Junior says be prepared

Junior Tagaloa has a message for the 50-100 athletes coming to Orange Coast College on Saturday.

Be prepared.

For dreams to come true, you must be prepared.

Tagaloa wants the athletes to be ready for the NFL Regional Combine. They must at least be professional if they have any chance of advancing to the Super Combine next month in Detroit.

Tagaloa, the former OCC star wide receiver and assistant coach, knows a lot about preparation and the combines. He is a national field consultant for Elite Pro Football Combines, which is now affiliated with the NFL.

He found out about the company because he used it to try to fulfill his dream of becoming a professional football player. He played arena football and mixed it up with others in rugby. He came close to playing with the Rams and 49ers but suffered injuries.

He also tried out for the Chargers. That's where the lesson of preparation came into play.

Tagaloa had a workout with then-San Diego wide receivers coach Charlie Joiner.

Joiner made Tagaloa run numerous routes in the solo tryout.

"I felt like I was dying, but he just kept making me run another one and another one," said Tagaloa, now the receivers coach at Golden West College. "The first ball I dropped, that's when he said, 'That's all I want to see. You can't catch the ball when you're tired.' And, he sent me away. You always have to be prepared."

Tagaloa has seen plenty of athletes with great talent and speed at the combines. Some are fast enough to be a pro, but they can't jump high enough. Some jump high, but can't run fast.

But he said there are instances when a versatile prospect is found.

Maybe that will happen during Saturday's Los Angeles regional combine at LeBard Stadium.

The athletes will perform various drills and all the skill challenges seen at the final NFL Combine. They each pay $190 to try out.

Tagaloa will arrive before 6 a.m. and leave most likely after the sun goes down.

There's a lot of work to find a diamond in the rough. Tagaloa must also be prepared for that.


The Sage Hill School boys' volleyball program is hosting the Princeton men's volleyball team on Sunday at 2 p.m.

The Tigers will play against Princeton alumni and other local players who competed in college. Dennis Alshuler (Corona del Mar), Mark McAnlis (Newport Harbor) and Scott Dore (Newport Harbor) are among the Princeton alumni expected to play in the match, as well as Sage Hill Coach Dan Thomassen (Newport Harbor), who played at UC San Diego, and Eric Perrine (Newport Harbor), who also played at UCSD.

Admission is free.


The Surf City USA Marathon and Half Marathon races are sold out for the seventh straight year.

The event, which features over 20,000 participants, sold out Jan. 5. The marathon is held on Feb. 5, Super Bowl Sunday, starting in front of The Waterfront Beach Resort on Pacific Coast Highway in Huntington Beach.


Attention water polo fans, the 11th Women's Holiday Cup will be played at the USA Water Polo National Training Center in Los Alamitos Feb. 15-19.

The four-nation tournament will feature Greece, Italy, Canada and Team USA.

The U.S. women's team will open with a game against Italy Feb. 15. Tickets are on sale for all matches at http://www.usawaterpolo.org.


Spots are being reserved for the UCLA Golf Classic, a fundraiser in Orange County, which features new football coach Jim Mora. The golf event will take place May 7 at the Coto de Caza Golf & Racquet Club.

Mora, along with other former Bruin athletes, is scheduled to play in the event. For more details and to register visit UCLAgolfclassic.com.


Twitter: @SteveVirgen

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