At Poly High School, huge, well-coached football players put on green jerseys, step onto striped fields and intimidate opponents with a combination of grace, speed and power. This has been going on, it seems, forever.
Poly was so good (11-1) this season that 12 of its players have made The Times' All-South Coast team, seven from a defense that registered six shutouts and held the opposition to less than 60 yards a game.
Four more Poly players made the second team.
The all-South Coast team is usually dominated by Moore League teams. Besides Poly, Millikan, the only team to beat the Jackrabbits, has four players on the team, and Jordan has two.
Cerritos, which finished second to Lynwood in the San Gabriel Valley League, placed three players on the first team. Lynwood placed two.
The 23 first-team members will be honored at The Times' Football Awards Brunch Sunday morning at the Anaheim Hilton hotel. Featured speakers will be Lt. Gen. Winfield Scott Jr., superintendent of the Air Force Academy, and Bruce Johnson, defensive coordinator at the academy.
Awards for back of the year, lineman of the year and coach of the year will be announced at the brunch. Those selections will be published Dec. 19.
The Times selects two offensive and two defensive teams from 10 geographic zones in Southern California.
The following Southeast area players were selected for The Times' first team based on information supplied by coaches, college scouts and staff writers:
Quarterback--Cliff Mosley, Millikan (5-8, 152, Sr.). Millikan Coach Dave Radford likes to joke about Mosley's size, but he's a giant on the field, completing 53% of his passes for 1,774 yards and 15 touchdowns, and, with 4.6 speed in the 40-yard dash, also was the Rams' leading rusher. One of his TD passes handed Poly its only defeat. "He's magic," said Radford.
Receiver--Ed Robinson, Millikan (6-0, 175, Sr.). His 59 catches broke the single-season Millikan record that had been held for 19 years. He has speed, good hands, jumping ability and can concentrate on the ball. Robinson scored four touchdowns against Jordan and made the TD catch that beat Poly. He excelled as a defensive back, too, with six interceptions.
Receiver--Eric Morgan, Poly (6-0, 170, Sr.). Thomas Whiting, co-head coach of Poly, calls Morgan "probably the best receiver in Southern California." Morgan, who has great hands, feet and work habits, caught 35 passes and scored six TDs. "He probably could be one of the best quarterbacks if we chose to play him there," Whiting said.
Receiver--Chris Roscoe, Poly (6-3, 180, Sr.). An exceptional athlete with great speed and competitive desire, Roscoe caught 30 passes and scored four TDs. Whenever he gets the ball, he's dangerous. One of the area's most exciting players.
Line--Eric Golston, Poly (6-2, 225, Sr.). Whiting describes this guard as the "meanest, nastiest, offensive lineman I've ever been associated with. . . . He likes to hurt people and get rewarded for it." Golston has excellent ability, too--he can run, has great balance, quickness and strength.
Line--Adam Mapuatuli, Poly, (6-0, 240, Sr.). He was the boss of Poly's offensive line. Unlike most of his teammates, Mapuatuli is not a great athlete, but he gets everything out of his ability by working hard. He never played center before this season and had to snap the ball to a player who had never played quarterback. An excellent blocker.
Line--Kevin Newton, Cerritos (6-4, 240, Sr.). Newton was a three-year starter for the Dons at tackle and distinguished himself as a blocker and a pulling lineman. A hard worker with a good attitude, Newton also does well in the classroom with a 3.0 grade-point average.
Line--Craig Baker, Millikan (6-2, 215, Sr.). Most teams double-team the nose tackle. Millikan didn't have to with the tenacious Baker. "He makes his block," said Millikan Coach Dave Radford. How effective is Baker? "He ties your shoelaces and you don't go anywhere," Radford said.
Back--Andre Wooten, Cerritos (6-0, 175, Sr.). Wooten accounted for half his team's total offense, rushing for 1,597 yards on 248 carries, an average of 6.4. "He's a Tony Dorsett type," said Cerritos Coach Wayne Manzo. "He can run over you and he has the moves to go in and out." His hard work served as an example for younger players. In practice he would run an extra 20 or 30 yards on handoff drills.
Back--Leonard Russell, Poly (6-2, 205, Jr.). It was said that this guy was too short, too light and too slow. So he went out and gained 1,355 yards and scored 13 TDs. He was hard to bring down, shrugging off tacklers the way a bull does flies. And he rarely fumbled.
Kicker--William Ulmer, Cerritos (5-11, 150, So.). The only sophomore on the all-South Coast team, Ulmer kicked six field goals, including one from 44 yards, and 17 extra points. He gained confidence as the season progressed.