BURBANK — What a way to end the 2009-10 school year.
The spring sports season was one of the most productive for the local schools — Burroughs, Burbank, Bellarmine-Jefferson and Providence highs — in decades. Deep CIF Southern Section playoff runs, league championships and individual titles were only some of the accomplishments that highlighted the spring campaign.
The accomplishments read like a laundry list of success:
•Two squads were able to advance to CIF Southern Section championship contests for the first time.
•Three teams captured league crowns, two going undefeated in the process.
•Another team advanced to the playoff semifinals for the first time in program history.
•Yet another squad moved on to the playoff quarterfinals for the first time in four years.
•An area golfer advanced through three CIF postseason tournaments and came a step away from qualifying for state competition.
•All four softball teams qualified for the postseason.
•Athletes won nine individual titles in track and field and Burroughs boasted both the singles and doubles champions in boys' tennis.
Leading the way in the spring was the Burroughs High boys' volleyball team. Under Coach Joel Brinton and led by talented brothers Tyler and Lucas Yanez, the program — which has been in existence for just five years — trumpeted its arrival on the Southern Section scene.
The Indians rolled to a Pacific League title, going undefeated in the process. Burroughs then marched its way through the Division III playoffs, advancing to the championship match against Cerritos Valley Christian at Cypress College. Although the Indians lost, 27-25, 25-27, 25-18, 25-16, just getting to the title contest is a huge accomplishment.
It was the Indians' first trip to the finals after previously not getting out of the second round of the playoffs.
Burroughs also participated in the Southern California Regional Championships for the first time. The Indians showed they belonged in state competition, upsetting Thousand Oaks, 25-22, 25-12, 23-25, 25-23, in the first round.
It was also a record-breaking season for the Bell-Jeff softball team. The Guards posted an undefeated record in the Santa Fe League to claim their second straight championship.
Bell-Jeff also made its way to its first CIF title game. Unfortunately for the Guards, they fell in the Division VII championship to Pomona Catholic, 7-6.
Staying with the record-breaking theme, the Burroughs boys' tennis squad also enjoyed the finest postseason run in the history of the program. Led by singles player Garrett Auproux, the Indians pulled off some upsets and advanced to the semifinals of the Division II playoffs, losing to eventual champion Paul Desert, 14-4.
Auproux also won the Pacific League singles title and advanced to the round of 16 in the CIF Southern Section Individual Tournament. In doubles, Indians Oscar Lam and Wen Yao Lin took the league doubles crown.
Another Burroughs athlete, Kelsey Danzeisen, enjoyed a successful postseason, advancing to the Southern California Golf Assn. Regional Qualifier on May 31. In the event at Brookside Golf Club, he shot a one-over-par 73 to finish 27th, missing the cut for the state tournament.
Despite placing fifth in the Pacific League tournament this year, Danzeisen did well in the first two playoff tournaments. He took part in the CIF Individual Final on May 24, which took place at Industry Hills Golf Club's Babe Zaharias Course. Danzeisen fired a three-over-par-74, tying him for the fifth-best score of the day and a tie for 17th place.
Danzeisen qualified for the final by earning a spot out of the CIF Southern Section Northern Individual Regional at Las Posas Country Club in Camarillo on May 16. Danzeisen fired a five-over-par 76 to finish tied for 20th in the event.
Burroughs also secured a share of a Pacific League title in softball.
Providence enjoyed a solid playoff run with its boys' volleyball team. The Pioneers placed second in the Liberty League and won two matches in the Division V playoffs before falling to Pasadena Poly, 25-21, 26-24, 25-22.
Burbank didn't have much team success in the spring, but its track and field athletes were able to pick up individual league accolades. Pacing the group was McKenzie Paul, who won crowns in the girls' 800- and 1,600-meter races. The championship in the 800 was her third straight. She also advanced to the CIF finals in the 800.
Bulldogs also earning titles were Brandon Weiss (boys' discus) and Jordan Card (girls' discus).
For the Indians in track and field, Shannon Kermah was a double league champion in the girls' triple jump and the long jump. Teammates also winning league championships were Austin Allen (boys' pole vault), Justice Shank (girls' high jump) and Amoni Alexander (girls' 100 hurdles).
In boys' swimming, Burbank's Alex Lambert advanced to the CIF Masters Meet and broke two school records along the way. Burroughs' Chad Wilson also qualified for the Master's Meet.
Although the schools did lose their share of talent to graduation, there are a number of athletes from these teams who will be returning next season.