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Burbank football looking at summer with 'sense of urgency'

Burbank football looking at summer with 'sense of urgency'
Burbank High football coach Adam Colman goes back to pass at a recent summer practice. (Tim Berger / Staff Photographer)

Things are running quite smoothly within the Burbank High football program.

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A year ago, Bulldogs coach Adam Colman was exploring his first foray into spring and summer football after taking over the team just months before. Although Colman had been an assistant coach with the program, he was determined to put his personal stamp on the squad.

With that experience and a fine effort during the 2017 season behind him, Colman is way past the point of getting his feet wet as a head coach.

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“There are always hiccups and nothing ever goes as planned or goes as perfectly as you want things to go,” Colman, a Burbank graduate, said. “But things are going well so far and although I had been around the program before, things are a little easier this season having gone through it as a head coach last season.”

The Bulldogs are looking to build on a banner year in 2017. The team advanced to the CIF Southern Section Division VII semifinals after making the Division VIII championship game in 2016, won the Pacific League title for the first time since 2009 and went 10-3, 7-0 in league.

With the graduation of a host of seniors, including a trio that earned All-CIF Southern Section honors, Colman is using the summer to get a look at players in different positions and working to get all the Bulldogs on the same page, including a group new to the varsity ranks.

Burbank began summer workouts June 4 and will be on the field through the end of the month. After a dead period, the Bulldogs will return to practice July 23 in preparation for the 2018 season.

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“For us, summer is a matter of gearing up,” said Colman, whose team took part in a spring passing tournament at Los Alamitos High in May. “Spring was about installing everything and going over the fundamentals and the basics. But summer is, ‘Alright guys, we have to know everything so when we come back in July we are ready to go.’

“When we come back we will have one week in pads, then a scrimmage and then we start our games. So that’s why there is more of a sense of urgency in summer. We really have to be on our game and make the most of every practice.”

During the summer, Burbank will take part in passing tournaments at Saugus High as well as Cal Lutheran University. In addition, there will be a lineman competition at West Covina High.

“We also look at summer as a chance for players to compete,” Colman said. “We have a good amount of young guys coming up and they have something to prove and want to be a part of this and we have guys who are coming back and, although they had a successful year, they are still hungry.

“We also have some new coaches who are coming in and they are also using summer to get better and to helping this team get better.”

Matthew Porras is using summer workouts to get back into the groove after missing the entirety of spring. Porras, a senior and last season’s co-Pacific League Player of the Year at quarterback for the Bulldogs, sat out with a sore arm following the baseball season.

“I couldn’t go to any of the football practices here because my arm was sore after baseball I couldn’t keep up all the throwing,” he said. “But I would go in for meetings so I would know the plays and I could stay up on that. But I’m back for summer and I feel better.

“We are looking good right now, but we know we can always be better. We are pretty confident, but we all know we have to work hard if we want to keep being successful.”

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Along with taking reps as a tight end for the Bulldogs this summer, senior Duncan Smith is also fielding his share of offers from Division I colleges.

“I just try and put that aside and just concentrate on what I have to do on the field,” Smith said. “I really don’t get distracted by something like that.

“One thing in summer that we are working for as a team is getting the younger guys used to the way we do things and getting them to know the plays. It’s important that we get better on our techniques and things like that. …But I think we are closer to where we want to be compared to this time last year.”

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