, but I am still taken back at what a curveball life has thrown us the last 24 hours and over the last few weeks.

On Father’s Day my wife was in-between medical emergencies and we had a nice day. One of my friends had come by for a visit and a courtesy to me he said my son “looked like a ball player.”

My wife flashed her amazing smile and replied, “I think he looks like a dancer.”

I quickly clarified her vision for our son by saying, “I agree, he will be a dancer – he will be a champion on Dancing with the Stars after a long and distinguished NFL career.”

What I have been reminded of in recent days is how grateful I should be that my son and my daughter are healthy. I want them both to be whatever and whoever they want to be.

It is in sports and the arts that so many young people find who they are and what they want to be. Youth athletics and activities in the city of Burbank this month were testament to that.

The first Saturday in June I watched my daughter make her dance debut in the park and recreation’s annual “Spring Fling.” Last weekend I got e-mail reminders about a historic weekend for Burbank’s Little League baseball teams and the city’s “Roller Kings” as well.

For years I have looked down on the city’s lack of competitive youth leagues but this “ahh-ha” moment with my wife’s complications following the birth of our son has put things into perspective for me. Life is competitive enough let our kids be kids.

Those who still know me best as “Coach Crowther” are sure to think I’ve gone soft. To be clear, there is nothing wrong with competition (if the participants who want to get after it and compete). I still believe there is not only a place but a need for more competitive youth leagues in our city. I just think they should be additions, not replacements for what the city of Burbank already offers our kids.

It is a fine line between living for your kids and living through them. I cannot tell you how many times during my coaching days I saw both student-athletes playing ball merely to please their parents and parents who had those unrealistic parent goggles on when it came to their son’s potential as a player.

Too often we watch our kids chase championships in sports in life-or-death fashion because of the competitions off the field that we aren’t winning – the competitions to have the biggest house, the fastest car, or the biggest salary.

Although my kids are still young, the last couple of years have taught me how quickly time really does fly-by. It won’t be long before my kids are high school age. And although I know I want them involved in something (statistics show that teens involved in sports are nearly three times less likely to abuse alcohol or drugs or to have problems in school or with law enforcement), I know now that the sport or activity must come from their passions and interests, not my own.


Tribe Rolls

Ike Nwachie

Burroughs boys’ volleyball made short work of cross town rival,Burbank, 25-14, 25-11, 25-13, in a Pacific League match at Burroughs.

Daniel Jacobs led the Indians with nine kills. Robby Rutecki added five digs and seven aces while teammate Ike Nwachie had six kills and four blocks. BJ Lagmay had 25 assists.

The win puts Burroughs at 16-3 overall and 9-0 in league. It plays Friday, April 20 at home against Crescenta Valley at 5:30 p.m.  Burbank’s 3-11 overall in its first season at the varsity level in the sport.

 Softball Showdown Set

Rumor has it that Burbank softball coach Nicole Drabecki made a call to Burroughs High earlier this week to make sure that the Indians’ would have a batter’s box chalked out for tonight’s crucial Pacific League game at Olive Park.

The reason? Burroughs has several slap hitters and Drabecki wants to limit the possibility they will

Caitlyn Brooks

be able to get out of the box prior to contact and gain an advantage heading to first base.

Batter’s boxes aside, the April 19 contest between Burroughs (13-1 overall and 5-0 in league) and Burbank (12-1 overall and 5-0) is one of the most highly anticipated match-ups of the season. The two rivals put together remarkable nonleague seasons and they have dominated Pacific League opponents as they both wind down the first round of league play.

Clearly the only threat to either team is one another. Although Burroughs has won the league consecutive seasons, Drabecki proclaimed her Bulldogs the team to beat with the arrival of Caitlyn Brooks.

The freshman standout is 7-1 this season with a 2.94 ERA in 50 innings pitched. She is also hitting .455.

Veteran Katie Hooper is batting .472 and Laina Do is batting .485 to lead the Bulldogs’ offense.

Burroughs Shannon Trujillo continues to make her case at the league’s best offensive player. The senior catcher leads the Indians with a .486 average and four home runs.

Additionally, pitcher Haley Schulman is 9-1 with two saves and 65 strikeouts. She is also batting .474, second on the Indians only to Trujillo.

Baseball Battle Brewing

As is typically the case the eight teams in the Pacific League could really be divided into two four team leagues consisting of the “haves” and the “have-nots.”

As the midway point in the league schedule arrives April 20 with the Burroughs and Burbank baseball teams battling one another it is pretty clear that both teams will stay in the upper portion of the league the rest of the way – even if they continue to look-up at Arcadia and Crescenta Valley in the standings.

Arcadia is 14-3 overall and unbeaten in league, CV is 13-4 overall and also 5-0 in league play. Burroughs, who fell to CV only 2-1 in the league opener on March 27 and missed several chances to pull-off the upset, has won four straight and is now 7-9 overall but 4-1 in league.Burbank is 6-7 overall and 3-2 in league.

The rest of the league –Pasadena,Hoover, Muir and Glendale– have combined for only three wins.

Burroughs pummeled the back half of the league over a two week stretch since its Spring Break. They defeated Muir 14-1,Glendale5-0,Pasadena11-1 andHoover9-1.

The Indians welcomed back clean-up hitter Christian Garia into the line-up against the Tornadoes on April 16.

“We are excited about the possibility of getting Christian back in the lineup. He was a key to our offense before he got hurt,” head coach Kiel Holmes said. “A lot of guys have really stepped up to make up for his absence, Chris Peale and Ryan Gordon in particular, but you can’t help but be excited about getting a bat like Christian’s back at this point of the season.”

Garia will wear a specially crafted brace on his wrist the remainder of the season.

Against Hoover, Chris Daviesstole four bases and scored two runs. Peale was 2-for- 3 with a triple

Chris Peale

and two RBI and Dylan Goldsack was 2-for-2 with a double, two RBI and a stolen base.

In a less heralded return senior Steven Cseh pitched an inning, his first appearance in a league game in almost three years coming off a shoulder surgery.

“Location was good and velocity is slowly coming back to him,” Holmes said. ”This was a proud moment for a coach, who has watched a kid who has struggled with injuries his whole high school career, finally get in a game and see some positive momentum.”

Peale remains one to watch for on the All-League team at year’s end with a .583 average seven RBI, .885 slugging percentage in the five league contests thus far. He was 3-for-4 with three RBI in the April 13 contest against Pasadena.

Gordon was 2-for-3 with a double and RBI in that contest as well.

On the mound, Daniel Barraza continues to impress. He threw four innings against the Bulldogs allowing only three hits and one earned run with five strikeouts. He has given up just those three hits in league play and has a 2-0 record in league with 10 2/3 IP, 0.84 ERA, 17 K and six walks.

Burbank edged out Glendale, 1-0, in return to league action April 6. It was then edged out by Arcadia, 2-1, last week before taking out their offensive frustrations on Muir 12-1 on April 17.

The Bulldogs scored six runs in the first inning and never looked back. Ian McKinnon, Paul Frias, Dylan Mersola and Harrison Hernandez each had two hits.

Hernandez had four RBI – John White and Nate Zavala each had two.

SPORTS SHORTS: Dogs Win, Indians Come Up Just Short


Four runs in the first inning, the first home run of the season for the team and a second straight complete game shutout from a starting pitcher was more than enough to lead the Burbank baseball team to its second straight win — an impressive 7-0 win at home against Hart.

Andrew Hernandez overcame six walks and two hit batters thanks to five strikeouts and a second straight strong defensive effort from the Bulldogs defense. He threw 103 pitches.

Hector Rodriguez was 3-for-3 and hit the Bulldogs (2-3) first homerun of the season. He had four RBI and two singles as well. Ian McKinnon and Harrison Hernandez had two hits apiece for Burbank.


Burroughs is 0-5 to start a season for the first time in nearly a quarter-of-a-century and head coach Kiel Holmes will have to miss the next game — the first of a doubleheader at Dos Pueblos next Saturday — after being thrown out following a missed call at the plate in a 3-2 loss at home to Simi Valley on Saturday, March 3.

A favorable ricochet off the backstop appeared to aid the Indians escape a bases-loaded jam in the sixth inning of a 2-2 tie as starting pitcher Dillon Disiere appeared to tag a sliding runner well before he reached the plate.

However, the home umpire ruled that there was no tag at all and Holmes was ejected in the argument that ensued. The incident overshadowed the best Burroughs effort of the season, keyed by Disiere’s complete game where he allowed only one earned run.

Ryan Gordon and Christian Garia each had two hits for Burroughs. The duo jump started the Tribe to a 2-0 lead in the first when Chris Peale reached on a swinging-bunt single, Garia and Gordon followed with doubles — the Tribe’s first extra base hits of the season — giving Burroughs a two-run lead.

SPORTS SHORTS: Girls Basketball – All Good Things Must End

All Good Things Must End

The fairytale season that the Burbank High girls’ basketball team enjoyed came to an end on Tuesday at the hands of Summit High.

The CIF Southern Section’s Division IA top seed, Summit, advanced by way of their 72-49 win over the Bulldogs — who were the 13th seed in the Division and the only non top seed to reach the final four.

The Skyhawks — six time Sunset League champions — improved to 26-3, Burbank ends its season an impressive 19-12. The Bulldogs finished second in the Pacific League this season, won a record 19 games and advanced to the semifinals for the first time ever.

Summit features three players 6-feet or taller dominated Burbank down low. The Bulldogs tallest player is listed at 5-foot-10. Summit had scored as many as 88 points on the season and had held opponents to as few as eight, so the Bulldogs made a respectable showing, especially in spurts of the second and third quarters.

Senior Damarie Gonzalez, playing in her final game, scored 16 points to lead Burbank. Jamie Gonzalez and Aja Locke each had eight points.


Burbank High baseball committed eight errors in a 9-3 loss at Rio Mesa on Tuesday, February 28 — including four from shortstop Dylan Mersola and two from catcher Paul Frias who are the Bulldogs top two players.

The Bulldogs now have 14 errors in three games on the season, a large reason while they are 0-3.

Rio Mesa had nine hits, all singles, and four players with two hits apiece. It led 2-0 after the opening inning of play, however the score remained unchanged until the fifth when it broke open a close game with a four-run inning.

Burbank had just three hits, one from Frias, Mersola and pitcher Angel Villagran.

Burroughs Falls Flat

The Indians’ baseball team hasn’t found it any easier thus far this season. Burroughs lost at home to Lancaster, Tuesday, 5-1 and is 0-3 with highly-regarded Crespi looming in the fourth game of the Easton Southern California Showdown on Thursday.

Dillon Disiere threw two scoreless innings of relief and Chris Davies has a single, a walk and a stolen base and was one of the few mentionable offensive sparks for the Indians.

“Just an inexcusable loss for us, a really frustrating one,” Coach Kiel Holmes said. “Our effort has gone backwards since the opener and that is not acceptable. We clearly have a long way to go before we are ready for league play we’re just going to have to get back to work and figure it out.”

SPORT SHORTS: Both Local Baseball Teams Start The Season 0-2

Agoura 5, Burroughs 4:  The Indians took a 4-3 lead into the bottom of the seventh inning against the host Chargers, only to have the game tied on a past-ball then lost on a walk-off homer off the bat of Agoura’s Dylan Freyre.

Chris Davies had two hits and reached base on a walk for Burroughs, who fell to 0-2. Agoura is 1-0-1 in the Easton Southern California Showdown.

Moorpark 3, Burbank 0: Sean Berry threw 5 1/3 innings of shutout ball and struck out 13 to lead the Musketeers to a win over host Burbank on February 25. Burbank managed just two hits, one by Dylan Mersola and one by Ricky Perez in the loss.

UPON FURTHER REVIEW: Priorities and Perspective Go a Long Way

Last week, the Burroughs girls’ soccer team dropped two games to its crosstown rivals, the Burbank Bulldogs. Some wrongly blamed the losses on the school’s decision to suspend three players for the Pacific League finale on February 9 after they had directed obscenities and even made threats — including one confirmed incident where a player made threats on Facebook — towards a member of the Burbank team.

The next day, the two teams met again in a match-up to determine who would earn the fourth and final guaranteed playoff spot out of the league. Two players were reinstated but one player remained ineligible to play because she remained suspended from school. Amongst the distraction, Burroughs fell to Burbank, 2-1. Again, at least a few grumbles and rants were heard on the west side of town near the Burroughs campus.

Hours earlier, another Pacific League school was scrambling to deal with a much bigger loss; the loss of a young life. A sophomore at Crescenta Valley High School had jumped from a campus roof top to his death. He was 15. Reports had surfaced by the weekend that the student was a victim of bullying. Funeral services were held yesterday. This tragedy should put things into real perspective for all of us.

We love our sports for the way they at times mirror life, but they are not life. In acting as educational leaders and as adults who must set the example for nearly 3,000 students on the Burroughs campus, the school officials did the only sensible thing.

Having worked with the administration at Burbank High on several discipline matters this school year, I can assure you that they would have done the exact same thing had one of their students made any sort of threat towards a Burroughs student. After all, the two sites — while rivals — are also fixtures that represent the city of Burbank and the Burbank Unified School District.

As many of you know, I am a school administrator with the district. Sadly, even at the middle school level far too much of our time gets spent following parent or student reports of threats and harassment on Facebook. This is a part of our norm even after countless presentations to students and parents about the dangers out there in cyberspace. Incidents continue even though our school incorporates the “Character Counts” program as a part of our campus culture. With its 873 million users — many of which are under 18 — Facebook is the ultimate stage for peer pressure.

The elementary schools have the Peace Builders Program and the secondary schools recently formed a committee of administrators from each site determined to take action against bullying.

Jordan Middle School recently launched a campaign called STOP IT! (Stop Shoving/Teasing/Offending/Pushing/Intimidating/Teasing) aimed at stopping bullying on their campus. The campaign is led by students who are part of the STARs (Students and Teachers Against Ridicule).

Even united, the school sites and the homes face an uphill battle.

Imagine a student with 200 “friends” posting something negative about another on the site. Now imagine those 200 “friends” with “friends” of their own each commenting that they “like” what has just been posted. See how quickly a rumor, a threat or an obscene picture can spread through cyberspace?

The impact can do serious damage. That is the message parents and school officials need to continue to get out. The other reality that needs to hit home is that nothing is ever really private on the internet, which is of course public domain. Once something is posted it is out there for all to see.

Think back to your days in secondary school and then picture your class bully. What does he look like? Chances are you pictured the real-life equivalent to the character Nelson on the animated series “The Simpsons.” In your school age experience the bully was easy to spot, he was the biggest kid in the hallway trying to stuff a smaller kid into a locker.

Today, bullying comes in many forms and text messaging and social media sites are frequently used. Both are all too real and painful.

Court rulings on these issues are in their infancy, but thus far they support a school’s and district’s obligation to protect all of its students — even at the expense of the privacy of an individual. In addition, California Ed-Code has a violation on “bullying” recently expanded to include cyber bullying.

Schools can and should and must take disciplinary action for students who make threats or bully via the internet. And although disciplinary action should be taken, the other crucial piece is for the partnership between the home and school to take advantage of those teachable moments. The lesson learned last week should be that sometimes in the heat of competition in sports we forget that in the end we are all on the same team.

Rivals Meet: Burroughs Helps, While Next Look to Hinder Rival

Playoff chases have funny moments of irony at times. Bitter rivals often find themselves cheering for one another in the season’s final games with their postseason fate impacted by the effort of others.

Burroughs boys’ basketball has struggled again this season. The Indians have rarely been healthy this season and they lack the depth to absorb injuries like the ones that plagued them through the first two months of the season.

Burbank High Boys Basketball defeats Crosstown Rivals Burroughs 70 to 59 earlier this season. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

On February 7 a now healthy Burroughs team who had actually been able to start the same line-up in consecutive games put together its best effort of the season, blasting the Glendale Nitros 68-38, and slowing their march to the post season.

The win improved the Indians to just 2-11 in league and 9-17 overall but showed that they were committed to the role of spoilers. Their rivals, the Burbank Bulldogs were busy getting back to .500 overall (13-13) and moving into a fourth place tie with Glendale in the Pacific League at 5-8 in league.

“We are just focused on playing our best ball at the end and showing what we might have been able to do a little healthier and a little more fortunate at times this year,” Burroughs head coach Adam Hochberg said late Tuesday. “We have had moments where we just looked lost and our effort lapsed for stretches this year — that didn’t happen tonight. We took charge early and we never let go.”

Zeke Zuniga and Jorge Flores-Pere each scored a game-high 17 points for Burroughs. They both missed the entire preseason with injuries and are just now in the game shape it takes to play for four quarters. Burroughs shot over 50% from the floor for one of the few times this season. It led by five after one quarter of play and 37-21 at the half after two long scoring runs in the second quarter.

If Burroughs puts together a similar effort again against Burbank it could spoil the Bulldogs revived playoff hopes. Burbank loses the tie breaker to Glendale, having been swept by the Nitros this season. Glendale has to deal with its rival, Hoover, tonight. Although the Tornadoes are also a two-win team in league, one of their victories was against their crosstown rivals, Glendale, on January 20.

Burbank beat Burroughs 70-59 on January 20, although the games was extremely close early. A sweep of the Indians and a Glendale loss would give the Bulldogs the final automatic playoff berth out of the Pacific League. What could be as important, a win would move them to 14-13 overall and increase the likelihood that they could earn an at-large berth.