The football team at Faith Baptist High may not be as well known as the one at Canyon, but in the Southern Section's Eight-Man Conference, the Contenders are just as dominant.
Faith Baptist's 17-game winning streak is second only to Canyon's 30 straight wins among Valley-area high schools.
The Contenders average 44 points a game and allow only 12. So powerful is the team that even Coach Harry Morgan has to admit that a second consecutive undefeated regular season is a mere formality.
"We anticipate finishing out the regular season unbeaten, but we should have a couple of tough games in the playoffs," Morgan said.
One of those tough games could be against Templeton, the team Faith Baptist beat, 47-30, for last season's Eight-Man Conference championship. "We beat them already this year," Morgan said, "but they're well coached and should come back strong."
The score of that first game: 52-0.
Said Morgan: "It wasn't really a blowout. They made eight turnovers, six of them within their own 30. We took advantage of their mistakes, but really we only put one drive together. I wasn't too happy with our performance."
A hard man to please, indeed.
Faith Baptist, a four-year co-ed high school in Canoga Park, has an enrollment of 240. There are only 23 boys on the varsity football team.
"Kids here are mainly concerned about going to school and getting a good, Christian education," Morgan said. "Very few have ideas about playing college or pro ball. That's not what they're here for."
Morgan said he believes at least two players on the team have potential to play major college football: lineman David Bean (6-4, 235) and tailback Kevin Burton (6-1, 190).
"Bean just buries people," Morgan said. "No one has challenged him yet. Burton could also play major college ball somewhere. We're pushing him for player of the year in the conference."
In five games, Burton has rushed for 640 yards and 17 touchdowns on only 98 carries.
Last season, the team was led by Gerald Thomas, a 6-5, 215-pound quarterback/free safety who attracted the interest of several major colleges. This season, it's Bean and Burton.
What happens when they leave?
"We should be all right," Morgan said. "Our junior varsity team hasn't lost in 2 1/2 years." Most of the players on that team are freshman.
Newbury Park's football stadium was originally scheduled for dedication tonight, but a disagreement between the office of the state architect and Ameron, the manufacturer of the stadium's light poles, has slowed construction.
Jim Robillard, assistant principal at Newbury Park, said that a new target date for the dedication has been set for Nov. 8, when Newbury Park is scheduled to play host to Westlake in a Marmonte League football game.
"The problem is, the poles were not made to the specifications of the drawings," Robillard said. "The company feels that its poles are accurate. The state is not convinced."
Robillard said both sides have met once already and are scheduled to meet again soon.
Construction has been completed on the base for the bleachers, but the lightweight aluminum used for the seats is still in transit. Work on the ticket booth is also incomplete.
The Newbury Park football team has been playing its games at Thousand Oaks High.
Frustrated by his team's losing record and porous defense last season, Alemany Coach Enrique Lopez cleaned house during the off season and took his search for five new assistant coaches to the classified advertising section of The Times.
The gist of the ad:
Wanted: Assistant coaches who can help improve a 3-7 team that gave up an average of more than 20 points a game.
Pat Blackburn, the team's defensive coordinator this season, was one of the coaches attracted by the ad.
Blackburn's Alemany defense has given up 24 points in six games.
Not a bad return on a $39.09 investment: Four shutouts and a 6-0 record.
Alemany is ranked sixth in the Southern Section's Big Five Conference football poll. The Indians, who were ranked eighth last week, remained one notch ahead of Del Rey League rival Loyola (5-1).
Rio Mesa (4-1-1) is ranked No. 5 in the Southern Section's Coastal Conference after its 48-14 win over San Marcos last week. Westlake (4-2), which was not ranked a week ago, jumped all the way into the No. 7 spot after beating Santa Monica, 47-21. Santa Monica (3-2), which had been ranked third, dropped to No. 8. Also joining the poll was Simi Valley (5-1), which defeated defending conference champion Camarillo (1-5), 28-14, last week.