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OCC, Despite Extension, Declines PONY Bowl Bid

November 18, 1987|STEVE KRESAL | Times Staff Writer

Orange Coast College, given another day to accept an invitation to the PONY Bowl doubleheader, again declined, said Keith Calkins, the game manager, Tuesday.

OCC, Taft, Saddleback and El Camino on Monday were issued invitations to the Dec. 5 games in LeBard Stadium, and only OCC chose not to accept.

The PONY Bowl committee met Tuesday and decided to extend the deadline to 5 p.m. Tuesday for OCC, but the school officials again declined.

OCC is reluctant to accept because it would mostly likely be matched with Saddleback. The Pirates already defeated Saddleback, 42-38, Oct. 3 in a Mission Conference game. But OCC (8-1 overall, 7-1 in conference play) later lost to Riverside, so Saddleback (7-2, 7-1) and OCC are currently tied for first in conference.

"Our kids are not very excited about playing Saddleback again," said Bill Workman, OCC football coach. "We let them vote and it was overwhelmingly against it. A bowl game should be dessert after a good season, but this isn't a plum to us. We are just asking that the committee wait until after Saturday and then consider us again."

The Pirates play at Citrus (2-7), and Saddleback plays Rancho Santiago (3-6) at Santa Ana Stadium Saturday.

Calkins, who is also the Saddleback athletic director, said the committee won't meet again until Sunday and then it will invite a team. But Calkins would not say if OCC would be among the teams considered.

Golden West (5-3-1), if it defeats El Camino, could be a possible replacement, as would Cerritos (5-3-1), if it defeats Mt. San Antonio.

"There are still some possibilities after Saturday," Calkins said. "All we were saying to OCC is come and take a chance on what team you play. The other three teams agreed to that stipulation."

The matchup of El Camino and Taft is a natural. Taft (9-0) won the Central Valley Conference and is the top-ranked team in the state coaches' poll and in the nation in the J.C. Grid-Wire poll.

El Camino (9-0), the South Coast Conference champion, is the top-ranked team in Southern California and second in the state.

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