BURBANK — There is a digital clock perched in the window of coach Keith Knoop's football office that overlooks an outside walkway adjacent to the gym at Burroughs High.
The clock is running backward, counting down the days, hours, minutes and seconds. Over the clock is a banner that reads "Paraclete." The clock is ticking off the time until the Indians open the 2013 season on the road against Paraclete.
Knoop put the clock there as a reminder for his players that they don't have a great deal of time left to prepare for the upcoming campaign.
"We put that clock up for the guys to realize that we might not have as much time as we think that we have to get ready, and to really send a message that we can't waste a day," Knoop said. "Teenagers, you know, think they have forever.
"After Paraclete, we'll just change the name to the next opponent that we'll face. That way every week they'll see that they're running out of time to get ready for the next team."
The Indians will square off against the same three nonleague opponents they faced last season, as Burroughs came out on the losing end of all three games. The Indians have lost 10 straight nonleague games dating back to 2009.
Burroughs did go 4-3 in Pacific League action a year ago, finishing tied for fourth place, but failing to make it to the CIF Southern Section playoffs.
However, before the Indians can concentrate on league play, Knoop said a more experienced team is hoping to be competitive in its three nonleague games.
"We want to finish our summer passing league stuff and we're really looking forward to getting out there in pads and getting going," Knoop said. "I think we have a group that wants to play hard and they don't want to be taken lightly. But we are going to have more experience and that will help."
All the Indians' hard work is now geared toward the opener against Paraclete on Sept. 6. Last season, Burroughs lost to the Spirits (12-2 in 2012), 35-10.
"Paraclete is the only private school out there, so anybody who wants that type of atmosphere, that's where they go," Knoop said of the school in Lancaster. "They usually get some talented kids. But I think they lost more than we did from last season. I think we've gotten better than they have."
Burroughs will play its second nonleague game on the road, as well, against nearby North Hollywood (6-5) on Sept. 13 and wrap up the preleague action Sept. 19 with a home game against Camarillo (10-2).
"North Hollywood is a real unknown factor for us. I really have no idea what they have," Knoop said. "And Camarillo is always going to be tough. They have been [Pacific View] League champs for four years in a row now. They're lower levels were very good last year. But we get them at home and that's nice."
Following the nonleague schedule, the Indians will begin Pacific League play Sept. 27 at Glendale (3-7) before a string of four consecutive league home games. In its other league contests, Burroughs will play Crescenta Valley (5-5) at home Oct. 4, host Muir (8-4) on Oct. 11, host Hoover (3-7) on Oct. 17, host Pasadena (1-9) on Oct. 25, travel to Arcadia (4-7) on Nov. 1 and take on Burbank (7-4) on Nov. 8 in the annual Big Game clash at Memorial Field.
Knoop said he has seen most of the Pacific League teams during summer play and one stands out.
"Muir," he said. "We saw Muir at the Pierce Tournament and they looked good. They have some good-looking kids. They are a team that lost in the CIF quarterfinals last year. I don't know where they keep getting the kids, but they do."
2013 Indians Schedule
Sept. 6 at Paraclete, 7 p.m.
Sept. 13 at North Hollywood, 7 p.m.
Sept. 19 vs. Camarillo at Memorial Field, 7 p.m.
Sept. 27 at Glendale, 7 p.m.
Oct. 4 vs. Crescenta Valley at Memorial Field, 7 p.m.
Oct. 11 vs. Muir at Memorial Field, 7 p.m.
Oct. 17 vs. Hoover at Memorial Field, 7 p.m.
Oct. 25 vs. Pasadena at Memorial Field, 7 p.m.
Nov. 1 at Arcadia, 7 p.m.
Nov. 8 vs. Burbank at Memorial Field, 7 p.m.