New faces abound

High School Football

Newport Harbor features new starters at quarterback, tailback, fullback, wide receiver and offensive line.

September 01, 2011|By David Carrillo PeƱaloza,
(Scott Smeltzer…)

Coach Jeff Brinkley has a wealth of experience on the high school varsity level.

Most of his football players at Newport Harbor High don't.

This season marks Brinkley's 26th with the Sailors. He said it has been a while since he went into a season with only a handful of returning starters.

"We lost a good number of starters, but that's high school football," said Brinkley, who has a new starter at quarterback, running back, fullback, two at wide receiver and four on the offensive line. "This is probably a few less than we usually have, but I think we got a good nucleus and I like the work ethic of this group.

"Our guys expect to win. That's one thing that we got going for us."

The message has always been the same at Newport Harbor under Brinkley. Compete and expect to win.

The program has won more games than it has lost in the past 25 years, going 208-88-3. During the long stretch, Newport Harbor has only turned in two losing seasons.


The Sailors plan to keep the winning tradition alive and make the CIF Southern Section Pac-5 Division playoffs for a third straight year. If they do, it will be Brinkley's 20th postseason appearance.

Brinkley will rely heavily on three seniors, defensive end Steve Michaelsen, outside linebacker Ethan Cochran and free safety Titus Hasson. The three started on defense last year, but Brinkley's asked two of them for services on offense this year.

Cochran and Hasson are both in the backfield after standout running back Buzzy Yokoyama transferred to Mission Viejo High for his senior year and junior tailback Talalelei Teaupa broke his collarbone in practice last week. Two seniors blocking for Cochran and Hasson are the lone returning starters on offense, right guard Ted Barry and tight end Vince Aqueveque.

Newport Harbor needs the veterans if it wants to secure one of the Sunset League's three automatic berths into the playoffs. None of the teams cracked the Pac-5 Division preseason poll, but that doesn't mean the league isn't tough.

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