Burroughs High football Coach Keith Knoop was ready for some debate when the football coaches from the Pacific League met to determine who would be named the player of the year.
Knoop came prepared with a wealth of information and statistics in his effort to push for Indians senior running back Zander Anding to win the league's top honor. He made a convincing argument why his player deserved the accolade.
"In the meeting when we talked about our players, I told them the kind of numbers that Zander was able to put up are unpresented," Knoop said. "No one has ever done this before and I don't think anybody will ever do it again."
The rest of the coaches agreed, as only one beside Knoop — we wasn't allowed to vote for his own player — voted Anding as this season's Pacific League Player of the Year.
The season Anding had was nothing short of remarkable. He shattered school records, set the single-season league rushing record, finished first in the state in two rushing categories and was No. 1 in the country in yards per carry.
In short, he put together the best season by a running back in area history.
"The numbers he was putting up, it kind of quit surprising me after awhile," Knoop said. "The biggest surprise for me came after every game when the media would come to me and tell me how many yards he had. Then I would go break down the film and see that he actually had that many."
Anding rushed for 2,686 yards in 204 carries and 26 touchdowns (30 total touchdowns). He averaged 13.17 yards a carry and a whopping 268.6 yards a game. According to maxpreps.com, Anding's yards-per-carry average was tops in the country and No. 1 in state and his per-game average and yards-per-carry averages were first in the state.
In addition, Anding notched five games in which he gained 300 yards or more, his best effort coming with a 393-yard performance in a league game against Glendale to set a Burroughs record. He also had games of 368, 360, 326 and 319. He holds the top five spots on the all-time list. His 2,686 total also set a single-season record, as did his 182 points.
He leaves the school as the program's all-time scoring leader (250) and career rushing leader (3,345).
"Pretty amazing," Knoop said.
Anding was among a group of 12 Burroughs athletes to All-Pacific League honors, along with a handful players from Burbank. Bellarmine-Jefferson had three athletes garner All-Santa Fe League accolades.
Making the first team for the Indians was senior offensive lineman Lester Quintana and Gus Ferrat, senior defensive lineman Ike Nwachie, senior linebacker Kody Jensen and senior defensive back Jose Pereyra.
James had 40 tackles, 2.5 sacks and an interception and Pereyra had 25 tackles and an interception.
Making the second team was senior offensive linemen Forrest Stevens and Raul Martinez, senior defensive lineman Luke Coblentz, junior defensive lineman Ermar Cruz and senior defensive back Eli Peppmuller. Junior wide receiver Danny Ayala was an offensive honorable-mention pick and senior linebacker Christobal Escobar was a defensive honorable-mention pick.
"We had 10 players on the all-league list that are four-year players in our program," Knoop said. "So, those guys are definitely deserving to end up on that list."
Burroughs (6-5, 6-1 in league) had a successful season, earning a share of its third straight league championship.
Burbank (4-6, 3-4) wasn't able to reach the postseason after placing sixth in the Pacific League. The Bulldogs had just one all-league first-team selection and six on all the lists.
"There were a few more of our players that we think deserved to be on the all-league list," Bulldogs Coach Hector Valencia said. "We had some other players who did some good things and I think they were overlooked."
The lone first-teamer was senior running back Herman Castro, who made the offensive skill position list. Castro had 103 carries for 800 yards (7.8 yards a carry) and six touchdowns.
"Herman did so much for us," Valencia said. "He was a guy we could hand the ball to or throw the ball to. He is a very good athlete and he was definitely one of the hardest workers on the team."
Making the second team for the Bulldogs was senior offensive lineman Demitrios Korkis, junior defensive lineman Steven Kim and senior linebacker Daniel Martinez. Senior running back Teddy Arlington was an offensive honorable-mention pick and senior Mitch Camacho was a defensive offensive honorable-mention pick.
Martinez had 73 solo tackles (setting a school record) and 106 total tackles.
Bell-Jeff (3-7, 0-4) placed last in the Santa Fe League for the second straight season. Following the season, Guards' Coach Rolando Aguirre stepped down.
Making the all-league first-team list was junior Josh Martinez, who rushed for 785 yards.
"He did a great job for us, even though he suffered a pretty bad injury during the season," Aguirre said of Martinez.
Second-team selections for the Guards were junior linebacker Michael Gomez and junior quarterback Mitch Kellogg.