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Biehns happily united for O.C. All-Star Game
MISSION VIEJO – As the sun slowly crept behind the Saddleback Mountain range Tuesday evening, Chi Chi Biehn repositioned his shades atop the bill of his baseball cap for a sharper look at the ongoing 11-on-11 football drills at Capistrano Valley High.
His coaching posture – back crouched over, hands positioned on the knees – looked natural, as did his interaction with players between snaps.
Participating in the exercise was his son, Billy, a Capo Valley defensive back who was the more vocal of the Biehns at this stage of the practice, shouting coverage schemes to his South teammates.
O.C. ALL-STAR GAME
When, where: Thursday, 7:15 p.m., at Orange Coast College
Fan info: Tickets can be purchased at the game, $12. ... A FanFest, which includes food, car show and sponsor exhibits, runs from 4:30-6:30 p.m. ... For more info go to oc-allstarfootball.com.
Missing from the scene was Roger Biehn – commonly referred to as Papa – who is the elder statesman of the family and the final cog that gives the South squad three generations of Biehns sharing the field for the Brea Lions Orange County All-Star Game on Thursday night.
“(Billy) has been around football since he could basically walk,” Chi Chi explained. “He’s been coming to summer camp practices since he was a little kid. He grew up with 40 older brothers every year, just hanging around the field being a ball boy, goofing around. It’s what he’s done.
“So for him having the opportunity to play in an all-star game and for me to coach with Coach (Ernie) Bucher, my dad and to be around him, it’s just really cool.”
Chi Chi last coached Billy when he was a seventh grader playing Pop Warner, and he has not shared a sideline with Roger since the 2008 season, his last as Capistrano Valley’s head coach.
Currently a member of Capistrano Valley Christian’s staff, the opportunity for him to coach the South’s linebackers for Thursday’s game was a no-brainer for Chi Chi, just as it was an obvious call for Billy to play in.
The youngest Biehn had a string of unfortunate injuries early in his high school career, breaking his foot as a sophomore before a broken leg four games into a promising junior campaign shelved the Cougars two-way stud.
“Those were definitely two tough injuries for any kid to suffer,” explained Bucher, the current Capo Valley and South squad head coach. “Both were kind of freak accidents when he was tackled as a running back. So it was really special for us all get to see Billy play injury-free as a senior.”
Chi Chi and Roger, entering his his 12th year as an assistant coach at Capo Valley, each approached Billy after he broke his leg in 2013, making it clear there was nothing he needed to prove to the family after his injury. His drive and passion for the game prevailed, and Billy rehabbed his way back onto the field for his senior year.
Starting on both sides of the ball last season, Biehn racked up 75 tackles and six interceptions at defensive back, in addition to running for 254 yards on 47 carries as one of the team’s running backs. He earned first-team All-Sea View League honors.
“I just feel really lucky to be back out here with my coaching staff,” Billy said. “It’s kind of just like it was during the season, telling guys where to line up, and getting everyone in the right position for the game.”
Coming from such a football pedigree – a grandpa who has coached for over 40 years and a dad who has done the same for over 20 – it’s no surprise that Billy one day hopes to keep the family tradition going, even though “there’s a lot more higher-paying job than that.”
In addition to the night practices in preparation for Thursday’s all-star game, Billy has also been practicing with Saddleback College for the upcoming JC season, bringing two-a-days onto himself.
“It’s kind of just what we do as a family,” Chi Chi said. “Not to be corny or anything, but we’ve just always been kind of about high school football and the game in general.”
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