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CIF team success, individual accolades highlight year

Burbank High football team advancing to CIF Southern Section semifinal game is at the top of the list.

December 27, 2013|By Jeff Tully, jeff.tully@latimes.com
  • Burbank High's James Williams helped lead the Bulldogs to one of their most successful seasons of the last century. (Raul Roa/File Photo)
Burbank High's James Williams helped lead the Bulldogs…

Throughout the past year, the local community experienced its share of important, interesting and significant sports stories. Some of the stories enlightened 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 2013.

1 Burbank football team rolls to CIF-SS semifinals: The Bulldogs were able to accomplish something that no other team in the program has been able do for more than 80 years.

Led by an accomplished running back and an efficient quarterback, Burbank advanced to the CIF Southern Section Southeast Division semifinals in November for the first time since 1927.

Burbank enjoyed a successful season under coach Hector Valencia, as the Bulldogs went 10-3 — 5-2 in the Pacific League — and notched two victories in the playoffs. Burbank saw its season end with a 28-21 loss to La Serna.

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The Bulldogs opened the postseason with a 49-14 win against Mayfair and then earned a 42-0 victory against Santa Fe in the quarterfinals.

Burbank was paced by junior running back James Williams. The Pacific League Offensive Player of the Year, Williams finished the season with a school-record 22 rushing touchdowns in 164 carries. His 1,469 yards (nine yards a carry) were good enough for second on the all-time school list. Williams also had 22 catches for 482 yards (21.9 yards a catch) and five touchdowns and had 2,307 all-purpose yards and scored 176 points (third all-time in program history).

The team also received a fine effort from junior quarterback Ryan Meredith. He set a school record for touchdown passes in a season with 29 and had just two interceptions. He also completed 128 of 226 passes for 2,320 yards to break another season school record. In addition, he had 73 yards rushing and two touchdowns.

2 Marcus LoVett Jr. leaves Providence boys’ basketball team: The talented athlete was one of the most highly touted players in the nation and he proved that with an outstanding freshman season for the Pioneers in 2012.

However, the sharp-shooting guard never finished out his sophomore season with Providence, leaving the team and the school during the 2012-13 campaign. It was never specified why LoVett ultimately left the school.

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