By Dick Dornan
BurbankNBeyond Sports Editor
Tyler Brooks capped off her stellar career by being named the co-Most Valuable Player of the Pacific League. The 17-year-old setter led Burbank to its first league championship in 37 years.
“To be named league MVP was probably the greatest honor I could ever think of,” Brooks said. “Making the varsity as a sophomore was so amazing to me and last year I got second team which was huge for me. To be named MVP by other coaches is so wonderful. I can’t even describe how amazing that feels. It’s the best thing that has ever happened.”
Brooks made her three-year journey at Burbank a special one. As a junior, the Bulldogs advanced to the second round in the CIF playoffs for the first time in 36 years. The goal for 2012 was a simple one: win league for the first time since 1975. Burbank finished 15-2 overall and 13-1 in league and co-champs with Arcadia. Mission accomplished.
“I wanted to be a part of the team to break 37 and we did it. It was my greatest season ever,” said Brooks, who led BHS with 359 assists this year. “We’ve always been a third place team. But we came out so strong this year and we all wanted it. We worked so hard all season and it just shows how good we were as a team and how well we played together. I thought it was a testament to our skill and effort. We all just loved each other enough to want to win.”
During her two years as a starter for Burbank, Brooks led the Bulldogs to a 26-7 mark and 23-5 in the Pacific League. She credits Coach Sarah Brown for developing her into the player she became.
“Coach Brown taught me so much. She saw in me what I never was able to see and that I had potential,” Brooks said. “She coached me really hard for three years and it’s paid off. She made us as good as we were. She pushed us to be great.”
Brooks made a significant impact on the court all season. She had 151 digs, 52 aces, 22 kills and a hitting percentage of .315.
“Tyler was a great leader on the court for us this year,” Brown said. “Her experience and competitiveness really helped the team in crucial situations. I think she finally realized her potential as a setter, and excelled because of it.”
Upon graduating from Burbank, Brooks will attend Missouri State in Springfield, Missouri, in the fall where her father went to school. She will be a member of the school’s color guard and hopes to walk-on the volleyball team.
“I really wanted to go to a place where I could do that. I honestly love it there. I couldn’t have asked to find a better place,” explained Brooks, who is the color guard captain for BHS. “Color guard is graceful and I love to perform. It’s a family thing and I want to keep the legacy going.”
After three memorable years on the Burbank girls’ volleyball team, Brooks looks to march to a new tune in college.
PACIFIC ALL-LEAGUE SELECTIONS
First Team –
Burbank: Tyler Brooks, Stephanie Eskander, Katie Hooper, Sharon Youn
Burroughs: Caitlin Cottrell, Katie Rutecki
Second Team –
Burbank: Jamie Gonzalez
Burroughs: Dani Gonzalez
Honorable Mention –
Burbank: Stefanie Lin
Burroughs: Laura Howard