Edison High School, the No. 1 team in Orange County? Bill Workman says it isn’t so. No way in the world, he says. And he’s the coach.
“There’s no way we’re in the top 10 in anybody’s poll,” Workman said. “It just can’t be. Well, maybe in eight-man football.”
You wanna talk defense? “We don’t have any at this stage,” Workman said. “We’ve got only two guys returning.”
To hear Workman tell it, Edison should high-tail it out of the Sunset League and see if there are any openings in the Desert-Inyo League. This is downplay with a capital ‘D.’
But there must be some reason the Chargers are favored to win the Sunset title. There are four other coaches in the league who would like to have Workman’s problems. Fountain Valley’s Mike Milner will take his chances with what he’s got, which appears to be plenty, but the rest of them figure Workman is in a pretty enviable position.
The fact is that Edison should be every bit as good as everyone expects them to be. The Chargers have six starters returning from a team that went 8-3 in 1984, and each of those losses came by one point. They have a strong offensive line (in a league where that is all the rage), loads of talent at the offensive skill positions and their usual assortment of major-college prospects.
“They have so much offensive skill back, the highest level of anybody in the league,” Marina Coach Dave Thompson said. “And they always play fine defense.”
Fountain Valley, the defending league champion, has at least six players that Milner expects to attract attention from major colleges, including lineman Lance Zeno, who may be the most heavily recruited player in the county this year.
Marina has the personnel to field the league’s best defense, but lacks the proven offensive players to be in the same category as Edison and Fountain Valley. Huntington Beach, Westminster and Ocean View will need to pull off some big upsets to gain a playoff spot.
Every coach in the league has at least one offensive lineman that he expects to play major-college football. “There’s going to be a lot of college coaches looking at the Sunset League,” Westminster co-Coach Jack Bowman said.
Huntington Beach Coach George Pascoe thought he was getting a huge surprise in Dan Goodman, a 6-foot 7-inch, 290-pound junior from Banning High in Wilmington. Goodman was the talk of the late summer practice sessions when he arrived at Huntington Beach as a transfer.
“I’ve just heard that he’s from Banning, he’s 6-7, 290, and he bench presses foreign cars,” Milner said.
But Goodman apparently disappeared as quickly as he came. “He’s not even on campus,” Pascoe said Monday, the first day of school. “He was huge.”
Here’s a closer look at the Sunset League:
EDISON: Key Personnel--Rick Justice (5-9, 170), WR; Ken Griggs (6-4 1/2, 217) TE; Tyler Hanson (5-11, 225), G; Randy Goens (6-3, 253), OT; Mike Angelovic (6-0, 175), QB; Jim Collins (5-9, 190), NG; Phil Nabal (5-9, 185) DE; Casey Jones (5-9, 165), DB; Don Aselin (5-10, 180), P.
Top Newcomers--David Sherman (5-11, 190), RB; Kaleaph Carter (6-0, 200) RB; Marc Hartman (6-2, 190), LB/TE; Bernie Colacchio (5-11, 205), LB/FB; Mike Henderson (6-1, 175), DB/WR; Kevin (6-1, 251), OT; Doug Blanchard (6-3, 228), G.
Outlook--The offensive line, which Workman expects to be his team’s strength, will be slightly restructured because of an injury to Goens. Goens suffered stretched knee ligaments in preseason practice and may not return until the Chargers open league play. Workman characterizes Angelovic as an accurate passer, and he has two reliable receivers in Justice (47 receptions for 986 yards and 9 touchdowns in 1984) and Griggs, a major-college prospect at tight end. “Griggs has got to be one of the best in the county,” Workman said. “He’s right there with some of the best we’ve had. He’s very much like Mark Boyer (now with the Indianapolis Colts), except he’s faster. Many eyes will be focused on Carter, a sophomore who rushed for 1,942 yards in nine games as a freshman. Workman said Carter may be the Chargers’ running back of the future, but he’s guarded about the present. “I don’t want him to be in a position of having to carry us,” Workman said. “We’ve got enough people to do that.”
FOUNTAIN VALLEY: Key Personnel--Lance Zeno (6-4, 255), OT/DT; Patrick Henigan (6-2, 240), G; John Peart (6-0, 185), QB; Terry Reichert (5-10, 210), FB/LB; Dennis Arey (5-11, 175), WR; Rob Lendino (6-3, 225), TE/DE; Glen Gordon (6-4, 225), TE; Daniel Ramsey (5-10, 185), DB; Dave Wyngaarden (6-5, 245); OT; Ron Cookston (6-2, 240), G.
Top Newcomers--Tom Vrab (5-9, 195), RB; Jim Brandon (5-11, 175), WR; Rob Briggs (5-11, 165), DB; Warren Taylor (6-3, 240), G/LB; Chris Neria (5-8, 150), WR/DB; Derrick Munck (6-0, 180), DB.
Outlook--The Barons were dealt a big blow in preseason when starting tailback Tom Vrab suffered a knee injury that required arthroscopic surgery. There is no proven back-up, which means Milner will have to juggle things a bit until Vrab can return, which Milner hopes will happen as early as two weeks into the season. “We’ve had to change our thinking offensively and come up with a couple different ways of running the football than we’re accustomed to,” Milner said. Fullbacks Reichert and Jon Aguirre will have bigger roles in the early going. Peart, who came off the bench to lead the Barons to a 11-10 win over Edison last year in Anaheim Stadium, returns at quarterback. “He’s probably the most intelligent quarterback we’ve ever had in terms of executing our offense,” Milner said. Milner expects the linebacking corps to be the strength of his defense.
HUNTINGTON BEACH: Key Personnel--Scott Moberly (6-3, 235), T; Randy Hatch (6-1, 220), LB/TE; Scott Elliott (6-1, 185), RB/LB; Joe Napoli (6-2, 180), QB; Franco Pagnanelli (6-0, 225), OL/LB; Chris Ross (5-10, 170), DB/RB.
Top Newcomers--Ken Rehling (6-0, 180), DB/RB; Darryl Skinner (5-8, 165), RB/DB; Nick Davenport (5-10, 175), DB/RB; Dean Cunningham (6-1, 170), WR/DB.
Outlook--Pascoe is hoping that a veteran defense (eight returning starters) will be able to compensate for his team’s inexperience on offense. Moberly, Hatch and Pagnanelli lead a defensive unit that Pascoe expects to be among the best in the county. Napoli was the starting quarterback last season before suffering a broken collarbone at midseason. He completed 54 of 128 passes for 778 yards in 1984. Elliott rushed for 700 yards on 142 carries and was a second-team, all-league selection. Pascoe is beginning his third year as the Oilers’ coach. That’s long enough to know how things work in the Sunset League. “Fountain Valley and Edison are going to be Fountain Valley and Edison,” he said. “They’re going to be good. I think we’re going to battle Marina and Westminster for the other playoff spot. And I think Ocean View’s not far behind.”
MARINA: Key Personnel--Bill Craft (6-0, 190), DB; Pat Brown (6-0, 215), OT; Rick Hunt (6-4, 270), G; Steve Jennings (6-1, 160), WR; John Porter (5-10, 230), G; Dave Winterhalter (6-1, 190), DE; Preston Hayslette (6-1, 205), TE/LB; Dean Yoshiyama (5-7, 160), DB; Keith Laszlo (6-0, 185), QB/DB; Ron Larson (6-0, 220), DT; Ty Youngblood (6-1, 220), NG.
Top Newcomers--Todd Destatte (5-10, 190), LB; Mike Stafford (5-10, 180), RB; Sean Barbosa (5-10, 170), DB; Brian Sterzer (5-9, 155), WR; Tyler Aldous (5-11, 160), WR/DB; Dan Maginelli (5-9, 202), C; Matt Matay (6-2, 188), DE; Sean Magula (5-10, 175), RB.
Outlook--The Vikings got a head start on the rest of the league by opening their season last Friday in Hawaii against St. Louis High School of Honolulu, a game that ended in a 9-9 tie. “We had a great time over there,” Coach Dave Thompson said. “We practiced a little football, and had a lot of fun.” Marina returns to mainland competition Friday against Esperanza, so the vacation is clearly over. But the Vikings appear to have a solid defense and an offensive line that may approach some of its counterparts in size and ability. That line, led by guards Hunt and Porter, will be trying to protect a quarterback who is in his first season of tackle football. Junior Rick Vanderriet will direct the Vikings’ veer offense. He completed 4 of 12 passes for 42 yards and had one pass intercepted against St. Louis. “He’s doing a good job but, yeah, it concerns me,” Thompson said of Vanderriet’s inexperience. The Vikings have experience in the defensive line and linebacker positions, and one of the county’s top defensive backs in Craft, who had eight interceptions last season.
OCEAN VIEW: Key Personnel--Pete Tucker (6-5, 245), TE/DT; Shawn Fleming (6-5, 250), T; Jeff Darling (5-10, 170), RB/DB; Marc Ohm (5-11, 195), FB/LB; Dewayne Bandaruk (6-0, 170), WR.
Top Newcomers--Kurt Szaba (5-10, 165), DB; Chris Ibargary (6-0, 170), QB; Ken Stubbert (6-8, 260), NG; Desi Hazely (6-5, 215), LB.
Outlook--Coach Karl Gaytan , entering his second year at Ocean View, admitted he had high expectations when he took the job last year. “The kids I inherited last year were 1-29 when I got them as seniors,” he said. “That’s why I’m taking a much more realistic look at this year. It’s going to take three years to turn the corner.” In Tucker and Fleming, the Seahawks will have a couple of big players to help them be more competitive in a league in which size is a must. Gaytan has recruited Hazely, a central figure in the Ocean View basketball controversy, and Stubbert into the football program and has hired Howard Isom and Kurt Clements--both assistants at Huntington Beach last year--to serve as his defensive and offensive coordinators. Darling and Ohm will share the ballcarrying responsibilities. “They should make a good tandem, if we can provide some holes for them to run through,” Gaytan said.
WESTMINSTER: Key Personnel--Herman Baine (6-2, 221), DT; Dave Brandt (6-3, 215), C; Steve Gulley (5-11, 175), QB; Pete Gill (6-4, 222), DT; Jack Evans (6-3, 195), TE; Todd Weaver (6-1, 225), LB; Dave Shelly (5-11, 180), RB; James Solley (6-2, 192), RB; Mark Smith (6-2, 209), LB.
Top Newcomers--Gary Lewellyn (6-4, 230), G; Keith Covarrubias (6-2, 215), G; Mike Cover (6-2, 195), DE; Ray Smith (6-1, 218), LB; Mike Austin (6-2, 190), DB.
Outlook--Jack Bowman, who has served as Coach Jim O’Hara’s defensive coordinator for the past two seasons, becomes the co-head coach this year. Bowman will again be responsible for the defense, which is expected to be the Lions’ strength. An increased emphasis on weight training in the offense has given the Lions better size, in a league where there is little room for little guys. “We’ve been the smallest team in the league the last two years,” Bowman said. “Now, I think we’re right up there physically with everybody.” Baine and Weaver anchor the defense. Brant has impressed Bowman at center, but is the team’s only experienced offensive lineman. Gulley, a reserve running back last year, will direct the offense. Solley and Shelly are competing for the starting tailback position.