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Teams hoping to rebound

Burroughs, Burbank hope to contend for CIF after tough 2010 campaign.

August 27, 2011|By Jeff Tully, jeff.tully@latimes.com

It was a disappointing 2010 campaign for the two area boys' water polo programs.

Burbank High was able to secure the fourth and final CIF Southern Section Division V playoff spot from the Pacific League, but fell in the wild-card round against La Salle, 10-6.

Burroughs wasn't able to earn a postseason spot, as the Indians finished sixth in league.

The Indians did show promise late in the season, however, as they fell to the Bulldogs, 9-6, in the regular-season finale and almost defeated Arcadia, 8-7, in the consolation round of the Pacific League Tournament.

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With their share of returning players, along with some new athletes who could make instant impacts, Burbank and Burroughs are hoping to bounce back this season.

Here is a look at how the teams are shaping up.

BURBANK

The Bulldogs have a new coach after the departure of Carlos Pelayo. Adam Wright, who headed the Burbank swimming program for a decade and who has overseen the aquatics programs at the school, takes over the helm.

"I have worked with some head water polo coaches here and I've been the [junior varsity] coach, but I don't think I've ever been the head coach," Wright said. "It's kind of the first time that it's all me. "But I am looking forward to it and the guys have been really great."

Although he was only inserted as the program's coach a few weeks ago, Wright said he likes what he sees with his squad.

"We have a lot of returning guys," he said. "There are some little changes here and there, and that's what kind of happens when a new coach comes in. But we have some guys who have the experience and they are looking good.

"We are getting a late start on things, but all the guys are working hard."

Leading the group of returners is Sam Akopyan, a senior all-league standout who will be the team's premier driver. Wright said they will rely on the left-hander a great deal this season to pace the offense.

Also returning are Kevin Miller, a senior hole-set, junior driver/defender Zach Card, Daniel Gonzalez, a junior hole-set, and sophomore goalkeeper Derek Baer.

Wright said he also expects sophomore Dante Nazarian, a transfer from Crescenta Valley, along with junior Sean Savoy, to also contribute.

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