By Rick Assad
In just its second season, the Burbank High wrestling team has established itself as formidable and is looking to build upon that foundation and have an even better campaign than it did a year ago.
Stacked with skilled wrestlers on the boys’ squad and the girls’ crew, each should make an impact during the season and in the Rio Hondo League which includes La Canada, Hoover, San Marino, Monrovia and Village Christian.
There are thirty-two members on the boys’ team, and includes five seniors, 126-pound Mark Petrossyan, 150-pound Vahagn Ghazaryan, 175-pound Dylan Vo, 190-pound Artur Bekov and 215-pound Vladislav Pak.
Six juniors dot the team, and they are 106-pound Daniel Hambardzumyan, 120-pound Nathan Hinojosa, 132-pound George Sahakyan, 144-pound Richard Kalajyan, 144-pound Dvin Shamirian and 175-pound Harut Perloshyan.
A dozen members are sophomores, and they include 126-pound Tyler Huo, 132-pound Jayden De La Rosa, 144-pound Arnold Tarverdyan, 160-pound Logan Pinheiro, 150-pound Brandon Menendez, 150-pound Liam Collazos, 150-pound Cesar McGinnis, 157-pound Gabriel Varliyan, 157-pound Avo Taschian, 157-pound Melvin Panossian, 190-pound Albert Airapetian and 285-pound Edgar Tovmasyan.
“Jayden and Richard were Rio Hondo League champions,” Burbank coach Jonathon O’Brien said of his two captains. “Vahagn placed sixth at the CIF Southern Section and was the only boy from Burbank to place in the CIF. Tyler was the lone freshman to clock a win at CIF and Nathan made it to day two of the tournament.”
Based on last season, O’Brien has even bigger fish to fry.
“They excelled because they have a knack for adaptability in complex and fast-moving matches with elite talent,” he offered of his squad. “This year they have their aim set on taking the next step in qualifying for CIF Masters, and hopefully the California State which will be held in Bakersfield.”
There are nine freshmen, and they are 113-pound Samvel Martutyan, 120-pound Matthew Martinez, 126-pound Max Plockier, 138-pound Sevak Araklyen, 138-pound Edwin Nazarian, 138-pound Alen Vahanyan, 165-pound David Antansyen, 175-pound Davit Arzumyan and 215-pound Andre Takhmasian.
The girls’ team includes 140-pound senior captain, Kendall Chapman, 190-pound senior Erin Sarkasian, 130-pound senior Leilah Hernandez, 170-pound junior Isabelle Ruiz, 155-pound junior Heidi Palacios, 110-pound freshman Austin Desai and 190-pound Gina Horvath.
O’Brien spoke about a few wrestlers and what they did away from school.
“Notable off-season accomplishments were made by Kendall and Jayden as both qualified for the high regarded Fargo National Freestyle Tournament, placing in the top three in the California Freestyle State last spring,” he said.
One thing that O’Brien wants to see is that each wrestler gets better, and not just as wrestlers.
“I want to see continued growth, both athletically and personally, by incorporating the value traits they’re learning through the sport of wrestling,” he said.
It’s clear that they’re doing that and a lot more.