Banning High School's ascension to No. 1 in the national high school football rankings and its dominance over opponents this season--especially on defense--is reflected in The Times' 1986 All-South Bay high school football team, which features five Pilots on the first team and five on the second.
Banning Coach Chris Ferragamo calls his defensive 11 his best ever, and some coaches and scouts agreed. Eight of the Pilots' all-stars are on defense.
The Banning contingent is joined by choices from the South Bay's other top teams: three first-teamers apiece from Carson and Redondo and two each from South Torrance, Morningside, Miraleste and Palos Verdes.
The all-star team also has a first for the South Bay--the first eight-man player named to the first team. Chadwick star Jeff Kaufman, the quarterback/cornerback/punter who led Chadwick to an undefeated season and the CIF Eight-Man Conference title, is the all-star kicker.
The 23 first-team members, their coaches and parents will be guests of The Times at 9 a.m. Sunday at the annual Times High School Football Awards Brunch, where all-star teams from 10 circulation areas will be honored at the Anaheim Hilton. The featured speaker is Coach John Cooper of Rose Bowl-bound Arizona State. The South Bay back, lineman and coach of the year also will announced.
The teams were chosen on the basis of a poll of South Bay coaches, who are asked to fill out ballots nominating their own players and opponents, plus the observations of college scouts and sportswriters. In some cases two-way players are not listed at their primary positions. Some minor juggling is done to get the best players on the teams.
The first-team offense has junior Tim Fletcher of Mira Costa and Treamelle Taylor of Hawthorne at wide receiver, linemen Brian Kelly of South Torrance, Mark Comings of Miraleste, Mike Padilla of Banning, Tommy Luapo of Carson and Jimmy Porter of Morningside, Scott Yessner of Redondo at quarterback and Mike Silane of Miraleste, Steve Kujawa of South Torrance and Alvin Goree of Carson at running back. Goree and Kelly are repeaters from 1985.
The first-team defense is headed by a Banning quartet--tackles Terrance Powe and Tyrone Rogers, linebacker McCann Utu and safety Marvin Pollard. They are joined by linemen Alan Wilson of Carson and Derek Capper of Palos Verdes, linebackers Corey Brown of Morningside and Clint Mosley of Redondo and backs Damon Mack of Gardena, Mike Stone of Redondo and Austin Peters of Palos Verdes. Mack is the only junior on defense.
Fletcher and Taylor are among the smaller players, but both were big-play men. Playing for undermanned Mira Costa, the 145-pound Fletcher was a marked man in nearly every game but caught 48 passes for 1,009 yards and 10 touchdowns, five of them longer than 50 yards. His 21-yards per-catch average was fourth-best in the CIF. The fleet junior also returned kickoffs for touchdowns of 95 and 85 yards. Taylor, a two-year starter at Hawthorne at 5-10, 175 pounds, caught seven touchdown passes.
The player who launched a passel of touchdowns was Redondo's Yessner, who threw for about 1,500 yards in leading the Seahawks to their most successful season in a decade at 9-3. His top target was Stone, a two-way player listed at defensive back. The Redondo senior caught nine TD passes from Yessner and added another score on an interception return.
The running backs are familiar names to South Bay fans. Goree, the three-year Carson starter, is the Colts' all-time rushing leader with more than 2,000 career yards. He was named Pacific League most valuable player despite his team's second-place finish. A punishing blocker for running partner Calvin Holmes (who is on the second team), Goree rushed for 810 yards, averaged 8.6 per carry, scored nine touchdowns on the ground ant three more receiving and added a 99-yard kickoff return. Coach Gene Vollnogle summed up his play in two words: "The best."
The diminutive Silane, one of the area's leading scorers as a junior, rushed for nearly 1,500 yards and 15 touchdowns as a senior and played safety. When Miraleste quarterback Todd Hollingshead suffered a broken leg at the start of league play, Silane became the offense. But nobody stopped him. Coach Gary Kimbrell has described him as "a 6-2, 210-pound running back in a 5-6, 160-pound body."
The player clearing holes for Silane most of the time was Comings, the top offensive and defensive lineman for the Marauders. He had 47 tackles, five sacks and six tackles of backs for losses.
Kujawa, the area's scoring leader with 23 touchdowns, helped lead South to its best season ever as the Spartans made their first appearance in a conference semifinal. Kujawa, focus of the ground-oriented attack for the last two years, had about 1,300 yards rushing and showed surprising breakaway speed.
Kujawa also had a pretty good chauffeur up front in the 6-5, 245-pound Kelly, a pre-season All-American who lived up to billing. Kelly received the most coaches' votes of any lineman and was often picked both ways.
Banning Coach Ferragamo listed Padilla, an all-leaguer the last two seasons, as "the best one-on-one blocker in the City--pulls, pass blocks, does it all." He gets some argument from Vollnogle, who tabs Luapo "the best offensive lineman in the area." Vollnogle called the player who helped set up the Alvin 'n' Calvin Show "a good pass blocker and great power blocker."
Porter, a two-year all-league choice, could have been selected on offense or defense. The hard-hitting senior teamed with Corey Brown to blast holes on offense, and he had an average of eight tackles and two sacks per game on defense.
Kaufman, Chadwick's talented signal-caller, passed for about 1,500 yards and 23 touchdowns on a 70% completion rate and had a 42-yard punting average. He was the Eight-Man All-CIF punter as a junior.
Powe and Rogers are a matched set on defense, where scouts have trouble recalling two better tackles playing together in high school. Add Utu, the Pilots' latest in a long line of great middle linebackers, and free safety Pollard, perhaps the best all-around athlete on the team, and one sees why the Banning defense had five shutouts and allowed only 4.5 points per game.
"This summer Ferragamo said he had 16 Division I (major college) prospects. I just laughed," one scout said. "Then I went to see them and . . . he's got a dozen Division I kids. I'll bet he and Carson have nearly two dozen prospects."
Carson's best on defense is lineman Wilson, the team's second-leading tackler and a straight-A student. Among Wilson's 75 tackles were a fumble recovery for a touchdown, a school-record 11 quarterback sacks and 16 tackles for minus 120 yards. Vollnogle noted that Wilson "plays 100% all the time."
Capper may have been Palos Verdes' most valuable performer. On defense he had four quarterback sacks in league play to help the Sea Kings tie for the Bay League title, and on offense he played fullback, leading the way in PV's I-formation. "We never would have won the league title without his strength," Coach Bill Judy said. "He was the most important player on our team."
His teammate, Peters, may have been the Sea Kings' most talented player and is a Division I prospect despite his 5-9, 165-pound size. At defensive back the two-year starter was in on 16 tackles in four league games. He had no interceptions, Judy explained, "because teams stayed away--offenses did not throw to his side. He was never beaten deep all year."
Linebackers Brown and Mosley were the most dominant defensive players in the Pioneer League. Brown, an All-CIF selection as a junior and a good bet to repeat, averaged 10 tackles a game and lived up to pre-season All-American status. He also played fullback and lineman on offense, blasting holes for Morningside's running game.
Mosley is called by Coach Les Congelliere "our most dominating defensive player on a pretty good defensive team."
Mack, the two-way Gardena star, was his team's MVP and its best receiver as well as free safety. In Coach Dale Hirayama's summation: "Fast, intelligent, great leaper with reaction to the football." The 6-2 junior had two interceptions and 34 receptions for an 18.6-yard average.
SOUTH BAY 1986 Los Angeles Times ALL-STARS OFFENSIVE TEAM
Name School Height Weight Year Tim Fletcher Mira Costa 5-9 150 11 Treamelle Taylor Hawthorne 5-9 165 12 Brian Kelly South Torrance 6-5 245 12 Mark Comings Miraleste 6-1 215 12 Mike Padilla Banning 6-3 235 12 Tommy Luapo Carson 6-1 235 12 Jimmy Porter Morningside 6-1 200 12 Scott Yessner Redondo 5-10 180 12 Mike Silane Miraleste 5-6 160 12 Steve Kujawa South Torrance 6-1 190 12 Alvin Goree Carson 5-10 185 12 Jeff Kaufman Chadwick 6-3 180 12
Name School Height Weight Year Alan Wilson Carson 6-3 220 12 Terrance Powe Banning 6-4 260 12 Tyrone Rogers Banning 6-5 240 12 Derek Capper Palos Verdes 6-2 205 12 Corey Brown Morningside 6-2 225 12 Clint Mosley Redondo 6-1 220 12 McCann Utu Banning 6-1 200 12 Damon Mack Gardena 6-1 160 11 Marvin Pollard Banning 6-2 180 12 Mike Stone Redondo 5-11 165 12 Austin Peters Palos Verdes 5-10 170 12
SECOND TEAM OFFENSE
Name School Position Height Weight Year Charles Jordan Morningside WR 5-10 160 12 Chris Redlew Mary Star WR 5-9 165 11 Jim Folkard Torrance OL 6-2 210 12 Lorne Stevenson Serra OL 6-3 243 12 Danny Gunderson Banning OL 6-3 230 12 John Staiger Hawthorne OL 6-0 200 12 John Henderson W. Torrance OL 6-0 205 12 Niu Sale Bishop Mont QB 5-9 170 11 Yke Vallery Hawthorne RB 6-1 180 12 Thurman Black Torrance RB 5-11 160 12 Calvin Holmes Carson RB 5-10 175 12 Luis Solorio Carson K 5-11 170 12
SECOND TEAM DEFENSE
Name School Position Height Weight Year Steve Lancaster W. Torrance DL 5-11 210 12 Louis Wooldridge Banning DL 6-2 215 12 John Milam Palos Verdes DL 5-11 230 12 Eric Dozier Banning DL 6-2 215 12 Calvin Spears Banning LB 6-0 180 12 Joseph Jackson Serra LB 5-11 189 12 Edwin Ulufanua Carson LB 6-0 200 12 Sang Pak Gardena DB 5-6 141 12 Sheldon Jones Carson DB 5-10 180 12 Anthony Jefferson Leuzinger DB 6-0 165 11 Marlon Primous Banning DB 6-4 210 12