Lincoln Coach Randy Rodriguez's plays weren't working in last Saturday's Senior Bowl, so North-East quarterback Ronnie Lopez went back to his sandlot roots.
"It was like old times," said Lopez, who split time with Lincoln quarterback Ricky Chavarria. "Chalk it in the dirt and run Franklin plays."
It didn't work.
The South-West squad, led by quarterbacks Jason Goldberg of Beverly Hills and Craig Perry of University, dismantled the smaller North-East team, 34-9. The North-East team scored its only touchdown on a 9-yard reverse by Fremont's Jesse Galloway.
"They were coming at us like flies," Rodriguez said. "We were ready but we didn't know they were that big. They were huge."
In fact, Lopez was sacked so frequently in the fourth quarter that he had to leave the game. Even on three-step drops, both North-East quarterbacks were taking a beating.
Lopez, who played the second and fourth quarters, said his 6-foot, 4-inch height, usually an advantage, was nullified by 6-6 outside linebackers.
"We could have won if I had gone in at 10-3," he said. "I think Chavarria was jittery because he was getting all banged up."
Rodriguez didn't think so.
"They were just a lot better than we were," he said.
Add Lopez: Asked whether he will have an impact on the Pierce College program next season, Lopez said: "All these colleges were telling me, 'They ain't established, they ain't established,' and all I'm saying is, I'll establish them."
Baby boomer: A 16th birthday is a milestone for most high school students, but 17 is a mere midpoint on the trail to 18.
For Hoover senior and Olympic boxing hopeful Pepe Rielly, however, 17 is everything.
Olympic regulations prohibit him from participating in international competition until his 17th birthday in August.
"When I turn 17, I'm going on a lot of international trips," said Rielly, who began boxing when he was 9.
And even after his birthday, don't be surprised if he gets carded by international judges.
After watching one of Rielly's fights, Sugar Ray Leonard said he couldn't believe that the 5-7, 106-pounder was 16.
"He guessed 12 or 13," said Rielly's father and coach, Fred Rielly. "This kid's got all the moves--he can pivot, he can do it all, but he's just a baby."
There's no need to pamper him, though. He has victimized 150 opponents while losing just 10 fights. Two of those losses have come against Michael Carbajal, 21, the last one in the first round of the Olympic Trials July 5 in Concord, Calif. Carbajal is favored to win a gold medal in Seoul.
The first loss to Carbajal came in the U. S. Nationals in March.
Rielly works out six days a week at the Resurrection Athletic Club under the tutelage of 1984 gold medalist Paul Gonzalez and trainer Al Stankie.
"They just keep telling me to wait until 1992," Rielly said.