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Norton Sailors' do-everything man

Newport Harbor senior hardly sat during a game, excelling as a receiver and defensive back, and contributing on special teams.

December 24, 2010|By David Carrillo PeƱaloza, david.carrillo@latimes.com

The senior middle linebacker played a vital role to the Sea Kings' remarkable turnaround from a year ago. One season after CdM went winless in Pacific Coast League play, the Sea Kings became unbeaten league champions and claimed the program's first outright league crown in 22 years. Risser led CdM (10-2-1, 4-0-1 in league) to the semifinals of the CIF Southern Section Southern Division playoffs, one game away from playing for its first section title since 1989. Risser earned the CIF Southern Section Southern Division Defensive Player of the Year and Pacific Coast League Defensive MVP awards. He finished with 110 tackles, 10 for losses, forced five fumbles, and had two sacks and two interceptions.

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Mitch Gardner

Corona del Mar | QB

The senior quarterback gave the up-tempo Sea Kings an aerial threat after the team's lack of a passing game the previous season. Gardner led the area with 1,635 yards and 19 touchdowns through the air. Three times this year Gardner threw three touchdown passes, including in the second-seeded Sea Kings' 35-0 victory against Anaheim in the quarterfinals of the CIF Southern Section Southern Division playoffs. He passed for a career-best 270 yards in the game and rushed for a touchdown.

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Buzzy Yokoyama

Newport Harbor | RB

The junior running back was a load to bring down because of the 5-foot-10, 198-pounder's tenacious running style. Yokoyama rushed for 1,250 yards and 12 touchdowns, despite missing three games because of a dislocated right kneecap suffered in the fourth game of the season. In just his second varsity start at tailback, he amassed 294 yards on the ground in the Sailors' 35-28 victory against Loyola of Los Angeles, tying Newport Harbor's single-game rushing record. Yokoyama, who averaged 7.4 yards per carry, made the All-Sunset League first team.

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Robert Murtha

Estancia | RB

The sophomore running back turned into the Eagles' workhorse in his varsity debut and it paid off. Murtha led Estancia to a 5-0 Orange Coast League championship season, the program's first outright league title in 21 years. Murtha set an Estancia single-season rushing record with 1,679 yards and he rushed for 19 touchdowns. Murtha, the Orange Coast League Offensive Player of the Year, totaled 320 yards on the ground in a game against Saddleback, leaving him five yards short of breaking the Eagles' single-game rushing record.

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Brent Gray

Corona del Mar | WR

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