Sports Update: 90 years of Laguna football

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Eight weeks to go until 2024 season 

Laguna celebrates 90 years of high school football this season and the 90th varsity season. Compulsory high school education in California did not begin until 1921 when Laguna high school-age students attended Tustin Union High School and had to endure the long 20-plus mile ride to the Tiller’s campus.

Laguna finally established a high school district in 1933, and on Tuesday, Sept. 11, 1934, the Laguna Beach High School opened with an enrollment of 157 students. The current facility, built in 1928, was home to the entire school district for the 1934-35 term, with local surf legend Dick Metz a member of that 1934 kindergarten class.

The Breakers play against San Juan Capistrano High School in 1934. Submitted photo

The first football season was in the fall of 1934. Red Guyer scheduled mostly junior varsity teams and always considered the season as junior varsity,” but three games were played against varsity teams. The Laguna used no nickname for 1934. The “Breakers” was adopted on Dec. 7, 1934, and was used for the 1935 season. The “Artists” name was adopted on June 4, 1936 and used from 1936 to 2002. The school returned to the Breaker moniker in 2003.

The first uniforms were white jerseys, khaki pants, and shoulder guards, black & tan headgear. 

The tentative opening lineup in 1934

Right End: Bob Jones

Right Tackle: John Lawrence

Right Guard: Merle Worthy

Center: John Chamberlain

Left Guard: Herman Walker

Left Tackle: Bob Smith

Left End: Homer Clark or George Riddell

Right Half: Howard Richards

Left Half: Luis Carscaden or Day Tawney

Quarterback: John Carscanden

Fullback: George Warboys

Key subs: Rollo Beck, Bernard Smith, James Howard, Dale Mickelwaite, Howard Sanders

The season opened on Sept. 25 with a game at Valencia in Placentia. The host Tigers opened their first season of football with what they considered a 21-0 upset win over Laguna on their campus in a contest they also considered a scrimmage. Valencia only had 34 boys enrolled in the school with 27 participating in the sport. Valencia students previously attended Fullerton. The fifth game of the season was played on Friday, Oct. 19 at Santa Ana High School against Willard Junior High. Laguna won 7-0 for their first win. John Carscaden scored on a 20-yard run in the second quarter.

The first home game ever was on Thursday, Nov. 8, 1934. The field was dedicated at 2:30 p.m., with kickoff at 3 p.m. Admission was 25 cents for the contest against San Juan Capistrano High School (Capo). Laguna held a parade down Park Avenue to the new stadium. John Carscaden scored the first Laguna touchdown on a first-quarter run. The 1935 Nautilus refers to this game as the first homecoming. Formal homecoming was not established until 22 years later, beginning with the 1956 season.

Other Historic Firsts:

First varsity win: Laguna 13, Beaumont 0, Sept. 25, 1936

First night game: La Jolla 39, Laguna 6 at La Jolla High School, San Diego Nov. 27, 1935

First Friday Night Lights in Laguna:  Laguna 13, Huntington Beach 12, Oct. 8, 1954.

Laguna Football Squad Off to Japan

The Breakers will travel to Japan this week and return on July 14. We hope to have a detailed report on the event. Former Magnolia head coach Ryan Olson is on the staff, as Alex Hutchinson has moved out of state. 

Summer practice will continue after the team returns. The last day of summer practice is Aug. 1, and the official start of fall practice is Aug. 5.

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