Mike Bowen, a junior wide receiver at Nordhoff High, has tickets to Friday's World Series game, but he'll survive if he doesn't attend.
In fact, Bowen is happy he lived through his first attempt to see a World Series game.
On Oct. 17, Bowen and his father attended what was supposed to be Game 3 in San Francisco.
But an earthquake struck Candlestick Park and Bowen had more on his mind than baseball.
"I've never been so scared in my life," Bowen said. "It was something I'll always remember."
Bowen sat in the lower deck, anticipating the start of the game. He said he heard a load roar that he mistakenly thought was the sound of stamping feet.
"It was my first time at the World Series and I was totally ecstatic," Bowen said. "I heard the pounding and the roar and I thought the fans were just going crazy. It got louder and then it was silent for a second. Then the whole stadium shook. It was just insane.
"We were underneath the overhang of the upper deck. I thought it was going to come down and we were going to die.
"The best thing that happened was that everyone remained calm. They even cheered after it was over."
Bowen said he didn't realize the damage the earthquake caused until seeing pictures on another fan's portable television.
"We were in the parking lot for a good four hours trying to get out," Bowen said. "People were taking home fallen pieces of concrete as souvenirs. You could see the fires over the hillside."
And after that experience, Bowen would rather concentrate on football. This Friday, Nordhoff, 1-6 overall and 0-2 in league play, will hold its homecoming game against Agoura.
"Maybe it will rain and I'll get a chance to see it Saturday," Bowen said of the World Series. "But no more earthquakes. I wouldn't wish that on anyone."
Just for laughs: A group of Santa Clara High players cornered sophomore Steven Klein and asked if he had any new jokes to tell.
Klein stared at the palms of his hands and replied: "Nothing on hand."
Meet Klein, team manager and punster extraordinaire.
Nicknamed the "General" and "Koolmoedee"' after the rap band, Klein delivers one-liners before Coach Larry Lawrence instructs his players at practice. He also performs his schtick on return bus trips from away games.
Here's a sample of last week's material:
"Have you heard the joke about the bed? It hasn't been made up yet."
"Have you heard the latest about the sidewalk. It's all over town."
OK, Johnny Carson he's not. But Klein knows how to work his audience for laughs--mostly moans and groans.
"Our manager works hard," Lawrence said. "Koolmoedee tells a couple jokes and makes us laugh. He keeps practices from becoming monotonous."
Add Saints: Santa Clara (5-2, 2-0) has plenty to laugh about after pulling off its second consecutive upset. The Saints beat Agoura, 45-35, a week after surprising Santa Ynez, 24-20, in a Frontier League opener.
The Saints' special teams set the stage for the upset with two touchdowns in the first quarter. Kwinn Knight returned a punt 55 yards for Santa Clara's first score. Agoura answered with Dave Caramanis' 66-yard scoring run, but Knight returned the ensuing kickoff 89 yards for a touchdown.
Medical update: Tailback Jayden Morrison, Nordhoff's leading rusher, is expected to play against Agoura after missing three games with a dislocated right elbow. . . . Santa Clara played last week without cornerback Danny Lopez (broken bone in left hand) and three linemen--Justin Cajiuat (knee injury), Joey Cabrera (knee) and Joey Zargoza (foot). . . . Junior Lewis Cayce of Oxnard fractured his pelvis returning a kickoff against San Marcos and will miss the rest of the season. . . . Hueneme High might have one of its top offensive performers back in the lineup by next week. Tailback Mel Nunnery, out three weeks with a torn ligament in his left knee, may return Nov. 3 against San Marcos. Quarterback Damon Hicks (bruised right shoulder) and receiver/back Doug Brooks (bruised knee) are doubtful to return.
Football miscellany: Nordhoff quarterback Rob Fournier needs 44 yards to erase the school's single-season passing record. Jeremy Anthony set the record with 1,243 yards last season. . . . Trevor Matheson, Fournier's favorite target, needs one reception to tie the school mark of 43 set by Steve Blundell last season. . . . Al Borderias, a transfer student from Spain, has replaced Johnel Turner as the Oxnard kicker. In two games, Borderias has made nine of 10 extra-point attempts.
Numbers game: The Western State Conference football race has produced some interesting numbers, through most of them look remarkably alike.
Ventura, L. A. Southwest and Moorpark are each 1-0 in Northern Division games. The Pirates (6-0 overall) are 5-0 in the WSC and Southwest (5-0-1) is 4-0-1.
Ventura is ranked sixth in the state and Southwest is eighth. The teams are ranked third and fourth in Southern California.
Ventura has the state's fourth-best defense (210.5 yards a game) and Southwest is eighth (238.2).
Breaking in: After a record-setting career at Santa Clara High, Matt Young has been somewhat less prolific as a freshman wide receiver for Moorpark College. Last week, however, he caught his first college touchdown pass.
In the third quarter of a 44-0 blowout of Harbor College, Young tipped a pass to himself to complete an 18-yard touchdown pass from Kris Dutra. "He made a tremendous catch," Coach Jim Bittner said. "It was a very nice play on his part. He's got very good hands."
Young caught 81 passes as a Santa Clara senior, but at Moorpark he's part of a four-receiver rotation. Young alternates possessions on the right side with sophomore James Gambrell.
Jeff Riley and staff writer Brendan Healey contributed to this notebook.