Harbor history repeats

December 14, 1999

Barry Faulkner

Today is the four-day anniversary of the victory which, for all but

a fortunate few involved with this year's Newport Harbor High football

team, will stand as the crowning achievement of their athletic career.

Indeed, the best thing about earning the distinction of champion is that

it lasts forever. A year from now, five years, 10, 25, 100 or 1,000,

history will note the singular accomplishment achieved by Coach Jeff


Brinkley's 13-0-1 Sailors this fall.

There is, and always will be, only one CIF Southern Section Division VI

champion in 1999.

Today, this still-euphoric fourth day, this year's players are still

walking on clouds. Only in the years to come, however, will they fully

appreciate the special feeling that accompanied Friday's 19-18 triumph

over Irvine at Orange Coast College.

For a little perspective, this year's team need only look to the CIF

champs of 1994, a 14-0 Harbor squad from which several players have

already made the post-collegiate transition into the work force.

History remembers them, too. History never forgets.


Brinkley, as well as a handful of assistant coaches, remain a link to the

only two section championship squads in the school's 69 seasons.

Assistants Bill Brown, Mike Bargas, Bill Vetica and Bill Calloway, as

well as coaches' assistant Ryan O'Donnell, will soon add a second

championship ring to their collection.

Brinkley said the five seasons in between, which included one trip to the

title game (1996) and another to the semifinals ('97), have helped him

appreciate winning in Week 14.

The winningest coach in Newport-Mesa District football history was

particularly gratified that his 80-year-old father, Roy, as well as his

former high school coach and former Sailors' assistant, Bob Larson,

witnessed Friday's game.

"I told our kids there's got to be somebody special in their lives to

enjoy it with and, for me, that was my Dad.

"And I have so much respect for (Larson), I'm glad he was there, too. He

taught me so much and is a major factor in my being a coach."


In addition to the aforementioned assistants, who include Harbor alumnus

and former player Bargas, a pair of former Sailors took part in their

first championship season.

Matt Burns, a linebacker on the Sailor team which lost to Irvine, 30-8,

in the 1992 Division IV title game, was particularly energetic during

postgame festivities Friday.

Biehl, a 1995 graduate, had his playing career cut short by a knee injury

after his sophomore season. He was a starting center for his freshmen

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