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Burroughs Football Looks to Continued Success Under Reily

Replacing 37 graduated seniors from a Pacific League championship team with a 10-2 record is something the Burroughs High football will not have an easy time duplicating.

That has left the Indians relatively young and inexperienced heading into the 2016 season, the first season for Mike Reily as the head coach.

Reily is no stranger to Burroughs. He graduated from the school in 1994. He earned a scholarship to play at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas before returning to his alma mater and has spent the past 14 seasons as an assistant to longtime head coach Keith Knoop. Knoop is now one of Reily’s assistants.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

One of the brightest notes for Burroughs is that for the first time in more than a quarter of a century, the Indians enter the season with two players already committed to major college football programs.

Running back Chance Bell (5-foot-9, 180 pounds) is committed to San Diego State and offensive lineman Jesse Chamberlain (6-3, 280) has pledged his allegiance to Fresno State.

“It’s comforting to have guys like that in your program,” said Reily. “They are two of the five captains. We’re expecting a great season out of them, but this is a team sport and you need nine other guys.”

Bell, who was the Pacific League Player of the Year last year, is clearly the go-to player on offense.

Seniors Hayden Zepeda (6-1, 185) and Gabriel Pellott (5-7, 130) are competing for the chance to hand the ball off to Bell.

Bell is backed up by junior Benjamin Peters (5-7, 160), senior Nico Frugone (5-10, 180) and senior Oscar Perez (5-7, 150).

Burroughs’ group of receivers features two seniors in Taiyo Gibbs (6-0, 185) and Sammy Duran (5-9, 160) and two juniors in Cerain Baker (6-2, 185) and Gavin Aguilar (6-3, 185).

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

The offensive line is led by Chamberlain, an All-CIF pick last season and center Tommy Howe (6-0, 230), a returning all-league player. Juniors Erwin Hernandez (5-7, 250), Jacob Real (5-11, 245) and Adam Sporkin (6-2, 235) make up the rest of the offensive line.

“Those 37 seniors had played football together for a long time,” Reily said. “We have a young team with some key seniors. We have some kids playing varsity football for the first time. We’re trying to get up to speed and be competitive.”

On defense, Burroughs faces even more questions as Reily said few have secured starting spots.

On the defensive line, junior Daniel Duran (5-8, 180) and senior Jake Redcloud (5-11, 190) figure to see time along with Chamberlain and Howe.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

In the linebacker positions, Frugone, Gibbs, senior Diego Tovar (6-0, 175), and junior Kevin Hebri (5-10, 200) appear to have the inside track at getting significant playing time.

In the secondary, senior Jerel Turla (5-6, 150) , junior Evan Osegueda (5-8, 160), junior Nick Manna (6-0, 180), Peters and Baker are fighting for playing time.

 

Burroughs Football Hooks Up With Elite

When nothing is at stake it certainly doesn’t hurt to aim for the top.

That’s exactly what Burroughs High coach Mike Reily and his team had in mind Wednesday evening when the Indians hosted three others schools in a round robin passing league at Memorial Field. Score was not kept for any of the games.

Chaminade, which has been placed in Division I in the new CIF Southern Section playoff structure, was the headline team at the event. Also coming to Burroughs was Sierra Canyon, which will play in Division 4 next season and former Foothill League rival Saugus, which will play in Division 5.

Burroughs is slated to compete in Division 8.

“We like bringing in great teams so we use that as a gauge or measuring stick of where we might be going into our season,” Reily said. “Having high caliber teams does us good.”

Burroughs has three vying for the starting quarterback job in Hayden Zepeda, Gabriel Pellot and David Lennstrom.

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Zepeda played quarterback for league rival Pasadena last season .

“He was in their rotation,” Reily said. “He suffered some injuries last year, which kept him out of some games.”

With teams having the option of when to take their dead period, Burroughs got a late start.

“We took our three-week dead period at the beginning of the summer,” Reily said. “We’re going to take another little break. Next week is our last week of summer ball.”

The Indians were hit hard by losses to graduation, but have their main offensive weapon back in running back Chance Bell, who was the Pacific League Player of the Year last season. Bell has already received a number of college scholarship offers with the most recent coming from the Air Force Academy.

“He’s not only a great athlete, he’s a great leader,” Reily said of Bell. “He leads by example – not only on the field, but also in the weight room.”

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Burroughs is hoping Bell will have lots of room to run behind 6-foot-4, 285-pound lineman Jesse Chamberlain, a first-team all-league pick last season.

Tommy Howe (5-11, 230) is also a third-year varsity player who will probably be the starting center.

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Burroughs will play a scrimmage against former Foothill League rival Hart, before opening the season on the road against Cathedral. Hart and Cathedral are both Division 3 playoff teams.

The Indians’ two others nonleague opponents are Royal of Simi Valley and Diamond Ranch of Diamond Bar. Both of those teams are in Division 7.