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Santa Monica Kickers Take Third Title

July 02, 1987

Santa Monica High collected its record third L.A. Games men's soccer championship at El Camino College with a 5-0 victory over Capistrano Valley.

Vikings' mid-field center Ty Miller earned most valuable player honors for his defense and team play. Miller did not score in any tournament game. Scott Fite, Dennis Burris and Jorge Alfaro combined for 16 goals in five games while Miller kept his team in control with communication and defense.

"We allowed only two goals in the tournament, and those were because of miscommunication," said Miller, a junior. "When we talk, we play good soccer."

The Vikings held a 2-0 lead 11 minutes into the final against the Cougars, who then "fell apart and we ran right by them," Miller said.

Santa Monica, which finished second in the Ocean League last season, seemed better conditioned than most of the the L.A. Games 32-team field, according to Jose Lopez, coach of the Vikings for 15 years.

The toughest game came against San Fernando High in the semifinals. Alfaro scored the winning goal for a 2-1 victory two minutes into sudden-death overtime and finished the tournament with a goal in every game.

"We played calm, knowledgeable soccer throughout the tournament," said Lopez, whose club captured the L.A. Games in 1981 and 1982.

Only returning players can compete in the L.A. Games. Lopez said Santa Monica's championship indicates the Vikings should be successful next season.

The L.A. Games, formerly the L.A. Watts-Summer Games, began after the 1965 Watts riots in an attempt to bring young people together.

Eric Davis of Santa Monica High School and Paul Ricardson of University High will play for the South team in the 36th Shrine All-Star Football Classic on Aug. 1 at the Rose Bowl.

Davis, a 6-1, 221-pound linebacker, is headed for Oregon State in the fall. Richardson, a wide receiver, will be going to UCLA.

Ten other players, six for the South and four for the North, will be UCLA freshmen in September.

Other prospective Bruins on the South team are offensive lineman Jeff Bailey of Fullerton High, quarterback Jimmy Bonds of Hart, linebacker Sean Howard of Crespi, offensive lineman Brian Kelly of South Torrance, defensive back Dion Lambert of Granada Hills Kennedy and defensive lineman Scott Spalding of El Toro.

North team players who will be going to UCLA are linebackers Mick Thomas of Garces Memorial High and Patrick McPherson of Bellarmine, defensive lineman Andre Farr of Richmond Kennedy and running back Kevin Smith of Skyline.

West Los Angeles College will be a site for the National Youth Sports Program, a free five-week session for underprivileged youth ages 10 to 16 that will run from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays July 6 through Aug. 7. It is sponsored by the National Collegiate Athletic Assn., the Los Angeles Community College District and selected colleges and universities.

The program includes basketball, track and field, flag football, soccer aerobics, dance, volleyball, swimming and tennis. Other free services include lunches, bus transportation, medical examinations and accident and medical insurance.

Enrollment is limited to 250. Reservations are with Charles Brown, West Los Angeles College dean of students and college relations at (213) 836-7110, Ext. 333.

State Sen. Diane Watson (D-Los Angeles), who sponsored a similar program last summer, said that the NCAA program will also provide "valuable sessions on drug and alcohol abuse and ways in which to prepare for the careers of the future."

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