Air Force Lands deBrucky, County Lineman of Year


Esperanza defensive lineman Alex deBrucky, The Times’ Orange County lineman of the year, said he has accepted an appointment to the Air Force Academy and plans to play football for the Falcons next fall.

“I feel like I have a real opportunity to play there my first year,” said deBrucky, who is 6 feet 3 and 240 pounds. “I’m their No. 1 recruit. They were like, ‘We don’t want you, we need you.’ ”

DeBrucky made 125 tackles last season and also played tight end for the Aztecs, who finished ranked No. 1 in the county.


DeBrucky will continue to play with Esperanza teammate Rick Fry, a defensive lineman who also has accepted an appointment to the Air Force Academy,

* Mike McCloskey, a first-team all-county offensive lineman for Laguna Hills High, said he plans to sign a letter-of-intent with UCLA today, the first day players can sign.

McCloskey, a 6-5, 260-pound tackle, was the team’s most valuable player last season, the first lineman to win that award at the school.

Teammate Ryan Kiley, an all-league defensive back for the Hawks, has committed to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

* Chris Manderino, a first-team all-county linebacker at Newport Harbor last season, will attempt to walk on at USC or Cal, he said.

Manderino was also a leading running back last fall, scoring a county-best 31 touchdowns and rushing for 2,171 yards, fourth-most in the county.


Tyler Thompson, a second-team all-county running back for Santa Margarita last season, will attempt to walk on at USC or Colorado in the fall.

Thompson rushed for 1,382 yards last season, including three 200-yard games in the last month of the season. He also scored 17 touchdowns.

* Among county players making college commitments:

Los Alamitos quarterback Mike Catalano is headed to Portland State and his teammate, cornerback Bob Crissman, has committed to Cornell. Servite cornerback Matt Jalandoni will play at Columbia, Canyon defensive end Robert Lee Miller has committed to San Diego State and Newport Harbor linebackers Andy Rankin (Dartmouth) and Alan Saenz (Montana) also made commitments.

* Orange Coast College punter Eddie Johnson will play at Idaho State next season, OCC officials announced. Johnson, a first-team All-Mission Conference Central Division selection, averaged 39.4 yards on 58 punts last year, with a long of 73 yards.


Today is also the first day soccer players can sign national letters of intent and Dana Hills forward Forrest Smith, who is leading the county with 21 goals, said he will sign with Fresno State.

El Dorado midfielder Ryan Valdez, who scored 21 goals and had 19 assists last year but has been slowed by a sore hamstring this season and has only four goals, will sign with UCLA. Aliso Niguel forward Brock Schermerhorn will attend Nevada Las Vegas and University defender Yohei Fukuda and Irvine midfielder Alex Martinez are headed to California. Brad Hallock, a defender from Woodbridge, will sign with Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Goalkeeper Erick Foss of Santa Margarita, the Division III defensive player of the year, will follow his brother, Byron, and sign with SMU.


Lauren Williams, who plays for the Dana Hills girls’ team, will sign with Kansas.

* Ignacio Cid, a two-time first-team Times all-county forward from El Dorado, has enrolled at Oregon State and will play there next fall, his mother, Aylsa, said. Cid graduated last year but has not played because of a knee injury.


Esperanza’s Sarah Engle has committed to Delaware to play women’s volleyball, Aztec Coach Kurt Kersten said. Engle, a 6-1 opposite, was a first-team All-Sunset League selection.