Tag Archives: Tobey Ho

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 Baseball Teams Ready To Roar

By Rick Assad

 

Though the Pacific League hasn’t yet begun, it’s highly likely the Burroughs High and Burbank baseball teams will probably qualify for the CIF Southern Section playoffs.

The Indians and Bulldogs have deep and capable pitching staffs, which is a key factor in having a winning season.

One of Burroughs’ strengths will be its pitching staff, which boasts a dozen hurlers. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burroughs, which is looking to make the playoffs for a fifth straight year, has a dozen pitchers on the staff and all are capable of performing at a high level.

“This is one of our team strengths this year with 12 players able to toss the ball,” longtime Burroughs coach Craig Sherwood said. “While no one pitcher is dominant, there is a staff of very capable pitchers as well as situational pitchers that will be called upon constantly to get outs in big situations.”

If there is an ace it would be senior and three-year starter Nicco Chuidian, while last year’s Pacific League Pitcher of the Year, Xavier Dubon, is a submarine specialist and very effective.

If the Indians are in front and it’s late in the game, the closer and set-up men will be seniors Andres Salazar and Julian Jaramillo.

Burbank works on its defensive prowess. Defense and pitching will be two keys to success. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The long relievers will be senior submariner Michael Le and juniors Tobey Ho, Johnny Angel, Colgan Martin and Matthew Ziegler.

The rest of the Indians’ staff includes seniors Josh Hooker, Brandon Aguilar and Nathaniel Metz.

The Indians participated in three preseason tourneys and they include the prestigious Easton Tournament, which is loaded with talented teams, the Lancaster Rotary West Tournament hosted by Quartz Hill High and the Coach Bob Tournament in Arizona.

The Indians are 2-6, with a 6-5 decision over Lancaster in the Lancaster Rotary West tourney and an 8-1 triumph over Highland in the Quartz Hill tourney.

It’s a close one at first base when the Indians played a recent game against St. Francis. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burroughs will open the league portion with a game at Hoover on March 8.

Behind the plate will be sophomore James Turner and will be supported by junior Albert Prado.

Senior Collin Johnson will play first base, bat in the No. 3 hole and also packs a potent stick.

Johnson, who swings lefthanded, is a power hitter who hits for a high average and will be backed up by senior Chris Magoon.

Second base will be a strong battle between junior Devon Esquivel and senior Preston Lemus, a transfer from Arizona.

Burbank Coach Bob Hart hopes to see a lot of runs and hits during the season. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

When Jaramillo isn’t on the mound, he will toil at third base and will be backed up by junior Hyatt Entz, who played on the boys’ soccer team.

Brian Garcia, a junior all-league pick, will hold down shortstop and bat leadoff for the Indians.

Junior Jorge Gutierrez, who is capable of playing second base and third base, will also see action at shortstop.

Chuidian will play center field when not on the hill and backed up by Salazar and Le.

The rest of the outfield consists of seniors Dylan Rolando and Rio Lopez, and juniors Kevin Gutierrez and Ho.

The utility infielders are seniors Daniel Roman and Hoover transfer Christian Morales, while junior Angel can play in the infield and outfield.

If pitching is crucial to winning, then the Indians are definitely ready. (Photo by Ross A Benson)

The Bulldogs failed to make the playoffs last season, but did advance to the quarterfinals in 2017.

“We have that challenge now,” Burbank coach Bob Hart said of getting back to the postseason. “But they’re going to have to find and accept their roles.”

Hart said despite an 0-3-1 record including a 5-0 loss to powerful Harvard-Westlake in the Easton Tournament, he’s optimistic.

“That was a very respectable game to a very good team,” Hart said of the Wolverines. “I think we’re going to be okay.”

Like its crosstown rival, Burbank, which also had a 3-3 tie against Chatsworth, commence the league season at Muir on March 5, will depend on pitching and will be paced by senior Davis Mieliwocki, who throws 85 to 87 miles per hour.

The Bulldogs can lean heavily on skill, experience and a solid pitching staff. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

When not on the rubber, Mieliwocki, an all-league, second-team selection, is a steady and heady presence at third base.

Senior Joey Clark is also a key starter, while senior Andrew De La Torre, junior Jakob Duarte and sophomore Ryan King, who is the starting shortstop, will all need to be productive on the hill.

The rest of the pitching staff includes juniors Josh Balos, Willem Clendenin, while Troy Lee and King and Clark will be the primary closers.

The catching duties will primarily fall upon juniors Dominik Severo and Alberto Ayala.

Duarte, Lee and Clark will play first base, senior Kenny Won and junior Tyler LaMarsna will see action at second base and senior Daniel Ruiz will back up Mieliwocki at third base and senior Gevork Leklyan will also see time at third base.

Junior Oaklee Spens will patrol center field, De La Torre will play left field and junior Aidan Gonzalez will see time in left field.

The remainder of the outfield consists of seniors Cody Winters and Vincent Romano and juniors Justin Robinson and Adam Loera.

Burroughs Boys Water Polo Stymied 20-9 Versus Host Hoover

By Rick Assad

 

Hoover High’s boys’ water polo team is deep, talented and experienced and these factors presented major problems for visiting Burroughs on Tuesday afternoon in a Pacific League match.

The Tornadoes started off strong and continued in this direction until the fourth quarter when they let up on the gas pedal, but still routed the Indians 20-9 behind a match-high seven goals from senior David Ashkharian and four tallies from junior Jordan Corpuz.

Burroughs played host Hoover in a Pacific League match and lost 20-9. (Photo by Francesca LaFratta)

The Indians did have some highlights including a close-range, back-handed goal by junior Vahagn Sahakyan with 2:09 left in the opening quarter that trimmed Hoover’s lead to 5-1.

When freshman Xavier Turla’s blast from eight feet dented the back of the net with 49.6 seconds left in the initial period, Hoover’s advantage was reduced to 7-2.

Sahakyan’s eight-footer with 1:51 on the clock in the second period allowed the Indians (9-10 and 1-3 in league) to crawl within 16-3 and a five-foot bullet with 24.3 seconds on the ticker from senior Chase Legoretta made it 17-4 at halftime.

“It’s just enduring. You’ve gotta play four quarters and correct their mistakes. They fought their hardest and didn’t give up,” Burroughs coach Jacob Cook said. “Part of it’s inexperience, but there are some mistakes that can be corrected.”

Senior Nathan Gault-Crabb’s point-blank goal with 6:47 on the clock in the third period shaved the edge to 17-5 and a tally by junior Tobey Ho with one second left in the third frame made it 20-6.

Legoretta had a goal from eight feet with 5:07 left in the fourth that enabled the Indians to come within 20-7 and Legoretta added a five-footer with 4:34 on the clock as the Indians drew within 20-8.

When Sahakyan scored from six feet and 1:14 left in the match, Burroughs cut the lead to 20-9.

Ashkharian’s four first-quarter goals and a pair from Corpuz helped Hoover build an 8-2 lead after the first period.

An even bigger nine-goal effort in the second period followed as six players scored for Hoover (15-7 and 6-0 in league) with Ashkarian, senior Hakop Ansuryan and junior Hayk Nazaryan each tallying two.

Hoover coach Kevin Witt called off the dogs in the second half as Ashkharian, Corpuz and senior Armando Honarchian each scored one goal in the third period.

The Tornadoes failed to score in the fourth quarter with many of the starters out of the contest.

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.