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Burroughs High football hopes to move forward, rebound

Football: After disappointing 2012 season, Indians have regrouped and have sights set on getting back to winning ways, and hopefully contending for a Pacific League title.

September 03, 2013|By Jeff Tully, jeff.tully@latimes.com
(Mike Mullen )

While they have their sights set on the future, the Burroughs High football coaches and players can't forget about the past.

What the Indians want to remember is the feeling they experienced last year after a disappointing 2012 season. The disappointments started with a 4-6 showing on the year and culminated with a 4-3 record in the Pacific League, tying Burroughs for third place and missing out on a spot in the CIF Southern Section Southeast Division playoffs.

That was not what the program has been accustomed to in recent years, having captured Pacific League championships in 2006, 2009, 2010 and 2011.

"Obviously, we weren't happy with what we did last year," senior wide receiver/linebacker George Al Ajijian said. "We want to use that as a reference point of where we don't want to be and what we don't want to do. We just have to go into this season and think of it as a new year and not let what happened last year happen again."

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Burroughs Coach Keith Knoop, who is in his 17th season at the helm, said not making the playoffs last season is something he and his players are determined not to repeat this year.

"I'll put it in perspective for you how it was for us last year," said Knoop, who has been involved in the Indians program for 21 years. "In 2006, we started this thing called the Hammer Award. I started that award because we hadn't won a league championship in 25 years. And this year I decided to start another one because I told them last year it felt like another 25 years.

"But I expect great things from this team this season. We have 33 seniors who went through that last season and experienced it as a team and they don't want that. We are going to go for the gold ring and that means a league championship."

The Indians will get the chance to begin to right last year's wrongs when they open the season Friday with a 7 p.m. nonleague game at Paraclete. The Spirits (12-2 last season) are ranked No. 2 in the Mid-Valley Division and are coached by Norm Dahlia, a former Burbank High assistant.

Paraclete lost its season opener last week against Serrano, 21-12.

The Indians will square off against the same three nonleague opponents they faced last season — which also includes North Hollywood and Camarillo — as Burroughs came out on the losing end of all three games. The Indians have lost 10 straight nonleague games dating back to 2009.

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