Throughout the past year, the local community experienced its share of important, interesting and exciting sports stories. Some of the stories touched us, some informed us and others just entertained us.
Although many of the stories deserve recognition, a select few stood out among the others.
Chosen by the Leader, here is a list of the top 10 stories of 2010:
Freddy Sanchez' nine-year Major League Baseball career, though it featured a National League batting title and three All-Star appearances, reached the pinnacle when his San Francisco Giants defeated the Texas Rangers, 3-1, in a decisive Game Five on Nov. 1 at the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas to clinch the World Series.
The victory was the first for the Giants franchise since 1954 and the first ever since moving from New York to San Francisco.
Sanchez was the first Burbank area player to win a World Series championship.
He ended the World Series with a .273 average, having gone six for 22 in the series. But it was Sanchez who ignited the Giants in Game One, going four for five with three runs batted in and two runs scored.
He also finished the series with his normal flawless defense, which was a highlight in the fourth game, as the former Pittsburgh Pirates All-Star made a couple of dazzling plays in the field.
But after a two-hit performance in the National League Division Series against the Atlanta Braves, Sanchez came alive in the National League Championship Series, hitting .360 with nine hits in 25 at-bats.
For the postseason as a whole, Sanchez started all 14 games, batting second and playing second base.
He hit a combined 17 for 63 (.270) with 21 total bases, four doubles, four RBI, one walk and five runs.
2 Softball team makes it to Little League World Series title game: A group of Burbank 11- and 12-year-olds made history by advancing to the 2010 Little League Softball World Series at Alpenrose Stadium in Portland, Ore.
The World Series appearance was historic, as the Lady Legends were the first squad from the Burbank Little League to advance to the international tournament in the nine-year history of the organization.
Unfortunately, the Burbank Major All-Stars lost, 8-6, to a team from Warner Robbins, Ga. — the defending champions — in the championship.
With the team down by four runs, and down to its final out, in the bottom of the final inning in the championship game, Burbank refused to call it quits. Instead, the Lady Legends battled back and embarked on a comeback attempt that yielded two runs. However, with the tying run at the plate and a runner on first base, Burbank committed the final out.
Along with making it to the championship, the Lady Legends also enjoyed another first when they captured the Western Region Tournament title. In addition, the team also won Section 2 and District 16 championships.
3 Dotson wins CIF title and finishes second in State Meet: Burbank High's Dotson was able to set the 800-meter school record at the CIF-State Track and Field Championships, breaking a mark that stood for 36 years. The record was only one of a string of fine accomplishments that included a CIF Southern Section Division I title and an indoor state championship in the 800, to go along with a runner-up showing in the outdoor state final. He also had a fine cross-country campaign.
In the State Meet, Dotson bested John Muisch's time of 1:51.0 — set in 1974 — in the 880-yard run, which when converted to meters, gave him the record.
In an epic battle with Sean Krinik of Placentia Valencia — who had the top time in the nation — in the state final, Dotson held his own in the final. In a torrid race that might have been one of the best 800 competitions in state history, Krinik's winning mark of 1:48.20 was the best in the nation this year. Dotson wasn't far behind, setting the third-best time.
Dotson's runner-up time would have been good enough to win a state championship in the previous 13 state-title races.
Dotson, who at one time during the season owned the second-best 800 time in the nation, also had success in the CIF Southern Section Division I finals. Battling strong winds, he ran to a first-pace finish in 1:50.42 seconds.
Dotson earned a scholarship to UC Santa Barbara, where he's a freshman.
4 Tubert enjoys amateur and collegiate success: The Burroughs High graduate not only captured a prestigious amateur tournament, but she also won her first college golf tournament at the University of Arkansas.
Since her graduation in June, Tubert, who was a Rolex Junior All-American First-Team honoree, stayed busy during the summer playing in high-profile tournaments across the nation. In June, she finished first in the prestigious 2010 U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links Championship.
In the championship match, Tubert defeated Lisa McCloskey of Houston, 3 and 2, to secure the tournament title.
She also had some high finishes in other events, lifting her national ranking to seventh.
It didn't take long for Tubert to make an impact in college. Playing for Arkansas, she stormed to a victory in September in her first tournament as a freshman for the Razorbacks. She paced Arkansas to a final round surge and the title at the Susie Maxwell Berning Classic Sunday at the Jimmie Austin Oklahoma University Golf Course in Norman, Okla.
Tubert won the event, firing a final-round 70 for a 211 (69-72-70) to lead Arkansas to a 291. It was the lowest team round by 10 strokes.
5 Monroy enjoys success in cross-country and in track and field: The success Burroughs High's Anthony Monroy enjoyed as a sophomore during track and field carried over to his junior season in cross-country.
Competing in the boys' 3,200, Monroy was able to advance to the CIF Southern Section Masters Meet in May. In the race, he placed 11th in a personal-best time of 9:18.42.
In the cross-country season, Monroy qualified for the CIF-State Cross-Country Championships, placing 19th in 15:22.07. Monroy's effort was the 10th-best among all the Southern Section runners in Division I and 15th among Southern Section runners across all five divisions. In addition, his time was 27th overall out of 971 runners across all five divisions, including the No. 7 time for a junior (all of whom came from Division I).
6 Camacho departs Bell-Jeff: Bryan Camacho built a dynasty with the Bellarmine-Jefferson High girls' basketball program. He also served as the school's athletic director.
But Camacho left the school in June to take an assistant coaching job with the women's program at Cal State Northridge.
He headed the Guards' program for a total of eight years, in two stints. Camacho built the Bell-Jeff team into one of the top programs in the state. Since coming back to the school for the 2006-07 season, Camacho and the Guards enjoyed a wealth of success.
In those four years, Bell-Jeff captured state and Southern Section championships, advanced to division title games twice and won three straight Santa Cruz League titles. In the four-year stint, Camacho led the program to a 104-21 record. In his eight years with the Guards' program, Camacho accumulated a 183-50 record and had a .785 winning percentage.
7 Burroughs softball team wins Pacific League championship: The Indians erased years of futility to win the Pacific League title. It was the program's first championship in 28 years.
Under Coach Jose Valle, Burroughs (18-10) defeated Burbank in the final regular season game to clinch the undisputed championship. The Indians also won their playoff opener against Paso Robles, 3-2, before falling in the second round to Ayala, 12-0.
Sophomore pitcher Heather Haynes led the way. Haynes, who was an All-Pacific League first-team selection and an All-CIF honoree, put up impressive numbers for the Indians. She was 11-5 with six shutouts in 16 games, striking out 106 and walking 29 in 109 innings. In addition, she allowed just 12 earned runs, had a 0.77 earned-run average and opposing teams hit just .176 against her.
8 Burroughs boys' volleyball team shares league title for first time: Led by Tyler Yanez and coached by Joel Brinton, the Indians enjoyed a successful campaign that included an improbable share of the Pacific League crown and a win in the playoffs — both firsts for the program.
Yanez set school records for assists with 722 and blocks with 63. He also had 68 kills and led the team with 28 aces.
In earning the All-CIF honor, Yanez became the only Burbank-area player to earn the accolade this past season, and is the first athlete from Burroughs to be recognized for the accomplishment in the four-year history of the program.
Along with two wins against Crescenta Valley, Burroughs also defeated powerhouse Claremont to earn a share of the league crown. It was the first league championship for a program under Brinton, who was voted the league's coach of the year for the second consecutive season.
9 Indians football team captures share of second-straight league crown: Despite starting the season 0-3 after a tough nonleague campaign, Burroughs played well in league and was co-league champion with Arcadia.
The Indians have won three titles in five years.
The Indians had to pull out a 38-35 win against rival Burbank in the last regular-season game to get a share of the championship. Cristobal Escobar booted a 21-yard field goal with just 4.7 seconds remaining to give Burroughs the win.
Burroughs (7-5) won its first CIF Southern Section playoff game in 23 years with a 41-21 first-round playoff victory against El Rancho and advanced to the quarterfinals.
10 Bell-Jeff girls' volleyball team wins league and advances to CIF semifinals: The Guards continued their dynasty with another fine season.
Behind Jocelyn Cervantes, Bell-Jeff (17-7) advanced to the Division IVAA semifinals, losing to No. 1 Hemet, 25-16, 25-11, 25-14.
The team also captured its fifth-straight Santa Cruz League title.
Cervantes earned All-CIF accolades, collecting 317 kills.