It’s admirable when an athlete can finish his high school career knowing that he left an indelible mark on an athletic program.
But to leave that mark on two separate programs is nothing short of impressive.
Lucas Yanez did just that at Burroughs High.
In football and boys’ volleyball, Yanez put up monster numbers in the sports during his senior campaign and emerged as a leader for both teams. But what was more impressive was the way Yanez was able to impact the overall success of the two programs.
Yanez was the starting quarterback on an Indians football team that earned a share of the Pacific League championship in 2010. With him under center as well in 2009, Burroughs captured an outright title.
In volleyball, he was an overpowering starting outside hitter who helped lift the Indians to new heights. Along with winning its first outright Pacific League title — going undefeated in the process —Burroughs also advanced to a CIF Southern Section title match and won a contest in the state playoffs.
In football, he was named the league’s offensive player of the year. In volleyball, he was co-player of the year with brother, Tyler, and earned All-CIF Southern Section Division III first-team honors.
It is because of his accomplishments, along with his influence, that Yanez has been named the Leader 2010-11 Male Athlete of the Year.
Being a quarterback, Yanez realized that it was his job to lead the team. Along with his skills on offense, Yanez took to his role of motivating his¿ teammates.
“Being a senior, I like the responsibility of being a leader on the team,” Yanez said. “Some of the younger players look up to me and I know since I have been doing this since I was a sophomore, that hopefully I can give them some answers. “At the beginning of [my senior] season, Coach [Keith] Knoop sat me down and told me that I was going to have to lead this team. I told him that I was up for that.”
Yanez brought a skill set to the quarterback position that made him a tough player for defenses to contain. Along with his passing skills, the senior has developed into an accomplished runner, often burning opponents with his arm or his legs.
During his senior season, Yanez completed 133 of 214 passes (a 62% completion rate) for 1,965 yards, 19 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Along with his threat as a passer, Yanez also proved he could run, carrying the ball 96 times for 523 yards (5.5 yards a carry) and nine touchdowns.
Yanez finished his playing career with a distinction that no other player in the history of Burroughs has been able to accomplish. He is No. 3 on the all-time Indians career passing list, as well as being No. 9 on the career rushing list. In his career, he completed 303 of 515 passes for 4,280 yards, 36 touchdowns and an NCAA quarterback rating of 145.1. He also gained 1,481 yards rushing.
Only Jeff Barrett (6,083) and J.K. Scott (4,880) passed for more yardage during the careers than Yanez.
“I just wish I had more players like Lucas,” Knoop said. “He has accomplished a great deal in our program. But we knew he was going to be special when we saw him as a freshman out of the Burbank Vikings program.”
Behind Yanez, Burroughs (7-5) won its first CIF Southern Section playoff game in 23 years with a 41-21 first-round Southeast Division playoff victory against El Rancho.
Yanez carried over that success into the volleyball season. He tallied 195 kills, with a season-high of 20 coming against South Torrance in the semifinals of the playoffs. He finished his career with 660 kills, setting the Burroughs all-time mark. In addition, he had 256 digs (No. 1 all time) and 61 aces (another school record).
After securing a league crown, Burroughs (34-5) then marched its way through the Division III playoffs, advancing to the championship match against Cerritos Valley Christian at Cypress College, losing, 27-25, 25-27, 25-18, 25-16.
It was the Indians’ first trip to the finals after a second round exit the season before.
Burroughs also participated in the Southern California Regional Championships. The Indians showed they belonged in state competition, upsetting host Thousand Oaks, 25-22, 25-12, 23-25, 25-23, in the first round before falling to Otay Ranch in four games.
It was the first time the program had earned a bid to the state playoffs.