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KYUSUNG GONG, STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
Corona del Mar's Dylan Tucker, right, kisses the bell after defeating Newport Harbor in a nonleague game against Newport Harbor at Orange Coast College on Thursday.

Fryer: Rivalry game always big in the bay

STAFF WRITER

The game that annually draws the largest number of guys who played in the game years ago is the Corona del Mar vs. Newport Harbor, the annual “Battle of the Bay.”

That says a lot about those schools’ football programs, the schools themselves and the Newport Beach community.

THEY’RE LEGIT

Here in Southern California, we sometimes scoff at the achievements of De La Salle.

The thinking that the all-boys Catholic school up north, in Concord, would not have been unable to forge that 151-game, national-record winning streak or win so many CIF section championships if De La Salle was in the Trinity League and the Pac-5 Division.

Well, De La Salle the past two weeks ripped up two Trinity League teams, Servite and Orange Lutheran, by scores of 52-15 and 41-3, respectively.

HOWEVER …

But then again, De La Salle does not have much competition when it come to football-inclined eighth-graders deciding which high school to attend.

Down here, there are many more high-quality choices.

SOME LEAGUES OFF TO SIZZLING STARTS

Trinity League teams are a collective 19-5 in nonleague games, and many of those nonleague games are against teams in state rankings and CIF-Southern Section top 10s.

The Freeway League has been hot too, going 17-6 in nonleague play. South Coast League teams are 14-7, and that includes 0-4 Dana Hills.

ATHLETES OF THE WEEK

The award goes to every player on a winless team who gave it everything they had at practice Monday.

Of course, those kids are catching some “why are you even playing” ridicule from schoolmates. Instead, they should be treated like the heroes they are.

SMART CHOICE

Sometimes they lose, like they did to Mission Viejo. Sometimes they win, like they did against Los Alamitos.

The Highlanders always win in the publicity department when they play such prestigious opponents. Those games will get La Habra the big headlines and accompanying photos in the newspaper and on the Internet.

Sure, La Habra could put a bunch of out-of-county, mediocre teams on the nonleague schedule.

Plus, teams and athletes get better when they play better competition.

STILL THE MAN AT SERVITE

Larry Toner’s final season coaching Servite football was 2004.

Toner still is at the school as its director of formation, and most people still call him “Coach Toner.”

So, who helped the Friars get past their big loss to De La Salle and get ready to beat Edison as they did Friday?

“Coach Toner,” said Servite defensive end Daniel Garcia who had four sacks in Servite’s 21-14 win over Edison.

“On Tuesday, he talked to us and opened our eyes. On Wednesday, we had it all together.”

Contact the writer: sfryer@ocregister.com


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