Burroughs, Burbank football players earn All-CIF honors
It was a banner 2015 football season for Burroughs High, which had one of its finest years in decades.
The Indians went undefeated in the Pacific League and claimed their first championship in three years before advancing to the quarterfinals in the CIF Southern Section Southeast Division playoffs.
Burbank also turned in a winning campaign, staying in contention for a league title until the final regular season game before tying for second.
That success translated to a share of postseason accolades for both squads. More of those honors were garnered Tuesday when the CIF office released the All-CIF Southern Section teams across all divisions. Seven Indians and one Bulldog earned awards.
The Indians honored were senior quarterback Steven Hubbell, junior running back Chance Bell, senior offensive lineman Anthony Garcia, junior offensive lineman Jesse Chamberlain, senior defensive back Robert Awunganyi, senior defensive lineman Cole Gurley and senior linebacker Connor Garden. The Bulldogs’ representative was junior linebacker Andy Reyes
“That’s the most All-CIF awards that our program has received since I’ve been here,” said former Burroughs Coach Keith Knoop, who stepped down after leading the Indians for 19 seasons. “I think the most we had gotten before this year was four in 2006. We actually could have gotten more, but two of my players who were voted on were taken off because they said we had too many.
“It’s nice for the guys to be recognized with All-CIF awards. We had a good season and it’s always a positive thing for our program.”
Bell, the league player of the year who missed nearly two games because of injury, proved to be a valuable offensive asset for Burroughs. He scored 23 touchdowns, carrying the ball 178 times for 1,378 yards while averaging 7.7 yards a carry and more than 125 yards a game.
Hubbell, who was the Pacific League Offensive Player of the Year, took over the job as the team’s starting quarterback and didn’t disappoint. The senior led the team in total touchdowns with 33 (27 passing and six rushing). Hubbell completed 146 of 223 passes (65 completion percentage) for 1,820 yards and six interceptions. In addition, he ran for 250 yards.
“We actually got Steven on All-CIF as a back,” Knoop said. “La Mirada, which won CIF and state titles, their quarterback was player of the year in the division and Cathedral had a very good quarterback. So with just one spot open at quarterback we wanted to get Steven and the Cathedral quarterback on.
“It’s tough in the voting because you put your player up and as a coach you can’t vote for your own guy.”
Awunganyi proved to be an all-around contributor for the Indians. On defense, he had 52 tackles and three interceptions. On offense as a receiver, he tallied 239 yards receiving and two touchdowns. In addition, the senior had 726 total yards as a kick/punt returner.
Anchoring the offensive line and opening holes for Bell as well as providing time for Hubbell were Garcia, who was co-league lineman of the year, and Chamberlain, a first-team all-league selection, while Gurley, the co-league defensive player of the year, was a standout on the defensive line, ending with 59 tackles and 10 sacks. Garden, a first-team all-league pick, had 66 tackles, six sacks and had two interceptions.
“We always take pride in the play of our offensive line,” Knoop said.
Burroughs captured the Pacific League with a 7-0 record, earning its first title since 2012. The Indians ended the season with a 10-2 record, falling to St. Francis, 21-7, in the CIF Southern Section Southeast Division quarterfinals.
“Andy is a very smart player and when we put him into that new position that we call the monster position, we knew that he had the skills and the intelligence to make it work,” Burbank Coach Richard Broussard said. “We always told him he’s a monster on the field and now it was time to move him to that position.
“He is just a special kid. He really took to the position and he had fun doing it. That is a position that we rely on a lot and Andy really came through.”
Reyes, the league defensive player of the year, set a school record with 132 tackles, including 94 solo tackles. In addition, he had four sacks and four fumble recoveries.
Burbank went 6-5, 5-2 in league and fell in the first round of the playoffs to Dominguez, 41-21.