It was an emotional end to the regular season for the Burroughs High boys' soccer team.
The Indians ended the campaign Thursday with a 4-2 victory against cross-town rival Burbank. The victory clinched the Pacific League championship for Burroughs in what turned out to be a highly competitive league season.
"I think the boys enjoyed winning the league, and obviously it was emotional for them," said Burroughs Coach Mike Kodama, whose team captured the league crown for the second consecutive season. "But now we have to move on to other things."
That moving on would be the CIF Southern Section Division III playoffs, as the pairings were released Monday. The Indians (15-3-5) will host the playoff opener Thursday likely at 5 p.m. at Memorial Field. Burroughs will take on the winner of Tuesday's wild-card contest between Katella (13-5-3) — No. 3 from the Orange League — and Yorba Linda (7-8-7) — No. 3 from the Empire League.
"As a team, we always want to do well in the playoffs," Kodama said. "And there is more and more pressure as you go deeper and deeper in the playoffs. But I also want the guys to have fun as well. For some of them this is an once-in-a-lifetime thing and I want them to enjoy it."
Last season, Burroughs won its opening match of the CIF Southern Section Division III playoffs, defeating Anaheim, 4-3, at home before downing host Redlands East Valley, 2-1, in the second round. Unfortunately for the Indians, their season ended in the quarterfinals with a 4-3 loss in overtime at third-seeded Palmdale.
"You just never know in the playoffs," Kodama said. "One little thing could mean the difference in you moving on or going home."
If the Indians were to be successful in their opening-round game, they could face a difficult task in the second round. The team might face El Rancho (12-7-3), the Del Rio League champion and last season's CIF divisional champion. That contest would take place Feb. 25.
"It's always nice to play at home, and we'll take it," Kodama said. "It's always good for a team to play at home for the playoffs."