CdM's Fisher runs with opportunity

Erik Fisher turned in his best performance at running back at Corona del Mar High last week. He did not even know it until the next day after the Sea Kings beat Woodbridge, 35-24, and moved into first place in Pacific Coast League play.

Fisher said a teammate told him about his 210-yard, three-touchdown feat.

"I felt like I had a good enough amount of yards," said Fisher, surprised that he also matched his previous touchdown total in just one outing.

Fisher never believed the Sea Kings planned to run him 20 times in any game this year. Yet, there was Fisher last week on the road, carrying the load.

Fisher fell 91 yards short of matching his 301-yard total on the ground through the first seven games. If you talked to Fisher before his junior year, his first on varsity, he saw himself third on the running back depth chart.

Fisher is now the first or second option.

When senior running back Jeff Condino went down with a shoulder injury during a 35-13 loss in the Battle of the Bay game against Newport Harbor on Sept. 24, Fisher has led CdM in yards and carries in three of the past four games.

CdM is 3-0-1 during the stretch. Fisher has done more than an admirable job in his new role in the backfield.

The Sea Kings (6-1-1, 2-0-1 in league) have benefited as they are on the verge of winning their first league title in 11 years. Fisher said Coach Jason Hitchens has told the team how close it is to finishing atop the league with two regular-season games left.

"It's been a while since we won it," Fisher said.

"I forgot [the year we last won the league title]."

Fisher will not forget this year if the Sea Kings finish unbeaten in league and claim the crown. The program has turned things around after going winless in league last year.

From last to first. Fisher credits the success to the 26 seniors at CdM, a much larger number compared to last season.

On a senior-laden team, Fisher fits in well at CdM. He does not seek attention. He praises the offensive line (left tackle Dan Steele, left guard Caden Stark, center Max Priestley, right guard Jimmy Roney, right tackle Liam Duddy), his quarterback (Mitch Gardner), and two of the team's fastest players (wide receiver Brent Gray, running back/wide receiver Clay Reinhardt) for the offense's prowess.

The Sea Kings have been explosive in the previous four contests, averaging 36 points per game. The no-huddle offense has created problems for opposing defenses.

Fisher said the key to the offense has been the unit's cohesiveness. Fisher said six of the offensive starters, including Gardner, who has passed for 1,026 yards and 14 touchdowns this year, played together on the junior varsity team last year. That JV team almost recorded a perfect season.

"We finished with one tie," Fisher said.

For Fisher, not much has changed record-wise on varsity this season when it comes to league. Two more wins and Fisher can celebrate the Sea Kings' first outright league title in 22 years.

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