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Burroughs boys' soccer looks to repeat in Pacific League

Boys' soccer: Indians looked stacked with host of returners, as Burbank, Providence will have young squads this season.

November 27, 2013|By Jeff Tully, jeff.tully@latimes.com
(File Photo )

The local field of boys' soccer teams has been reduced by one, as Bellarmine-Jefferson High will not field a team this season.

However, for the other three teams, Burroughs, Burbank and Providence, they all have their share of talented players who they hope will lead them to success.

The Indians are coming off a season in which they captured a Pacific League championship and advanced to the CIF Southern Section Division III quarterfinals.

Providence had a successful 2012-13 campaign as well. In fact, it was historic. The Pioneers clinched the program's first Liberty League title. However, the team couldn't keep the momentum going in the postseason, losing in the first round.

The Bulldogs didn't qualify for the playoff a year ago, finishing sixth in the Pacific League.

With the season beginning this week, here is a closer look at the teams.

BURROUGHS

Although the Indians (15-7-3 last season) lost three All-CIF Southern Section players to graduation, the team still has its share of talented players returning.

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"We are really fortunate when you look at it," Burroughs Coach Mike Kodama said. "We did lose three guys who were All-CIF, but we will have two returning players who were All-CIF last year. It's not often you get an All-CIF guy who returns, but to have two is really great.

"In addition to that we have a lot of guys back from last year's championship team, so we look pretty good."

The biggest loss to graduation for Burroughs was senior midfielder Brian Arzate, who along with earning All-CIF Division III first-team honors, was also the league's player of the year. The other All-CIF players who moved on were senior midfielder Manny Celio, also a first-team honoree, and senior forward Jorman Herrera, who made the second team.

However, returning for the Indians are senior midfielder Michael Conrad and senior midfielder/forward Brandon Gerlach, who were All-CIF third-team selections. Gerlach was second on the team with nine goals, but paced Burroughs with 16 assists, and Conrad had one goal and four assists.

"To have two guys like that back I think speaks well for us," said Kodama, who was named the league's coach of the year last season. "I think we return seven starters from last year, so most of the team returns. That is something we feel fortunate about. We expect those two guys to be right in the middle of the team and we expect them to step up into leadership roles for us."

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