2015: Morton, Gehring, Sam Edwards

Lance Morton, Rich Gehring, and Sam Edwards are among former San Diego prep athletes who  recently passed away.

Morton, 81,  a founder of the Brigantine Restaurant chain, was a second team all-City Prep League  end on the 1951 Point Loma squad that finished with a 6-2 record, losing only to San Diego, 15-6, and La Jolla, 21-14, teams that tied for CPL championship.

Morton also was a standout in track and field and held the Pointers record in the shot put for several years at 51 feet, 3 1/4 inches.

Rich Gehring, 80, had bests of :15 in the 120-yard high hurdles and :20 in the 180 lows and was a double winner for Escondido in the 1953 Metropolitan League track finals.

Gehrig, also played end on the Cougars’ football team and was the leading scorer in the County with 443 points in the 1952-53 basketball season.

The 6-foot, 5-inch Gehring was an important member of the 1955-56 San Diego State basketball squad that advanced to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics championship tournament in Kansas City.

Gehring later was head track coach at Sweetwater High and Southwestern College.

Sam Edwards, 74,  was an end and defensive end on the 1958 San Diego High team that posted a 10-1 record, scored 457 points, and was one of the premier teams in Southern California.

Edwards, all-City  on defense for a team that allowed 57 points in 11 games, caught 4 of quarterback Ezell Singleton’s 28 touchdown passes and was one of nine Cavers who scored at least four touchdowns.

Edwards (right) and San Diego High teammates dominated on defense as well as offense.

Edwards (right) and San Diego High teammates dominated on defense as well as offense.

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6 Responses to 2015: Morton, Gehring, Sam Edwards

  1. Bob "Hubba Jubba" Moss says:

    I remember the Rich Gehring era at San Diego State during my senior year at Lincoln HS and freshman year at State. I am 90% sure he also served as an assistant track coach for Aztec track and field legend Choc Sportsman. Sam Edwards was a great athlete during in the glory years of San Diego High sports (1957-59). During my freshman baseball season in 1958, we lost a close game to SDHS at the old San Diego State diamond. Th players I can remember on the Cavers’ squad were Ezell Singleton, Iva Tucker, Willie McCloud, Larry Kramer and Henry Allen. Surely “timing” is an amazing creature. During my recent week in San Diego, I was able to join with Floyd Robinson, Jack Henn and Johnny Yap at the 80-year birthday celebration for A.C. Mills. As the story goes, A.C. should have played on the varsity at SDHS. He and Joe Banks hit the ball further than any other players in their era., including Deron Johnson. For sure Deron could “take ’em deep,” but not as far as Joe and A.C..

    • Rick says:

      The Cavemen defeated the Aztecs frosh, 9-8, and 8-5, in 1958 and went on to a 23-2 record, losing to Long Beach Poly in the playoffs. Their only other loss was to Point Loma early in the season, 5-3. A.C. Mills and Joe Banks were standouts on the 1954 football team.

  2. Stan Wyatt says:

    Rick, one correction re: stadium lights at La Jolla. My Junior year, Fall of ’50 we had no lights: my Senior year, Fall of ’51 we had our first ever, new lights. What a thrill to play home games under the lights… where we eventually and finally beat San Diego High.

    I am stunned to hear of Lance Morton’s passing. Last spoke with him at his restaurant in Old Town (few years ago) and as always, looked great as we reminisced back to our ’51 season; Point Loma losing to La Jolla….and Lance and teammate Buddy Lewis, playing opposite me and Andy Skief on defense… tough game vs. a well coached team, loaded with talent. Cannot find his Obituary notice…any reference you can share ?
    Thank you, Rick…. still hoping for a proper placement for Coach Harvey’s bronze plaque. LJHS is undergoing major renovations that will delay finding the best place.

    • Rick says:

      Lance Morton’s obituary appeared in the Union-Tribune two or three Sundays ago. Regarding lights at La Jolla, there is an item in my blog about the 1935 season. Principal Clarence Johnson switched a night game against Point Loma to the afternoon because Johnson was concerned about hooliganism in the neighborhood surrounding the La Jolla campus. The Vikings also played a night playoff game at La Jolla against Calexico in 1938. It’s possible that those early lights were dismantled and new lights weren’t installed until the 1951 Season. Please let me know if you have additional info. Thanks for writing again, Stan, and continued best wishes in your honoring of coach Walt Harvey.

  3. Roger Conlee says:

    I knew both Rich Guering and Lance Morton. Saddened to hear of their passing.

    • Rick says:

      I was at at luncheon with several retired track coaches maybe 7,8 months ago. Gehring seemed almost as trim as when I saw him play hoops at San Diego State. He looked great.

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