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Sailor father roots for Sea King son

High School Football

Paul Gentosi, a Newport Harbor alumnus, will be working with chain crew, while his son, Giovanni, a CdM lineman, plays.

September 19, 2013|By David Carrillo PeƱaloza
  • Paul Gentosi played football for Newport Harbor High, where he graduated in 1966.
Paul Gentosi played football for Newport Harbor High,…

It doesn't take much of an effort for Giovanni Gentosi to find his father during a football game. The orange fishing hat his dad, Paul Gentosi, usually wears makes him easy to spot.

Paul will be out there Friday night, when his son's team, Corona del Mar High (3-0), plays host to Newport Harbor (1-1) in the Battle of the Bay rivalry game at Orange Coast College at 7.

When Giovanni looks for his dad, Paul will be on the opponent's sideline. Paul played for the Sailors back in the day. But Paul won't be on the Sailors' sideline because of his ties to the school.

Paul will be working the game as part of the chain crew. It's his turn to volunteer his time for CdM's second home game of the season.

"It's the best seat in the house," says Paul, who isn't complaining about the fact that he cannot sit at all during the game.

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The four members of the chain crew will find out their jobs on the night of the game. Paul hopes he can be the clip guy, who ensures the original line of scrimmage is not lost if the chains are dropped or moved.

The job affords Paul the most time to watch the game. And when he's following the action, unlike most fans, he pays close attention to the offensive line, especially the 6-foot-2, 230-pound teenager wearing No. 73 for CdM.

That's Paul's son, Giovanni, a senior center, one of the top players on the field. From his vantage point, Paul can hear Giovanni make the calls at the line, hear his pads and helmet knock back linemen and linebackers.

There are times Paul and the other three dads working the chain crew have to drop everything and move in a hurry. They're that close to the players.

They aren't young dads. Sure, during Paul's senior season in 1966, he says he weighed almost as much as his son and stood just as tall as him.

These days, Paul, 64, doesn't look as big.

"I've shrunk," Paul says with a huge laugh.

Paul has changed and so has the game since his playing days.

From the size of the players, to the offenses teams run, to the uniforms teams wear, football looks different to Paul. He's all for the sport evolving.

What reminds Paul of the past is the jersey number his son wears. Paul wore No. 73 as a tight end for the Sailors. Back then, he says the team assigned him the number.

At CdM, Giovanni chose to wear No. 73.

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