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Taylor gets ready for some football

May 10, 2004

Steve Virgen

Simply put, Andrea Taylor loves football.

She didn't play sports when she went to Newport Harbor High, but

the 1996 Sailor graduate has developed a passion for the sport. She

is pursuing that passion, these days, as the general manager of a new

women's football team, the Orange County Breakers.

"I love football," Taylor said. "I'm a Green Bay Packers fan. I

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love watching football. I also scout with my boyfriend."

Taylor helped conduct tryouts May 1 and May 8 for the squad that

will also feature Kalena Jackson, a former basketball and track and

field standout at Costa Mesa High and Newport Harbor. Jackson, who

graduated from San Clemente High, will most likely be a running back

for the Breakers.

Pacita Vasquez, a Costa Mesa resident and a former athlete at

Estancia High (class of 1976), will be a defensive coach. Her

daughter, Athena, starred in softball, basketball and field hockey at

Newport Harbor and now plays softball at Wisconsin.

Pacita's son, Julius, a former football and baseball standout at

Costa Mesa High, will be the team's defensive coordinator.

When Pacita Vasquez first found out about the Orange County

Breakers, she wanted to play. Vasquez and Taylor work together for an

insurance company.

Vasquez played powder-puff football at Estancia, where she also

competed in basketball, field hockey, volleyball and softball. Taylor

gained a desire to play football when her boyfriend told her she

could play, too.

Taylor's boyfriend is Sean Sunay, the head coach of the Orange

County Breakers. He also works as an assistant coach at Orange High.

Sunay told Taylor she should try out for Antelope Valley's

expansion team and Taylor went. After one tryout, Taylor knew she

really loved the game. But she didn't want to make the commute.

That's when she decided to help bring a team to Orange County.

After just seven players came out for the May 1 tryout, Taylor said she might also play for the team. Yet she knows she has plenty

of work ahead of her as the general manager.

Taylor hopes to find an owner for the team, a venue to play in and

sponsorships. She's also looking for bodies.

The Breakers won't begin playing games until the spring of 2005,

but Taylor is excited to help develop the team.

The Breakers will play in the National Women's Football

Association, which includes various teams from across the nation.

"We're just working from the ground up and that's so exciting,"

she said. "Being the general manager has been so time consuming. But

it's something I enjoy. I love seeing women succeed in something men

have been playing in for a long time."

Jackson, 21, is also excited to contribute to the team. She has

been working as a fitness trainer and found a flier about the team on

her car after finishing a workout.

She went to the first tryout for the Breakers and immediately

became enamored with the sport. She ran the 40-yard dash in 4.8

seconds and that was without cleats.

"I have never put pads and a helmet on, so I'm curious how that

feels," Jackson said. "And the hitting, I'm looking forward to that."

Jackson said she has trained for fitness competitions and remains

in top condition. She plans to use that to her advantage in the

months leading up to the Breakers' first game.

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