McCAMBRIDGE PARK -- You need a genealogy scorecard to keep track of
the family ties on this season’s Burbank High softball team.
Pay close attention to the Bulldog lineage, because we’re only
going to go over this once.
And, yes, there will be a quiz at the end.
The Burbank Coach is Ken Schafer. Pretty simple? But here’s where
it gets complicated.
The coach’s daughter -- Jillian -- is a sophomore pitcher for the
Jillian’s first cousin is Kristin Talamantes, an all-league
catcher who has already landed a Division I scholarship.
The two players are joined by another cousin -- Lindsay Talamantes
-- a sophomore starting outfielder.
Kristin’s father -- Jess Talamantes -- is an assistant coach and a
former standout football and track and field athlete at Burroughs.
Jess’ brother -- Louie -- is also an assistant coach, and
With six family members directly involved in one program, the odds
are pretty good conversation turns to Burbank softball whenever these
relatives get together at the Thanksgiving table.
“Just last weekend for Mother’s Day, we were together talking
about softball,” Lindsay said.
“When we all see each other at school, we also seem to talk a lot
about softball. We talk about upcoming games and maybe what to
expect, strategies and things like that.”
Ken said all the sports talk between the Burbank players and
coaches sometimes takes its toll on particular relatives.
“I think it’s the wives who get on us a lot,” he said. “I think
they get tired of us talking about softball all the time.”
Some might think that with a group of family members on the same
team, there is bound to be occasional friction or some rivalries.
However, in the case of the Schafer and Talamantes members, they get
along like -- one happy family.
“The thing about the three girls is they really get along
together,” said Ken, a former baseball standout at Burbank High.
“They have all played together on a travel team together, so they
really know one another on, and off, the field.
“Not only do we all get along as a family, but with Jess and Louie
being from Burroughs, and me being from Burbank, we have a little
cross-town thing going on between us. But we are all united for one
cause, and that’s kind of neat.”
Kristin has emerged as the most successful player of the group.
Along with maintaining a .500 or better batting average for most of
the season, she has also had the tough decision about deciding where
she is going to play in college.
After a lot of thought, and a few recruiting trips, Kristin
decided to sign with Mercer University, a Division I school in
“I think it’s been great playing with my cousins,” Kristin said.
“It has really brought all of us closer. We all want each other to do
well and succeed, so we always pull for each other.”
Ken Schafer said Kristin’s dedication and talent has made her a
joy to coach.
“All these kids on the team are great to coach, but it has been
extra special for me to coach Kristin,” he said. “She is just a
coach’s dream and you don’t have players who come along like her very
Although the team has its share of talent, the Bulldogs have
struggled this season. Burbank has a 5-16 record and will not finish
among the top three teams in league, keeping it out of the CIF
Southern Section playoffs.
If there is something the team can be proud of, it is Burbank got
a league win this season, something the Bulldogs couldn’t accomplish
With one game remaining, there is something else the Bulldogs want
to do before the season ends.
“We want to beat Burroughs in our last game,” Jillian said.
“I just hope we just can keep improving every year. Getting the
win in league this year proves we are improving.”
The Bulldogs will close out their season at 7 p.m. Thursday in a
league contest against the rival Indians at McCambridge Park. In
their first meeting April 29, Burbank played well in a 3-0 loss.
A win over Burroughs could give the Bulldogs something to build
on, along with serving as a fitting going-away present for Kristin.
Now, that quiz question: What does having six relatives on the
same team produce?
Answer: For the Schafers and Talemanteses, it has brought their
family closer, and produced a unity that has been a joy for all