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Football Dream Team: Gentosi paves way to perfection

Corona del Mar senior center a key player in Sea Kings' amazing season, named Dream Team Player of Year.

January 08, 2014|By David Carrillo PeƱaloza
(Don Leach / Daily…)

Two days after the end of the Corona del Mar High football season on Dec. 21, Giovanni Gentosi skipped town. All beat up from playing a 16-game schedule he went on a much-needed vacation.

Gentosi spent the holiday break with family in Mammoth Mountain, where he planned to rest his body for five days. On three of those days, his body endured a little more as he joined his family on hikes. Nature eased the pain from a grueling season.

Those trails gave Gentosi time to reflect on his senior season and his team's climb to a place no other CdM team had reached. The Sea Kings capped a perfect season with a 27-15 win against Atherton Sacred Heart Prep in the CIF State Division III Bowl Game at the StubHub Center in Carson.

Gentosi went out a winner, as the center paved the way to CdM's 16-0 season. The Sea Kings became the first high school football team in California to finish with that record.

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The reason why CdM made history is largely due to Gentosi, the Daily Pilot Newport-Mesa Dream Team Player of the Year.

It is rare when an offensive lineman is recognized as the best player. The quarterback, running back or wide receiver, those players tend to get all the glory. And the Sea Kings have marquee players at those positions.

Nevertheless, Gentosi is the one player who always stood out to opposing coaches because of his smart, physical and athletic play. The coaches say Gentosi keyed the Sea Kings' success on offense.

Without Gentosi, none of those offensive players at CdM that broke school records stood a chance of making plays. Gentosi is the one who snapped the ball to the quarterback, who usually stood in shotgun. The duty is one Gentosi performed in two of his last three seasons as a starter.

In his first year, Gentosi lined up at guard as a sophomore. He changed spots before his junior season, but CdM's winning ways continued.

Only Gentosi started all 44 games during Coach Scott Meyer's three years with the Sea Kings. During the stretch, CdM went 40-4, claimed back-to-back undefeated Pacific Coast League titles, won three straight CIF Southern Section Southern Division titles, and succeeded in the CIF State Southern California Regional Division III Bowl Game and CIF State Division III Bowl Game.

Gentosi also won his final 26 games, giving the Sea Kings the longest current winning streak in the state.

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