FB: Carson’s ’87 ‘backer crew

Looking over the state’s most unbreakable football records, the one that really stands out to me is Carson’s -90 rushing yardage allowed for the season.

I saw that team play and the Colts had a two-deep defense with six scholarship linebackers on the roster, including probably the nation’s best, Arnold Ale (6-4, 210). The team speed and physicality on defense was just remarkable.

The rushing yardage total could have been even lower if Granada Hills hadn’t devised an excellent game plan in the L.A. City 4A title game and pulled off a stunning 27-14 upset. It definitely was one of the biggest upsets in state history. It also settled a huge rankings debate between Carson and Southern Section Division I champ Fontana, which finished No. 1 nationally in the National Prep Poll (precursor to the FAB 50).

The Colts had three all-city senior linebackers in Ale, Rick Tiedemann (6-1, 215), who signed with New Mexico, and Arthur Warren (5-10, 190), who inked with Washington State. Juniors Jeff Leiato (6-3, 220/New Mexico), Samila Manu (6-2, 215/Pacific) and Todd Auvaa (6-3, 190/New Mexico) were the back-ups, if you can call them that.

The linebacker coach on that team was Troy Starr, who later went on to coach at Taft of Woodland Hills and Helix of La Mesa. He coached Helix to a Division II state title in 2011. Starr was an unpaid first-year coach who was hired as defensive coordinator at San Fernando the following season. Starr, of course, has great memories of that group.

“It was amazing having those guys my first year of coaching,” Starr said. “My pride and joy as a coach was Arthur Warren. He was a backup who played very little as a junior and was not expected to see the field as a senior.

“Arnold was the best I’ve ever seen. He had a problem that I didn’t and still don’t have the coaching answer for. He would decleate the lead blocker, get his feet caught up in the player’s body, get tripped up and not make the tackle.”

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One Trackback

  1. By Cal-Hi Sports Insider Blog Debuts on August 19, 2013 at 6:27 pm

    […] A chat with the former linebacker coach of Carson’s unbelievable 1987 defense. CLICK HERE. […]

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