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Brinkley on the brink

Newport Harbor coach goes for victory No. 200 at school as Sailors play host to Mira Costa of Manhattan Beach.

October 08, 2009|By David Carrillo PeƱaloza

No. 200 seems likely for Newport Harbor High Coach Jeff Brinkley tonight.

If there’s a football team the Sailors have beaten in years past, it’s Mira Costa of Manhattan Beach.

Newport Harbor (3-1) tries to get Brinkley his 200th career victory at the school when it plays host to Mira Costa (2-2) at 7.

The Sailors return to the field with a bad taste in their mouths. Last week, they suffered their first setback, getting upset at Dana Hills, 41-7, and losing their No. 10 ranking in the CIF Southern Section Pac-5 Division poll.

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Newport Harbor is 4-1 against Mira Costa since it began playing the Mustangs out of the Bay League in 2004 during the nonleague portion of the schedule.

A loss to Mira Costa and the Sailors might have to wait sometime before Brinkley, in his 24th year, joins the club only seven other coaches are members of in Orange County.

Sunset League play begins next week. The first three league contests are against undefeated teams, Los Alamitos (5-0), Edison (5-0) and Fountain Valley (5-0).

The league is robust, some calling it the best in California this year. Edison is the No. 5-ranked team in the state by CalHiSports.com, Los Alamitos is No. 22 and Fountain Valley is on the bubble of bursting into the top 25.

“We have a tough league ahead of us,” Brinkley said. “We’re going to have to play a whole lot better than [we did against Dana Hills] to have any chance in this league.”

The Sailors need momentum heading into league play.

Newport Harbor last dropped back-to-back nonleague games right before its league opener in 2005. That year, Dana Hills beat the visiting Sailors, and the following week, Mira Costa defeated host Newport Harbor.

The games are set up the same way, weeks and sites. Whether history repeats itself, fans at Davidson Field are in for a big night, most likely a memorable one for Brinkley.


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