Hueneme High would rather switch than continue to fight with an undersized running attack against the heavyweights of the Channel League.
The Vikings tried the toe-to-toe approach last season and ended up as the blackest and bluest team in the league. They finished sixth with a 2-5 league mark, 4-6 overall.
This season, Coach George Machado said he'll try the finesse approach.
"We're changing to an offense that's more geared to our personnel," Machado said. "We're going to try the run-and-shoot offense, although it looks more like the trip-and-poop."
Hueneme has abandoned the I-formation because it no longer has big, punishing running backs like Freddie Bradley or David Nunnery. Instead, the Vikings will line up with one setback and four wide receivers.
"I call it the bumblebee approach," Machado said. "We're going to sting our opponents with short passes and then hide in our hives and come out and sting them again."
Wide receivers Angel Reyes, Mike Roberson and Doug Brooks will be running most of the patterns--fly or otherwise. Jose Mendoza, Danny McMichael and Rex Barrios will shuttle plays from the sidelines while sharing the other receiver spot.
Damon Hicks, who threw for 213 yards and a touchdown last season, will be the quarterback. Melvin Nunnery (165 yards on 44 carries), is the lone setback.
Machado gives the same height and weight for each player.
"They're all 5-8 and 150 pounds," he joked.
Heartless mistake: The Oxnard Cardiology Group couldn't understand why high school students were calling their office requesting information about signing up for the Hueneme football team.
It turns out that Machado used outdated stationery when he sent several hundred letters to prospective players. Printed in the letter was Hueneme High's former--and the cardiology group's present--telephone number.
Leticia Pinedo, a receptionist at the doctor's office, estimated the office received an average of 20 to 30 phone calls a day beginning last Thursday.
Dusting off the truth: Moorpark High Coach Rob Dearborn has heard conflicting reports as to when the Musketeers last won a league football title.
The second-year coach learned the truth when he recently transferred the trophy case to the new high school.
After blowing away the dust, he found Moorpark had three football championship trophies in its possession, the most recent from 1941 when the varsity won a title in an eight-man league.
"I've heard all sorts of wild stories," Dearborn said. "I'm still not sure how long the losing streak is against Carpinteria."
That's a losing streak that's not worth uncovering. (But it's at 48 games and counting, Rob.)
Dirty dozen: Only 12 players showed up for the first day of football practice Monday, but Oak Park Coach Ron Veres is only mildly worried.
"We've fielded as few as 16 players," Veres said. "We're planning to make the junior varsity a freshman team and any sophomore who turns 15 by Sept. 1 will be promoted to play varsity."
Last season, the Eagles had fewer than 20 players, but managed to finish second in the Tri-Valley League with a 4-1 league record, 10-2 overall.
"We're caught in between ages," Veres said. "Most people moving in have young kids. The high school is in a lull, but the junior high is busting at the seams. After this year, the numbers should consistently go up."
Tennis champs: Sunset Hills Country Club of Thousand Oaks won the 4.5 level at the USTA/Volvo Tennis League Sectional championships this weekend at the Los Angeles Tennis Centre.
Sunset Hills defeated Sunny Hills in Fullerton, 3-2, in the final to qualify for the National Championships, which will be held Oct. 19-20 in Tucson, Ariz.
In singles, Tim Nations had two victories and Ed Sedo had one.