The article below originally appeared in the Oakland Tribune and is being reprinted with permission.
At the age of nine on the playground of Pacific Manor Elementary School in Pacifica, Edward McNicoll learned how to play tackle football. After running straight home and barreling through the door and telling his mother about this new-found sport, he registered to play Pop Warner football. He played three years with the Pacifica Dolphins.
Thirteen years later, and after graduating from the University of California at Davis in 1989, he completed his football career by being named to the college’s All-Decade team as an All-American.
On Saturday, Feb. 27, McNicoll will be inducted into the City of Pacifica Sports Hall of Fame. He is being honored for his achievements as a collegiate football athlete. The PSHOF is sponsored by the Pacifica Sports Club.
McNicoll’s senior year at UC Davis, the football team finished with an overall 7-3 record and was undefeated in the Northern California Athletic Conference with a 5-0 record. The Aggies advanced to the NCAA Division II national playoffs where they played Sacramento State.
In his senior year, he was voted defensive captain by his teammates. He was awarded the “Jerry Norris Award” signifying being the most valuable and most inspirational team player. Playing at the middle linebacker position, he was named the NCAC defensive player of the year and was chosen by the Football Gazette as an All-American.
In his junior year, the UC Davis team also won the conference championship. That season he led the team in tackles with 101. Playing in the Causway Classic against Sacramento State, he had 17 tackles, nine unassisted, with four tackles in the opponent’s backfield.McNicoll never had aspirations to play professional football, saying “I played the game for the love of it.”
Graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in financial management, McNicoll began a career in financial planning. After 21 years of being in the financial world, he did an about face and followed his passion of creativity in arts and craft.
“I was never passionate in that endeavor, so I made the transition,” he said. “Today, I am a Prop Maker, working with theatrical, movies and television shows.” He has built sets for such programs as NBC-TV series “Trauma”, “Pursuit of Happiness” and “Milk”, all filmed in San Francisco.
“Every day is different. One day I’m working on an airplane crash cutting up airplanes with plasma torches, the next day I’m doing carpentry, building a reception desk for a hospital scene for a television show,” he added.
McNicoll graduated from Oceana High School in 1984. He played football, being named the team’s most valuable player his senior year. He wrestled for four years and helped Oceana win four straight Central Coast Section championships.
“One of my fondest memories of Oceana was when all 13 of our wrestlers were lined up against the rest of the North Peninsula League for individual championship matches,” said McNicoll, referring to the1983 championship season. “Sitting in the courtyard at lunch, the sun shining on my face, talking to friends is also a great memory.”
McNicoll entered the College of San Mateo where he played football for two years. He was named the team’s most outstanding defensive player and earned all-conference honors. His thirst for knowledge and the love of football then took him to UC Davis.
McNicoll owns a surfboard-making company, Dirty Paw Surfboards. He builds custom surfboards. He credits his older brother, John, for teaching him the art of surfing as a youngster. He continues to be an avid surfer, competing in prestigious surfing contests on the coastside.
Asked how he came to name his surfboard business, Dirty Paw, he laughed and said, “The name was coined when my dog, Jasper, ran across a new board, putting her paw print all over it.
“It’s a great honor to be recognized with so many other wonderfully accomplished people of Pacifica into the Sports Hall of Fame,” said McNicoll, who was born in Pacifica.
This year’s PSHOF awards dinner will be held at the Grosvenor Hotel, South San Francisco. No-host reception begins at 6 p.m. with dinner and program to follow at 7 p.m. the event is open to the public.
Tickets are $45 per person. A table of 10 may be purchased for $450.Tickets may be obtained by calling 650-355-1034 or email to email@example.com or clip the PSHOF coupon on this page and mail to Pacifica Sports Club.
Joining McNicoll as inductees into the PSHOF this year are collegiate wrestler and coach Glenn Stenstrom, surfer-journalist Jay Jansson and long-time youth athletics advocates Frank and Andy Gabin.