Fairfax, the Westside's outstanding team, dominated selections for The Times' 1990 Westside All-Star High School Football Team.
The Lions, who bounced back from a 3-6-1 season last year to finish 11-1, have six players on the 23-man team chosen primarily in a poll of coaches. Fairfax didn't make its comeback with depth; the team had nine two-way starters on a 29-man roster.
Other schools with more than two selections were Westchester and Beverly Hills. Each landed three players on the first team.
Westchester (8-3) provided Fairfax with its chief competition in the Coastal Conference of the City Section 3-A Division. Beverly Hills (6-6), the only Westside team to advance past the first round of the Southern Section playoffs, gave opponents fits with its superior passing game.
The order in which a coach nominated his players for all-star consideration was an important factor, but not necessarily a decisive one. If a player was not nominated by his coach, he was not considered.
Some players are out of position because The Times attempted to select the best athletes, regardless of position.
The first team offense includes receivers Darren Smith and David Saraf of Beverly Hills, tight end De-Milo Bynum of Fairfax and linemen Manny Nieto of St. Monica, Brin Morimoto of Venice, Chris Ziegler of Santa Monica and Avetis Avetisyan of Hollywood.
The quarterbacks are Rahim Muhammad of Fairfax and Ziv Gottlieb of Beverly Hills, and the running backs are Walter Grissam of Westchester and Mario Mattison of Fairfax. The kicker is Rick Heineman of Culver City.
On defense, the linemen are Wes Smith of Westchester, Eric Gronemeyer of Brentwood, Mark Hochberg of Culver City and Eduardo Payan of Fairfax. The linebackers are Cosie Bridwell of Westchester, Mark Walker of Venice and Lee Brothers of Fairfax.
Defensive backs are Keith Walk-Green of St. Monica, Tharen Todd of Fairfax, Jesse Elkins of Hollywood and Jim Ramming of Santa Monica.
There are no repeaters from last year. Mattison was named to the 1988 first team and the 1989 second team. Other second-team selections last year were Grissam, Heineman, Wes Smith and Walk-Green.
The outstanding back, lineman and coach of the year from each of the 12 Times circulation areas--whose names have yet to be announced--will be honored at a breakfast and awards ceremony at 8:30 a.m. Sunday at the Anaheim Hilton Hotel & Towers, 777 Convention Way.
The invitational event, sponsored by the Los Angeles Times Fund, is only for the 36 winners of the highest awards from 12 Times circulation areas: Westside, Central Los Angeles, Orange County, San Gabriel Valley, Southeast, South Coast, Glendale, Centinela-South Bay, San Fernando Valley, San Diego County, Inland Empire (Riverside and San Bernardino counties) and Ventura County.
Darren Smith was a big-play man for Beverly Hills. He had 40 catches for 903 yards (an average of 22.6 yards a reception) and five touchdowns. His coach, Carter Paysinger, called him the fastest player in the Bay League and a strong candidate to play NCAA Division I football.
The sure-handed Saraf, the top possession receiver for Beverly Hills, had 53 receptions for 969 yards and nine touchdowns in 12 games. He averaged 18.3 yards a catch.
Bynum played flanker and cornerback at Fairfax and excelled at both positions. He had 39 catches for 630 yards and eight touchdowns. A hard-hitting tackler, he also returned a blocked field goal 99 yards for a touchdown.
An offensive guard and the long snapper for St. Monica, Nieto was also an excellent linebacker. A three-year starter, he had 80 tackles and 20 assists this season.
A Venice team captain, Morimoto put his great strength and quickness to good use as a blocker. He holds every school weightlifting record, including a 400-pound bench press.
Ziegler was quick on his feet and blocked consistently well. A two-year starter, he carried on a family custom of furnishing top offensive linemen for Santa Monica. His brother, John, was named to the 1988 All-Westside team.
An offensive tackle, defensive end and team captain for Hollywood, Avetisyan was all-league as a sophomore and as a senior. On defense, he had 112 tackles and 12 sacks and blocked four kicks.
A profuse, yet proficient passer, Gottlieb was one of the best in the Southern Section. He completed 168 of 326 passes (51.5%) for 2,639 yards and 20 touchdowns and set several school records.
Muhammad was the force that drove Fairfax, whether running, passing or making big plays. He was the Coastal Conference and Metro League player of the year. As a runner, he had 106 carries for 842 yards and 11 touchdowns. As a passer, he completed 78 of 134 attempts for 1,146 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Grissam gained 1,525 yards in 220 carries (an average of 6.9 yards a carry) and scored 11 touchdowns on runs and one on a pass reception. He was Westchester's top scorer this year and last. He scored 82 points in 1990, including five two-point conversions.