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UNLV Lands Hanson

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Los Alamitos quarterback Ryan Hanson, who passed for 3,099 yards and 31 touchdowns, is one of several Griffin football players to announce college plans, Coach John Barnes said Monday.

Hanson, a Times all-county first-team selection, has committed to play at Nevada Las Vegas, where he figures to become a prime cog in the attempt of former USC Coach John Robinson to rebuild the Rebels. Robinson, hired by UNLV last month, inherits a program that did not win a game last season.

Los Alamitos defensive back Adolph Keyes (Oregon) and Stefan Merriweather (Nevada) have also made their choices, Barnes said.

Wide receiver Keenan Howry and defensive back Brandon Cheri are expected to announce their plans in the next week or so, Barnes said.

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Orange Lutheran wide receiver Tim Fleming, a second-team Times all-county defensive player, also is headed to Nevada. Fleming caught 52 passes for 1,22 yards and 12 touchdowns. He also intercepted five passes.

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Irvine junior forward Matt Taylor, one of the county’s top soccer players, has a broken bone in his right foot and might miss the remainder of the season. Taylor, who had 12 goals and eight assists in 12 games, suffered the injury two weeks ago during the third-place game of the Trabuco Hills Mustang Invitational against Saddleback.

Irvine Coach Rich Breza said Taylor will miss at least another three weeks.

“He’s got more important things to think about than high school soccer,” said Breza, who was an assistant at Woodbridge the previous four seasons. “We’re not going to let him come back until he’s absolutely ready, and that might not be before the end of the season.”

The Vaqueros are off to their best start in the program’s history at 8-4-1.

“Losing Matt might make us play as more of a team,” Breza said. “When you have a Matt Taylor, it’s easy to knock him the ball and watch him go. He’s easily the best youth player I’ve ever seen.”

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Bob Johnson, who turned El Toro into a football power in the 1980s, appears to be the leading candidate for the Mission Viejo football coaching vacancy.

Johnson, former Laguna Hills coach Steve Bresnahan and Woodbridge Coach Rick Gibson are the finalists to replace Steve Carnes, who is also Mission Viejo’s athletic director. Johnson, who coached at El Toro from 1978 to 1990, led the Chargers to three Southern Section titles.

Johnson said Monday night he had interviewed for the job, but said he hadn’t heard anything since.

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Bresnahan won a Southern Section championship at Laguna Hills in 1997, but he has been out of coaching for a year.

“Bob Johnson would be a logical choice,” Bresnahan said.

Carnes said an official announcement on the Diablos’ coach will come Wednesday.

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Bolsa Grande Athletic Director Ron Inman said three of his varsity coaches are leaving for personal reasons. Laura Milledge is leaving the softball program after one year, David Cho is quitting as boys’ tennis coach after three seasons and Minh Nguyen is leaving as badminton coach after seven seasons.

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Savanna boys’ Athletic Director Tom Voigt recently retired, the school announced. Voigt, who spent nine years at Savanna, was a teacher and coach in Anaheim for 38 years.

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Outside hitter Jennifer Rizzo, a second-team All-South Coast League selection from Dana Hills, has committed to play women’s volleyball at Georgia State in Atlanta, Orange County Volleyball Club Coach Charlie Brande said.

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Defensive back James Sergeant of Tustin, an all-Golden West League first-team selection, has received an appointment to the Air Force Academy, Tiller Athletic Director Al Rosmino said.

Staff writer Dave McKibben contributed to this story.

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