West continues Indian tradition

February 01, 2003

Jeff Tully

Burroughs High has a fine reputation of churning out successful

college football players.

However, along with success on the field, the Indian program also

has an impressive track record of preparing players for the future,

as well as helping them make their way to prestigious universities.

The latest in the line of successful student-athletes is senior


Alan West. The 6-foot-2, 260-pound defensive lineman has committed to

play at University of Pennsylvania, an Ivy-League powerhouse.

"We try to convey to our players that there is more to life than

just football," Burroughs Coach Keith Knoop said. "They realize that

if they want to play at the college level, they have to take care of

their academics."

To make sure the Indian players stay on the right academic path,

Knoop and his staff initiate grade checks every five weeks. If an

athlete is having problems with his studies, the coaches guide him to

specific counseling and study groups to help him get back on track.

"I haven't figured it out for this year yet," Knoop said. "But for

last year, for all of our football levels, I think we had something

like 98% of our players who had a 2.4, or better, grade-point


"Education is important in our program and we do all that we can

to prepare them for life after high school."

Knoop also receives help keeping players academically on track

from the Burroughs administration.

"Not just Coach Knoop, but all of our coaches have access to my

computer system to keep track of players' grades," said Jay Gudzin,

Burroughs vice principal of academics and athletics. "We also utilize

the NCAA Clearinghouse so players can see what is expected of them at

a particular college."

During Knoop's six-year tenure as Burroughs coach, the program has

turned out its share of Ivy League players. West joins Joey Learman

(class of 1998; Columbia), Kyle Cremarosa (1999; Harvard) and Keith

Jarbo (2001; Brown) who have earned their way to institutions of

higher learning.

"The Ivey League schools are not easy to get into, academic wise,"

Knoop said. "They have certain standards that they are looking for.

At Harvard, I think if you don't get at least a 1,320 on the

[Scholastic Achievement Test], they won't even look at you."

West -- who had his pick of just about every Ivy League school --

had no problem achieving that standard, as he scored a 1,370 on the

SAT. He also has a 4.4 grade-point average.

"The great thing about Coach Knoop and the other coaches is that

Burbank Leader Articles Burbank Leader Articles