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Gold-medal success, big moves highlight year’s best

Jeff Tully

Throughout the year, the local community experienced its share of

exciting, interesting and remarkable sports stories. Some of the

stories touched us, some informed us and others just plain


entertained us.

Although there are far too many stories to mention, there are a

select few that standout among others.

Here is a list of what the Leader staff chose as the top 10 sports


stories of 2003.

10 Goosen removed as Burbank Coach: The year started with an

interesting story that began late in 2002.

Goosen, a first-year coach of the Burbank High boys’ basketball

team, was permanently removed from coaching duties Jan. 24 following

a two-week investigation into rules violations.

The decision brought to an end almost a month of speculation and

controversy concerning Goosen and the Burbank program.


Goosen was initially put on administrative leave from coaching

duties because of allegations surrounding incidents that occurred

during a trip to the Las Vegas Prep Championship tournament.

On Goosen’s watch, the Burbank School District also received

information about the Bulldogs using an ineligible player for their

first six games -- five of which were wins, which they had to

forfeit. The team ended the season with an 0-23 record.

9 Woo is league’s No. 1 golfer: Burbank High junior Grace Woo had


a great season and emerged as the top girls’ golfer in the Foothill


Woo enjoyed the most success in league play, as she captured three

of four league matches leading up to the preliminaries

For her success, Woo was named Co-Foothill League Most Valuable

Player with Melanie DeLeon of Saugus. It was Woo’s second MVP honor,

as she also earned the award as a freshman.

However, by shooting a three-under-par 73 at Woodley Lakes Golf

Course at the league finals, Woo was designated as the league’s No. 1

qualifier for the Southern Section Individual Golf Championship on

Nov. 17 at Mission Lakes Golf Course in Desert Hot Springs.

At the event, Woo finished among the top 22 finishers and earned a

place in the CIF-Women’s Southern California Golf Assn. Championship.

However, like many other high school golfers, she didn’t take part in

the State Meet because of a national event that was taking place at

the same time in Florida.

8 Burroughs boys’ basketball team has fine playoff run: Although

the Indians didn’t finish among the top three teams in the Foothill

League, they did make an impressive playoff run in the 2002-03


Behind the play of Joey Paysinger and Peter St. Hubert, Burroughs

advanced to the CIF Southern Section Division IIA quarterfinals

One of the team’s best performances in the postseason came in the

second round, when the Art Sullivan-coached Indians defeated

Fullerton, 65-56.

The Indians finished with a 14-14 record.

7 Gaines leaves Burroughs: The Indian girls’ basketball program

took a big hit in August when it was revealed that All-CIF Southern

Section guard Tulyah Gaines would not be returning for her senior


Gaines -- who had already signed with University of Notre Dame --

transferred to a school in Las Vegas to be closer to her mother, who

moved to the city from Burbank during the summer.

Gaines was the go-to player at Burroughs (14-13), helping the Indians advance two rounds in the CIF Southern Section Division IIA


Along with scoring 18.9 points -- 21.6 in the Foothill League -- a

game, she also averaged 5.2 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 4.1 steals.

In a season when she missed games because of flu and stitches in

her hand after a minor accident at home, Gaines still set a Burroughs

school record for assists in a season, netting 122, breaking the old

record of 120 set in 1993 by Jamie Vahoviak.

Her exploits earned her first-team All-CIF Division IIA and

first-team all-league honors, and a spot as one of 48 of the nation’s

top high school girls’ players at the second annual USA Basketball

Women’s Youth Development Festival in Colorado Springs, Colo., in


6 Ivie has breakthrough senior season at Burbank: Bulldog distance

runner Kyle Ivie was a double threat, as he earned his way to state

meet competition in cross-country and track and field.

In track and field, Ivie pulled off the finest result of his

senior season by clocking 4 minutes 13.63 seconds in the 1,600 meters

at the CIF Southern Section Master’s Meet.

In cross-country, Ivie -- who is running for Chico State -- placed

eighth in 15:11 over 2.91 miles at the Southern Section Division II

final, helping Burbank to its second State Meet appearance in three


Ivie also placed 13th at the State Meet in 15:33.

5 Sanchez gets traded to Pittsburgh: It was an eventful year for

former Burbank High baseball player Freddy Sanchez.

Sanchez began the year in the minor leagues, playing for the

triple-A Pawtucket Red Sox, where he was leading the team with a .391

average (61 for 156), had 61 hits, 23 runs batted in, 14 doubles,

five home runs and 26 walks in 41 games.

He was rewarded on May 30 when he was called up to the major

leagues by Boston.

On June 14, he came close to setting a major league record for

chances at third base. In a game against the Houston Astros, Sanchez

had 10 assists, one away from tying the all-time mark of 11.

On July 17, the Red Sox demoted Sanchez to Pawtucket after less

than two months with the big-league club. Sanchez -- who was called

up for the final month of the 2002 season -- had a .235 batting

average with two runs batted in 34 at-bats with the Red Sox.

The biggest event of the year for Sanchez happened on July 31,

when he was traded from Boston to the Pittsburgh Pirates. A foot

injury kept him from playing any games with the Pirates.

4 Burbank football team enjoys upswing: It was a streak-breaking

season for the Bulldogs, as the team had one of its most successful

years in almost two decades.

One of Burbank’s biggest accomplishments came on Oct 24, when it

broke a 51-game Foothill League losing streak with a 16-14 win

against Saugus. The victory was the program’s first in league since


The Bulldogs also defeated cross-town rival Burroughs, 24-18, for

the first time in 11 years, and nearly pulled off the upset of the

season with a 39-33 loss to powerhouse Canyon.

Burbank began the season with a 4-1 record, the program’s best

start in 15 years.

Under Coach Greg Sobiech, Burbank -- which improved to 6-5 after

going 2-8 in 2002 -- made it to the postseason for the first time

since 1991.

3 Douglas leads nation in scoring: Former Bellarmine-Jefferson

High basketball standout Ruben Douglas proved he was a scoring threat

and an offensive catalyst among his college peers.

In March, Douglas, a senior at University of New Mexico, finished

the NCAA regular season as the top scorer in the nation. He ended his

collegiate career with a 28-point average, scoring 783 points in 28


He was named the Mountain West Conference Player of the Year.

However, despite his accomplishments, Douglas was not taken in the

2003 NBA Draft and did not sign with an NBA team.

Douglas is competing professionally for a team in Greece.

2 Guard girls’ team makes it to final: Under Coach Bryan Camacho,

the Bellarmine-Jefferson High girls’ basketball team achieved its

goal of making it to the CIF Southern Section IVA final.

However, the Guards came up a little short, losing the

championship to Westlake Village Oaks Christian, 53-44.

Behind Jennae Peoples, Julie Van Dyke and Kelly Hobbs, Bell-Jeff

put together a fine season, finishing 23-6.

1 Harrison-Naness helps U.S. win gold medal: One could say it was

a golden year for equestrian athlete Kristina Harrison-Naness.

Riding her 11-year-old black gelding Kantor, Harrison-Naness

performed well and helped the United States Equestrian Team win a

gold medal in the Prix St. Georges Dressage Team competition at the

14th 2003 Pan American Games in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic in


The U.S. successfully defended its title from the 1999 Games by

narrowly defeating Canada for the top finish in the event.

Harrison-Naness -- who lives in the Rancho District -- earned a

spot on the U.S. team by putting together a championship performance

in June in Gladstone, N.J. She was the overall winner at the

Federation Equestre Internationale Prix St. Georges at the

Bayer/United States Equestrian Team Festival of Champions.