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Facts And Figures

September 10, 1996

A Little History

The Sunset League is Orange County's oldest large-school league, formed in 1937 by elevating four schools from the Orange County League to join Long Beach Jordan and Norwalk Excelsior in a new league named for the Sunset Oil Co. of Huntington Beach.

Although there was parity in the early years, that changed when Clare VanHoorebeke arrived at Anaheim in 1950. VanHoorebeke coached the Colonists to 16 league championships in the next 23 years.

But an even greater legend than the coach was his star running back of the mid-'50s, Mickey Flynn. Known as "The Ghost of La Palma," Flynn gained 3,681 yards in his career, and achieved legendary status in this area.

Flynn led the Colonists to a shared section title in 1956, the result of a 13-13 championship game tie with Downey before a crowd of 41,383 at the Coliseum.

The league's high point was perhaps the 1967 section championship game, an all-Sunset League affair in which Anaheim defeated Santa Ana, 27-6.

A major realignment in 1974 marked the departure of Anaheim, and Edison stepped up as a league power, winning or sharing six titles in seven seasons from 1976-82. The 1979 team, led by running back Kerwin Bell, won a section title with a record-breaking 55-0 rout of Redlands in the title game.

The balance of power shifted again in 1994, when a realignment brought former Empire League powers Los Alamitos and Esperanza to the league.

League champions since 1974

1974 Newport Harbor

1975 Westminster

1976 Edison

1977 Fountain Valley

1978 Edison

1979 Edison

1980 Edison

1981 Edison

1982 Edison and Fountain Valley

1983 Fountain Valley, Huntington Beach and Marina

1984 Fountain Valley

1985 Edison and Marina

1986 Marina

1987 Fountain Valley

1988 Fountain Valley

1989 Edison/Ocean View

1990 Edison

1991 Santa Ana

1992 Servite

1993 Huntington Beach

1994 Los Alamitos

1995 Esperanza

Southern Section champions since 1974

1978 Fountain Valley (Conference)

1979 Edison (Conference)

1980 Edison (Conference)

1985 Edison (Conference)

1988 Fountain Valley (Division)

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