Congratulations to latest two NFL Hall of Famers from California, our take on the vote to close the state's second-oldest public high school and more from the best prep notes column in the state

•When the next NFL Hall of Fame inductions are made this summer, there will be 22 former California high school players enshrined. The total is going up by two due to Marcus Allen and James Lofton being voted in last week.
Allen, a running back, will also make history as the first NFL Hall of Fame inductee ever from the San Diego Section. He's a graduate of Lincoln High.
Lofton, a wide receiver, will be the third NFL inductee with ties to Washington High of Los Angeles. The other two former Generals already in the NFL Hall of Fame are running back Hugh McElhenny and coach Bill Walsh, although Walsh did not finish at Washington and instead graduated from Hayward High in the Bay Area.

•Lofton was even more well known as a prep athlete at Washington for track and field. He was the 1974 CIF state meet long jump champion at 24-3 1/2 and had season bests of 24-4 3/4 and 24-9 1/2 (wind-aided).
Allen is the State Player of the Year for 1977. He quarterbacked Lincoln to the 1977 large school title in the San Diego Section and was an outstanding defensive back. It was expected, even by Allen himself, that he'd become a defensive back at USC, but Trojans' coach John Robinson, wisely noting Allen's talent, tried him out at running back, first as a blocker for Charles White and then as a tailback himself. Allen won the 1981 Heisman Trophy, the most recent for the Trojans until this year.

•In the same week in which there became a new all-time coaching wins leader for boys basketball in the state, the all-time football coaching wins leader has let it be known that the 2003 season will be his last.
Herb Meyer from El Camino of Oceanside, who's been coaching for 44 years in a career that began in 1959 at Oceanside High, said in a statement released by the school that current offensive assistant Trace Deneke would be co-head coach with him next year and then Deneke would take over the following season.
Meyer, 67, has 335 career victories with 233 of them coming at El Camino. "I didn't want the speculation (about my retirement) going on the way it did this year," he said. "There were more questions about my quitting than whether or not we'd show up for the next game."

•We admit to not knowing all the political ramifications behind the vote, but it was still sad to see the Sacramento Unified School District's Board of Education vote last week that Sacramento High would be closed at the end of the current school year. The school may re-open next fall as a charter school and with a slightly different name, like Sacramento Academy. If that happens, and the nickname Dragons is continued as well as other traditions, there's no reason to consider that Sac High is no longer in existence. San Jose High is now called San Jose Academy and the Bulldogs still are known as the Bulldogs and they still play Lincoln every November in the Big Bone football game.

•Sacramento High is the second oldest public high school in the state and west of the Mississippi. It opened in September of 1856, one month after Lowell of San Francisco. Lowell wasn't known as Lowell in August of 1856, but that's officially how far back the school goes. It was originally known as Union Grammar School and then San Francisco High School in 1858. It didn't become Lowell until 1894.You have to say the word "public" here, too, because Bellarmine Prep of San Jose has roots going farther back than either Sac High or Lowell, all the way to 1850.

•Here's a list of the earliest California public high schools (compiled by our own Nelson Tennis): Aug. 1856 -- Lowell of San Francisco; Sept. 1856 -- Sacramento; 1862 -- Nevada City (but consolidated to form Nevada Union in 1952); 1863 -- San Jose (but now called San Jose Academy); 1864 -- Girls of San Francisco (but closed in 1907); 1866 -- Grass Valley (but consolidated to form Nevada Union in 1952); 1867 -- Petaluma (will soon become the oldest California public high school that hasn't underdone a metamorphosis); 1869 -- Oakland (still going strong); Jan. 1870 -- Stockton (but closed in 1957); July 1870 -- Vallejo (still going strong). Note: The earliest from Southern California is Los Angeles High, begun in 1873.

•Nothing against running back Eneka Nnoli from Natomas of Sacramento or quarterback Dennis Dixon of San Leandro and I hope they both become All-Americans in college, but based on what happened during the 2002 season, no way should they have been high school All-Americans. Parade Magazine, regarded by most in the national media as perhaps the most prestigious of all the All-American teams, mysteriously named Nnoli and Dixon as among eight from California to its 2002 team last weekend.

•Nnoli, a 6-1, 225-pound who impressed at the Nike Camp last spring at Stanford and is headed to Stanford as well on a scholarship, battled a series of injuries that limited his productivity and finished with barely 400 yards rushing and 11 touchdowns for the entire season. He did not make the Sacramento Bee's first or second team, which may not reflect his talent but does reflect what happened on the field. A more accurate choice for Parade from the Sac-Joaquin Section would have been Dallas Bernstine of Vallejo Bethel, who had 36 touchdowns and more than 2,000 yards, or Louis Rankin of Stockton Lincoln, who scored 41 touchdowns.

•Dixon did have a strong senior season for San Leandro, but he did not do enough to merit selection over two other Bay Area quarterbacks -- T.C. Ostrander of Menlo-Atherton and Sam Keller of San Ramon Valley. Dixon was only honorable mention All-Bay Area by the San Francisco Chronicle and was not a first teamer by the Alameda Newspaper Group, either. At least Parade was smart enough to pick Danville Monte Vista quarterback Kyle Wright.

•You never want these types of comments to sound like you're putting down a kid. It's more meant to point out how many in the media gobble up all the honors from Parade, USA Today and others without really checking out how ridiculous their selections are.

•A violation of the CIF Southern Section's undue influence rule is going bite hard for the Montclair Prep of Van Nuys athletic program, according to an announcement last Saturday.
Beginning immediately, the Mounties have been prohibited from postseason play for one year and athletic director Ken Smith told the L.A. Times that the school would not appeal.
The punishment will have its most impact on the boys and girls basketball teams, who are both currently listed in the Div. IV state rankings. They'll continue to be ranked, too, probably until the playoffs when teams still playing will start moving up. The Montclair Prep boys have a win over Carson (probably the third-best team in the L.A. City Section this year) and the girls are led by super talent Eshaya Murphy.

•If you ever fall behind by 13-0 to start a basketball game, think about what happened in last week's L.A. City Section boys matchup between Crenshaw and Fremont. The Pathfinders streaked out to a 13-0 lead, but it was Crenshaw that came all the way back for an 81-75 win. Hanis Madyun scored 25 to lead the Cougars.

•Namesakes (Part I): Last year in the Northern Section we had Tony LaRussa playing baseball for Foothill High of Palo Cedro. This year, it looks like we have another good baseball name. Dusty Baker is a point guard this season for the Sutter High JV boys basketball team.

•Namesakes (Part II): Making a game-winning shot last week for Pasadena in a girls basketball game against Muir of Pasadena was none other than Brittany Spears, a freshman guard for the Bulldogs. THE Brittney Spears was a freshman guard herself at a small private school in Mississippi (located outside New Orleans) before she became famous for other endeavors.

Note: Nelson Tennis and Kevin Askeland contributed to this column.

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