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High Schools: Locals tackle league foes

October 10, 2011|By David Carrillo Penaloza
  • Cole Cottrell (20) and Corona del Mar High are ranked No. 1 in the CIF Southern Section Southern Division entering Pacific Coast League play.
Cole Cottrell (20) and Corona del Mar High are ranked No.… (SCOTT SMELTZER,…)

The second part of the high school football season starts this week for four local schools. To reach the third phase, the playoffs, each team has to perform in league play.

Let league play begin.

Corona del Mar and Estancia have the toughest league openers. Both are on the road and both face teams ranked in the CIF Southern Section Southern Division.

Top-ranked CdM (4-1) opens Pacific Coast League play against No. 7-ranked Northwood (2-3) on Thursday at Irvine High at 7 p.m.

Sixth-ranked Estancia (3-2) kicks off Orange Coast League play at No. 5-ranked Laguna Beach (5-0) on Friday at 7 p.m.

Getting off to the right start is vital for both CdM and Estancia to defend their respective league titles.

The Sea Kings are coming off a bye; the Eagles off a nonleague loss.

Coach Scott Meyer is in his first year at CdM, so the Pacific Coast League will be new to him. He is well aware that his league is the best in the Southern Division, with five of its teams ranked in the top 10. Three of those teams, which include CdM, reached the semifinals of the playoffs last year.

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Coach Mike Bargas knows the Orange Coast League very well having spent the past four seasons at Estancia, winning it twice during that span. The Eagles were the favorites before the season, but Laguna Beach has been impressive during its nonleague schedule.

The Breakers have given the Eagles fits under Bargas. In Bargas' first three years, Laguna Beach beat Estancia each time. The biggest setback was a 17-13 decision in Bargas' first year, which cost Estancia an outright league title.

Bargas was finally able to knock off Laguna Beach, 36-10, last year. The Eagles went on to go undefeated and claim the program's first outright league crown in 21 years.

The two programs open league again.

"They're all tough," Bargas said last week, when asked about playing a ranked opponent for the third straight week.

The Breakers are averaging 53.4 points in their first five contests.

So far, Estancia is 1-1 against ranked teams, beating Northwood, 43-27, and losing to No.2-ranked Beckman, 12-10.

Newport Harbor has competed against the most daunting nonleague schedule in the area. The Sailors played two teams ranked in the Pac-5 Division in No. 3-ranked San Clemente (6-0) and No. 7-ranked Loyola (5-1) of Los Angeles, as well as CdM.

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