Imagine being on the "A" list for every high school party and not being invited to participate in the biggest celebration of the year.
National letter-of-intent day begins Wednesday and the top high school football players from across the country will agree to scholarship offers from prestigious Division I schools.
But only a handful of the area's top players will attend any celebration parties.
Several notable names will be missing among the long list of recruits signed by Division I colleges, including Buena High quarterback Jason Isaacs, and Oxnard's blue-chip prospects Johnel Turner and Bryant Taylor.
Some local standouts couldn't wait for the party to begin and made early announcements.
Lineman Ted Lawrence of Santa Clara said Tuesday he will attend Army, as will running back Mike Lindsay of Thousand Oaks.
As previously reported, linebacker/quarterback Eric Hale of Simi Valley will sign with Oregon State and Thousand Oaks defensive back Steve Rudisill will head to San Diego State.
Record-setting quarterback Tim Gutierrez has also made an oral commitment to attend San Diego State, but his signing will not become official until he scores at least a 700 on the Scholastic Aptitude Test.
Hueneme lineman Manny Perez received a scholarship offer to Purdue, but will wait until next week to announce his decision.
But that's a short list compared to the number of Division I prospects listed by preseason magazines.
The top three names--Isaacs, Turner, Taylor--may have played their last down of football.
Turner, a quarterback and defensive back, and Taylor, a fullback and linebacker, are still trying to satisfy Prop. 48 requirements and are finding the Scholastic Aptitude Test a bigger obstacle than any would-be-tackler. Both will take the test again this month.
Oxnard Coach Jack Davis said Colorado, Nebraska and Arkansas are interested in Turner if he passes the test. Taylor is being pursued by USC and Miami.
"There's no doubt that any school would like to have them, but they're practically untouchable until they pass the test," Oxnard Coach Jack Davis said.
Isaacs, who passed for 1,961 yards and eight touchdowns, scored a 720 on the SAT in his first attempt, but fears he might have missed his chance to receive a scholarship offer.
"I took the SAT too late and schools have already offered their trips," Isaacs said. "I wanted to attend a Pac-10 schools, but four of the schools are no longer recruiting quarterbacks.
"It doesn't look promising."
Tony Williams, Isaacs' favorite target at Buena, is also trying to pass the test.
Defensive back Jim Magallanes of Thousand Oaks is meeting with Penn coaches tonight.
Philipine number: Channel Islands (7-15, 1-10) has struggled this season, mostly because it doesn't have a player taller than 6-foot-1. But the Raiders are optimistic because they won only one game last season and have the league's most-improved player in Marlowe Durmiendo.
Durmiendo, a 5-10 junior guard, is from the Philippines and, although he has played basketball just three years, his numbers don't reflect inexperience. Durmiendo scored 32 and 29 points last week, and leads the Raiders in scoring (16.3), rebounding (7.0), assists (4.1) and steals (2.5) despite his stature.
"He really gets in there and battles," Coach Don Salado said. "He's a workhorse."
Record-setter: Camarillo guard Nicole Victoria became the county career scoring leader Saturday against Simi Valley.
Victoria scored a career-high 36 points to increase her four-year total to 1,822 points. She surpassed the previous mark of 1,819 points set by Margaret Mohr of La Reina.
Painful loss: Mike Spears of Hueneme sprained both ankles Jan. 30 against Ventura and will be out for the season. Spears, a 6-5 senior center, is the Vikings' leading scorer (18 a game) and rebounder (12).
Stat watch: Moorpark's Brian Lester had a streak of 25 consecutive successful free throws snapped against Bishop Diego. Lester, a 5-foot-10 guard, has team-high averages of 16.5 points and 7.5 assists.
Pirate pranksters: Ventura Basketball Coach Phil Mathews, a fireball of sideline intensity during games, was actually seen smiling and joking Saturday night at Glendale.
Ventura and Glendale were playing with only one referee, who often had to rely on the word of the participants and coaches in order to sort out tricky plays.
After one Glendale foul, Ventura sent Chris Hantgin, a nearly 80% free throw shooter, to the line, but Glendale convinced the referee that Lester Neal, making less than 60% from the line, should be the shooter.
"You got me that time; you got me," Mathews jokingly yelled at Glendale Coach Brian Beauchemin before Neal proceeded to miss one of two free throws.
However, Mathews could afford to be charitable about the charity stripe. Thanks to Neal's 26 points and 15 rebounds, Ventura won, 74-69.
Finding the right rout: Oxnard Coach Remy McCarthy said a couple of weeks ago that he was having a hard time accepting defeats since his team had been playing so well.
"When you lose big and play terrible, at least you know what you have to change for the next game," McCarthy said.
Well the Condors granted their coach his wish Saturday night when they were blown off the court by Bakersfield, 86-56. McCarthy said his team did very few things right in the loss.
Oxnard (4-6 in Western State Conference play and 13-13 overall) responded to the rout Monday by defeating West Los Angeles, 65-63. Randy Carter led team in scoring with 23 points.
"I knew the adjustments we needed to make and we made them," McCarthy said. "We played a good game against West L.A."
Eric Shepard and staff writer Jeff Riley contributed to this notebook.