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Burbank's super Hooper

A successful three-sport athlete, Katie Hooper's latest accomplishment is helping the Bulldogs girls' volleyball program capture its first league title in 37 years

October 01, 2012|By Jeff Tully, jeff.tully@latimes.com
(Cheryl A. Guerrero…)

Katie Hooper has produced an impressive track record at Burbank High over the course of the last four years. When a team has Hooper on its roster, success seems assured.

During her freshman and sophomore seasons, Hooper was the starting goalkeeper for the Burbank girls' soccer team, helping it attain postseason berths both years. During her sophomore campaign in 2010, she was part of a team that stayed in contention for the Pacific League championship until the final regular-season match. Although the Bulldogs lost to eventual champion Crescenta Valley, Burbank placed second in league and advanced to the second round of the CIF Southern Section Division II playoffs.

As a standout softball player at the school, Hooper has earned All-CIF, All-Area and all-league accolades during her three seasons with the Bulldogs, helping them to the playoffs all three years. In addition, she was a driving force on the 2012 team that rolled to the CIF quarterfinals for the first time in two decades and placed second in the Pacific League.

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"Success does not come without hard work," Burbank softball Coach Nicole Drabecki said. "Katie is determined, focused and has the desire to do whatever it takes. It takes a mentally tough person to work to their highest ability, every single day, no matter how tired you are and no matter how hot it is — she will reach that level.

"She is a great worker, she gives 100% all the time and it takes that to be the best."

Hooper's successful influence has arisen again this fall with the Burbank girls' volleyball team. A senior outside hitter, Hooper is a member of a squad that is in the midst of a historic season. The Bulldogs are undefeated with a sparkling 7-0 record in non-tournament matches. More importantly, they are also perfect in league with a 5-0 mark.

With defending league champion Burroughs' 25-22, 27-25, 33-31 loss to Arcadia on Thursday, Burbank finds itself alone in first place in the Pacific League. That is unfamiliar territory for the Bulldogs, who haven't won a league title in 37 years.

"Winning a league title is on everybody's mind," Hooper said. "That is something that is very important to us. We realize that it's been a really long time since we've won a league title, so that is a really big goal for all of us."

The Bulldogs took a major step in that direction with a three-game sweep of Arcadia in a league contest Sept. 18. It was the first time Burbank notched a win against the Apaches since joining the Pacific League in 2006

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