Bob Richards set the table, then left the dining room before an East feast in the Ventura County All-Star football game Saturday night.
The appointed coach of the East, Richards worked up the team's appetite by directing two weeks of rigorous practices. On game day, however, the Thousand Oaks High coach handed the reins to Lancer assistants Rob Elliott, Larry Mohr and Paul Gomes.
Richards skipped the all-star game to attend his brother-in-law's wedding in Oregon. But the banquet he prepared was Eastern-most in quality as his team downed the West, 7-3, at Oxnard High.
Most of all, Richards missed witnessing an affirmation of the quality of his Thousand Oaks program. Three players who led the Lancers to the Coastal Conference title last season walked away with the game's most valuable player awards.
Linebacker Mack Humphrey sacked West quarterbacks four times and was named MVP. Quarterback Steve Sisco, who completed 5 of 10 passes for 46 yards, was the offensive MVP. The defensive MVP was Lancer safety Chris Gann, who twice halted West drives in the fourth quarter with interceptions.
Marc Monestime rushed for a game-high 51 yards, including a 26-yard sweep for the game's only touchdown. The tailback from Thousand Oaks is the county's all-time leading rusher.
Monestime and Humphrey will be teammates again in the fall. They will join former Lancer receiver Mike Trevathan at Montana. Gann is headed for Southern Utah State.
No O: The three points posted by the East in the all-star football game was not the lowest output in the series' history. There have been three shutouts, including the 1977 game, when the East blanked the West, 7-0.
The West was coached that year by Channel Islands' Joel Gershon, who was also coach this year.
The West leads the 15-year series, 7-6-2.
Perfect: The most successful coach in the history of the all-star football game is Rio Mesa's John Reardon, who is 3-0. He guided the West to victories in 1980 and 1981 and coached the East to a win in 1978.
Passing muster: Despite seven strong innings by Fillmore left-hander Willie Leighton, a team of Ventura County all-star baseball players dropped a 3-1 decision to a team of Los Angeles County Westside all-stars Sunday at Ventura College.
Leighton, who was 15-0 and the Southern Section 1-A Division Player of the Year this season, demonstrated he could pitch effectively against players from the 4-A and 5-A divisions. He allowed only an unearned run and left after seven with the score tied, 1-1.
Westside scored a run off Rio Mesa's Bobby Ayala in the eighth and another off Simi Valley's Scott Sharts in the ninth.
Camp Raider: The Los Angeles Raiders won't be fleeing Oxnard to train at Cal State Northridge this summer, but don't get the impression that the issue is dead. Chances are that the move from their Oxnard summer camp will be made as soon as next season.
"I think there is a pretty good chance of that," said Bob Hiegert, CSUN's athletic director.
The Raiders, Hiegert said, were satisfied with the facilities at Northridge and its proximity to several freeways.
"It was important to them that we were halfway between the Cowboys and the Rams for scrimmage purposes," Hiegert said. "That, and there is a real trend to moving to a college setting for camp."
Of the 26 NFL teams, 22 train at college facilities, including four of the five that conduct their camps in California. The Cowboys train at Cal Lutheran; the Rams at Cal State Fullerton; the 49ers at Sierra College in Rocklin, Calif.; and the Chargers at UC San Diego in La Jolla.
A second chance: UCLA's Charlie Fiacco will attempt to make the transition from the outfield to second base next season.
Fiacco, a senior from Camarillo High, turned down a package of cash, college tuition and incentives worth a reported $35,000 that was offered by the Milwaukee Brewers, who selected him in the 10th round of the June draft.
Fiacco batted .293 with 15 home runs, 44 RBIs and 20 stolen bases during the past season for the Bruins. UCLA Coach Gary Adams is planning to have Fiacco work out at second base next fall to help fill a hole in the Bruin infield.
"Charlie is very favorable toward trying it," Adams said. "He's got the quickness, the speed and good enough hands. It's just a matter of putting it all together.
"We're going to give him an honest-to-goodness chance to work at it and we'll evaluate him at the end of the fall."
Three former Bruin second baseman are playing professionally, including: Mike Gallego, who is in the major leagues with the Oakland Athletics; Rich Amaral, who is in the Chicago Cubs organization; and Torey Lovullo, the former Montclair Prep High standout who is in the Detroit Tigers system.
Offer declined: UCLA third baseman Scott Cline, who played on the same team with Fiacco at Camarillo, was drafted by the Seattle Mariners in the 26th round but will return to Westwood for his senior year.