Gardena employee among 1981 LAHC football team honorees

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Called by local sports historians as one of the school’s best teams, the 1981 Seahawk football squad was recently inducted into the Harbor College Athletic Hall of Fame during a ceremony at the Ports O’Call Restaurant in San Pedro.

The team finished the ’81 season with a record of 8-3, with an audacious start of three consecutive losses. The squad then won every game, including the Southern California Conference championship and got a revenge victory over Ventura College, 50-45, in

 the Southern California Bowl.

Called by local sports historians as one of the school’s best teams, the 1981 Seahawk football squad was recently inducted into the Harbor College Athletic Hall of Fame during a ceremony at the Ports O’Call Restaurant in San Pedro.

The team finished the ’81 season with a record of 8-3, with an audacious start of three consecutive losses. The squad then won every game, including the Southern California Conference championship and got a revenge victory over Ventura College, 50-45, in

 the Southern California Bowl.

Those inducted on this evening included George Swade, called “one of the finest head coaches and offensive coordinators in the area.” He led a who’s who staff of South Bay football coaches that included Les Congeliere, offensive line coach; Fred Diocson, offensive backfield coach; Dave Chauncey, receivers coach; Mark Knox, defensive coordinator and linebacker coach; Dave Doniak, defensive line coach; and Deryl Lloyd, defensive backs and special teams.

Many outstanding players were a part of this dynamic team. Four players from Gardena Serra High School contributed greatly to the team’s success: receiver David Williams, defensive back Tal Jones, and offensive linemen, David Harrison and Lester Kiser.

Eight offensive players won all-conference honors, led by quarterback Cory Martins. Others were receiver David Williams, kicker and defensive back Mike Porter, offensive linemen Junior Feagai, Anthony Tomich and David Harrison, receiver Keith Wright, and running back Jim Burgess.

The defense saw six players earn all-conference honors.

Linebacker Joe Upequi, defensive backs Albert Joseph and Forrest Henry, and defensive linemen, Jim Heckel, Tom Sayer and Marty Herring were stalwarts.

Kicker Porter accomplished a feat that may never be duplicated in that he did not have a single punt returned against him during the season.

Three players, receivers Williams (Raiders) and Wright (Raiders), and running back Burgess (Lions) made NFL rosters. A fourth talent, quarterback Mike Mendoza played a pre-season game with the Raiders.

“The 1981 team will go down as one of the best in Harbor College history and is deserving of the accolades the Harbor College Hall of Fame Committee bestowed upon them,” a banquet organizer said.

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