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Moore Tight; Slight Edge for Suburban's La Mirada : A preview of the Southeast/Long Beach area high school football teams: : SUBURBAN LEAGUE

September 10, 1987|PAUL McLEOD

La Mirada rates a slight edge over Artesia, Glenn has a new coach and La Mirada Coach Ray Mooshagian said, "There isn't a pushover in this league."

1. LA MIRADA--The Matadors get the edge over Artesia from rival coaches for two reasons: Mooshagian and quarterback Eric Brooks. Brooks is "one of the finest players I've seen," said one coach. A three-year starter, he passed for more than 1,200 yards a year ago. He'll hand off to speedy all-league running back Brad Alexander, who gained more than 1,000 yards last year. Mooshagian, the dean of area coaches, begins his 26th consecutive year as a high school head coach. La Mirada has finished no lower than second since he came to the school seven years ago.

2. ARTESIA--In two years as head coach, Vince La Rosa has guided the one-time also-rans to one co-championship and one league title. His teams often start slow and don't get much attention until the playoffs. Linebacker Martin Hammons, a late bloomer last year, returns to anchor one of the best defenses in the area. Other returnees include all-league running back Damon Davis, linemen Lance Comes and Tony Zarazua and quarterback Mark McAfee.

3. NORWALK--Twenty-five letterman and nine starters return for second-year Coach Phil Vala. "We have fair size and have been hitting the weights this year," Vala said. Defensive tackle Randy Bunt, defensive end Brian Gibson, defensive back Jose Gomez, guard/center Alex Moran, flanker David McCoy and tailback Dae-Ho Song all return.

4. BELLFLOWER--League coaches agree that the Bucs will improve on last year's 2-7-1 record. Coach Dave Brown said, "We could be playing Artesia for the league championship on the final night of the year." As many as nine players from last year's 9-1 JV team could start. Returning players include two-way guard Mike Holman, center John Karr and Mike Choi, a fullback/inside linebacker. Several other key players may return, but Brown said he won't accept them unless they solve attitude problems. "This season we are going to focus on character," he said. "Last year that held us back."

5. GLENN--First-year Coach Willie Norman was appointed two months ago after the sudden resignation of Tom Lynn, who coached for a year. Norman, who was an assistant at El Rancho, plans to install many of the successful methods developed at El Rancho, including the Delaware Wing-T offense, discipline and a positive attitude. He says he thinks the team will finish third. Ten players return.

6. MAYFAIR--The Monsoons have had trouble getting out of the cellar. In '86, the team went 3-6-1, the first time in six seasons that it had more than one win. But second-year Coach Leon Ward and other league coaches believe the team can break out of the bottom. Ten starters return, including running back/rover Sam Plambeck, fullback/nose guard Terry Coughlin, offensive guard/linebacker Mark Bell and defensive end/offensive tackle Chris Kearney. Still, the Monsoons lack a quarterback and depth, and they may rely too much on running.

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