The Burbank High football team accomplished something in 2012 it hadn’t done the previous season — advancing to the CIF Southern Section Southeast Division playoffs.
The Bulldogs also played well in the Pacific League, finishing second behind champion Muir.
The fine accomplishments for the Bulldogs continued Monday, as two of their players were named to the All-CIF team.
Making the team on offense was sophomore running back James Williams. Senior lineman Steven Kim earned a spot on the defensive squad.
Joining the two Bulldogs on the All-CIF list was senior Josh Martinez of Bellarmine-Jefferson. Martinez was a Northeast Division offensive selection.
“It’s a big honor to be named All-CIF in football at Burbank High,” Bulldogs Coach Hector Valencia. “If you look at all the years we’ve played football at the school, there’s really not an overwhelming amount of players who’ve been named All-CIF. It’s something James and Steven can be proud of.”
As a dangerous weapon for Burbank, Williams made an instant impact with the varsity team after playing on the freshman squad the year before. Along with earning the Pacific League Offensive Player of the Year award, he was also an All-Area first-team selection.
On the season, Williams had 133 carries for 1,443 yards (10.8 yards a carry) and 17 touchdowns.
Kim was a stalwart on the Burbank defense, earning him the Pacific League Defensive Player of the Year honor, along with an All-Area first-team accolade. Kim had 65 tackles and 12 sacks.
“Both of those guys just worked so hard in the offseason and during the season to be the players they were,” Valencia said. “They were both a force, James on the offensive end and Steven on defense. They had to make an impact with the other coaches, because they are the ones who vote for All-CIF. I couldn’t vote for our guys.”
The Bulldogs went 7-4, 6-1 in league and fell in the first round of the playoffs to Norwalk, 49-14.
Carrying the majority of the offensive workload for Bell-Jeff, Martinez had 237 carries for 1,813 yards (181.3 yards a game) and averaged 7.7 yards a carry. In addition, he tallied 26 rushing touchdowns. In total, Martinez chalked up nearly 2,100 total yards and had 29 touchdowns and 38 two-point conversions for a total of 250 points on the season.
“When our starting quarterback went down during the season, Josh is the one who carried the team,” Bell-Jeff Coach David Machuca said. “The other teams knew that he was going to get the ball and they still couldn’t stop him.
“I expected Josh to be named All-CIF. When you put up 250 points…that’s quite an accomplishment. He definitely worked to get the honor.”
Martinez helped the Guards to a 4-7 record (2-2 in league). Bell-Jeff qualified for the CIF Southern Section Division Northeast playoffs, losing to No. 2 Rio Hondo Prep, 57-6. Rio Hondo Prep went on to win the division title, downing Mission Prep, 28-21.
It was the first time the Guards qualified for the postseason in three years.