Palisades High School Coach Jack Epstein, Santa Monica High record-setting running back Glyn Milburn and Beverly Hills linebacker-running back Willie Crawford won the top Westside honors at the annual Times High School Football Awards Brunch.
Epstein was named the area's coach of the year, Milburn back of the year and Crawford lineman of the year.
Crespi running back Russell White was selected as the first winner of the Glenn Davis Award, to be given annually to the top high school football player in Southern California. Milburn was one of five players who received consideration for the award, named after the 1946 Heisman Trophy winner from Army, who retired last year after many years as The Times director of special events.
The invitational event, sponsored by the Los Angeles Times Fund, brought together parents, head coaches and 276 players from all-star first teams in 12 Times circulation areas: Westside, Central, Inland Empire (Riverside and San Bernardino counties), Orange County, San Gabriel Valley, Southeast, South Coast, Glendale, Centinela-South Bay, San Fernando Valley, San Diego County and Ventura County.
Each player received a plaque and certificate. In addition, the backs and linemen of the year received trophies.
In three years at Palisades, Epstein, 54, turned around a losing program. In his first year the Dolphins finished with a 4-6 record and last year went to the 3-A Los Angles City playoffs, finishing with a 6-4-1 mark.
This year Palisades (9-2 overall) was undefeated in Crosstown League competition and will play Franklin (9-1) in the 3-A City title game at 4 p.m. Saturday at East Los Angeles College. It was the third time that Epstein was honored as a Times coach of the year. The first was in 1970 when his Hamilton High team won the championship of the now-defunct Western League.
In 1974 and 1975, Epstein was the offensive coordinator at West Los Angeles College, and the quarterback for the 1974 squad was his former Hamilton High quarterback, Warren Moon. Moon went on to star at the University of Washington and with the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League and is now quarterback for the Houston Oilers.
Epstein, who has taught and coached for 31 years in the Los Angeles Unified School District, won his second Times coaching award in 1979. He was named the Centinela-South Bay coach of the year after his Narbonne High team won a Freeway League championship, one of five league titles that school won with Epstein as head coach.
After making steady progress with his first two Palisades teams, Epstein was a big winner this year.
The stars of this year's Palisades team have been quarterback Perry Klein, running back-linebacker Louis Randall and wide receiver Harold Champion. But it also had another star in first-year offensive coordinator Steve Clarkson, a former quarterback at San Jose State, who designed a potent passing attack for Epstein and the Dolphins.
Epstein said that he needed the help of Clarkson. "One person doesn't do it," he said, "and I give Steve a lot of credit, particularly for what he has done with Perry Klein." Klein set several passing records, including a national standard for completions with 46 in one game and a state mark with 562 yards passing in one game.
He said that he also received a lot of help from assistant coaches Charley Johnson, who has been in charge of special teams and defensive ends, and Ray Parker, coach of defensive backs.
Milburn spent most of last season at defensive back, running occasionally as a substitute for first-string tailback Mark Jackson. But in his first full season at tailback, Milburn was a sensation.
In 11 games, the 5-10, 170-pound senior gained 2,716 yards to set a CIF-Southern Section single-season rushing record and scored 38 touchdowns rushing to set another. He scored 234 points, the third-best mark for a season in Southern Section history.
At linebacker, Crawford had 54 unassisted tackles and 89 assists in 10 games. He had 6 sacks, 13 tackles behind the line of scrimmage, 4 fumble recoveries, 2 interceptions and 5 pass deflections.
As a running back, the 6-1, 205-pound senior gained 1,259 yards in 191 carries and scored 17 touchdowns rushing. He had 13 pass receptions for 145 yards and a touchdown.
Besides Milburn, Klein and Champion, members of The Times All-Westside first team on offense are Eric Nelson of St. Bernard, Brad Ammann of Beverly Hills, Kai Kaluna of St. Monica, Kevin Kelly of Santa Monica, Erez Gottlieb of Beverly Hills, Fredrick Rodgers Jr. of Westchester, Kevin Owens of Westchester, Jeffrey Holmes of Hollywood and Galo Medina of Beverly Hills.
On defense besides Crawford and Randall, first-team selections are Nick Satriano of Santa Monica, Kevin Johnson of Westchester, Robert Delarosa of Culver City, Mike Davis of University and Craig Pringle of Fairfax. Others are Tate Nelson of Santa Monica, Chris Ayears of University, Jeff Poje of Hamilton and Jim Labrie of Santa Monica.
The second team on offense consists of Robert Scott of Palisades, Alex Watson of Fairfax, Eric Loysen of Santa Monica, David Flores of Hamilton, Ben Abarro of Daniel Murphy, T. J. Henderson of Venice, Dion Beckton of Palisades, Jason Goldberg of Beverly Hills, Charles McKinzie of Hamilton, Terrence Kendricks of Daniel Murphy, Dan Bernard of St. Monica and Matt Pringle of Santa Monica.
On defense, second-team selections are Willie Bolton of Palisades, Khaled Farah of Fairfax, Doug Nelson of St. Bernard, Phillip Frazier of Hamilton, Josh Haims and Scott Chorna, both of Beverly Hills; T. R. Reese of Westchester, Jason Lucky of St. Bernard, Chris Staib of Venice, Ronnie Edwards of University and Tyrone Harris of Westchester.