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Plenty of All-CIF picks

Corona del Mar High senior quarterback Brent Lawson earned the All-CIF Southern Section Southern Division Offensive Player of the Year award and CdM senior outside linebacker Aaron White was the Defensive Player of the Year, highlighting 13 Newport-Mesa football players earning All-CIF honors.

Lawson and White helped lead the Sea Kings to a CIF Southern Section Southern Division title in December.

The Sea Kings saw their coach, Scott Meyer, receive the All-CIF Southern Section Southern Division Coach of the Year award. Meyer, in his first season at CdM, won the program its first section championship in 22 years.

The Sea Kings had the most players recognized in the Southern Division with seven, including senior running back Erik Fisher, senior wide receiver Josh Giger, senior center Caden Stark, senior cornerback Cole Cottrell and junior defensive end Tim Reinhardt.


Estancia had junior running back Robert Murtha, senior defensive lineman Alipa Peters and senior linebacker Ozzy Magana make the Southern Division team, along with Costa Mesa senior running back Mario Smith and senior cornerback Jordan Walden.

Newport Harbor senior defensive end Steve Michaelsen made the Pac-5 Division team.

Lawson threw for 2,519 yards and 27 touchdowns, both are CdM single-season school records and rank first in the area. He completed 153 passes, another CdM single-season school record, and rushed for 446 yards and five touchdowns on 109 carries.

Lawson, the Pacific Coast League Offensive MVP, was responsible for CdM (12-2, 4-1 in league) averaging 34 points per game and recording its second 12-win season in the program’s history.


Lawson, the Newport-Mesa Player of the Year, threw for 119 yards and two touchdowns, and rushed for 67 yards on 13 carries, helping CdM edge rival Beckman, 14-13, in the section finale at Orange Coast College.

White stuffed a potential game-winning two-point conversion run by Beckman with seven seconds left to play, allowing CdM to win the section title. He finished with 10 tackles, one sack and recovered an onside kick in the title game.

White finished with an area-best 17 sacks to go with 98 tackles. He also produced four sacks in a league game against Northwood.

Fisher rushed for 1,697 yards and 18 touchdowns on 280 carries. He recorded a 304-yard performance on the ground in the Sea Kings’ 41-14 semifinal win at Laguna Beach.

Giger led the Sea Kings with 56 catches for 946 yards and 10 touchdowns. He caught 14 passes for 276 yards and four touchdowns in the playoffs.

Cottrell, a cornerback, receiver and kickoff and punt returner, contributed in all facets. He is a repeat All-CIF selection.

He made 41 tackles and intercepted one pass as a cornerback.

Reinhardt finished with 46 tackles, 10 sacks and two fumble recoveries.


Murtha, a repeat All-CIF pick, led Estancia to new heights in the Orange Coast League and in the playoffs.

Murtha rushed for 2,216 yards and 20 touchdowns and lifted the Eagles (10-3, 5-0 in league) to back-to-back undefeated league titles for the first time and to the semifinals of the playoffs, the furthest the school has ever advanced in the postseason.

Murtha, the Orange Coast League Offensive Player of the Year, Peters and Magana helped the Eagles win their first postseason game since 1980, win back-to-back postseason games for the first time, and post their second 10-win season.

Murtha, who broke Estancia’s single-season rushing record he set in 2010, has rushed for 3,895 yards and 38 touchdowns in two seasons. He is closing in on the Newport-Mesa career rushing record of 4,333 yards, which Costa Mesa’s Binh Tran established from 1991-93.

Peters, who shared the Orange Coast League Defensive Player of the Year award, finished with 104 tackles. He sacked the quarterback four times, recovered two fumbles and caused two fumbles.

Magana registered 95 tackles, eight for losses, two sacks, and returned one fumble for a touchdown.

Smith rushed for 2,155 yards and 28 touchdowns on 197 carries and led the Mustangs to a second-place finish in the Orange Coast League.

Smith, a transfer from Silverado of Victorville, helped Costa Mesa (8-3, 4-1 in league) contend for a league title in the regular-season finale and return to the playoffs after missing the postseason in 2010.


Smith set a Costa Mesa single-season school record for total touchdowns with 30, two coming on kickoff returns. He broke Charles Chatman’s 29-touchdown total established in 1994.

Smith totaled 1,095 yards and 19 touchdowns on the ground in five league contests. His biggest game was a 356-yard, seven-touchdown rushing performance in a 63-47 win at Laguna Beach. The seven rushing touchdowns is a Costa Mesa single-game school record.

Walden finished with eight interceptions, an Orange County best. He had four interceptions in one game

Twice Walden returned interceptions for touchdowns. He deflected six passes and made 26 tackles.

Michaelsen led the Sailors to a third-place finish in the Sunset League and the CIF Southern Section Pac-5 Division playoffs.

Michaelsen, who shared the Sunset League Defensive Lineman of the Year award, compiled 46 tackles, eight sacks and six blocked passes.

He has offers from Air Force, Army and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

— From staff reports