The No. 13 isn't an unlucky number to Aaron White. He wears the number proudly.
No one wanted the jersey number when he joined the Corona del Mar High football team as a sophomore. There was a reason why White chose No. 13 two years ago.
"I wear it because the best linebacker that CdM's ever had was No. 13, Erik Rask," said White, referring to the former linebacker, who earned many honors during his time with the Sea Kings.
White never got to play with Rask, whose final season with the Sea Kings was four years ago.
When a decorated player like Rask graduates, it's hard for anyone to try and emulate him on the field, let alone ask for his number.
Rask went off to play football at an Ivy League school, Penn.
One year passed at CdM without Rask and no one sought No. 13, until White made varsity as a sophomore. White wanted No. 13.
He wanted to play like the last No. 13 at CdM.
As a senior, White is performing at a level similar to that of Rask. White has an area-best 16 sacks and his 88 tackles tie him for first on his team.
Coach Scott Meyer wasn't around when Rask led the Sea Kings' defense, but he best describes the current linebacker with the No. 13 jersey.
"He just plays with so much passion and emotion," Meyer said of White, a 6-foot-1, 203-pound outside linebacker. "His motor is always going. He's always flying around.
"He's really the spark for the rest of the defense. He gets everybody else going."
White has pushed the defensive unit in his final season at CdM. And because of his relentless play, the program has reached a round in the playoffs it last did 22 years ago, the CIF Southern Section title game.
Rask, whose goal is to play in the NFL after just completing his senior year at Penn, never got to play for a Southern Division crown. White and the rest of the Sea Kings earned the right to compete for one Friday.
When second-seeded CdM (11-2) and top-seeded Beckman (11-2) meet in the finale at Orange Coast College at 7:30 p.m., White is more than looking forward to the contest.
"This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," White said. "It's never going to happen again [for me], just want to live it to its fullest."
There is added motivation for White and CdM. Beckman is the team that ended White's season in the semifinals as a junior.
He hasn't forgotten.
Since the 24-3 loss to Beckman last year, he expected CdM to bounce back.
"The moment we stepped off the field [in the] semifinals last year," White said, "we knew we were going to come back and be in this position."