Dead grass at Saddleback forces teams to scramble
Saddleback College's football field usually is in terrible condition by late October.
It is ahead of schedule.
The grass at the facility, home site for JSerra and Santa Margarita football and, of course, the excellent Saddleback College football team, is dead. Reportedly a misapplication of fertilizer and insufficient watering killed the turf.
JSerra plays host to Long Beach Wilson there on Friday night. JSerra athletic director Dave Lawn said he has been informed that the Saddleback College field will be re-sodded on Sunday.
Santa Margarita has moved its Sept. 7 home game against Trabuco Hills to Mission Viejo High. The Eagles' following home game, Sept. 13 against Carson, could be played at Saddleback College if the field is ready, Santa Margarita football spokesman Adrian Peters informed via email. If it's not ready, then the game will be played elsewhere.
JSerra's Sept. 14 home game against Buena Park might be moved to Sept. 13 at Buena Park, Lawn said. (Update: JSerra's game has been officially moved to Buena Park on Sept. 13.)
JSerra hoped to have a temporary football stadium at its San Juan Capistrano campus available this season.
"But it was too tight of a window to get in everything we wanted to do," Lawn said. "Our hopes are that we get the blessings of the city for a temporary stadium next season, which would lead to some day having a ribbon-cutting ceremony for what would be a permanent stadium here."
Taking a look around Orange County high school sports:
•A deep look at the records shows that Los Alamitos coach John Barnes takes a lifetime coaching record of 295-95-1 into the Griffins' season opener Friday night at Paramount. "I hope I get to 300 before I get to 100," joked Barnes, looking at the win-loss columns. Barnes was 2-6-1 at Magnolia in the eight-team Freeway League in 1978 before moving to Los Al for good in '79.
•Offensive lineman Sam Bush, who transferred to Mater Dei from Newport Harbor, where he was All-Sunset League as a sophomore last season, is athletically eligible to play for the Monarchs. Bush made the required verified change of address.
•TV information for county football this week: Time Warner Cable's SoCal 101 channel will carry taped coverage of Friday night's Mater Dei-St. Paul game on Saturday at 9:30 a.m. and 9 p.m.; Cox3, on Cox cable systems, will show tape of Hart-Tesoro Friday night at 11:30 and Saturday at 1 p.m. and 8 p.m.; and foxsportswest.com will offer live streaming of tonight's Mission Hills-Mission Viejo game.
•The Los Alamitos girls volleyball team not only beat Mira Costa of Manhattan Beach in the Griffins' season opener, it also opened Los Al's new gym. The place underwent a needed makeover, with improved bleachers and lighting and a refurbished playing surface. The Griffins were No. 3 in the county preseason rankings.
•Dana Hills' girls volleyball team, No. 6 in the county, beat No. 1 Corona del Mar in the Elite Division championship match of the Queen's Court tournament last week at American Sports Center in Anaheim. Dana has 10 juniors on the roster.
•Corona del Mar is No. 1 in the county volleyball rankings, but is No. 8 in the CIF-Southern Section's Division 1AA rankings. Three county teams are ranked ahead of Corona del Mar in 1AA: Los Alamitos, at No. 1; No. 3 Edison; and No. 5 Newport Harbor.
•Corona del Mar girls volleyball senior opposite hitter Alexis Cage is the daughter of former Clippers basketball player Michael Cage. Cage also has a son, Michael Cage Jr., who is a 6-foot-8 freshman in the Mater Dei basketball program.
•Coaches of the county's top girls volleyball programs create some very challenging schedules for their teams. Here are some opponents Corona del Mar second-year coach Marissa Booker placed on this month's itinerary: a home game Sept. 6 against Marymount of Los Angeles, which is No. 2 in the 1AA rankings; at Mater Dei, No. 4 in Orange County, Sept. 12; at home against Laguna Beach, No. 1 in 1A and No. 8 in the county, Sept. 18; and home against Newport Harbor, No. 7 in the county, Sept. 29.
•Santa Margarita's girls volleyball team, No. 2 in O.C., has a new coach, Katy Daly. She has coached the Laguna Beach Volleyball Club for past eight years. Daly is a teacher at Santa Margarita and played volleyball at San Clemente and Pepperdine.
•Believe it or not, Orange Lutheran, so good in so many sports, has not had a boys water polo program until this school year. The program, which practices at Irvine Park because there is no pool at Lutheran, has launched with junior varsity and frosh-soph teams. The coach is Steve Carrera, who was a county coach of the year at Northwood.