The 32 players on the 2002 Laguna Beach High football team were
mere babies, some even in diapers, the last time it happened high on
The year was 1987, and it was the last time Laguna Beach had ruled
the roost in Pacific Coast League football.
The Breakers -- or Artists, as they then were known -- went
undefeated in PCL play and took the league’s No. 1 seed into CIF
playoff action, reaching the second round before having their season
ended by St. Joseph.
That 10-2 season in 1987 was the school’s best since Laguna won
its first 10 games of the 1968 season, winning the Crestview League
title in the process, but then saw the program’s most successful
season since 1946 halted by Rolling Hills in the first round of the
They are the only two teams in school history to reach the
The ’87 squad was the last Laguna team to earn a playoff berth.
But if the current Breakers can play as intensely over these next
five weeks as is their desire to end that drought, then Laguna just
might be a part of the Division IX postseason party come
“It’s been a long time and our team is hungry,” two-way starter
Marshall Paymard said. “My goal -- and I know I can speak for our
entire team -- is to win league and make the playoffs. We want to be
playing late into November.”
Last year, Laguna posted an overall record of 6-4 -- the school’s
best and only winning record since that memorable ’87 season.
They went 5-0 in nonleague play but were just 1-4 in league, which
sidelined them for the season.
This fall, Laguna brings a 4-1 overall record into Saturday’s
opener against PCL newcomer Calvary Chapel.
“This team is different than last year’s team,” said Breakers
coach Dave Holland, now in his seventh year at the helm. “The players
we have this year are a small group but big in terms of hard work and
dedication. They really play well together as a team.”
That team camaraderie may be just what Laguna needs to get over
No Laguna team has won more than one league game on the field
since 1988, although, in the official league record book, it is noted
that Laguna did win two games in ’98. One of those two wins was
awarded as a forfeit victory.
The favorite for the 2002 PCL crown, Holland, says, is defending
“I think they are the hands-down favorite to repeat,” he said.
“They have a lot of experience and a big pool of players to draw
“I see the same teams -- Corona del Mar, University -- fighting
for the top. But, I really like our chances.”
One key to Laguna’s success in 2002 has been its ability to show
balance offensively. They’ll pit that balance against a balanced
Northwood squad, a Corona del Mar team that favors the run and
pass-happy offenses similar to University and Calvary Chapel.
“I’m very high on our team and the rest of our coaching staff has
done a terrific job in working together,” Holland said. “I know this
is coach’s talk, but to win this league, first of all, we need to
keep injuries to a minimum. “I think our secondary has done well but
we need to improve to off-set some of these passing teams in our
league. Really, the key is to just have steady improvement.”