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CdM, Sage in knots

SOCCER: No one scores in a game featuring brothers on different teams under the lights at Sage Hill on Friday.

December 16, 2006|By Dominic Perrone

NEWPORT COAST — When Corona del Mar High and Sage Hill School compete in athletics it is like big brother versus little brother. Friday the boys' soccer teams took the metaphoric sibling rivalry to a new level.

Sage Hill freshman Chris Burke played stopper for the first time against Corona del Mar, marking the Sea Kings' best offensive player, his brother senior midfielder Brian Burke.

The nonleague game ended in a 0-0 tie and Chris Burke felt comfortable to go home and face his older brother.

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"It was pretty fun, a little scary," Chris Burke said. "If we win I have to go home to him."

The younger Burke didn't play like he was afraid of big brother. Chris Burke drew a yellow card midway through the first half for overly physical play on his brother, sending him to the sideline for five minutes. Late in the second half, Chris Burke gave his brother a little shove, knocking him off balance.

Mom took notice.

"[Chris Burke] gets a yellow card from [Brian Burke], it might as well have been my living room," Monica Burke said jokingly. "They're both grounded for their actions tonight."

For Chris Burke the game was a victory even though it didn't add another notch to the win column. All week long, big brother had chided him about the game.

"I was pretty excited when I found out we were going to play them," Chris Burke said. "He was saying, 'We're going to kill you guys. Our one goal is going to turn into eight.' "

Brian Burke, upset about the loss, admitted to the brotherly trash talking.

"I was telling him to watch out," Brian Burke said. "He was shoving me. When we get back home it will be quiet at first then we'll talk about it. I thought it was a good game. I'm going to tell him that he's lucky there isn't another chance."

Corona del Mar (1-6-1) came in confident and Sage Hill (4-0-2) answered with what Lightning Coach Noureddine El-Alam said was the best half in his seven years as coach. The tie against the Sea Kings, who are in CIF Southern Section Division II, gave Division VI Sage Hill a victory and a tie over the two Division II teams they have faced. The Lightning also tied with Division III Laguna Beach.

"They all used to beat us," El-Alam said. "The main thing is the kids played with a lot of heart."

Sea Kings Coach Pat Callaghan admitted his team was outplayed in the first half, but said the second half was solidly in favor of the Sea Kings.

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