Three consecutive Northwestern Conference championships and 38 straight wins have earned the Canyon football team many accolades. But the accomplishments aren't enough to get the Cowboys a top ranking in the Southern Section preseason poll.
Canyon and the rest of the Golden League moved to the Coastal Conference this season. Seniority apparently counts more than win streaks because Canyon is ranked No. 2 behind Muir, the defending conference champion. The Mustangs return six starters from last season's 13-1 team that defeated Hart for the conference title, 28-14.
Other ranked Coastal Conference teams include: No. 3 Thousand Oaks, and No. 9 Camarillo, which was 2-8 last season but returns 38 lettermen and 17 starters. Camarillo won the Coastal Conference championship two seasons ago. Newbury Park is ranked No. 15.
Hart, which along with the rest of the Foothill League moved to the Northwestern Conference, is ranked No. 1. Another Foothill League team, Schurr, is ranked ninth and Burbank is No. 15.
Harvard is rated No. 4 and Agoura is No. 7 in the Desert-Mountain Conference. Harvard, which has shifted from the Pioneer League to the Santa Fe League, returns 16 starters from last season's conference runner-up team. Chaminade is ranked No. 11 and Calabasas is No. 12.
Montclair Prep is ranked No. 1 in the Inland Conference, Faith Baptist is ranked No. 3 in the Eight-Man Large School Conference and Crespi is ranked No. 9 in the Big-Five Conference.
Make way for a little Elway: Hart quarterback Jim Bonds has a rocket-like arm that makes him a smaller version of John Elway.
So says Dave Baldwin, receivers coach and recruiting assistant at Stanford.
"Bonds has an Elway-type arm," Baldwin said. "He has a very quick release and he just fires the ball. That's pretty good considering his size. I know he's listed in the program as 6-1, 180. But I think he may be smaller than that. And that's what's incredible. He is unreal for his size."
Elway, the 6-4, 200-pound quarterback for the Denver Broncos, played at Granada Hills High and Stanford.
Sophomore running back Russell White of Crespi also has impressed Baldwin--even though White has never played varsity ball.
"He's quick," he said. "I saw him at a practice, a practice we were allowed to watch, and I asked the coach what grade the kid was in? The coach told me he would be in 10th grade next season. I couldn't believe it. He's definitely one to keep your eyes on."
While the basketball competition at the Junior Maccabee Games in Toronto is moving into the final rounds, both the boys and girls Los Angeles teams remain undefeated.
After completing round robin play, the boys team (4-0) defeated San Francisco, 108-49, in the first round of the 16-team single-elimination playoff Tuesday. The boys team will play Baltimore today at 8:30 a.m. in the quarterfinals and, if Los Angeles wins, meets the winner of Pittsburgh and Chicago at 12:30 p.m.
Jon Drezner of Calabasas scored 19 points against San Francisco. Montclair Prep's Scott Hauser added 10 points and Chatsworth's David Waco had eight. The Los Angeles team finished third two years ago.
In girls competition, Los Angeles defeated Detroit, 79-18, Tuesday to move into today's semifinal round, where Los Angeles plays Philadelphia.
The girls team, which won the championship two years ago, was led by Alemany's Jenny Beubis, who had 18 points against Detroit. Stacy Waco, an eighth-grader from Chatsworth Academy, had 16 points. Lisa Cohen of Westlake, a girls school in Los Angeles, added 13 points.