The Student News Site of Burlingame High School

The Burlingame B

The Student News Site of Burlingame High School

The Burlingame B

The Student News Site of Burlingame High School

The Burlingame B

New coaches bring energy, experience to winter sports

Zachary Newman
Head coach David Lopez watches his team play defense during the Panther’s matchup against Capuchino.

Boys’ basketball: David Lopez

Zachary Newman

It may be his first year as a varsity head coach, but David Lopez has his squad ready for this season. The boys’ basketball program, led for 21 years by veteran head coach Jeff Dowd, hasn’t missed a beat under Lopez thus far.

In his first year at Burlingame, Lopez brings his young and energetic attitude. But he won’t just be coaching his players on the court, rather, he plans to prioritize relationships off it. 

“The thing I value most in basketball is the relationships each day with everyone you get to know and the bonds you get to create,” Lopez said. “That’s the biggest thing. The rest of it; the winning and losing, of all that comes second to the relationships you build.”

Lopez enters his eighth year of coaching with three prior years of experience at the varsity level. He spent at Hillsdale High School, the last three as the boy’s varsity head assistant coach. But this year, Lopez will be a head coach for the first time, a challenge he is excited to take on. 

“I love working with young athletes and helping them not just succeed on the basketball court but also off the court,” Lopez said. “It’s fulfilling to see them go on after high school and have them come back and tell me about all the great things that they accomplished. I am hoping to play a little part in what they do outside of basketball.”

So far in the young season, Lopez has emphasized discipline and continued execution in practice. 

“We’re working as hard as we can,” Lopez said. “Offensively, we’re just trying to make sure we’re sharing the ball and taking care of the ball, taking the right shots. Then defensively we’re just trying to work as hard as possible as a unit and try to out-hustle teams.”

Despite a relatively young and inexperienced roster, Lopez is confident the Panthers will improve as the season progresses. After three consecutive trips to the Central Coast Section (CCS) Division III championship game — of which Burlingame won two — Lopez believes this team can reach those same heights. 

“Our goals are going to be to compete with everyone we play,” Lopez said. “Try to win as many games as possible so that by the end of the season, we’re playing our best basketball going into CCS and hope to make a run in CCS.”

Beyond the ambitious goals and intense practices, Lopez ultimately wants the squad to have fun on the court, something he believes can lead to winning.

“[I’m even-keeled and] empathetic towards others,” Lopez said. “I try to have a lot of fun, because at the end of the day, why not have fun while you’re doing something?”

Girls’ basketball: Ned Diamond

Jeannine Chiang

Head coach Ned Diamond was only five years old when he picked up a basketball. Although he didn’t know it at the time, the sport would become a lifelong passion. After graduating from Duke University, there was only one pursuit for Diamond: teaching basketball at the highest level.

After 25 years in the coaching field, basketball has become a part of Diamond’s identity. With experience coaching as close as Crystal Springs and as far as Argentina, he may be new to Burlingame, but he certainly is not new to coaching a young group of talent.

“I love coaching. I played high school basketball. I love sharing the love of the game, building teams, and getting people confident about their skills,” Diamond said.

But most of all, it is the environment that Diamond enjoys the most. With a young family of his own, he was inspired to coach the Burlingame girls because his kids attended local public schools, too.

“Teaching at a local public school and giving back to the community is really important to me,” Diamond said.

Coaching basketball wasn’t Diamond’s only way to give back. He also taught math, and now applies the dynamics of complex equations played out on the court — between the various statistics and analytics of the game, calculations in basketball are Diamond’s strengths. Thus, he utilizes his teaching skills in the classroom coaching on the sideline. 

“I’m a math teacher [so] I really want to teach the game,” Diamond said. “I understand that kids will make mistakes and the important thing is to learn from it. It’s more about fun and getting better.”

Diamond believes that players best develop in practice through a balance between challenge and routine. 

When he is away from the sport, Diamond is an audiophile, whether listening to a leadership podcast, singing at a karaoke night or simply playing good music.

“I love music,” Diamond said. “I just don’t mind being a little bit of a dork, so I think it’s fun to kind of be yourself.”

And it is true – Diamond brings a unique sense of wacky humor that the team wouldn’t have bonded over without him. With Diamond organizing holiday parties for the girls, low team spirit is the last of the squad’s worries.

“In all the lessons you learn from playing basketball, teamwork is something that is bigger than yourself.”

Girls’ soccer: Andrew Flaherty

Joelle Huysmans

New girls’ varsity soccer head coach Andrew Flaherty brings a strong coaching background to his inaugural season at Burlingame. He has coached at the college and club level, and has eight years of experience as an assistant high school coach in 2011. 

“I always enjoyed coaching because it’s a way to stay competitive,” Flaherty said. “Since I coach club too, it’s just a way to help create a good training environment for all of these kids that are playing year round.”

As Flaherty searched for the next chapter of his coaching career, his attention immediately turned to Burlingame’s girls’ soccer program. Since they were in the same town, he anticipated the majority of the players would also play for the Burlingame Soccer Club, which promised a good background in soccer and year-round play. Nevertheless, Flaherty is well aware that each player brings a different skill set to the field and has different ambitions. 

“This season, we are just trying to develop and play,” Flaherty said. “For some players, they play high school soccer because they really enjoy it. For a lot of them, they play because they play club and it’s just a good way to continue to develop. We are just trying to make sure that the environment suits every player and what they are trying to get out of it.” 

During practice, Flaherty opts for drills that not only require constant movement, but force players to think about what they are doing and problem solve as they go.

“I always try to do most of my coaching in my training sessions, not in the middle of the game,” Flaherty said. “Soccer is one of those sports where the group has to be able to solve problems on their own when they are out there so we are constantly finding ways to help them do that in training.”

Flaherty has always believed that a triumphant team should be able to communicate openly and honestly with each other. He often emphasizes, “We take no offense and mean no offense”. This principle seems to fit perfectly with Burlingame’s girls’ soccer program because of their strong sense of community.

“We’ve got a good core group of seniors that especially lead by example,” Flaherty said. “Players like Cora Haggarty, Elise Spenner and Kaylee Ng that are already friends outside of soccer, along with a big group of sophomores, are able to come in and create this great team culture with the other players.”

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About the Contributors
Zachary Newman, Sports Editor
Zachary Newman is a junior and second-year journalism student. He is excited to be the B's sports editor this year and continue to improve the sports coverage in the paper. Zachary spends the majority of his time outside of school on the golf course. He also likes to play with his dog and cheer on his favorite sports teams.
Jeannine Chiang, Web Editor
Jeannine Chiang is a junior at Burlingame High School and a second-year journalism student. She is excited to continue journalism as the Web Editor this year. Chiang is involved with many clubs in the school and enjoys spending time with her family and friends. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and watching her favorite TV shows.
Joelle Huysmans, Diversity Coordinator
Joelle Huysmans is a sophomore at Burlingame High School and Diversity Coordinator for The Burlingame B as a second-year journalism student. Outside of school, she enjoys playing tennis, running in track and field, spending time with friends, playing board games with her family, and traveling across the world to discover foreign cultures. Her profound passion for reading and writing has led her to this class and she is excited to see where it will take her next.
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