The Burbank Veterans of Foreign Wars Hall served as the venue for the unveiling of the Warrior Award this past week.

Beginning with its inaugural presentation at the conclusion of the Nov. 14 homecoming game that will pit the Indians of John Burroughs High School against the Bulldogs of Burbank High, the 5 1/2-foot perpetual trophy will be presented on an annual basis to the winner of the classic cross-town rivalry.

The Warrior Award is the brainchild of longtime Burbank resident Tino “T” Guerrero who is a part of the security team at Warner Bros.

Born in Michigan, Tino’s family moved to Burbank when he was a child and settled into an apartment across from the Pickwick Drive-In. A student of St. Finbar, McKinley Elementary, Jordan Middle School and Burroughs High School, Tino struggled through his teenage years before earning his diploma at Monterrey High School.

“The creation of this award is something I have been working on for over two years,” Guerrero told the assemblage of city officials, representatives of the two high schools, family members and friends who gathered at last week’s luncheon and unveiling ceremony.

“This is turning a dream into a reality for me.”

Guerrero said his reason for wanting to create the award stemmed from his desire to give back to his community.

“Growing up here in Burbank I always enjoyed both watching and participating in local sports,” he said.

“This is my way of giving back to the kids and the community that has given me so much.”

Mayor Dave Golonski, who was on hand with his wife, Barbara Sykes, and their son, John Golonski, presented Guerrero with a mayor’s commendation.

“This is a great example of what a person can do when they set their mind to something,” said Golonski, who lauded Guerrero for the concept and creation of the award he designed, paid for, and donated to the schools. “This is a great contribution to our community.”

Among those who were most interested in inspecting the Warrior Award were Burroughs Football Coach Keith Knoop, who questioned where they could find a trophy case big enough to hold the award, and Burbank’s Football Coach Ted Amorosi.

Also intrigued were the team’s quarterbacks, senior Kevin Hunter of the Bulldogs, an All-League second-team pick who last season threw for 1,461 yards and 12 touchdowns, and sophomore Lucas Yanez of the Indians who was just tapped as this year’s varsity starter.

Two of the team’s linemen, Justin Maroldi of the Bulldogs and Robert Bermeo of the Indians were also on hand for the unveiling.

Among the city officials in attendance were Vice Mayor Gary Bric and Park board member Todd Layfer. Others on hand were Guerrero’s mother, Maria “Mary” De Los Santos Fonseca and his father, Selestino Guerrero; Anna Aslanian; Rosie Guerrero; Adam, Claire and Garrett Dotson; Kitty Lopez; Rod Aslanian; Julie Pickett; Ernie Lopez; Randy and Dana Carson; Jose “Pepps” Menez; Anna Keyser; Andre Studer; Ray and Chris Fonseca; Greg Cervantes; Bobby and Jill Machuca, and Stalin and Tevah Escalante.

 DAVID LAURELL can be contacted at dlaurell@aol.com or (818) 563-1007.

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