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Back from the brink

Coach Bryan Camacho has boosted confidence, and the win total, at Bell-Jeff

February 14, 2007|By Jeff Tully

"The big thing is that coach has helped us to believe in ourselves," Burrola said. "We are again getting respect from other players, from our school and we even have gotten more respect for ourselves.

"You will never hear 'you can't' from coach — never. He is always pushing us to get better and to be the best we can be."

Junior Joelle Hajj said although the squad has most of the same players, the feeling in the program is different from last season.


"It's really a different atmosphere this year," she said. "We have a lot more confidence and we feel there isn't anything that we can't do. It's also fun to win this year."

Junior Ashleigh Diller will likely be the team's biggest cheerleader on the bench for Thursday's game. Diller won't be playing after severely injuring her knee in practice Saturday.

Diller said it has been Camacho's tough-love approach to the team that has helped the Guards be successful.

"He works us hard, but that's only to bring out the best in us," she said. "He yells at us in practice, but he yells because he cares for us, and we know that."

With just two seniors on the team, it's a good bet that Bell-Jeff will be back even stronger next season.

In the meantime, Camacho said he is hoping his Guards will be able to pull off some surprises in the postseason.

"We always strive high here at Bell-Jeff," he said. "We don't focus on anything less than winning a CIF championship."

At least next year, Camacho knows what he's stepping into — a team that now expects to win.

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