Local athletes excel in sports at GCC
A group of locals have found success this season competing at
Glendale Community College.
Former Burbank High and Vaquero men’s tennis player Shara Surabi
lost in Saturday’s semifinal of the Men’s Community College draw at
the 103rd annual Ojai Valley Tournament, falling to the third-ranked
player in the state, College of the Desert’s Ryusuki Kashiwabara,
Surabi, a sophomore, had knocked off three players ranked in the
top 20 -- according to the California Community College Tennis
Coaches Assn. -- to advance to the semifinals, beating Fresno City’s
Sam Gibbs (No. 16), Mount San Antonio College’s Ara Sarkissian (No.
5) and American River’s J.V. Vallejos (No. 8).
Surabi, ranked No. 14, defeated Vallejos earlier Saturday in the
quarterfinals, 3-6, 7-6 (7-3), 6-2, to meet Kashiwabara, who made it
an all-College of the Desert final by joining teammate Dalibor Ptak,
the top-ranked player in the state, in Sunday’s championship.
Ptak defeated Chabot’s Dmitri Dzyuba, the No. 2-ranked player,
In track and field, Burroughs graduate Henry Nunez finished second
for the Vaqueros men’s team in the 3000-meter steeplechase in 9
minutes 48.10 seconds at the Western State Conference Championships
at Citrus College.
In the women’s competition, Burroughs’ Debra Mosombite teamed up
with Naira Bagumyan, Sandra Prado and Stephanie Fabia to win the
1,600 relay in 4:08.93.
In softball, former Burbank and Burroughs standout Kristin Carr
earned a first-team All-WSC award as a freshman. Playing catcher and
pitcher, Carr had a team-best .481 batting average with 25 hits, 18
runs batted in and 12 doubles. She also had a 1.000 fielding
Graceffo to be honored for coaching success
Longtime Coach Mike Graceffo has taught and instructed local
athletes from high school to grade school for more than 25 years.
Thursday, Graceffo will be honored for his years of coaching
success in the Catholic Youth Organization. He will be one of eight
inductees into the CYO Hall of Fame at an annual awards dinner at the
Quiet Cannon Restaurant in Montebello.
Along with working for the Burbank Park, Recreation and Community
Services Department for 28 years, Graceffo has been a coach and
athletic director at St. Francis Xavier School since 1991. Before
that, he worked at St. Finbar School.
“This is a great honor for me,” Graceffo said. “I was kind of
surprised when I found out.”
Approximately 10,000 young athletes participate in CYO sports each
Compiled by Jeff Tully