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Hard work yields All-CIF awards

BURBANK -- On the surface, it doesn’t appear that Ryanne Hodgins and

Ian Breckenridge-Jackson have a lot in common.

For starters, Hodgins is a standout outfielder for the Burroughs

High softball team, and Breckenridge-Jackson is an accomplished

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outsider hitter on the Providence boys’ volleyball team.

But despite their different athletic specialties, the senior

players have the distinction of being team leaders and elevating the

level of their play during their tenure at their respective schools.

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The two also have a very special accomplishment in common, as

Hodgins and Breckenridge-Jackson have been honored with All-CIF

Southern Section awards.

Hodgins, who is a three-year varsity player for the Indians, is a

Division I second-team honoree and Breckenridge-Jackson made the

Division V third team.

Moving up to Division I this season, Burroughs Coach Jennifer

Gomez said Hodgins’ ability to distinguish herself among the finest

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softball players in Southern California is a huge accomplishment.

“Ryanne being named All-CIF is a wonderful way for her to cap

three great years of softball here at Burroughs,” Gomez said.

“Ryanne has worked very hard to become the softball player she is

today. This is just a great accomplishment for her.

Hodgins -- who will play at University of New Mexico next spring

-- was a stalwart for the Indians this season, both on offense and

defense.

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On defense, her speed and athletic ability made her a valuable

asset in the outfield.

On offense, she proved to be Burroughs’ best hitter, with a knack

for getting on base. Along with scoring 23 runs, Hodgins had a .446

batting average (41 for 92) and stole 11 bases.

For her accomplishments, she was named to the All-Foothill League

first team.

Jumping from high school to playing at New Mexico, Gomez said

Hodgins should do just fine.

“I think Ryanne will go on to great things and be a big

contributor in college,” Gomez said. “And they will be able to put

her anywhere [in the field] and she will be able to do well.”

Hodgins helped Burroughs (16-10) to a third-place league finish

and a berth in the Division I playoffs. In a postseason wild-card

game at Olive Park, the Indians fell, 1-0, in eight innings to La

Puente Bishop Amat.

For Breckenridge-Jackson, playing volleyball was just a sideline

for him during his career at Providence.

A perennial All-Liberty League basketball player for the Pioneers,

Breckenridge-Jackson was encouraged to come out for volleyball his

junior year by Coach Andrew Bencze.

Taking to the volleyball court, Breckenridge-Jackson worked hard

and became one of the most dominating players in the league.

“Playing volleyball for only two years, and being as successful as

he was, I think that is a testament to Ian’s athletic ability and the

amount of hard work he put into it,” Bencze said. “He was able to

learn the game and become good at it without ever playing before his

junior year.

“I just wonder how good he would have been if he played since he

was a freshman.”

Breckenridge-Jackson helped the Pioneers (11-12) to a third-place

league finish and an appearance in the postseason, where the team

fell to Santa Monica St. Monica, 15-7, 15-12, 15-6, in a Division V

first-round match.

“Ian was our go-to guy all season,” Bencze said. “He helped us

tremendously and he was the guy a lot of [opposing] teams keyed on.”

Although Hodgins and Breckenridge-Jackson are the only athletes

from local schools to earn All-CIF accolades, there are two other

residents who have been honored.

Burbank resident Laura Stone, a junior catcher for the Sun Valley

Village Christian softball team, is a Division V second-team pick.

Stone batted .405 (32 for 79) with 24 runs batted in, 18 runs

scored, nine walks, six doubles and one home run. She also had 12

stolen bases in 13 attempts.

The Crusaders (22-6) won the Olympic League championship and

captured the first girls’ CIF crown in school history when they

nailed down the Division V title by defeating Pasadena Poly, 4-2.

Another resident at Village Christian -- John Mark Wendler -- is a

Division IV third-team selection in boys’ volleyball.

Wendler, a senior middle blocker, helped the Crusaders (26-8) win

the school’s first CIF championship when they defeated top-seeded

Brentwood, 15-10, 15-6, 15-9, in the Division IV title match.

In was the first CIF championship in the 54-year history of the

school.


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