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HE’S A GREAT CATCH

BURBANK HIGH -- With all his awards and credentials, Burbank High

senior football standout John Dincher’s resume resembles that of a

Nobel Prize laureate.

Despite his accolades, the big question is -- coming from a

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Bulldog team that went 2-8 last season -- does Dincher have the

football credentials to play at the NCAA Division I level next year?

Dincher -- along with teammate Brian Hwang and four players from

Burroughs -- will get one last chance to showcase his skills in a

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high school game.

At 5 p.m. today at Van Nuys Birmingham High, the locals will suit

up for the seventh annual Valley Youth Football Conference East-West

All-Star game.

The Indians will be represented by David Brooks, Cory Brownlee,

T.J. McDonald and Alan West.

“I know there will be a lot of college scouts and coaches at the

game,” Dincher said. “So if I can do well, maybe I can catch the eye

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of some of them.”

Even if Dincher doesn’t make a huge impact in the game, Burbank

Coach Greg Sobiech said the sure-handed receiver can play at a high

college level.

“It’s a good chance for the reason we play in one of the hardest

conferences in [CIF] Southern Section,” Sobiech said.

“He’s the kind of kid who could start for anybody. I think his

chances are excellent.”

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Sobiech added schools who choose to take pass on Dincher now,

could be sorry in the future.

“He’s got great hands, his feet are improving, his strength is

improving,” Sobiech said of the All-Foothill League first-team tight

end and linebacker. “Everyone missing on this kid is going to be

sorry because he’s going to be one heck of a football player.”

Dincher is coming off a fine season with the Bulldogs. He had a

school-record 53 receptions for 683 yards and five touchdowns on

offense, to go along with 98 tackles on defense, earning him the

team’s most valuable player award.

The 6-foot-2, 205-pound menace also led the Bulldogs in tackles in

2001, a season in which the team was just 1-9.

Despite playing on two straight losing teams, Dincher said he

hasn’t gotten frustrated with football, and just wants to get better

playing the sport.

“It’s just about having fun,” Dincher said. “You go out there and

enjoy the game.

"[At Burbank], we go in knowing we’re the underdog and have to

play our best game to win. It’s hard losing, but we go in there and

just have a good time. If we try hard, it’ll be great. If the score

doesn’t go our way, it’s another learning experience.”

Recognition in football is far from the only thing Dincher has

accomplished at Burbank.

Other awards Dincher has picked up along the way include being a

four-time Burbank Scholar Athlete and Burbank Student of the Month on

more than one occasion. In football, he was the Bulldogs’ defensive

most valuable player in 2001.

Keeping busy in the offseason, Dincher also ran track for the

Bulldogs in several events, including the 400 meters, 300 hurdles and

1,600 relay.

In his spare time, he helps coach younger players in the Burbank

Vikings Youth Tackle Football program.

"[John] is one of the most charitable players I’ve had the

pleasure of coaching,” Sobiech said. “He’s a good player, good

leader, tough as nails. He’s a great kid.”

That sentiment is echoed by one of Dincher’s favorite teachers at

Burbank, Paul Kim, who has taught Dincher math and web design.

“He’s really polite, always hard working,” Kim said of Dincher,

who said he wants to study fire science in college and possibly

become a firefighter.

“He’s never been a problem to have around. He’s academically and

athletically strong, but very humble.”

Dincher might have the possibility of playing at a Division III

school, but said he rather go to a community college -- maybe

Glendale Community College -- for a year or two to improve his skills

and transfer to a top-notch Division I program.

“I’d rather spend a year at a [community college] or play three

years at a school I want to be at rather than being stuck somewhere I

don’t want to be for four years,” said Dincher, who added he would

rather play defense than offense in college, but would play wherever

he would be needed.

“He’s a tireless worker,” Sobiech said. “He won’t settle for

anything but the best in himself. He’s an outstanding citizen, an

outstanding young man. I’m going to miss him tremendously. John can

play Division I football. He can do it if he chooses.”

Dincher is just looking for a chance to prove he can play at the

elite college level.


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