Ed Imo is going into the Kearny Hall of Fame on Saturday, April 13, in a tribute most fitting for the anchor of perhaps the finest team in school history.
After a 6-6 tie with Sweetwater in the opening game, Kearny rolled to 12 consecutive victories and the San Diego Section championship.
Don Norcross was the quarterback of that team, but for Norcross all props are for Imo, the squat, fireplug nose tackle who took on double team blocking every week and emerged as the San Diego Section player of the year.
“He was simply dominating,” said Norcross, who is known today as a reporter and columnist (“This Just In”) for UT-San Diego. “I’m guessing he was listed as 5-9, 230 pounds. He was raw…brutally strong.
“No center could block him one on one,” said Norcross. “His combination of quickness and strength made him unblockable. Look at how few points our team allowed that year. He was the anchor.”
The 12-0-1 Komets outscored their opponents, 345-79, and shut out six teams.
“All I can say is that I’m thankful he was on my team,” Norcross said. “Had I played against him I would have spent a lot of time face first into the grass.”
Imo recently was named to the first-team, all-time San Diego County prep squad.
Imo also was community college defensive player of the year at San Diego City College, from which he went on to star at San Diego State.
Imo, who is the physical education/athletics department chairman at American Samoa Community College, is in Ghangu, China, where he is helping a Samoan team train for the World University Games.
Ed will be represented at the Hall of Fame induction by his son, Ben Imo.
Imo trivia stat: When Ed played at San Diego State in the late ‘seventies he had the shortest name of any NCAA Division I player, five letters.
“Fitting,” Norcross added, “because of his stature.”
Kearny also is honoring six others this year:
–Grady Fuson, Oakland A’s scouting executive who played with Norcross and Imo.
–The late basketball coach and U.S. government teacher Tim Short.
–The 1998-00, girls’ basketball teams, which won 3 championships.
–The late Leonard Fierro, Sr., history and U.S. government teacher and early proponent of English as Second Language.
–Al Janc, economist.
–Randy Rogel, actor, director, writer, musician.