Bits and pieces from the local sports scene

School gets former NFL player as new coach: With its share of Burbank residents on the roster, the Village Christian football team advanced to the semifinals of the CIF Southern Section Mid Valley Davison this past season under Coach Jeff Cortez.

However, Cortez announced he was leaving before the conclusion of the season, and the Crusaders were left looking for a coach.

Village Christian wasted little time hiring a new coach, and what a hire it is.

The school has hired former NFL quarterback Jay Schroeder, who played for four teams in a career that spanned 11 seasons, as its director of football operations.

Schroeder, who will start his new position next month, will leave his position as assistant athletic director at powerhouse Oaks Christian in Westlake to come to Village Christian. Friday, the Lions defeated Westlake, 29-28, in overtime to win the Northern Division championship.

Schroeder takes over a program that last won a CIF title in 2003.

As the director of football operations, he will head the varsity team and also oversee the Crusaders' junior varsity and middle school football programs.

In a statement, Tom Konjoyan, the head of Village Christian Schools, said he received more than 75 applications for this position, but had honed in Schroeder from the start.

"Jay is a leader of great Christian character who will not only build a great football program, but also will develop the character of our student athletes," said Konjoyan in the statement.

Schroeder said in the statement that he is looking forward to the challenge of helping the Crusaders continue the build the program.

"I want to build you up to be great young men," Schroeder said to the assembled team. "My job is to push you to be the best possible athlete and person you can be, and for you to be a success. I am going to ask you to work hard, have fun, and win."

Schroeder played for 11 seasons in the NFL before retiring in 1994. He started only one college game at UCLA in 1980 before he was chosen in the third round of the NFL draft in 1984 by the Washington Redskins.

His first NFL game experience came in 1985 when starting quarterback Joe Theisman's leg was brutally broken during a game against the New York Giants. Schroeder finished the year as the starter and the next year he passed for more than 4,000 yards en route to a Pro Bowl selection.

Schroeder started 10 league games for the 1987 Super-Bowl-Champion Redskins.

In 1988, the Redskins traded Schroeder to the Los Angeles Raiders, where he played for five years. In 1993, he played for the Cincinnati Bengals and then the Arizona Cardinals in 1994. Schroeder finished his career with more than 20,000 yards passing, had more than 100 touchdown passes and a .648 winning percentage.

He retired from football in 1995 and began coaching at Snow Canyon High School in Utah, serving as the team's offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. He has also worked as analyst for Sky Sports on its NFL coverage.

Burbank flag football team qualifies for SCMAF championship: The Titans, a youth flag football team from the Burbank Park, Recreation and Community Services league, is continuing a successful season.

The team won the San Gabriel Valley Southern California Municipal Athletic Federation tournament two weeks ago in Duarte.

It will now represent Burbank and the San Gabriel Valley in the Southern California SCMAF Flag Football Championship in Fontana on Saturday and Sunday.

The Titans are made up of 14 boys in second through fourth grades, most of who live in Burbank. Only four boys on the team had previously played flag football.

Coached by Brian Priestley, Chris Augustine and David Giraldo, the Titans were undefeated in the fall season with a record 14-0 record against the other Burbank teams.

A 46-0 win against a team from Arcadia gave the locals the San Gabriel Valley League crown. The Titans also beat Pasadena, 24-6, in the tournament.

The team includes Alex Giraldo, Jalen Priestley, Matthew Aziz, Joseph Augustine, Matthew Porras, Nathan Priestley, Jonathan Topete, Cole Doyle, Patrick Shashaty, Dele Hospidales, Dawson Mann, Jesse Rodriguez, Chase Marcy and Cole Coombs-Mickelson.

Area polo players named all-league: Three local boys' water polo players were honored with All- Pacific League honors.

Making the first team was Burbank High junior goalkeeper Jonas Paderinskis and Burroughs driver Martin Ortega-Jennison.

Bulldogs' Sam Akopyan was an honorable-mention selection.

Jeff Tully