It's only a non-conference football game but Claremont-Mudd College will have a lot of incentive to defeat Menlo at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Atherton.
The game should have a strong bearing on Claremont's bid to make the NCAA Division III playoffs. That's because Claremont is ranked No. 12 in Division III and Menlo is No. 20. Sixteen teams qualify for the playoffs in November.
Both have 3-1 records. Claremont's loss was in its opener to UC Santa Barbara (17-13) while Menlo lost to St. Mary's--a Division II team--two weeks ago.
Claremont, which defeated Menlo 17-15 last year, has been led by running back Chris Dabrow. The senior broke a 17-year school record when he rushed 39 times for 161 yards in a 21-14 Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference victory over Whittier last week.
Dabrow, the runaway conference leader in rushing, has run for 660 yards and seven touchdowns. The Stags also have a fine passer and rusher in quarterback Mike Pembroke.
In other games matching four-year colleges Saturday, Azusa Pacific (2-3) plays host to Occidental (1-2-1) at 1:30 p.m., La Verne (1-3) visits UC Santa Barbara (4-1) at 6 p.m. and Pomona-Pitzer (1-3) visits the University of San Diego (3-1-1) at 7:30.
After Claremont, the hottest team in the San Gabriel Valley is Azusa Pacific. The Cougars, who won their second straight game with a 23-18 triumph over unbeaten San Diego last week, figure to receive another strong test from Occidental.
Occidental, which has lost its last two games to Claremont-Mudd and Menlo and did not play last week, has been led by quarterback Mark Krajnik and running back Mike Sandlin. Krajnik was a Rosemead High standout and Sandlin played for Arcadia.
Azusa, which holds an 8-5-1 series lead over Occidental, will counter with a strong defense that features linebackers Jeff Gustin and Steve Piro and tackle Don Arter. The Cougar offense, which snapped San Diego's 12-quarter shutout streak, was led by fullback Marvin Walker's two second-half touchdown runs.
La Verne and Pomona-Pitzer figure to be outmatched in non-conference games this week. La Verne won its first game in four attempts last week with a 41-6 rout of Pomona-Pitzer but meets a highly regarded Santa Barbara squad.
Cal Poly Pomona has completed its men's basketball coaching staff with the addition of two assistants.
First-year Coach Dave Bollwinkel has added Bobby Evans, 24, as a full-time assistant and Kevin Patterson, 27, as a graduate assistant.
Evans, a June graduate of San Jose State, was a three-year starter at guard for the Spartans and earned the team's most inspirational award three times.
"In my 15 years of coaching the most team-oriented player I've had the pleasure of working with is Bobby Evans," said Bollwinkel, who coached Evans at San Jose. "His addition to our staff brings energy and enthusiasm."
Patterson, a former San Dimas High player and Cal Poly graduate, has been an assistant coach and a teacher at Diamond Bar High the last four years and coached at San Dimas from 1979 through 1982.
Pomona, which finished 12-15 last year under Coach George Fisher, opens practice today.
Arroyo High of El Monte has been ranked No. 1 in the first state Division I boys cross-country poll by the International Sports Exchange of Pomona.
The Knights, who won the CIF Southern Section 3-A Division title and were ranked No. 1 in the state last year, enhanced their reputation by finishing first in the prep division of the Stanford Invitational at Palo Alto two weeks ago.
Arroyo is the only San Gabriel Valley team listed in the Division I poll, but several others rated high in lower divisions. Walnut is No. 2 in Division II boys behind Corona del Mar and Covina is No. 8 in the division.
Maranatha of Sierra Madre and Webb of Claremont are ranked among boys and girls in Division III. In the boys division, Maranatha is ranked No. 2 behind Sherman Indian and Webb is No. 9. Maranatha is No. 3 and Webb No. 9 in the girls poll.
Defending champion Edna Olivarez of Cal State Los Angeles will be the favorite in singles in the Rolex Western Regional Women's Small College Tennis Championships from Friday through Sunday at Cal State L. A.
The tournament includes many of the top players from NCAA Division II and III and NAIA schools on the West Coast. Winners advance to the National Small College Championships on Feb. 3 and 4 at the University of Minnesota.
Olivarez, a junior from the Philippines, has been a standout in both seasons at Cal State. She reached the NCAA Division II semifinals and was named the California Collegiate Athletic Assn. most valuable player both seasons and has compiled a match record of 74-9.
She figures to receive her strongest competition from Cal Poly Pomona's Xenia Anastasiadou, who lost to Olivarez in the conference tournament final last year. Anastasiadou, a junior from Greece, won the NCAA Division II singles title last year.
Andreas Weyermann, Cal Poly Pomona men's tennis coach the last two years, has resigned to become an assistant teaching pro at a tennis club in Orange County.