Joining the Burbank football program after its schedule had already been determined, coach Adam Colman had no say about who the Bulldogs would face off against in nonleague games in 2017.
However, approaching his second season heading the program, Colman had input concerning Burbank’s opponents for the 2018 campaign.
“We had two openings, so it was a matter of finding the right teams for us to go up against,” said Colman, a Burbank graduate. “We want to play teams that are competitive and teams that will give us a good test. You don’t get anything out of playing a team that you could just beat up.
“We want to play teams that are going to make us better and get us ready for league and for the playoffs.”
Anticipating a move up in division after advancing to the CIF Southern Section Division VII semifinals in 2017, Colman and the Bulldogs have added two nonleague opponents with fine track records of success. They will look for the competition to help them get ready for the postseason jump to Division V.
“As our schedule goes from a year ago, we will still go against Monrovia to open our season,” Colman said. “But we dropped [Canyon Country] Canyon and Downey. So we were looking for two games there.
“We were able to add Moorpark and Hart for our nonleague, and those are two good teams and we look forward to playing them.”
Burbank, which advanced to the Division VIII championship game in 2016, is coming off a 2017 campaign where it went went 10-3 and captured the Pacific League championship.
The Bulldogs open with a zero week game Aug. 17 against Monrovia at Burroughs High’s Memorial Field, the Bulldogs’ home venue. Last season, the Bulldogs defeated the host Wildcats, 23-8.
Last season, Monrovia went 4-7, but won the Rio Hondo League title with a 4-0 record.
“Monrovia is a good game for us, they have a good team with some talented players,” said Colman, whose games will all be at 7 p.m. “They have a new coach there so we might see some new wrinkles with them. I’m sure he will have them ready to play.
“So, we’re excited to get them this year with what we’re expecting will be a new revamped Monrovia.”
The second nonleague game will be on Aug. 24 at Moorpark. In 2017, the Musketeers went 11-3, finished second in the Camino League behind Calabasas and lost to Paraclete, 49-29, in the Division V title game.
“The Moorpark game actually worked out because our old [assistant principal] of athletes at Burbank, Matt LaBelle, is over at Moorpark and he actually reached out when he saw that we had the opening,” Colman said. “He talked to our [athletic director] and that’s how that got set up.
“They have a great program and they went to the Division V final last year, so that should be a good challenge for us. It is a different team than a Downey, but they are historically good, big and well coached.”
Following a bye week, the final nonleague contest will take place Sept. 7 against Hart at Memorial Field. The Indians are coming off a season in which they finished 8-4 and were second in the Foothill League behind Valencia.
“We really like playing the old Foothill League teams,” said Colman, referring to the fact that Burbank played in the Foothill League before joining the Pacific League. “We played Canyon recently and we scrimmaged Saugus and we do a lot with West Ranch over the summer. So, Hart coming from that league, seemed like a good game for us. Hart tends to be a spread team so that will be good for us to see that kind of offense.”
That will lead the Bulldogs into Pacific League play and defense of their title. The league opener will be Sept. 14 on the Burbank campus against Hoover (2-8, 1-6 for seventh place).
The second league matchup could be the most crucial for Burbank when it hosts Arcadia on Sept. 21. Many are picking the Apaches (8-4, 6-1 in league for second) to be the favorites to win the league title this season.
“After Hoover, we move into the meat of our league with Arcadia, Pasadena, [Crescenta Valley] and Muir,” Colman said. “That is going to be a tough run right there.
“We saw Arcadia at the Rams tournament this summer at [Cal Lutheran University] and they won the whole thing. And there were some pretty good teams in that tournament. They definitely have some athletes, but we are excited for that game.”
Burbank will will be at Pasadena (2-8, 2-5 for sixth) on Sept. 28, host Crescenta Valley (8-3, 5-2 for third) on Sept. 25, will be on the road consecutive weeks against Muir (6-4, 4-3 for fourth) on Oct. 12 and Glendale (2-8, 0-7 for eighth) Oct. 19. The regular season will culminate Oct. 26 with the annual Big Game against Burroughs (4-5, 3-4 for fifth) at Memorial Field.
“The game against Burroughs is always a big one,” Colman said. “But I know we will be ready for it.”
Aug. 17 vs. Monrovia at Memorial Field, 7 p.m.
Aug. 24 at Moorpark, 7 p.m.
Sept. 7 vs. Hart at Memorial Field, 7 p.m.
Sept. 14 vs. Hoover, 7 p.m.
Sept. 21 vs. Arcadia at Memorial Field, 7 p.m.
Sept 28 at Pasadena, 7 p.m.
Oct. 5 vs. Crescenta Valley at Memorial Field, 7 p.m.
Oct. 12 at Muir, 7 p.m.
Oct. 18 at Glendale, 7 p.m.