Both coaches are young, their boys’ teams have little varsity experience and their girls’ squads are young, too.
The Burbank High and Burroughs boys’ and girls’ swimming teams have a number of similarities this year.
Each program welcomes a new leader who is making his debut as a head coach.
Jarrod Przebieda, just 24 years old, has been given the reins of the Burbank program and Jacob Cook, two years older than his former water polo teammate at L.A. Valley College, has taken over the Burroughs squad.
“It’s great to be the head coach,” Przebieda said. “I had a lot of opportunities with swimming and polo. I’m trying to give back and trying to give these kids the same experience that I had.”
Cook has had coaching experience as an assistant coach at Burroughs for the past four years.
“Now I’m glad I get to take the reins and head the program,” he said. “I’m super excited.”
Each new coach will look to improve on last year’s finishes in the Pacific League. A year ago, the Burbank boys’ team finished third in league and its girls’ squad finished in fifth. The Burroughs boys’ team took fifth in league and the girls’ squad finished in third.
“I feel great about our team,” said Przebieda, who graduated from Burroughs in 2007. “There’s been so much improvement.”
He mentioned seniors Derek Baer and Riley Kolus on the boys’ team and Jenny Udall, a senior, and junior Alexandra Bily on the girls’ side as swimmers who he’ll be able to place in a number of events to earn points.
Przebieda, who took over for Brian Roney, also pointed to Pablo Edgar, a junior sprinter, and Rachel Trujillo, a senior distance swimmer, as returners he expects to take on leadership roles.
The new coach said that his teams have the potential to set new school records.
“We try to put in their minds that they have a lot of potential,” said Przebieda, who’ll be assisted by Gilbert Raposa, who swam at the University of Hawaii.
“We have a young team, but we have a lot of great kids,” said Cook, who took over for Danny Garcia. “We’re going to have a strong team in the coming years. We’re definitely young. We’re just trying to set the discipline and the hard work that it takes to be on a varsity team. The camaraderie among the team is going to go a long way.”
This season, he’ll have a strong swimmer on the boys’ side in junior Dexter Brown and on the girls’ side he’ll have a standout in Ally Jessen, also a junior. Jessen had the Indians’ top finish in league last year. Jessen joined Sara Jung, Micheala Salinas and Ahsha Earwood on the 200-yard freestyle relay team, finishing runner-up in league in one minute, 49.19 seconds.
Brown has already had a record-breaking season. He swam the 100 freestyle in 48.79 seconds on Tuesday against Sherman Oaks Notre Dame, setting a new school record.
“I’m going to try to get to CIF and break more records,” Brown said.