For me, the entrance and exit to the Battle of the Bay high school football rivalry game last Friday was odd.
As I walked toward renovated Davidson Field at Newport Harbor, there was a long line of students waiting to get into the game. At the front was a police officer with a breathalyzer, testing students for alcohol.
During my 20 years covering sports, I had never seen students have to take such a test to enter a high school sporting event. But during last year’s Battle of the Bay game, there were reports of students being intoxicated.
“We hadn’t learned how to behave last year, so we had to make some adjustments,” CdM football coach Dan O’Shea said. “We need to get our community [together], making sure we respect the game. It’s a high school athletic [event] and [we have to] certainly act appropriately.”
Security also was not allowing water bottles into the stadium. I always carry a water bottle to every game, and security officers almost did not let me in.
I identified myself, telling them I was with the press and I was covering the game. They reluctantly let me in with the bottle.
I’m glad the security officers did not confiscate my water bottle because I had to use it at the end of my night at the stadium.
As I packed my belongings, after filing my story on CdM’s 39-21 win, I decided to take the stadium’s new press box elevator down. When I got to the first floor, the elevator doors would not open.
I was stuck inside the elevator for about half an hour. It was hot inside that elevator. The water kept me cool.
Fortunately, someone outside the elevator heard me yell and he called for help. Members of the fire department showed up, and the firefighters opened the elevator doors. I was thankful for the firefighters.
The incident was also a reminder that I need to take the stairs after a game.
Edison, CdM enter bye week
Edison and Corona del Mar, the top two football programs in our coverage area, and Marina have byes this week.
The Chargers, ranked No. 5 in the CIF Southern Section Division 2 poll, and the Sea Kings, No. 4 in Division 4, are both 3-1.
When Edison and CdM play again, they will have big nonleague games on Sept. 29 before they open league play.
The Chargers play at San Clemente, the school that prevented Edison from reaching its first CIF State championship game last year.
The Sea Kings play at Trabuco Hills, where O’Shea and offensive coordinator Kevin Hettig used to coach and teach.
Marina (2-2) returns to action on the road against La Habra Whittier Christian at Whittier College on Sept. 29.
Other locals ranked
Ocean View and Fountain Valley made the CIF Southern Section football polls in their respective divisions.
The two programs keep winning, as the Seahawks, ranked No. 5 in Division 13, are off to their first 3-0 start in school history. Coach Luis Nunez has Ocean View believing.
The Barons, No. 10 in Division 6, are 3-1 for the first time in three years. With coach Jimmy Nolan in his second year, Fountain Valley has bounced back since going 1-9 in 2016.
Sailors and Eagles try to right ship
Newport Harbor and Estancia are winless through the first three football games.
The Sailors are 0-3 for the first time since 1981, and the Eagles are 0-3 for the first time since 2005.
The Sailors’ first three opponents have a combined record of 10-2. Their next game is on Friday at Hacienda Heights Los Altos (3-1), a Division 6 finalist a year ago.
Estancia plays host to University (3-0) on Friday.
Mustangs winning nail-biters
Costa Mesa won another tight football game, edging Los Amigos 13-9 on the road last week.
The Mustangs improved to 3-1, winning by four points for the second straight week under coach Glen Fisher. He has turned things around at Costa Mesa, which went 1-9 last year.