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Fair Game

By TOM JOHNSON

Legendary Newport Harbor High School Coach calls it a career

TomJohnson

Newport Harbor High School Football Coach Jeff Brinkley is hanging it up after 32 seasons. In case you’re counting, that equals 244 career victories and CIF titles in 1994, 1999 and 2005.

I asked NHHS Principal Sean Boulton where we go from here: “Coach Brinkley is irreplaceable, and I loved working with him; he was a man of character, determination, and the legacy he leaves is a significant one. 

“He went out on his own terms, and I kept reminding him he goes as long as he wanted to.

“The process to hire a new coach will be determined through the open process, we do not have anyone earmarked.”

Here’s my two cents, and I’m certainly not on the hiring team, but just across town in Costa Mesa is a guy that should be seriously considered, Estancia High School Football Coach Mike Bargas.

Bargas has led what appears to be a strong and growing program at a much smaller Estancia that includes not only teaching the kids football skills, but life lessons as well, by being active in the community and by introducing them to key local business leaders in the classroom.

If my recollection is right, Bargas was an assistant to Brinkley prior to the Estancia job, so he knows the expectation of the community and he learned from the man himself.

Just saying.

• • •

In Tuesday night’s City Council Study Session, Council agreed to have City staff bring back an agenda item to continue the Balboa Peninsula Summer Trolley Program to a future meeting.

In case you’re wondering, last summer’s ridership was 23,560 riders. That’s a lot of cars off the Peninsula parking pressure.

At the Study Session, virtually everyone spoke in favor of the program with just a couple of minor tweaks. There will be some slight parking changes, the start date will begin earlier on Memorial Day weekend, and Fridays will not be added to the regular summer schedule.

Mayor “Duffy” Duffield praised current City Councilmember and Former Mayor Diane Dixon for “persevering” in getting the trolley program successfully up and running.

• • •

There’s been a lot of discussion about Dana Rohrabacher’s run for re-election in California’s 48th Congressional District. Who’s going to run against him? Will another big-name Republican formally jump in? Is there anyone formidable enough from the other side who could pose a challenge?

To that issue, this week Democrat challenger Harley Rouda announced that he has raised more than $1.2 million for his war chest.

A recent poll conducted by Tulchin Research shows that Rohrabacher is facing serious challenges in his re-election bid.

Stay tuned.

• • •

Remember for years after winning the Super Bowl or World Series the MVP would immediately come on and say, “I’m going to Disneyland.”

Well, I don’t know if he made it to Disneyland or not, but last Saturday, Jan. 20, George Springer, World Series MVP for the Houston Astros this past fall, was in town to get married.

Reports are that Springer and Charlise Castro were married in a lavish ceremony at The Resort at Pelican Hill.

Congrats to the newlyweds.

• • •

As is customary these days, I went to a gender reveal party for my second grandchild who is scheduled to arrive on July 17.

My son-in-law is Curt Dell III. He’s also the expectant father. Did you notice the “third” after his name? He was feeling pressure going into the balloon pop Sunday that would reveal the gender. So, everyone gathered around, and the balloon was popped. Guess what, it exploded in pink!  Curt Dell III is having another daughter.

She’ll join big sister Kate, who’s 15 months old and b-t-w, is the cutest little thing in the world. If you don’t believe me, just ask her grandmother.

No word yet on whether there will be another attempt made at Curt Dell IV.

Finally, as for the idea of letting a 15-month-old pop a balloon that was bigger than she was…probably not the best idea.

Hopefully, after extensive counseling, she’ll someday be able to enjoy a balloon again.