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McHalffey Recovering From Hit

October 20, 1998|MARTIN HENDERSON | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Josh McHalffey, a senior defensive end for Saddleback, was released Monday from Western Medical Center in Santa Ana after a spinal cord concussion.

McHalffey suffered temporary paralysis and loss of feeling in his arms in the second quarter of the Roadrunners' 35-14 loss to Servite on Saturday.

"I've been getting stingers the last few weeks in my right shoulder and my neck," McHalffey said Monday. "And I hit this time, and my arms went numb.

"I hit someone head to head and my neck got hot, my arms went numb. I couldn't feel my right side. I tried not to move; it was hurting.

"I really didn't see the guy. I was running with my head down and I just happened to hit him like that."

About 10 minutes later in the game, there was another injury. Saddleback defensive tackle Robert Sanchez broke his arm. He is out for the season.

McHalffey, whose football career will end after high school (he wants to study optometry), hopes to play again this season but was unsure of his physical status.

"Any time you lose people, it definitely hurts, obviously," Saddleback Coach Jerry Witte said. "Those kids who have been playing behind them [junior defensive Hugo Vega, senior tackle Gerald Norman] get a chance to play--that's why we practice. They're both seniors, and you hate to see that happen. And they're both good kids and have been playing fairly well for us. Thankfully, it's not really serious--especially for Josh."

*

Savanna football Coach Fred Di Palma said his interest in beating Western last Thursday had nothing to do with providing more credibility for the Rebels' record. After gaining a forfeit victory over Villa Park last week, Savanna entered the game 5-0 but had faced only one opponent with a winning record.

"It's a league game, that's why it's important," Di Palma said. "That's the only thing that matters. Whether you're 5-0 or 0-5, it doesn't matter if you lose in league."

Savanna lost, 28-0.

Jason Brown nearly prevented the shutout with a spectacular run, though. With the Rebels at their own nine, a pitch left to Brown went into the end zone. He picked it up and circled right, stopped and changed direction when confronted by tacklers (for what seemed to be a sure safety) and raced along the back of the end zone until he turned up the left sideline. He ran at least 80 yards to gain 59, and was finally chased down by Will Ruffin and Darryl Gober.

"That was pretty awesome," Western Coach Toby Howell said. "We were livid on the sidelines, but we expected him to make more [big plays] than that."

*

It has been awhile since Corona del Mar won a big football game, and the Sea Kings' shocker over No. 6 Newport Harbor Friday was a huge one.

"The closest would be the win over Irvine in 1995, which put us in the playoffs," Coach Dick Freeman said.

That, incidentally, is the last time the Sea Kings were in the playoffs.

Corona del Mar has won five in a row since losing to Marina in its season opener.

Newport Harbor (5-1) was averaging 51 points a game, but stalled against an active Sea King defense. A key play was Hunter MacDonald's 42-yard interception against Newport Harbor quarterback Steve Gorman for a touchdown. It was the first interception Gorman has thrown this season.

"From what we saw on film, no one had really pressed their receivers," Freeman said. "We tried to make them throw harder passes."

Freeman isn't worried about his team spending too much time celebrating its first win in five years over Newport Harbor, especially with Friday's road game against defending Southern Section Division V champion Santa Margarita up next.

"The league is so balanced that the first week isn't going to mean that much," Freeman said.

*

Tim Meagher has been hired as golf coach at Servite High, Athletic Director Larry Walker said. Meagher, a walk-on, has been an assistant basketball coach for several years. He replaced Curtis Marcell, who accepted a position as vice principal with the school.

Times staff writers Paul McLeod and Mike Terry contributed to this report.

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