First published in the Dec. 25 print issue of the Burbank Leader.
Burbank High School’s varsity boys’ water polo team is coming off one of its most significant seasons in school history after finishing as runners-up in the CIF-SS Division V championship game. And it gets better for the Bulldogs as senior Johnny Agazaryan was the CIF Division V Player of the Year.
Junior Zack Gezalyan and senior Hovannes “Hovo” Baboudjian also earned All-CIF first-team honors.
Agazaryan had a phenomenal season as he led Burbank to a Pacific League title with a perfect 8-0 record (22-3 overall) for the first time since 1969, according to Burbank athletic director Patrick McMenamin. He scored a team-high 136 goals; the Bulldogs’ next four high scorers were Gezalyan (40 goals), Baboudjian (38), Andranik Bilbulyan (37) and Robert Kharazyan (31). Agazaryan also registered 80 steals and 65 assists, both team-highs.
“He had a very successful season; he’s a great leader and a great team captain,” BHS head coach David Arakelyan said. “He deserves this honor because I think he was the best player in Division V.”
In addition to Gezalyan’s 40 goals, he also recorded 43 steals and 36 assists.
“Zack’s probably one of the hardest working people I’ve ever coached,” Arakelyan said. “He grew and stepped up as a leader both offensively and defensively.”
Baboudjian was a first-year varsity player and only took up the sport his sophomore season. He rounded out Burbank’s All-CIF honorees as he registered 38 goals, 29 steals and 15 assists.
“Hovo grew a lot this year,” Arakelyan said. “Any time he shot the ball, it was a rocket. He scored some big goals throughout the season and in the CIF finals. It was a good season for him.”
This water polo team made Burbank High School’s first CIF championship appearance since the boys’ basketball team in the 2017-18 season. The Bulldogs will seek to defend their league title and expand on their recent success next season.
Providence Volleyball Standout Makes First Team
Providence High School senior outside hitter Ashley Davis was recognized as an All-CIF-SS Division VI first-team honoree.
In 95 sets, Davis recorded a team-high 325 kills in 679 attempts (47.9%) with 12 aces, 39 solo blocks and 42 digs. She had a career-high 31 kills in a five-set loss to Claremont Webb to end her high school career.