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High Schools: CdM drops in poll

Corona del Mar High goes from No. 2 to No. 3 in the CIF Southern Section Southern Division poll and the Sea Kings didn’t lose last week in football. Go figure.

The defending section champion Sea Kings (5-2, 2-0 in Pacific Coast League) switched spots with Laguna Beach (6-0-1, 2-0-0 in Orange Coast League) in the latest poll. I’ve seen both teams play this year, and with all due respect, the Breakers wouldn’t hang with CdM.

The last time Laguna Beach beat CdM was 27 years ago, when the school’s nickname was the Artists. The Sea Kings have won the last 13 meetings against Laguna Beach by an average of almost four touchdowns per game.

The annual game since 1999 was so one-sided that after 10 years CdM stopped playing the Breakers during the regular season. Since then, the programs have met twice in the Southern Division playoffs the past four seasons, including last year in the semifinals.


The Sea Kings routed Laguna Beach, 41-14, on their way to reaching their first section title game since 1989.

The Sea Kings also are in a much tougher league. Four teams from the Pacific Coast League are ranked in the Southern Division, CdM (third), Irvine (fifth), Woodbridge (sixth) and University (eighth), compared to just two from the Orange Coast League, Laguna Beach (second) and Estancia (10th).

In nonleague play, University went on the road and tied Laguna Beach, 36-36, and then defeated Estancia, the Orange Coast League defending champion, 45-28, at Irvine High.

That same University team opened Pacific Coast League play a couple of weeks ago with a 40-20 loss to CdM at Newport Harbor High.


Many might argue that Laguna Beach is unbeaten and the Sea Kings aren’t. The Breakers will most likely close out the regular season without suffering a loss, but CdM will have played a more daunting schedule.

The Sea Kings, whose losses came against Newport Harbor and Capistrano Valley, bigger schools, are still the team to beat in the Southern Division.


Robert Murtha’s nickname is “Boy.” And oh boy, he continues to break Newport-Mesa career records.

The latest milestone is for touchdowns. The senior tailback has found the end zone 50 times for Estancia, surpassing the mark last week during the Eagles’ 48-14 loss at home to Laguna Beach.

That gave Murtha his second district record in three weeks. The other was for career rushing yards, which is now at 4,673.

Both marks Murtha took down belonged to Costa Mesa tailbacks, Binh Tran (4,333 yards) and Keola Asuega (49 touchdowns). Costa Mesa is the school Murtha’s father, Robert Murtha Sr., attended. He’s also the one who gave his son the nickname “Boy.”



Calling all Sailors!

The Newport Harbor Football Alumni Assn. has planned a reunion of players and coaches during the Sailors’ Sunset League home game against Huntington Beach on Friday at 7 p.m.

Clarke Smith, who recently formed the NHFAA along with Al Gaddis, said the reunion is going to be held in an alumni hospitality area in the east end zone. Smith expects more than 100 players and coaches from as far back as the 1940s to attend, as well as former head coach Mike Giddings.


Sage Hill is No. 2 in the CIF Southern Section Division 3-A girls’ volleyball poll, while Corona del Mar and Newport Harbor are No. 5 and N0. 6, respectively, in Division 1-AA.


The prep tweet of the week comes from Newport Harbor running back Talalelei Teaupa (@talaboi11): “When ur too tired to wake up so u stay asleep #thelife ahaa”


Twitter: @DCPenaloza