With summer in full swing, many high school students are kicking back
and enjoying a few months off.
However, for athletes who strive to improve their skills and gain
experience, summer is not a time for leisure, but a time for work.
Whether its playing in summer league competition, attending camps
and clinics, or hitting the road with travel teams, scores of
dedicated athletes are working out with a goal to make an impact in
Some of those talented boys and girls will be poised and ready to
go once the 2003-04 school year begins in September. There is a
number of individuals from the local high schools who could be in
line for breakout or impact seasons.
Here is a look at some of the athletes who could be some of the
best in the area.
Because it’s unfair to include incoming freshmen because they are
untested and have not played any contests at the high school level,
the focus will be on incoming seniors, juniors and sophomores.
* Tulyah Gaines (Burroughs, girls’ basketball, track and field):
The question for the talented senior point guard isn’t if she will be
an impact player next season. Instead, many are wondering if she is
going to return to the school after a busy summer.
Because of family financial problems, Gaines might be moving out
of the area. There have even been rumors the All-CIF Southern Section
standout could be transferring to Sylmar.
If she stays at Burroughs, Gaines has the potential to not only to
be the most successful player in Indians’ history, but she also could
eventually be the best female basketball athlete the area has ever
In the wake of a fine junior season, Gaines has received interest
from a number of top colleges, including Duke, Notre Dame, Kansas
State and Vanderbilt.
The 5-foot-8 Gaines was one of the best players last season in the
Foothill League, averaging 18.9 points -- 21.6 in league -- 5.2
rebounds, 5.0 assists and 4.1 steals a game. She also set a school
record for assists in a season with 122.
This summer, in addition to playing travel ball and attending high
level camps, Gaines was just one of 48 players nationally invited to
take part in the second annual USA Basketball Women’s Youth
Development Festival in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Gaines is also an outstanding field event athlete in track and
field. Last season, she set a new school record and holds the
all-time mark in the triple jump at 37 feet 6.
* Brendon Doyle (Bell-Jeff, football, boys’ volleyball and
basketball): Last season as a junior, the 6-3 standout split time a
quarterback and defensive back. The All-CIF Southern Section
selection also did the team’s punting.
However, with some decent depth, the Guards might be deep enough
for Doyle to just concentrate on offense and still do the punting.
With more time to work on his quarterbacking skills, look for
Doyle to put up some good numbers -- if he can get the protection.
Last season, Doyle completed 103 of 203 passes for 1,553 yards,
13 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. The Guards might just miss him on
defense, as he had seven interceptions -- three in one game -- in
He was also an all-league player in basketball and volleyball.
* Joey Paysinger (Burroughs boys’ basketball): In the 2002-03
season, the Indian junior had to share the offensive spotlight with
teammate Peter St. Hubert, who averaged 19.3 points, 6.9 rebounds and
1.8 blocks a game.
St. Hubert has graduated, and Paysinger looks to be the Indians’
go-to guy as a senior.
A potent outside shooter with a fine feel for the game, Paysinger
has the potential to be the best male basketball player in the area.
He should better his statistics from last season, which were
pretty good. Along with averaging 16.6 points and three rebounds a
game, Paysinger also shot 34% from the three-point line, converting
86 shots from beyond the arc.
The Indians should also have a productive supporting cast from a
team that went to the CIF Southern Section Division IIA
* Carolyn Chrzan (Burbank girls’ soccer, track and field and
volleyball): With a productive freshman season behind her, the
accomplished all-around athlete could make a lot of noise for her
In fact, Chrzan is so well rounded, she could be the next big
multi-sport athlete to emerge from the area.
Last season, playing for a Bulldog girls’ soccer team that
struggled in the Foothill League, Chrzan’s talent stood out, as she
earned all-league honors as a forward.
In track and field, she advanced to the Southern Section
preliminaries, where she came up with a remarkable accomplishment.
Taking part in the long jump, she entered the competition seeded
27th. However, she uncorked a 16-11 1/4 effort and placed 10th, just
missing going to the final by one place.
Last month, she also showed her all-around skills in a heptathlon
event, finishing second among freshmen.
Another athlete to look out for is Burroughs sophomore boys’
golfer Jeff Looby, who was a postseason qualifier last season.
* JEFF TULLY is the sports editor of the Burbank Leader. He can be
reached at 843-8700, or by e-mail at email@example.com.