It’s been nearly 16 years since the Burroughs High boys’ tennis team
defeated cross-town rival Burbank.
Through the years, the Bulldogs have been a dominating force not
only in the city, but in the Foothill League and the CIF Southern
Is this the season the Indians can break the streak?
“I know Burroughs has some pretty good returning players,” Burbank
Coach Paul McNiff said. “They will probably win more matches than
they did last year.
“But I think we should have a good team. We are looking to try and
get the Foothill League title back.
Here is a look at how the season is shaping up:
The No. 1 priority for the Bulldogs is reclaiming the league
championship they failed to win in 2002 for the first time in 15
McNiff said he is not only dedicated to helping his team get back
the title, but his players are also focused on winning the
“Us older players know the significance of getting the league
title back, and we take it personally,” Burbank senior James Chang
said. “We just have to teach the younger players, who haven’t been a
part of the streak, how important it is to us and the school.
“We want to not only win league, but we want to go undefeated at
Last season, Burbank (10-8) finished third in league behind
champion Valencia and second-place Hart.
Although the Bulldogs lost some key players, they should still
have a talented core of athletes to contend for a title.
Leading the way will be singles Hovsep Gasamanian and Haig
Kassabian, who will be the top two players. Both are junior ranked
players who have played a lot of tennis during the offseason.
Players Chang, David Chung, Varuzhan Sarkisyan, Chris Lee, Alex
Dawoodian and Ted Kang will round out the rest of the singles and
“Varuzhan is interesting because he is a junior who was 28-2 last
year on the [junior-varsity] team,” McNiff said. “So we expect good
things from him.”
McNiff said although Valencia appears to be the team to beat in
league, he isn’t about to take any squad lightly.
“We just can’t look past anyone, look what happened last year,” he
said. “All our league matches will be important.”
The Bulldogs open nonleague play with contests against ranked
teams L.A. Loyola. Hoover and Calabasas.
The Indians finished in a tie for third place in league last
season and lost a coin flip to Canyon, bumping them from the
With a good group of returners, Coach Roy Bernhardt said he thinks
his team will be able to make it to the postseason.
“I think we can get one of the top three spots,” said Bernhardt,
whose team was 4-6 in league. “But I still think Valencia should be
the top team.
“I hope we don’t have injuries.”
Burroughs will likely be strong in singles, with Fong Lam, Andreas
Lamelas and Wilson Tseng all returning. Tseng was half of an Indian
doubles team that placed third in league in 2002.
In doubles, Nate Brandt and Hamlet Karapetyan will head a group
still vying for spots.
“Hamlet is a freshman who has been playing since he was 6,”
Bernhardt said. “He is very good and he has a lot of talent.”