Starting from scratch

August 25, 1999

Joseph Boo

COSTA MESA - For Estancia High boys cross country coach Charlie

Appell, his team registers like the Backstreet Boyz would to your

grandparents. There's a bunch of unrecognizable young faces, and it'll

take time to know them. "This is a very, very new team," Appell said.

"And experience is very, very nil."

Appell knew he would lose his Division IV state champion Alberto Munoz


and 15th-place state finisher Manuel Orozco to graduation. A rebuilding

year was inevitable. But this year will be less a rebuilding and more

like picking out a piece of land to start building on. Estancia lost nine

of its 10 runners.

The only returning runner for the Eagles is senior Abe Inouye. Inouye

is entering his fourth year with the team, but he was the team's No. 7

runner last year. He has no experience as one of the top runners. The

only other senior on the team is Danny Vargas. And that pretty much does

it for experience. "We're pretty much throwing a bunch of freshmen and

sophomores with little or no experience into varsity competition,"

Appell said. "We have no experience, and we don't know what to expect."

Perhaps the only expectations the Eagles can realistically put upon

themselves is to get older and more mature. The team is filled with two

freshmen and three sophomores. Unfortunately, Martin Munoz is not one of

those underclassmen. Munoz was a promising track runner last year, and he

also ran for the cross country team. But he decided not to return,

That leaves the Eagles with inexperienced underclassmen. There is a

chance one can step up, but none have yet to stand out. They do have a

lot of time though, time they have to bear through, and patience might be

the most important objective the Eagles practice. Until then, they'll be

fighting to avoid the cellar of the Pacific Coast League this year.

"This is a really drastic rebuilding year," according to Appell. "Our

key thoughts are, get out of the season without any injuries and retain

the kids."

If the kids do stick around, there's a chance the team could do more

than simply become familiar with their coach.


Abe Inouye Sr.

Danny Vargas Sr.

Mike Casillas So.

Eric Lopez So.

Luis Segoginao So.

Gerardo Orozco Fr.

Humberto Rojas Fr.

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