Laguna Beach High School opened this week for their 78th school year, but school sports are well underway.
The Breakers field seven fall sports and find four of their squads ranked in the county’s top 10 despite its small enrollment. The best chance for a fall section title falls to boys water polo in CIF’s Southern Section Division III. All fall sports, with the exception of cross-country, are grouped in playoff brackets based on the strength of the league rather than school size. This is why the division classifications will vary from sport to sport. Southern Section CIF adjusts these placements every two years and will do it again nor the next two-year cycle. Elsewhere in the state, prep sports rely on an enrollment-based playoff system.
Breakers host Claremont’s Webb School tonight, Friday, Sept. 9, at Guyer Field. The Gauls (1-0) are favored for tonight’s game. The prep school opened their season last week with a 41-20 win over Lucerne Valley. Breakers have a new coach this season in Athletic Director Mike Churchill. Churchill’s career includes a pair of CIF titles including one in the top division.
Breakers will be led by a talented group of offensive players that could set some school marks this season. At quarterback is Larry Stewart (# 7 6-2, 180 lb junior) who served as back up the previous season (23-50 325 yards 3 TDs). The talented running backs will be the explosive Robert Clemens III (# 3, 5-11, 178 lb junior) who racked up 874 yards rushing and receiving last season scoring six touchdowns. Drake Martinez (# 36, 6-3, 195 lb junior) will also be a big threat. His brother is the current quarterback at Nebraska. Also in the offensive mix is Norton Penney (#42, 5-11, 180 lbs, senior) with 853 career yards, seven touchdowns. The receiving corps will be anchored by Derek Reigel (# 5, 6-1 200 lb senior) with 51 career catches, 738 yards, six touchdowns.
Defending D-III champions open play today, Friday, Sept. 9 at the local pool, 4 p.m. with Villa Park. Breakers are in the Santa Barbara TOC next weekend.
Season opens at home on Tuesday, Sept. 13 at 5:30 p.m. when Laguna hosts rival Corona del Mar in what should be a hotly contested match. Breakers finished second at the Queens Court Tournament while CdM finished third in the 44-team tournament held to conclude the summer season. Sea Queens are pre-season ranked second in Division I-A while Laguna is just behind them at No. 3.
Don Davis, a tennis instructor at Nellie Gail Tennis Club, takes over the squad as the sixth coach in the past 10 seasons. Breakers are in the toughest CIF division and will led by veterans Taylor Nederlander, Claire Jaeger, and Lauren Michaels. Breakers lost in the first round of the playoffs last season and hope to go further in 2011.
Dual meet action does not begins until Sept. 29 at the Orange Coast League cluster meet. Godinez will be the big challenge for Laguna.
The squad competes in the Orange Coast League this season with Costa Mesa and Estancia the only other league squads with a girls golf program. Estancia and Laguna were co-champs last year in the Golden West League and will battle each other again this season.