Hometown Report: What a pain for USC

Published: Saturday, Sep. 1, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 2C
Last Modified: Saturday, Sep. 1, 2012 - 1:09 pm

Football players listen to their coaches and team doctors.

Dan Bunz played at Oakmont High School before helping the 49ers win their first two Super Bowls in the 1980s by playing hurt and inspired. He regularly took painkilling injections for a bum shoulder for fear of "letting my teammates down or getting cut, and you just did what you were told," he said recently.

Same for Armond Armstead, formerly of Pleasant Grove, whose lawsuit filed against USC on Thursday charges that the Trojans made pain injections mandatory. Armstead suffered blood clots and a heart attack, derailing his NFL hopes, the suit says.

That's some cloud as top-ranked USC kicks off its season today. Stay tuned.

Dewey moment – Dewey Guerra stories flowed Friday at his memorial in Rancho Cordova honoring the architect of the 1970s Cordova football dynasty. Said former Lancer Gene Ross, "Dewey also coached swimming, and he was the only one you could hear while underwater."

Hard-headed – Mesa Verde coach Ron Barney, in his 37th year coaching football at the Citrus Heights school, said his guilty pleasure is riding his motorcycle, never mind a late-summer spill. Said Barney, "I bounced my head off the pavement, and the first thing I thought was, 'I've got to get back to school and open the weight room!' Didn't know where I was. Didn't tell my fianceé what happened, either. She thinks I'm crazy already."

Big brothers rule – Grant linebackers Jonah Toma, Tui Lopa and Moses Moala are following in the cleats of brothers now on scholarship: Jeremiah Toma, a linebacker captain at Fresno State, and Puka Lopa and Vei Moala, a linebacker and noseguard, respectively, for Cal. Said Jonah Toma, "There's pressure to live up to your brother, but it's pride most of all."

Big concerns – When I think of Galt football, I recall overflow home crowds and the archaic single-wing offense under famed coach Erv Hatzenbuhler. With the Warriors having only 13 healthy players and forfeiting Friday's varsity game against visiting Argonaut, you wonder about the program's future.

Quick hits – Freshman linebacker Nate Iese of Sheldon was so impressive during summer drills at UCLA that any plans of him redshirting were squashed. Wearing No. 89, he also may play some tight end.

Miles Burris set tackling records at Granite Bay and San Diego State. Now he could start at linebacker for his favorite childhood team, the Raiders.

• Sheldon football coach Herb Berry: "I took two years off to save the marriage. Didn't work. Now I've got a lady who tells me, 'Shouldn't you be at school, doing something in class or football?' I know I've got the right woman."

• When famed coaches die, names of those who preceded them come up: Bud Henle of Davis, Dave Hotell of Sacramento High, Larry Ghilardi of Kennedy and American River College, Bob Mattos of Sacramento State … we salute them all.

Editor's note: This story was changed Sept. 1 to correct the high school for which former 49er Dan Bunz played.

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