Marina High School's football team may have thought it finally conquered the impossible last Thursday night by upsetting No. 5-ranked Edison, 17-7. But for linebacker and tight end Bruce Schmidt, his team's victory wasn't nearly as surprising as his performance.
Schmidt, The Times' Player of the Week, had two sacks that caused fumbles and made an interception that put Marina on the goal line for its first touchdown. Schmidt, also a tight end, caught a 27-yard pass.
"I've never really been able to get in there and do things like that," said Schmidt of his impressive defensive play. "It's great. But kind of weird too. I'm not really used to it."
True, Schmidt hasn't exactly been Marina's star this year. But then Marina hasn't exactly been in the football spotlight either. Until last Thursday, the Vikings were 0-5 in 1986, and 0-11-1 against the Chargers.
"We really got up for this game, even though everybody else thought we'd lose again," Schmidt said. "We always hear 'Edison this' or 'Edison that'. They always come out on top. But our coach (Chris Ramsey) kept telling us if we played the best of our lives, if we out ran them and out swarmed them, we could do it. I guess we believed him."
There was a time Schmidt didn't want to believe what his coach told him. Last spring, Schmidt heard he wouldn't be starting. He was playing baseball, batting .300, and decided football probably wasn't for him. Ramsey and Andy Donegan, a defensive coach, thought otherwise.
"Bruce lost a little patience with us because he didn't think he was going to make the team," Donegan said. "So we had to talk him back into it. He didn't realize that the positions we had been putting him in weren't going to work--that was our fault. We kept him out of the man-to-man positions and moved him to outside linebacker. He's real aggressive and likes to hit, which works great with our defensive plan."
Donegan isn't the only one happy with Schmidt's decision to return.
"Oh yeah, this is great," Schmidt said, pointing to his "Marina 17, Edison 7" commemorative T-shirt. "I feel so good about playing this season now and about the game. Everyone does. But we all know how lots of teams get a big win and lose their heads in the clouds and then lose their next game. We're ready to come out just as tough next time, too."
Marina High School
Position: Outside linebacker and tight end.
Height, Weight, Class: 5-11, 165, Sr.
Last Week: Schmidt had two sacks, recovered a fumble, had an interception and caught a 27-yard pass helping Marina defeat No. 5 ranked Edison, 17-7, Thursday night.
Season: In six games as outside linebacker, Schmidt has made 18 tackles and 13 assists, caught an interception, and caused 2 fumbles. As tight end he has 4 receptions for 52 yards.