NOTEBOOK / ROB FERNAS : Coach, Area Soccer Players Will Give Pele a Running Start

One day you're teaching children how to play soccer, the next you're part of the world's most popular sporting event.

No wonder Larry Seibel is excited.

The Redondo Beach resident and two youth soccer teams he coaches will have their 15 minutes of fame Sunday during closing ceremonies for the World Cup at the Rose Bowl. Seibel and his players have been chosen to run behind Pele when the Brazilian soccer great carries the World Cup trophy into the stadium before the 12:30 p.m. championship game.

"Our team is about two feet away from him," Seibel said. "We're going to follow him out on the field."

Area youngsters taking part in the ceremony are from American Youth Soccer Organization teams based in south Redondo Beach--the Raptors, for boys 5 to 6, and the Hot Shots, for girls 8 to 10.

Seibel, whose daughter plays on the Hot Shots, will lead the players onto the field at the Rose Bowl.

"I have to keep them in line," Seibel said. "(Organizers) have already told me, 'Don't outrun Pele.'

"It's reminiscent of Rafer Johnson lighting the Olympic torch (at the 1984 opening ceremonies at the Coliseum). I'm probably more excited than the kids, but I won't let on."


One of the players participating in Sunday's closing ceremony is Mikhail Marinovich, son of Marv Marinovich and half-brother of former USC and Raider quarterback Todd Marinovich.

"He's probably the greatest 6-year-old athlete I've seen in my life," Seibel said. "Marv trains him like he did Todd, the same regimen, but he's a sweet, sweet kid."

Seibel said after Marinovich scored several goals in a game this season he moved the player to goaltender, thinking that would stop him from overwhelming opponents. It didn't.

"He kicked it all the way down the field into the goal," Seibel said.


The El Segundo American Legion baseball team posted a 6-5 record during a two-week trip to South Dakota and Montana. The team reached the final of the Rapid City tournament in South Dakota, losing to the host team, 5-1, in the championship game. El Segundo didn't fare as well in the Miles City tournament in Montana, finishing 1-3, but shortstop Morgan Ensberg and catcher Jake Coulter were named to the all-tournament team. No all-tournament team was selected at Rapid City. El Segundo (15-8-1) resumed Bay-Pacific League play this week and meets West Torrance in an important game at 7:30 Sunday night at Recreation Park. Entering the week, El Segundo was 7-0-1 and West was 8-1 in league play. West suffered its first loss Sunday to Mira Costa, 12-5, in eight innings. . . . El Segundo pitcher David Reed has signed with Pepperdine and Redondo pitcher Scott Albin, who is playing for El Segundo's American Legion team, has signed with Nevada . . .

Scott McKinley of Sacramento became a three-time champion of the Manhattan Beach Grand Prix bicycle race Sunday by winning the featured Senior 1-2/Pro main event. McKinley, who collected the first prize of $1,000, also won the race in 1987 and '92. Second-place finisher John Brady of Ireland was injured after the race when he fell from his bike after allegedly being kicked by another rider, Robert Gaggiolo. Brady and Gaggiolo reportedly exchanged words after jostling for position late in the race. . . .

Yvette Angel, the new girls' basketball coach at Bishop Montgomery High, is holding a three-on-three tournament July 23 at Bishop Montgomery for girls 10 to 18. Competition will be in four divisions: middle school, freshman, junior varsity and varsity. Prizes will be awarded through third place in each division, and each participant will receive a T-shirt. The fee is $65 a team. Registration is scheduled from 4 to 7 p.m. July 21 at Bishop Montgomery. Information: Angel at (310) 986-5782 or the school at (310) 540-2021 . . .

Registration has begun for a Southern California Municipal Athletic Federation men's C/D slow-pitch softball tournament to be played Aug. 7 in Gardena. All teams in SCMAF-sanctioned leagues through the parks and recreation departments in Southern California are eligible. Registration is $150 a team. Information: Deryl Lloyd at (310) 217-9542. . . .

Former South Bay standouts Sarah Hickert (El Segundo High) and Circe Thompson (Torrance) are freshmen on the women's volleyball team at the University of Maryland Baltimore County.

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