Best-laid plans

October 14, 1999

Barry Faulkner

NEWPORT BEACH - Years of often contentious releaguing meetings have

finally come to this for the Corona del Mar High football team.

So, when the Sea Kings are officially initiated as members of the Pacific

Coast League, tonight at 7 o'clock against Laguna Beach at Newport Harbor

High, Coach Dick Freeman can only hope his team makes years of lobbying

to leave the Sea View League worth while.


"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

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