Fryer: CdM football depleted, but still undefeated


Taking a look around Orange County high school sports:

• Corona del Mar’s football team is 7-0 and keeps winning despite the absence of key players. Running back Cole Martin has been out a few games because of a sprained ankle, and linebacker Alex Moore, Pacific Coast League defensive player of the year last season, is out for the year because of a torn ACL. Luke Napolitano, all-league as a punter in 2012, is the starting quarterback this season and has been a key reason the Sea Kings are No. 1 in the CIF-Southern Section’s Southern Division.

Julian Smilowitz, removed from his position as football coach at Fullerton just days before the season started, has been reassigned by the Fullerton Joint Union High School District to the Sunny Hills physical education department. He teaches weight-training classes at Sunny Hills.

• Mater Dei standout junior receiver/linebacker Ben Humphreys’ recovery from a knee injury continues. Monarchs coach Bruce Rollinson reported via text message that Humphreys is a game-day decision as to whether he plays against Santa Margarita tonight.

• Fox Sports West will televise today’s Tesoro-Mission Viejo football game live at 7:30 p.m. will provide live streaming of Santa Margarita-Mater Dei. Cox3 will carry taped coverage of Trabuco Hills-El Toro at 11 p.m.

• Most of the correspondence received about sportsmanship is negative. But Nancy Leonard, Mater Dei supporter and mother of former Monarchs, wrote to praise Edison football for years of consistent good sportsmanship: “That team has shown sportsmanship above and beyond any school I have witnessed in recent memory.”

• The 2014-15 school year will bring some new league alignments in much of the CIF-Southern Section. The only change in Orange County is that Yorba Linda leaves the Empire League to become part of the Century Conference of eight schools that will be divided into two leagues, the Crestview and North Hills leagues, with the leagues’ membership varying from sport to sport. Many of the Century Conference schools were in the old Crestview League that was in operation from 1962-83.

• University’s top-ranked girls tennis team is separating from the pack. The Trojans beat Corona del Mar, No. 2 in the county, 14-4 in a Pacific Coast League match this week. University, No. 2 behind Peninsula of Rolling Hills Estates in the CIF-SS Division 1 poll, beat Corona del Mar by the same score Oct. 3.

• Northwood’s Jocelyn Manderino has to be an early leading candidate for boys water polo coach of the year. Last week, her Timberwolves beat Corona del Mar, 11-10, in what was Corona del Mar’s first league loss in 10 years. Northwood is No. 6 in the county rankings and No. 8 in CIF-SS Division 1.

• Eight of the 11 teams in the boys water polo Division 1 rankings are county teams: No. 1 Mater Dei; No. 3 Newport Harbor; No. 6 Dana Hills; No. 7 Huntington Beach; No. 8 Northwood; No. 9 Corona del Mar; and, tied at No. 10, Edison and Servite.

• We were informed not long ago that former Westminster cross country and track coach Jack Hedges died in July. Hedges was among the first county cross country coaches to have his athletes log mega-mileage weekly training.

Joe Hoggatt’s tenure as Canyon’s baseball coach has ended after 12 seasons. Canyon’s athletics website states that former Comanches player Matt Morris is the school’s varsity head coach. Canyon athletic director Patrick Bendzick said he could not discuss school personnel matters, so the reasons for Hoggatt’s removal are unknown for now.

• Huntington Beach’s baseball team has a load of college-committed players: freshman catcher/pitcher Hagen Danner and sophomore third baseman/pitcher Logan Pouelsen to UCLA; junior pitcher Noah Davis, UC Santa Barbara; and seniors Jake Brodt, a first baseman, and Jesse Kuet, shortstop, to Santa Clara and Stanford, respectively.

• Attention, coaches and athletic directors: the winter sports surveys are available at under the “coaches” tab.

• The CIF-Southern Section held its Distinguished Service and Hall of Fame Awards Luncheon on Thursday. Among the 16 honorees with county ties were former Calvary Chapel wrestling coach John Azevedo; former Anaheim, Foothill and Villa Park football coach Ted Mullen; former Newport Harbor track and field coach Bob Hailey; former Register sportswriter David Osterman; former Santiago field hockey coach Kit Snider; and Ralph Trigsted, who coached baseball at Lowell and Sunny Hills and was athletic director at the latter.

• All of the above are champions, as coaches and people. Osterman, who died in 1999, set the standard for how to cover high school sports in his 24 years at the Register.

• According to the luncheon program, Hall of Fame nominees “must exemplify the highest standards of sportsmanship, ethical conduct (and) moral character.” During his acceptance speech, Mullen said, “I’d like to thank the CIF for waiving these requirements.” Everyone who played for Coach “Moon” and read that is smiling right now.

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