Brinkley, Newport Harbor return home to Davidson Field

Brinkley, Newport Harbor return home to Davidson Field
Newport Harbor High will take to their home field Friday for the first time in 672 days. ((File photo))

When Newport Harbor High steps on the field Friday, it will mark the first time it has played a football game at Davidson Field in 672 days.

The Sailors finally get to compete at home. The $15.9-million renovations to Davidson Field are complete.


“A game is a game,” said Newport Harbor coach Jeff Brinkley, downplaying his program’s return home. “The fields are all the same size. They did a nice job with the facility, but I’m more concerned with us playing a little bit better.”

Brinkley’s Sailors dropped their season opener on the road last week, losing to Pacifica, 33-7, at Bolsa Grande High.


They played on grass, something they won’t have to deal with on their new field. There is an artificial turf at Newport Harbor, a major change from the past. The Sailors are used to the fast surface, having played their home games last year at Estancia’s Jim Scott Stadium and Orange Coast College’s LeBard Stadium.

Davidson Field’s reopening ceremony is on Friday at 5 p.m., two hours before the Sailors kick off against Chino Hills (2-0).

While Brinkley won’t admit it, he has to be happy leading his team at Davidson Field again. Last year marked the only one in his 32 seasons with the Sailors that every game was on the road.

Local football teams ranked

Edison, Corona del Mar, Newport Harbor, Fountain Valley, Marina and Ocean View made the CIF Southern Section football polls in their respective divisions on Tuesday.

The Chargers (1-1) dropped from No. 1 to No. 4 in Division 2 after getting upset, 24-19, at home by Westlake Village Oaks Christian last week.

The Sea Kings (1-1), who beat Los Gatos, 43-28, at Davidson Field, come in at No. 5 in Division 4, two spots down from a week ago.

The Sailors’ 33-7 setback to Pacifica moved them down from No. 2 to No. 5 in Division 6, while the Barons are No. 9, cracking the poll for the first time. Fountain Valley improved to 2-0 by blanking South Torrance, 48-0, at Cap Sheue Field. The Barons have exceeded last year’s win total.

The Vikings are No. 6 in Division 12, falling three spots despite beating Torrance, 26-15, at Westminster High to start 2-0 for the second straight year.

Ocean View is No. 9 in Division 13. The Seahawks opened the season with a 42-0 shutout of Los Amigos at home.

Former Chargers to coach against each other

Jeff Grady and Mike Ogas went to Edison, played football for Dave White, and spent one year together at the school.

They also finished 1-2 when it came to Edison finding White’s successor in January.

Grady earned the job, and Ogas returned to Canyon. The two coaches will cross paths on Friday, when the Chargers travel to play Canyon at El Modena High at 7 p.m.

“Mike Ogas is a really, really good guy,” said Grady, who graduated from Edison in 1998, three years after Ogas. “Obviously, if I didn’t get [the job], I would’ve personally wanted him to get it, just because I know what a good man he is and what he stands for.”

Huntington Beach’s Olson delivers perfect snap for USC

Jake Olson, a blind long snapper from Huntington Beach, got his chance to play for USC’s football team on Saturday.

Olson, who lost his eyesight to cancer at age 12, came onto the field in the fourth quarter of USC’s 49-31 win over Western Michigan at the Coliseum. After jogging onto the field with the assistance of holder Wyatt Schmidt, Olson helped the Trojans score their final point. He snapped the ball to Schmidt, who set the ball up for Chase McGrath’s successful kick.

Olson, a walk-on junior, hiked the ball in a game for the first time since his senior season at Orange Lutheran in 2014. He earned the Pac-12 Conference Special Teams Player of the Week honor.