AGOSTINI: Former Beyer High coach attends Navy football team's reunion

ragostini@modbee.comOctober 18, 2013 

Reading time, two minutes:

• The 1963 Navy team, arguably the Midshipmen's best-ever, reunited two weeks ago at Annapolis, Md. One of the 46 who made the trip was their quick two-way star — former Beyer High head coach John Sai.

• Sai scored 10 touchdowns that season, nine of them on handoffs from ... Roger Staubach.

• It's been reported Sai ran the 100-yard dash in 9.7 seconds. Not sure anyone on the current Navy team possesses such speed. The Middies were beaten last week by Duke.

• Navy was coached in '63 by Wayne Hardin, a Pacific grad who cut his coaching teeth in 1950-51 at Ceres.

• What do the Titans' Jake Locker and the Jaguars' Blaine Gabbert have in common? Both were drafted higher in 2011 than the 49ers' Colin Kaepernick (Turlock).

• Two things we know will motivate Kaepernick: 1. Smack-talking Tweets, and2. Inferior quarterbacks who did better on draft day.

• Not only is Fresno State unbeaten, it also will pocket $500,000 from San Diego State for its ESPN2 meeting next week.

• Friday's Fresno Bee featured a special treat — a commemorative Fresno State poster of senior receiver Isaiah Burse (Modesto Christian).

• Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is a member of the committee that will select the 2014 Final Four in football. If she can handle war and peace, telling the No. 5 team "No, thank you" won't be hard.

• Wait a minute. Rice is a Stanford professor and former provost. Hire an independent prosecutor!

• There is power in making no mistakes: Alex Smith, unbeaten Chiefs.

• Al Davis once said, "The quarterback must go down, and he must go down hard." Terrelle Pryor did — 10 times.

• The Dodgers' Yasiel Puig flips his bat, poses at a ball that stays in the ballpark, misplays a single into a double and death-stares the plate umpire after striking out. And it's only the fifth inning!

• Also true: The Dodgers would be nowhere without him.

• Local fans like the Detroit Tigers, especially when pitchers Doug Fister (Merced) and Phil Coke (Sonora) appear in the same ALCS game.

• College basketball practice is under way. The far-away echoes grow closer: That Diaper Dandy is Awesome, Baby! With a Capital A!

• Memo to the New Orleans Saints: If you give Tom Brady three chances to beat you, he will beat you.

• The injured Matt Schaub was booed by his own Houston fans. Like when the Raiders' Dan Pastorini was hurt in 1980 and replaced by — wait for it — Jim Plunkett.

• Fan behavior can be appalling. Ask Steve Bartman, a virtual recluse in Chicago 10 years later.

• Cal's injured offensive lineman Matt Cochran (Buhach Colony) is out for the season — one of many for the slumping Bears.

• Modesto Junior College travels to Sequoias today in Visalia — not far from the Porterville roots of coach Sam Young.

• About the thrilling 1963 Army-Navy game won by the Midshipmen when time expired on the cadets on the goal line: TV unveiled the first-ever instant-replay that day.

• Another history lesson: The 1963 Navy team lost to national champion Texas in the Cotton Bowl less than two months after President John Kennedy was assassinated in the same city.

• Fifty years later, Navy remembered its aging heroes. Said Sai in an email, "The Academy treated us like kings."

Bee staff writer Ron Agostini can be reached at or (209) 578-2302. Follow Ron via Twitter, @modbeesports.

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