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
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
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
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
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
“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.”
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
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.