The 2002-03 boys’ soccer season was a campaign most of the local
teams would like to forget.
Of the four schools -- Burbank, Burroughs, Providence and
Bellarmine-Jefferson highs -- only the Indians made the CIF Southern
This season, just three teams have the opportunity to make the
postseason, as the Pioneers aren’t fielding a squad due to low
With competition beginning next week, here is a look at how the
season is shaping up.
Coach Mike Kodama enters his 16th season with a talented team and
a fine crop of returning players.
“We have a very sold core of returning players, and many of them
play club soccer,” Kodama said. “So we know we have a group with
Leading the way for Burroughs (12-10-2, 5-4-1 in Foothill League)
is senior defender Jason Salazar, a four-year varsity player who
earned All-CIF Southern Section Division II honors last season
The team also has outstanding players in senior defender Marco
Gomez, junior midfielder Chris Leiva, junior defender Robert DeLeon,
sophomore midfielder Spencer Ross and sophomore goalkeeper Kevin
Burroughs also gets back the services of senior J.D. Caravantes,
who was out most of last season with a knee injury.
After a third-place finish in league last season, Kodama expects
another tough time this year.
“It is going to be a dogfight,” he said. “There is probably not
going to be too many blowouts in the league. Most of the scores are
going to be pretty close.”
The Guards have a new coach in Arturo Lopez, who comes to the
school after eight years at L.A. Cathedral. Last season, the Phantoms
(13-5-3) advanced to the Division IV quarterfinals.
When he got his first look at the Bell-Jeff players, Lopez said he
was impressed with Guard senior forward Zaven Dedeian. Lopez said the
skilled forward has the skills to play in college.
“We are trying to look for a Division I school for Zaven,” Lopez
said. “I have coached some players who have gone on to play at that
level, and Zaven has the tools to do that.”
Lopez said he will use Dedeian as a forward or a center/midfielder
to hopefully keep him from being tightly marked.
Senior midfielder Roger Anaya, sophomore defender Stephen Sadifar
and midfielder Hanniel Puell should give the Guards (3-11, 3-7) some
“As far as [goalkeepers] go, we have four who are fighting for a
starting spot,” Lopez said.
In the race for a playoff spot, Lopez said he expects L.A.
Salesian and Pasadena La Salle to provide the biggest competition.
With questions about his team’s ability to score goals,
second-year Burbank Coach Michael Bailie has gone defensive.
“We have the German offense this year,” he said. “We have a bunch
of 6-foot-3 guys who can really get physical. We are going to play
“We are also going to play something called 10-in-the box, where
we have 10 of our players swarming around the ball at all times.”
The Burbank (7-12-5, 0-8-2) defense will be anchored by seniors
Alex Herman, Martin Armas and Oscar Jarpa.
On offense, Bailie said he is expecting someone to step up and be
a leader, with seniors Nick Ortinlini and Enrique Lewin and junior
Chris Youhana the leading candidates.
Junior Michael Collins is the front-runner for the starting
goalkeeper spot, however, junior Rigo Maya could take over the
“I think we should be more competitive this season against
Valencia, Canyon and Hart than we were last season,” Bailie said. “We
are going to try and throw some different things at teams. I think
some teams might have problems with us.
“Our goal is to improve, and to be able to make it to the
playoffs, which we didn’t do last season.”