There are no Refrigerators, trash compactors or other appliances on The Times 1985 All-South Bay High School Football team, just 46 solid football players highlighted by legions of standout linebackers and running backs--so many good ones, in fact, that they can be found all over the team at various positions.
In all, 15 schools are represented on the 23-man first team and 19 schools on the first and second teams.
First team members, their parents and coaches will be guests of The Times at a Sunday awards brunch at the Anaheim Hilton, where the program's featured speakers will be Lt. Gen. Winfield Scott, superintendent of the Air Force Academy, and Bruce Johnson, the academy's defensive coordinator.
Each first team player will receive a plaque and all-star certificate. Second-team members also receive a certificate. At the awards program a South Bay back, lineman and coach of the year will be announced.
The team was chosen by a poll of South Bay coaches, along with the observations of Times sportswriters and college coaches and scouts.
On the first team, six players could technically be considered linebackers, and six more start or double at running back. Some players were shifted to secondary positions or to comparable positions to accommodate the best players.
Officially the linebackers are Banning's Earl Saunders, San Pedro's Lionel Robinson and Bishop Montgomery's Ken Sale. Hawthorne's Robert Morris, listed as a defensive back, and Carson's Peter McLachlan, listed as a lineman, are also primarily linebackers--and, perhaps, the best players on outstanding teams. Another standout linebacker, Serra's Rocen Keeton, is listed as an offensive lineman. He made all-league first team at both positions.
The running backs are Gardena's Brian Brown, Carson junior Alvin Goree and Palos Verdes' Brian Connors. West Torrance's Kevin Maher and Morningside's Jason Carr, listed as defensive backs, could have made the team at either position.
Leuzinger's Mike Reddington, who probably could have made the team as a running back as well, is the quarterback. Teammate Sean Smith and Redondo's Mike Jones are the wide receivers. Banning's Mark Tucker, North Torrance's Jim Tulette, West Torrance's Nick Subis and South Torrance's Brian Kelly fill out the line--literally, averaging 240 pounds.
Along with McLachlan, the defensive line includes St. Bernard's Eric Marrero, Bishop Montgomery's John Stangl and South Torrance's Matt Williams. San Pedro defensive back Michael Ford and West Torrance kicker Dominick Cefalone complete the team.
Tulette and Marrero are repeaters from last year's first team. Kelly, Goree and Cefalone are the only juniors.
Reddington, Leuzinger's rugged two-year star, passed for more than 1,000 yards and rushed for more than 600 during the regular season, leading the Olympians to the Pioneer League title, and threw seven touchdowns and scored two himself to lead Leuzinger through the playoffs to Friday's CIF Desert-Mountain Conference final.
Smith, his favorite target and the team's best athlete, had more than 500 yards in receptions and scored 10 touchdowns during the regular season despite yearlong double coverage. Coach Steve Carnes, in listing Smith's athletic prowess, pointed out that Smith was also the league's best defensive back.
Small but Good
If this year's team proves anything, it's that you don't have to be a Refrigerator to be successful. Redondo's Jones, a 5-9 bundle of excitement, led all receivers in votes in the coaches poll. He caught eight touchdown passes among his 57 catches for 857 yards. "He caught the tough ones all year," Coach Les Congelliere noted.
Another small but explosive package is Carson's 5-8 1/2 Goree, a slashing runner who has started in the Colts' powerful program since his sophomore year. The junior gained 600 yards in Carson's nine regular season games and averaged nearly seven yards per carry. He scored eight touchdowns.
Connors, a pile-driving inside runner with surprising speed--as evidenced by an 80-yard touchdown run and a 96-yard kickoff return--had the most votes of any running back for his 1,014 yards and 15 touchdowns, most for any South Bay school. He also earned his coach's admiration. "He's the best all-around back ever at P.V., an outstanding blocker as well as runner," Bill Judy said. "The thing people couldn't believe about him is he's so tough. . . . Teams were ganging up on him, and they still couldn't stop him."
Gardena's Brown is a recruiter's dream--a runner with moves, good size (6-0, 180) and sprinter's speed. Despite some nagging injuries and gang coverage from opponents, Brown scored five touchdowns and is a blue-chip prospect to college scouts.
Plays Both Ways
Serra's Keeton is a dominant player at two positions, as evidenced by his selection to the All-Camino Real League first teams on offense and defense. He is considered an outstanding blocker on the line and had 92 unassisted tackles on defense.