NEWPORT BEACH — Newport Harbor High girls' soccer coach Larry Draluck has been known to try to motivate his players with metaphors, axioms and the occasional tall tale. So it was not surprising when he got philosophical following the Sailors' 4-0 loss to visiting Tesoro in the second round of the CIF Southern Section Division I playoffs on Tuesday.
It is, of course, rather natural to wax positively about a team that made the playoffs for the first time in six seasons, then advanced past the first round, despite being the only team among the division's 33 playoff entries to enter the tournament with more than 10 losses.
There were some tears from the Sailors' players immediately after their 8-13-3 campaign came to an end. But Draluck opened the floor to his players in the postgame discussion, and laughter erupted soon enough.
"I've been coaching soccer a long time [four seasons at Newport Harbor to make it 27 years at the club, prep and college levels] and as I've said many times, my emphasis is on the quality of play," Draluck said. "And I really thought we got the maximum out of everybody on our team."