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All-Star Game Chief Needs a Few Winks : But Muir Grid Coach Brownfield Skips Sleep to Help Scholar-Athletes

August 01, 1985|MITCH POLIN | Times STaff Writer

Muir High School football Coach Jim Brownfield isn't getting much sleep these days.

Brownfield, who has been coaching for about 30 years, has been spending most of his time the last couple of weeks preparing for the sixth annual National Football Foundation Hall of Fame All-Star Game at 8 p.m. Friday at Arroyo High in El Monte.

Brownfield, director of the high school all-star game that matches many of the top graduated seniors in the San Gabriel Valley, estimates he has had two or three hours of sleep a night recently, often going to bed at about 4 a.m.

There are no financial rewards for Brownfield, but he doesn't seem to mind. For him, the game, which benefits the National Football Foundation San Gabriel Valley Chapter's scholar-athlete fund, goes deeper than that.

Helping 'the Kids'

"I guess the bottom line in my profession is you do as much as you can for the kids," Brownfield said. "This not only benefits kids at Muir but at a lot of other schools, too. You can call it a professional interest."

Brownfield said he used to try to forget about his players immediately after practice ended.

Not anymore.

"As the years go by, a lot of people ask me where have you changed as a coach," Brownfield said. "As a coach I do a lot more things with the kids at Muir and other schools. There have just been a lot of things going on during the years to change my thinking.

"I get a lot of benefit from these side benefits of sports. Something inside of me has changed."

Brownfield has not received a lot of help in preparing for the game. Brownfield said he winds up doing most of the preparation and has had problems staging the games.

'Bare-Bones Operation'

"We've been doing it for so many years as a one- or two-man operation that it's pretty much down to a science," he said. "It's very much a bare-bones operation. We just do everything necessary to get the game going."

Brownfield said the game was touch-and-go financially the first few years.

Things looked even worse two years ago when about $7,100 in gate receipts was stolen from Brownfield's car after the 1983 game at Citrus College.

But Brownfield and the game have rebounded nicely.

The 1984 game--played at Arroyo High--attracted a crowd of about 2,500, the second best turnout. "Last year's game made up for the scholarship money we lost from the year before," Brownfield said. "So now we're back even again."

After shifting the game to Arroyo, which costs about $1,700 less to rent than Citrus, and concentrating more on the pre-sale of tickets, Brownfield said the game has been transformed into a solid financial venture.

"Now the pre-sale pretty much protects us from disaster," he said.

Brownfield is hoping that this year's game will be as successful as the 1984 game but probably won't know until after the receipts are counted.

Maybe then he will be able to have a good sleep.

Not Much Offense

There has not been a lot of offense in the last two Hall of Fame games.

Both of the East-West games finished with 3-0 scores. The East won in 1983 and the West in 1984.

Brownfield expects a little more scoring on both sides this time and says the West may be the favorite.

The West, coached by Arroyo High's Don MacKinnon, includes two players who played in the 34th annual Shrine Football Classic last week: quarterback Richard Bell of Muir and lineman Dave Hallstrom of St. Francis.

Bell, a speedster who combined for 2,800 passing and rushing yards last season, will enroll at Nebraska in the fall. Hallstrom, a 6-4, 270-pounder who is considered one of the top college prospects in the state, is headed for UCLA.

Other standouts for the West are running backs Cleo Bates of Pasadena and Alan Grant of St. Francis, quarterbacks Anthony Walker of Keppel and Lopey Williams of Duarte and linemen Scott Ashley of Muir, Chuck Reep of Arroyo and Tim Price of Duarte.

The East, coached by Walnut High's Jim Patricio, formerly of Bishop Amat, has a Shrine player in wide receiver John Jackson of Bishop Amat. Jackson, who will attend USC, caught 55 passes for 781 yards and 8 touchdowns last year.

Other top players for the East are quarterback Rich Gonzales of Diamond Bar, running back Jon Bell of Rowland, linebacker Neal Cook of Claremont and linemen Jon Haus of South Hills, Hector Meza of Rowland and Chris Anderson of Ganesha.

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