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Scandal at top of the list

Memorial Field renovation and displacement of three football squads, team successes and individual accomplishments highlighted a year of fine efforts.

December 30, 2011|BY JEFF TULLY, jeff.tully@latimes.com
(Tim Berger/Staff…)

Throughout the past year, the local community experienced its share of important, interesting and unfortunate sports stories. Some of the stories touched us, some informed us and others just entertained us.

Although many of the stories deserve recognition, a select few stood out among the others.

Chosen by the Leader, here is a list of the top 10 sports stories of 2011.

1 Burroughs baseball program rocked by underage drinking scandal: The school was embarrassed and its program was shut down after a situation involving Indians players and an assistant coach came to light.

The school fired the varsity baseball coach and three assistants and canceled the remainder of the season after discovering an assistant coach allegedly served players beer during a tournament trip to Arizona.

Indians Coach J.R. Schwer and the assistants, who were all at the mid-March tournament in Arizona, were fired April 18. Schwer said he learned about the incident just three days before he was let go and acknowledged that a large number of players were served alcohol by an assistant coach.

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Initially, the 11 players who drank were suspended five days. Seven athletes who were aware of the incident but failed to come forward were given two-day suspensions. The suspensions of the seven players who did not participate were later rescinded.

"There were bad decisions made here ...," Burroughs Principal Emilio Uriostes said. "It's very hard then to say that this person ... was more culpable than another. Really, the best decision was to say that this is a serious matter ... and the right thing to do was to suspend the players, forfeit the season and say that we absolutely need a new coaching staff."

Burroughs hired a new coach in June in Eddie Alvarez, only to fire him for "inconsistent leadership" in late-October. A new coach, Kiel Holmes, was hired in November.

2 Anding runs wild and breaks records for Indians: Burroughs senior running back Zander Anding had a season that was nothing short of remarkable. He shattered school records, set the single-season league rushing mark, finished first in the state in two rushing categories and was No. 1 in the country in yards per carry.

In short, he put together the best season by a running back in city history.

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