A Ventura County film festival that features previously unreleased home movies is drawing national attention.
In these films, quarterbacks Johnel Turner of Oxnard, Jason Isaacs of Buena and Tim Gutierrez of Santa Clara receive top billing--and they're earning rave reviews.
It's the beginning of the recruiting season and college football scouts are driving to high schools for special screenings of last year's game films.
In May, scouts are allowed to contact coaches. However, NCAA rules prohibit them from talking to potential recruits.
Scouts from schools such as New Mexico, Nevada-Las Vegas, Vanderbilt, Fresno State and Utah State have blanketed Ventura County, hoping to land a blue-chip prospect before representatives from the Division I powerhouses arrive.
At Buena High, Rick Scott has become inundated with request for films of Isaacs, who threw for 2,281 yards and 13 touchdowns as a junior. Scott said Isaacs is garnering more attention than former Hart standout Jim Bonds, now the projected starting quarterback at UCLA.
"We had nine Pacific-10 schools visit in the last two weeks," said Scott, who coached Bonds three years ago. "We never had that at Hart. Maybe six or seven.
"It shows the caliber of football in Ventura has improved and gained the respect of scouts."
At Oxnard, Coach Jack Davis has lost track of the colleges inquiring about Turner and fullback Bryant Taylor. "Can I list them in alphabetical order?," Davis asked while a scout impatiently waited in his office.
The quarterbacks may be receiving the most attention, but Taylor has been rated the top prospect, according to Super Prep Magazine editor Allen Wallace. Taylor (6-foot-2, 195 pounds) rushed for 1,250 yards and 18 touchdowns as a junior.
"Fullbacks are a rare commodity," Wallace said. "They're not easy to find--especially one as big and explosive as Bryant."
Here's a list of other players receiving attention from Division I scouts and the postions they'll most likely play in college:
LINEMEN--Jim Cherry (6-5, 265) of Royal; Joe Smigiel (6-5, 255) of Newbury Park; Frank Umu (6-5, 305) of Channel Islands and Tim Dowler of Oxnard (6-4, 205).
BACKS--linebacker Lance Martin (6-1, 215) and defensive back Steve Rudisill of Thousand Oaks; defensive back Tony Williams (5-9, 175) of Buena; linebacker Melvin Nunnery (6-0, 185) of Hueneme and defensive back Chris Venturina (6-0, 178) of Channel Islands.
Sorry mom: Given the choice, the St. Bonaventure baseball team would rather spend June 2 hitting a horsehide-covered ball in Long Beach than receiving a sheepskin parchment in Ventura.
Seven seniors will have to miss graduation ceremonies if the team reaches the Southern Section 1-A championships, which will be held at Blair Field in Long Beach.
"It would be a tough decision because they can't do both," St. Bonaventure Coach Dennis Johnson. "I think the parents are more worried about it than the kids.
"Still, we have a long way to go to reach the championship."
One miss too many: Mike Bryant won the decathlon and Reggie Betton of Ventura College placed second in the high jump last weekend at the state junior college track championships in Fresno.
Bryant compiled 7,111 points in the decathlon to win the Pirates' only state title.
Betton cleared 7-feet-2 in the high jump, but lost to to Richard Wooten of Pasadena on the basis of fewer misses at the winning height.
Wooten cleared 7-2 on his first try and Betton cleared it on his third jump.
Staff writer Ralph Nichols contributed to this notebook.