It's been a strange, quirky season for the Laguna Beach High football season in 2010.
Since setting up for their first set of downs Sept. 10 at Guyer Field against Northwood, the Breakers have been besieged by injuries. They entered that season opener without starting running back Michael Hyden, who was out with a broken lge. Throughout the month of September, other players, including running back/linebacker Norty Penney, were out of the lineup due to injury. This month, the hit list continued, including what Coach Jonathan Todd called a "season-ending" injury to key lineman Ricki Delatorre.
Last Friday, the Breakers suffered another blow.
In a 42-27 homecoming game loss to Orange Coast League foe Calvary Chapel, senior receiver/defensive back/kick returner Chris Paul suffered a separated right shoulder on a touchdown catch in the second quarter. Paul, last year's league Most Valuable Player and All-CIF selection, has set several program records. He's the all-time single-season leader for receptions (61) and receiving touchdowns (19), and is the school's career leader in receptions (135), receiving touchdowns (35) and two-point conversions (six). He is second in career scoring with 234 points.
"Right now, my goal is to try to come back, but I don't know what my timetable is," Paul said. "I've been in physical therapy this week and I'd like to come back and play next week, if possible. If not, then I'll shoot for our final game. I don't want the season to end this way."
A month ago, Todd said he couldn't wait to have a healthy lineup on the field. He likely won't get the chance to see that hope come to fruition.
"We really haven't had a full team playing together at one time, and it's been tough on us," Paul said. "We've come up short in a few games, but we still go out there and play yard and give it everything we've got."
Laguna will march onward, as it has all season, into today's league game against visiting Godinez. Kickoff is 7 p.m. at Guyer Field.
In the loss to Calvary Chapel, senior quarterback Austin Paxson threw for 237 yards, with two touchdowns and a pair of interceptions. He scoring passes went to Paul (15 yards) and Travis Clawson (12 yards). Penney caught five balls for 78 yards and Derek Reigel had three receptions total 50 yards. Penney also accumulated 124 yards on two kickoff returns, returning one for 97 yards in the third quarter, and Paul had 55 yards on three returns. Hyden, in his first game of the season, scored on a two-yard run in the second quarter.
Laguna will attempt to halt a three-game skid tonight against a Godinez team that has split its first two league games, edging Costa Mesa (42-41) and last week falling to Estancia (42-14). The Grizzlies are 4-3 overall.
Paxson enters today's game needing only 15 yards to break the school record for career total offensive yards.
Championship teams honored
During last Friday's homecoming game, the school honored its 12 football league championship teams in pregame festivities before an overflow, enthusiastic crowd at Guyer Field. Each team was introduced on the field and walked through the goalposts before settling on the Laguna sideline.
The 12 championship teams: 1936, 1941, 1946, 1947, 1950, 1952, 1959, 1968, 1980, 1987, 2006 and 2009.
Athletic Director Mike Churchill said that three members from the 1936 team were in attendance.
"It was really something," Churchill said. "Not many schools can go back to honor members of the 1936 championship team. The fans were very warm in their reception and the former players really appreciated the reception. It was especially rewarding to see the friendships that still exists."