SAN DIEGO — Nobody gave much credit to the Point Loma High School football team when those annual preseason predictions were being made last August.
The Pointers were mentioned as an afterthought, if at all.
But Point Loma, which will play Morse in the San Diego Section 3-A championship Saturday night, has four players named to The Times' 1987 All-County team.
The Times' sports staff selected the team from the 65 San Diego County schools.
Point Loma--with tight end Bob Brasher, offensive tackle William Howard, defensive back Marcel Brown and kicker T.J. Linardi highlighting this season's all-county selections--has one of the county's most talented teams.
Point Loma's 12-0 record may have been a surprise to many coaches, but not the Pointers' Bennie Edens.
Edens said knew this was one of the strongest teams he had had at Point Loma in the last five years.
So much for preseason predictions.
Here's a look at The Times' 1987 team:
Darrow Nelson, Fallbrook wide receiver--In 12 games, Nelson had 87 receptions for 1,194 yards and 9 touchdowns. Nelson's powerful running was a key to Fallbrook's "gun and run" passing offense.
Todd Sheehan, Helix wide receiver--Sheehan was named the Grossmont League's player of the year on offense. Despite playing hurt for several games of the season, Sheehan caught a league-leading 32 passes for 463 yards and 4 touchdowns.
Bob Brasher, Point Loma tight end--Brasher was quarterback Mike Bennett's favorite receiver, especially when the Pointers faced Morse for the City Eastern League championship. Brasher caught 4 passes in the game for 157 yards and 1 touchdown as Point Loma won, 14-13.
William Howard, Point Loma offensive tackle--Howard, a two-way starter, had his best game of the season in the City Eastern League game against Morse. He was a solid blocker during the season, helping lead the Point Loma rushing game.
Joe Heinz, Chula Vista offensive tackle--Despite his size (6-6, 305) he has 5.1 speed in the 40. "He showed other teams that he can move despite his size," Coach George Ohnsorgen said. Heinz also handled the kicking duties for Chula Vista.
Clarence Loa, Vista offensive guard--Much of the credit for Vista's powerful running game the past three years belongs to Loa, a quick pulling guard. Loa often was the lead blocker for Vista's options and sweeps.
Erik Bliss, Helix offensive guard--Coach Jim Arnaiz called Bliss the best lineman at Helix in the last decade. Bliss anchored the offensive line for Helix, which was third in the nine-team conference in offensive yardage.
Freddie Porter, Lincoln center--On a team of good athletes, Porter was listed by Coach Vic Player as one of the best. Porter started on offense and defense for the second straight season and was one of the reasons Lincoln's running game was a success.
Mike Turiace, Fallbrook quarterback--Turiace was the county's leading quarterback in his first year as a starter, despite missing one game with a broken jaw. He completed 218 of 350 passes (62%) for 2,839 yards and 27 touchdowns in 11 games.
Darren Wagner, Lincoln running back--He scored five touchdowns in the Hornets' season-opening 82-0 victory over San Francisco Wilson and was the county's leading scorer with 22 touchdowns. He rushed for 1,677 yards, 400 more than anyone else this season.
Larry Maxey, Morse running back--Maxey was the county's second-leading rusher with 1,271 yards in 10 games and also was the county's second-leading scorer with 19 touchdowns. Maxey also returned kicks and punts, was a member of the kickoff and punt teams, and played cornerback.
T.J. Linardi, Point Loma kicker--Linardi's contributions to Point Loma's undefeated season began in week two when he kicked a 47-yard field goal on the last play of the game to defeat Lincoln, 24-21.
Tamasi Amituanai, Vista defensive lineman--The only junior on the first team, Amituanai was one of the Palomar League's strongest pass rushers. He's also a threat against the run. "I would hate to have to play against him," Haines said. "He is truly a fluid runner."
Eric Parker, Mount Miguel defensive lineman--Despite his height (5-4), Parker was a key to Mount Miguel's rushing defense that allowed an average of 1.4 yards per carry and 43 yards rushing per game. Parker had 93 tackles and 9 quarterback sacks.
Bill Hickey, Mt. Carmel defensive lineman--Hickey, a part-time starter last year, emerged as a top defensive player in the Palomar League.
Bill Clem, Mira Mesa defensive lineman--Clem, a second-team All-County choice a year ago, anchored the Marauders' defense this season. Clem was also the team's punter, averaging more than 40 yards per kick.
Tyler Batson, Torrey Pines linebacker--Opposing offenses tried to devise game plans that kept Batson from the ball. He is a two-year starter, and three-year varsity player.