Bell-Jeff’s Napier Leaving A Legacy!

August 16, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

BURBANK – Rishonda Napier ends her tenure at Bell-Jeff as one of the most decorated players in program history, helping the Guards to a league title and a deep CIF run. Read more

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Camacho Steps Aside!

June 19, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

BELLARMINE-JEFFERSON HIGH — After building a girls’ basketball dynasty at Bell-Jeff, coach and athletic director leaving school to accept an assistant job at CSUN.

There have been a lot of sleepless nights the past few weeks for Bellarmine-Jefferson High’s Bryan Camacho.

Faced with a tough decision, the longtime coach and the school’s athletic director agonized about a possible move.

Ultimately, the decision came down to what would be best for his future. With that in mind, Camacho said Friday that he is leaving Bell-Jeff and has accepted an assistant coaching position with the Cal State Northridge women’s program.

“Being able to be the first assistant at CSUN is just a great opportunity for me,” Camacho said. “It is just a different challenge and I’m fortunate to be able to have this opportunity. The timing of this and the opportunity that I have, it’s just too tough to pass up.”

Along with being Bell-Jeff’s girls’ basketball coach for a total of right years — serving two four-stints — Camacho also headed the boys’ basketball program last season and served as the school’s athletic director.

A 1992 Bell-Jeff graduate, Camacho said because of his close ties and the long standing relationships he has cultivated at the school, leaving was a monumentally difficult decision.

“The decision was very hard on me,” he said. “Just working with such great kids and with [Bell-Jeff Principal] Sister Cheryl [Milner], it was just such a special time in my life to be at Bell-Jeff.

“It has been the toughest two weeks of my life, just deciding what to do. I really thought long and hard about what I should do.”

Although Milner said she is happy with Camacho’s new opportunity, she is also sorry to see him go.

“With his charisma and his talent, we have no doubt that he will be successful in his new endeavor,” Milner said. “But at the same time, we’re sorry to see him go.

“He has meant so much to our school over the years and he has given so much back. He definitely will be missed.”

Camacho built the Bell-Jeff’s girls’ basketball team into one of the top programs in the state. Since coming back to the school for the 2006-07 season, Camacho and the Guards have enjoyed a wealth of success.

In those four years, Bell-Jeff has captured state and Southern Section championships, advanced to division title games twice and won three straight Santa Cruz League crowns.

In the four-year stint, Camacho led the program to a 104-21 record. In his eight years with the Guards’ program, Camacho accumulated a 183-50 record and had a .785 winning percentage.

“I am just so proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish at Bell-Jeff,” Camacho said. “More important to me than the banners that were able to put up and the championships that were able to win, was the kids were able to help, and the joy in seeing them become successful off the court.”

After making the CIF Southern Section quarterfinals in 2007, the Guards advanced to the Division IVA championship game in 2008. In the title contest, Bell-Jeff fell to league rival St. Mary’s Academy, 70-38.

Bell-Jeff rebounded to put together the finest season an area basketball program has experienced during the 2008-09 campaign.

In the final game of the season, Bell-Jeff defeated Pinewood, 55-47, in the CIF State Basketball Division V Championships at Arco Arena in Sacramento. It was the first state title by any team — in any sport — in city history.

The win gave Bell-Jeff a 34-1 record, which set a new school record. In addition, the team ended the season on a 20-game winning streak.

The Guards also won the CIF Southern Section Division VA championship against Santa Clara, 61-31. It was the program’s first crown in 12 years.

Bell-Jeff advanced to the playoffs after winning the Santa Cruz League championship.

Last season, the Guards went 25-7, won a league title, advanced to the Southern Section Division IVA semifinals and qualified for Southern California regional quarterfinals of the Division IV state playoffs.

Camacho also helped the Guards boys’ team become successful in his first season last fall. Bell-Jeff (19-6) was the runner up in the Santa Fe League and advanced to the Division VA quarterfinals, losing to No. 2-seeded and eventual-champion Besant Hill, 73-56.

Camacho has a knack for helping teams achieve success. He took over the Bell-Jeff girls’ program during the 2000-2001 campaign, and inherited a team that went 28-45 the previous three seasons.

In four seasons, Camacho’s teams went 79-29 (a .731 winning percentage) and the Guards made the playoffs all four years.

In 2003, the Guards reached the Division IVA championship for the first time in six years, losing to Westlake Village Oaks Christian, 53-44, at the Long Beach Pyramid.

Camacho left Bell-Jeff after the 2003-04 school year to take a men’s assistant basketball position at University of Great Falls, a National Assn. of Intercollegiate Athletics college in Montana.

Feeling the job in Montana wasn’t the right fit for him — and missing his friends and family back home — Camacho left his position after one year and returned to Southern California.

With a background in criminal justice, Camacho decided to pursue a career as a law enforcement officer. After graduating from the Sheriff’s Academy, he was assigned to the Men’s Central Jail in Downtown L.A.

Although he said he found the Sheriff’s job challenging, he decided to make a change.

In the two seasons before Camacho’s return in 2006, Bell-Jeff went 9-30 (3-19 in the Sunshine League) and failed to qualify for the postseason both years.

“We can look back and say we did some great things at Bell-Jeff,” Camacho said. “But I will continue to be involved with Bell-Jeff I just love the school.”

In Camacho’s new position at CSUN, he will work with first-year Coach Jason Flowers. Last season, the Matadors went 4-24 and were 2-14 in the Big West Conference.

Jeff Tully

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Lady Guards Look To Repeat!

August 28, 2009 by · 1 Comment 

BURBANK – The new school year is underway at Bellarmine-Jefferson high school and the 2008-2009 Div V State Champions Lady Guards are looking forward to another fantastic year.

Even with the loss of two seniors, 2 time player of the year and female athlete of the year Shelley Gupilan and Elizabeth Hawthorne all state 2nd team they were recently ranked in the top 3 by several media outlets and projected to repeat as champs.

Under the direction of CIF Coach of the year Bryan Camacho, Bell-Jeff is returning 4 starters, Margeaux Gupilan, Rishonda Napier, Julia Tani and Jasmine Smith including two All State/All CIF players, (Margeaux Gupilan, Rishonda Napier), along with incoming freshman Leslie Lopez-Woods who proved herself this summer to be an impact player. All five of these young ladies were recently rated among the top players in the state by CalHigh Sports. (read article)

Other names to watch are junior transfer Layana White, who can play several positions and earned 1st team all Foothill league honors last year at Canyon high school averaging 14 points and 3.2 steals per game, plus sophomore transfers Khia Jones (Sierra Canyon HS) and Marilyn Flynn (Burroughs HS).

Story by: Eric “Rico” Reed

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Tully Trophy Time Again!

July 12, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

BURBANK – Summer is here, and most local high school athletes are finally getting some time to relax after an eventful 2008-09 school year.

The year saw its share of remarkable achievements; successful teams and outstanding individuals who helped make the campaign memorable.

But along with the successes were disappointing moments and unique happenings that deserve recognition.

As is the yearly tradition, these deserving athletes, coaches and events from the four high schools — Burbank, Burroughs, Providence and Bellarmine-Jefferson highs — should be given special treatment.


So here is this year’s list of Tully Trophy winners. To be a recipient, an individual, team or school has to exhibit meritorious or worthy accomplishment. Either that, or they have to have done something stupid or strange.

So without further ado, here are the lucky winners:

• The Team-of-the-year trophy goes to the Bellarmine-Jefferson High girls’ basketball squad. Under Coach Bryan Camacho, the Guards became the first team in city history — in any sport — to capture a state championship. Bell-Jeff also won a CIF Southern Section Division VA title, its first in 12 years.

• The Athlete-of-the-year trophy is given to Burroughs distance runner Western Nelson. He became the first Indians boys’ runner to advance to the CIF-State Cross-Country meet (finishing 15th) and also advanced to the CIF-State Track and Field Championships in the boys’ 3,200 meters (finishing 16th). Nelson also set the school record in the 3,200.

• The Triple-threat trophy is awarded to Burroughs three-sport athlete Chris Morris. Not only was he an All-Area honoree in football and boys’ basketball, but he was also a standout in track and field, advancing to CIF Southern Section Division I finals in the boys’ 400. Morris is headed to Northern Colorado on a football scholarship.

• The Lucky-seven trophy is given to Bell-Jeff baseball Coach Hector Perez. The coach got his team to the postseason for the seventh straight time, something no other local baseball program can boast. The Guards won their Division VI wild-card game against La Sierra Academy, 19-1, to earn only the program’s second-ever postseason win.

• The Hate-to-see-you trophy is awarded to Providence volleyball Coach James Jimenez. There was a group of fine coaches who stepped aside or were swept aside this past season. Jimenez was one of them. He headed the Pioneers girls’ and boys’ programs, and along with being a fine coach, he is also a nice guy.

• The What-were-you-thinking trophy? Is given to an unidentified Burroughs boys’ tennis supporter. The guy, who was either a parent or someone associated with the team, yelled and belittled Burbank baseball Coach Bob Hart during a match at the school. With the tennis courts adjacent to the baseball field, the man didn’t like the idea of Hart making noise and kicking up a little dirt tending to his field during the match. Let’s just say Hart wasn’t at all pleased with the guy telling him what to do on his own home field.

• The Take-a-chill-pill trophy goes to an unnamed Burroughs tennis player. After getting into argument prior to a match with Burbank, the Indians player lost a set. After the loss, he obliterated his racket against a wall outside the court. He then proceeded to walk down the street next to the school, cursing and hitting street signs.

• The Finally trophy is awarded to the Burbank football team. The Bulldogs pulled off a major upset in the first round of the Southeast playoffs, defeating No. 2 Santa Fe, 20-14. It was the Bulldogs first CIF win in 81 years.

• The Instant-impact trophy goes to Bell-Jeff freshman Rishonda Napier. In her first season with the Guards’ basketball team, the guard helped the team win CIF and state titles. She earned first-team All-CIF and all-league honors, averaging 14.1 points, 3.8 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 2.6 steals a game.

• The Glad-you’re-here trophy is awarded to Burbank baseball player Lonnie Kauppila. After transferring from Crescenta Valley, the junior shortstop helped the Bulldogs make the postseason. He batted .508 (30 for 77) and had 12 home runs to earn first-team All-CIF and all-league accolades.

• The It’s-about-time trophy is given to those involved in the renovation of the Burbank and Burroughs sports facilities. Construction has finally begun at Burbank High. Let’s just see if the project gets finished on schedule.

• The Sister-act trophy goes to Emily and Sarah Tubert. Emily, a junior at Burroughs, won the Pacific League championship in girls’ golf — by a whopping 12 strokes — and earned Rolex Junior All-American honors. Sarah, a sophomore goalkeeper for Burbank, helped the Bulldogs win a Pacific League title and advance to the Division IV quarterfinals in water polo.

• The Well-done trophy is given to everyone involved in the Burbank centennial celebration. A lot of people put in a great deal of time and effort to make the festivities a success, and the hard work paid off. Kudos also to the hall of fame election committee which made some fine picks.

All this year’s recipients can now come up and accept their awards, and please, make your speeches brief.

Jeff Tully

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Summer Basketball Schedules Announced!

June 6, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Believe it or not, Basketball season is upon us once again and Coach Bryan Camacho has both team busy.  

That’s right, the 2009 Summer schedules have been announced and the action Officially kicks off next weekend with our State Champion girls participating in the Cathedral City Tournament 6/12-6/14/09.  

They follow that up with league play on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at Burroughs High School, and tournaments in Palm Springs and San Diego!

New head Coach Camacho is making sure the Boys are putting in work this summer as well with a challenging schedule that starts on 6/15/09 with league games at Providence High School on Mondays and Crespi High School on Wednesdays.

They will also travel with the girls to Palm Springs at the end of the month. As always, the coaches and players invite everyone to come out and support your Guards as they prepare for the 2009-2010 season.

Please click here for links to a complete listing of game times and locations. 

Go Guards!


by – Eric “Rico” Reed

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CIF State Regional Finals!

March 16, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Please enjoy this collection of photos from the Bell-Jeff vs View Park Prep CIF State Regional Finals! Photos compliments of: Judy Daza! (Click on gallery name or arrows to view!)

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info:false; carousel:true; text:CIF State Div V Regional Champions; open:opened; links:false; margin:8; align:center;]

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