NOTEBOOK / SEAN WATERS
With Big Trip Nearing, Beverly Hills Gets an Early Start on Football Season
Despite having to practice in 90-degree heat, nearly 80 football players showed up Monday for two-a-day practices at Beverly Hills High.
Although organized practice officially begins Thursday for other Southern Section teams, the Normans began a week ahead of schedule because they have been invited to play in the Shawn Akina Memorial Classic in Honolulu, where they will play Chugiak High of Alaska on Sept. 1.
“Normally we get around 60 players,” Beverly Hills Coach Carter Paysinger said. “Eighty football players. That’s pretty high for us.”
The Normans return 39 varsity lettermen, including 19 starters, from last season’s 2-8 team. The sophomore team went undefeated and won the Ocean League championship.
Athletic Director Dick Schreiber said that players who participated in spring and summer workouts and new students are eligible to make the trip to Hawaii. He estimates about 60 players will go.
“They had to make a commitment to the team,” Schreiber said. “We’re not taking players who are coming out just to join the bandwagon (to Hawaii).”
Santa Monica College sophomore quarterback Jorge Blanco, who passed for 1,637 yards and 14 touchdowns last season, spent the summer working in the weight room and the results are evident.
“He’s made so much improvement we don’t believe he’s the same player,” first-year Coach Robert Taylor said. “We asked him to get physically stronger and he is. We asked to work on his passing game and he did that. He has really blossomed.”
The Corsairs, who finished 3-6-1 in 1993, are scheduled to began practice today.