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O.C. All-Star notes: North selects four team captains

CONTRIBUTING WRITER

The North team announced its captains for the Brea Lions Orange County All-Star Game at practice Thursday.

Selected to lead the North were running back Jacob Fimbres (Sonora), center Matthew O’Donoghue (Foothill), defensive end Kapono Laguisan (Mater Dei) and linebacker Connor Airey (Servite).

North coach Anthony White said it was a point of emphasis to draw leadership from all areas of the team – both lines, the offensive backfield and the defensive secondary.

HOW THEY GOT THERE

White has a lot of respect for those who take up the battle in the trenches, calling them “the toughest, hardest working players” in the game.

He doled out high praise for his offensive line captain.

“Matthew (O’Donoghue) is incredible,” White said. “He’s just a professional. For us, he’s just done a great job of showing everyone how to do it right and how to really care about your craft.

“He takes everything personally, which is awesome.”

IN A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN

Airey said he was excited to hear that he had been named one of the North’s defensive captains.

He made 61 tackles (43 solo) with two interceptions and two forced fumbles for the Friars his senior year.

Both of the North’s defensive captains played in the stacked Trinity League. Asked if playing in that league gave them the tools to lead a group of all-stars, Airey said it was definitely a contributing factor.

“Kapono (Laguisan) is a great leader,” he said. “I think in the Trinity League, you have to have the mindset almost of a college player because the competition is so tough. Week in and week out, you’re playing great opponents.”

Airey has earned preferred walk-on status at UC Davis.

THE BIG DAY

On the eve of Friday night's game at Orange Coast College, White reminded his team's players about what's at stake,

“The series right now is 27-26 South,” White said. “We’ve been saying, ‘27-up.’ We want to tie it up.

“Everyone comes into All-Star games with different motives and things that push them. Hopefully, they’ll bring that tomorrow.”

Do the players expect the game to be a series of highlight-reel plays or will they work within the system they’ve been learning?

“I think that everyone is going to do their part,” Airey said. “The coaches stress, ‘Do one-eleventh.’ If everyone does their job, we’re going to get the win.

“There are going to be highlights, and people are going to make plays. It will just come along with the game, but I think we’ll just stay focused and stick with the game plan.”


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