Fryer: Monarchs still rock 'n' Rollinson
ANAHEIM – It was about 20 years ago, at St. Callistus Catholic Church in Garden Grove.
It was the Funeral Mass for May Rollinson, mother of Mater Dei football coach Bruce Rollinson.
At the end of the Mass, Rollinson was walking out of the church down the center aisle, slouching in grief. Mater Dei players filled the pews to his right, and they were heartbroken to see their usually fired-up coach this way.
Sensing this, Rollinson raised his head, looked at the players and shouted, “Servite!”
Mater Dei had a game against Servite just a couple of days later. No way was Rollinson going to let anything, even this, distract his players from preparing for what annually is one of their biggest games of the year.
Some of those players created something of a pregame distraction for their old coach Friday at Angel Stadium.
As the Monarchs took the field to play Servite, a few dozen former Mater Dei players formed two lines to greet Rollinson as he entered the stadium from the tunnel next to the baseball bullpens. Mater Dei alums, and Heisman Trophy winners Matt Leinart and Matt Barkley offered congratulations on the video screen.
Mater Dei surprised Rollinson with this, a plaque and a crystal football to commemorate Rollinson's 25th season as the school's coach.
Rollinson took the microphone, thanked everyone he was supposed to thank, got emotional when acknowledging his daughters, then got it together to growl, “There's only one thing left — let's rock and roll!”
And rock and roll the Monarchs did. They dominated Servite early and put together a time-killing drive in the final minutes to beat the Friars, 28-21, in the Trinity League opener for both teams.
Servite made a good run of it at the end. The Friars played with their usual spirit, but could not match Mater Dei's quickness.
And Servite's huge following should keep in mind that many of the Friars' best players are juniors – quarterback Travis Waller, receivers Tony Brown and Equanimeous St. Brown, running back Tate Beachley, linebacker Justin Parcells and many more. The future looks good for Servite.
In the other two Trinity League openers, Orange Lutheran jumped to a big lead and beat JSerra, 29-13. Lutheran lost to JSerra the past two seasons. The Lancers (6-0) play at St. John Bosco next week.
And St. John Bosco continues to impress.
The Braves rumbled to a 56-12 win over Santa Margarita. Some say St. John Bosco, and not De La Salle, should be the top-ranked team in California.
There is no argument that La Habra is the best team in the Freeway League again. Fullerton was undefeated when the Indians played La Habra on Friday, but La Habra clobbered them, 48-21.
Edison did similar in its Sunset League opener against Huntington Beach. The Chargers pounded the Oilers, 48-6. That Sunset League is good, but maybe the Chargers can go undefeated in it for a third consecutive year.
Edison still has to play some good teams in league, including Fountain Valley and Newport Harbor, who also won Sunset openers.
Dana Hills worked Aliso Niguel, as the Dolphins beat the Wolverines, 52-7. Dana Hills lost four of its first five games, but against good teams. The Dolphins look like the team to beat in the Sea View.
Katella was expected to be that team to beat in the Orange League. On Thursday the Knights, playing without star running back T.J. Ashmeade, lost to Santa Ana Valley, 10-7. Now that league looks wide open.
It was quite a week, with so many interesting league openers. But the band is just getting warmed up. As the man says, “Let's rock 'n' roll!”
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