Competition in full force with Burroughs High football team

BURBANK — There is a lot of competition taking part within the Burroughs High football team.

As the Indians transition from spring to summer ball, opening up camp Monday at Memorial Field, there are a group of players who are battling for spots and looking to impress the Burroughs coaches in hopes of earning a starting spot for the 2014 season.

For the returning starters, they will use the summer months to hone their skills and hopefully make an impact once the season rolls around in the fall.

The Indians did lose a large amount of seniors to graduation from a team that went 6-5 — 5-2 in the Pacific League — and fell in the first round of the playoffs to La Serna, 55-7.

One of the biggest losses was on defense with the graduation of end Hawkins Mann, who signed with Vanderbilt. Last season, the senior was the league's defensive player of the year.

"We lost the most on defense for sure," Burroughs Coach Keith Knoop said. "We lost pretty much the whole D-line and both inside linebackers that we're going to have to replace. We have some guys who had spot played last year, so we will have to see what they are going to be able to do.

"We also lost our two-year quarterback and some pretty good receivers."

The good news is Burroughs returns three offensive linemen, spearheaded by Andrew Mills, an all-league first-team selection who will be a senior. Mills will be marking his third season as a starter on the Indians' front.

Behind assistant coach Mike Reily, Burroughs has had a strong tradition of developing quality offensive linemen who have opened holes recently for the likes of Zander Anding, Dominique Barnes, Thomas Kyle and Joe Wiggan, to name a few.

"I just try to use this time in the summer to hopefully get stronger and work on some of the skills I need to work on to get better," Mills said. "All this time working on football will hopefully pay off next season. This is what I do, play football. Although it's summer and some people are relaxing, I would rather be out here."

Joining Mills on the offensive line are seniors Anthony Olea and Shawn Edie.

"I think having the three of us linemen back is a big plus," Olea said. "We work well together and we are going to have the experience."

Returning to the defense to help shore things up is junior Connor Garden, a linebacker, and senior defensive back Anthony Archuleta. Up from the junior varsity team is junior linebacker Branden Garcia.

Another key returner is kicker Andrew Aguilar, who earned first-team all-league accolades last season.

"He is just a big-time kicker with a super strong leg," Knoop said. "He has a lot of big-time schools looking at him right now: Alabama, Miami, Auburn, and some other ones. He is pretty much kicking the ball out of the end zone about 95% of the time. He kicks 60-yarders in practice pretty regularly."

On offense, the Indians are trying to fill spots left by the graduation of starting quarterback Andrew Williams (second-team all-league) and Conor Joyce (first-team all-league). Last season, Williams completed 112 of 184 passes for 1,467 yards with 15 touchdowns and five interceptions and had 65 carries for 221 yards and three touchdowns. Joyce hauled in 44 catches for 713 yards (16.2 yards a catch) and 12 of the team's 14 touchdown receptions on the year.

The leading candidate to fill the quarterback job is junior Steven Hubbell.

"I just want to gain the experience during the summer playing against good teams in the passing leagues," said Hubbell, who is also an all-league basketball player. "I didn't touch the ball on varsity a lot last season, but hopefully the coaches saw what I could do and I'll get a shot at quarterback."

A player who Knoop hopes to have back is senior Aidan Anding, who was an honorable mention all-league selection last year at wide receiver. Knoop said Anding has been suffering from a back problem that has hampered the athlete.


Follow Jeff Tully on Twitter: @jefftsports.

Copyright © 2017, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World