High Schools: Friends prepare to battle

The Battle of the Bay enters its 50th edition on the football field Friday.

The high school rivalry game between Newport Harbor and Corona del Mar is intense, but it hasn't come between two players on opposite sides.

Brent Lawson is the quarterback at CdM and AJ Swies is a running back at Newport Harbor.

Tony Swies left a message the other day to say his son, AJ, and Lawson have a unique relationship.

"His very best friend is Brent," Tony said. "One goes to CdM and one goes to Newport Harbor, but yet they talk two to three times a day."

The two will wish each other the best in the days leading up to the big game at Orange Coast College.

Swies' Sailors have gotten over Lawson's Sea Kings since their freshman year. The last time CdM beat Newport Harbor, Lawson and Swies were in seventh grade.

The way Lawson is performing (577 yards and six touchdowns through the air), CdM has a shot to end the Sailors' four-game winning streak in the Battle of the Bay. The Sea Kings (3-0) are hitting on all cylinders, while the Sailors have started 0-2 for the first time in 29 years.

Newport Harbor leads the series against CdM, 36-13.

The CIF Southern Section Southern Division football poll might as well be called the Pacific Coast League poll.

Five of the six teams in the Pacific Coast League are ranked in the top 10, with Beckman (1-1) at No. 1, followed by CdM at No. 2, Northwood (0-2) at No. 4, Woodbridge (1-2) at No. 9 and Irvine (1-1) at No. 10.

The only team from the league not in the poll is University, for which former Costa Mesa head coach, Jeremy Osso, is an assistant.

Last season, CdM, Beckman and Northwood reached the semifinals of the Southern Division playoffs. Beckman lost to Garden Grove, 31-30, in the final.

Don't be surprised if this year's finale is an all-Pacific Coast League affair.

When Marissa Booker played at Newport Harbor in the late 1990s, she said the Sailors owned the Battle of the Bay girls' volleyball rivalry against CdM.

Booker is now at CdM as the head coach. The Sea Kings are now the more dominate side.

The Sea Kings went to Newport Harbor Saturday and won, 25-27, 25-22, 25-20, 25-19, marking the second straight year CdM has knocked off the Sailors.

The result didn't affect the Back Bay rivals in their respective CIF Southern Section polls. The Sea Kings (4-0) remained at No. 2 in Division I-A; the Sailors (3-1) No. 5 in Division I-AA.

The other ranked local school is Sage Hill (2-2), at No. 3 in Division IV-AA.

Next for CdM and Newport Harbor is the Dave Mohs Tournament in Huntington Beach. The three-day event, featuring the county's best teams, is on Friday and Saturday, with the finale on Monday.

Newport Harbor played for the tournament title last year at Edison High, losing to rival Los Alamitos in a best-of-three match.

The Sailors have the seniors to get back to the championship match, with libero Tatum Norton, setter/outside hitter Cinnamon Sary and middle blocker/outside hitter Alex Holbrook. USC, Arizona and UC Santa Barbara have shown interest in Norton. Sary is bound for USC.

The CdM girls' cross country team turned in the best local performance at the 31st annual Woodbridge Invitational at Estancia High on Saturday.

Seniors Ashlee Powers and Kristen Rivera led the Sea Kings to a runner-up finish in the Division IV race. The Sea Kings were edged by Bonita of La Verne, 109-111.

But CdM swept the sophomore and freshmen girls' races.

Powers placed second in 17 minutes, 31 seconds and Rivera was sixth in 18:17.

The Sea Kings are ranked No. 2 in CIF Southern Section Division III.

Sage Hill's boys and girls are ranked. The boys are No. 8 in Division V and the girls are No. 9 in Division V.

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