"If we don't win this week ...," said Freeman, whose 0-5 squad takes on a
league foe with fewer students for the first time since it shared Sea
View League membership with Laguna Beach in 1985.
"Physically, we can stand up to them," noted Freeman, whose preleague
campaign -- the school's worst start since 1965 -- was plagued by
injuries, inconsistency and various other ills.
Freeman, anxious to look ahead, whittled the unmerciful opening to a
two-word sound bite.
"It's over," he said.
"After all we've gone through this preseason (including five touchdowns
negated by penalties the last two weeks), we're still tied for first (in
Laguna Beach (3-2), coached by Dave Holland, who amassed a school-record
106 wins and two CIF Southern Section championships in 20 seasons as
coach at CdM, will attempt to alter this reality with what could be its
best team in more than a decade.
The team representing the county's smallest public school, however, has
significant injury issues of its own. The Artists have played their last
two games -- both losses -- without senior two-way stars Ryan Schissler
and Travis Loidolt.
And while Holland lists Schissler, a quarterback and safety, as probable
after sitting out with a thigh bruise, Loidolt, a tight end and middle
linebacker, may not be able to overcome a disc problem in his lower back.
What's more, Brian Butler, a 6-foot-4, 245-pound offensive tackle Holland
considers among the best he's coached, is likely out with a bum knee.
But if Holland is looking for sympathy on the injury front, Freeman, who
coached with him for five seasons at CdM in the 1980s, is not the man to
The Sea Kings lost junior quarterback Matt Moore for the season with a
broken rib and collapsed lung in Week 3 and have had a handful of others
knocked out of action.
Senior outside linebacker Blake Hacker (ankle) and defensive lineman
Taumata Grey (neck) are likely to don a Sea King uniform for the first
time in weeks. In addition, senior Mike Hayes, who has played through a
broken thumb sustained in the preseason scrimmage, should play without a