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PREP NOTEBOOK

Tustin's Foster Has Number Retired

March 10, 1998|PAUL McLEOD | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Tustin has retired the No. 26 football jersey worn by standout running back DeShaun Foster.

It marks only the third time in 75 years a football jersey number has been retired by the school. The others were No. 50, worn by center Aaron Guthridge in 1991 and No. 31, worn by running back Norm Veeh in 1943.

"We have a high standard to retire a number," Athletic Director Al Rosmino said. "You have to be at least the player of the year in your division before we will consider you."

Foster, a 6-foot-1, 205-pound running back and linebacker, was the 1997 Southern Section Division V co-player of the year, The Times' Orange County back of the year and the recipient of The Times' Glenn Davis Award, which is awarded to the most outstanding prep football player in Southern California.

He will also participate in the California-Texas Shrine All-Star Classic on July 25.

Foster was the first county player to eclipse the 3,000-yard plateau in a single season, rushing for 3,398 yards. He accounted for county-records of 59 touchdowns and 362 total points. Tustin lost to Santa Margarita in the Division V championship game.

Rosmino said it wasn't difficult for the school to consider retiring the number. "You don't get too many players the caliber of DeShaun Foster that come through a school everyday," he said.

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No site has been determined for this year's California-Texas Shrine game, which has been played the past three years at Cal State Fullerton's Titan Field. California leads the series, 3-0.

Besides Foster (headed to UCLA), other county players named to the California team were quarterback Carson Palmer (USC) and wide receiver/defensive back Jason Minardi (Colorado), who led Santa Margarita to an undefeated season and the section Division V championship; San Clemente's Robert Richardson (Villanova), The Times Orange County lineman of the year; Capistrano Valley lineman Blake Worley (UCLA), and Mater Dei defensive back Joey Boese (Wisconsin).

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Here's what Brethren Christian girls' basketball Coach Kim Harris really thought of her team's inconsistent performance in its 44-37 overtime victory against Olympic League rival Cerritos Valley Christian in the Southern Section Division IV-A championship game Saturday at the Pyramid:

"What you just saw was the character of our team. You have no idea where we have come from, how we have improved. We relived our entire season in one game. The team that you saw in overtime is the team that got us here. We made every shot. We stuck together."

An example? Cindy Oparah was two for nine from the field going into the fourth quarter, then made five of her next six shots. She had six points going into the fourth quarter, and finished with 22.

Brethren committed 21 turnovers, shot 12 of 37 from the field and 17 of 32 from the line overall. It outscored Valley Christian, 12-5, in overtime.

The Warriors host Central Section runner-up Woodlake at 7:30 tonight in the first round of the state Division IV playoffs.

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Orange County girls' soccer coaches held their annual meeting Monday night to select an all-county team, but also on the agenda was poor playing conditions again this year at Cerritos Gahr High, where the Southern Section championships were held Friday and Saturday.

Numerous coaches complained about the condition of Hanford Rants Stadium, a football field adjacent to the Southern Section office. The field was not mowed and was covered with clumps of long grass, which made for rough touches and few controlled passes.

After losing to Mission Viejo in the Division I final, Capistrano Valley Coach Jack Peterson said the field conditions weren't allowing the fans to see the real talent of the teams.

"The level of skill both of these teams have, isn't being seen," Peterson said. "It won't ever be showcased with this field, with the grass un-mowed and the ground all bumpy."

Correspondent Melanie Neff contributed to this story.

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