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Mission Viejo's Pierce hopes to excel on the island
In football, the cornerback-wide receiver matchup is sometimes called "the island" because the two players usually line up far from the ball.
That comparison is fine with Anthony Pierce, the standout cornerback at Mission Viejo who will play for Hawaii in the fall.
But first, the 2012 Diablo graduate will represent the South team during the Brea Lions Club OC All-Star Game, scheduled for Friday at Orange Coast College. He is one of three Mission Viejo players on the South squad, joining teammates Buzzy Yokoyama and Ryan Harris.
Pierce made three interceptions and forced four fumbles during his senior season with the Diablos, who advanced to the Pac-5 semifinals before falling to eventual state champion Santa Margarita.
Pierce, who is 5-foot-9, said he was often told that he was too small to play football on the high school and college levels. That's nothing new to the Pierce family. Anthony Pierce's dad, former NFL middle linebacker and Super Bowl champion Antonio Pierce, was not selected in the 2001 NFL draft due largely to the fact that teams thought he was undersized.
Although he has a long way to go, the younger Pierce has started to follow his father's footsteps. He earned all-league first team honors – and was named co-MVP of the South Coast League. He was also named to the OCVarsity Hot 100 list of best players in Orange County.
When asked who he was glad to finally see on his own team, Pierce smiled and said Christian Tober of San Clemente. After playing as rivals in the fall, the duo gets the unique chance to play together this summer.