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Gino Boero

October 26, 1999

Don Cantrell

Almost five decades have passed since the days of Eugene (Gino)

Boero and the Newport Harbor High Sailors and yet he remains one of the

all-time favorites from the ranks of the Bluejackets.

Some have reflected back and consider Boero as the original

"refrigerator," long before the grid world ever heard of William Perry.

Boero first came to Harbor High football in 1949 as a 15-year-old

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sophomore guard weighing 240 pounds. He was born in Italy and found his

dad, "Papa Gino," prompting him to start baking exquisite bread when he

was 9 years old.

Even as a sophomore, Boero was solid as a rock and rivals were often

stressed out trying to move him off the forward wall.

Despite his age, he often looked like a starter for the USC Trojans.

One former teammate said, "I used to laugh with delight when Gino

would catch a halfback from the other team. He'd pick him up off the

ground with a bear hug, stopping all forward motion, but the

ball-carriers often kept peddling their feet while a foot off the

ground."

He aded, "Then they'd try ramming their fullback at Gino up the middle

and bog down on the line of scrimmage."

Boero served on three Tar teams in 1949, '50 and '51. The '49 team

scored 323 points for one season and chalked up a superb record of 8-1.

The '50 team won six and lost three, while the '51 outfit won two and

lost seven.

Boero said, "What spirit we had on that '49 team. I loved it."

One of the most emotional moments for him came through the middle of

the '49 season when senior guard John Kingston ran on the field and

hugged him. Kingston had suddenly learned that Boero had just earned

enough playing time (quarters) to win a varsity letter.

During Harbor High's first 25 years of football, Boero and "Big Al"

Muniz (250 pounds) in 1948 were the two biggest linemen who had ever

taken the field for the Sailors.

With the passing of years, Boero would be the first to note that big

size is not so uncommon among the preps any more. But in his days and

time, he was a stalwart in Harbor's line and has enjoyed an ever-growing

status.

Always a jovial one with a positive outlook, Boero said, "We still had

great spirit in '51 with the likes of Rex Bell, Rolly Pulaski, Jim Pascoe

and others. I enjoyed all the great guys I played with in those three

memorable years. And Al Irwin was a tremendous coach."

Boero was also a tremendous boxer all through high school and often

shocked many of the senior mates who would drop by his basement in Corona

del Mar for a few tough rounds.

Gino Boero, one of kind in the Long Gray Line at Harbor, and a true

champion among the Daily Pilot's Sports Hall of Fame, celebrating the

oncoming millennium.

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