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HIGH SCHOOL NOTEBOOK : Schools Defend Use of 'Indians' as a Nickname

October 25, 1991

No one is doing the tomahawk chop in the stands at Hart or Burroughs. Yet some people have been offended by the nicknames of both schools: the Indians.

Over the years, Native American groups have approached both schools, protesting their choice of school mascot. About 15 years ago, one group voiced a complaint to Burroughs administrators because the school's gymnasium floor featured a painting of a smiling Indian similar to the logo of the Cleveland Indians. The logo was removed.

"They said that the fact that we were stepping on it was degrading," said Brian Hurst, the school's assistant principal. "We've tried to be supportive of Indian heritage. I think we've maintained a positive image."

At Hart, Indian symbols adorn the inside of the gym and the outfield wall of the baseball field.

Administrator Bill Beauer said that about five years ago a representative of a similar organization asked that the school change the nickname it has had since it opened in 1945.

"He came in and we talked about it," said Beauer, who said that he has an 8-foot wooden Indian in his office among other Indian items and photographs. "He went along and we haven't heard from him since.

"We don't abuse the nickname. We're proud of it. It's always been Hart High Indians."


Friday's game between Crespi and Chaminade at Pierce College marks a return to old haunts for Chaminade Coach Rich Lawson.

Lawson and Chaminade offensive coordinator Fred Grimes were assistants at Pierce from 1982-85. Their tenure ended when the Pierce football program was canceled in 1986 because of budgetary problems.

After listening to Lawson recall the good old days, it is easy to see why the Brahma program ran out of dinero.

Lawson said the school didn't have the funding to pay for private laundering of team uniforms, so the staff used to handle the loathsome chore.

"We used to watch some film, then go put a load in the dryer," he said. "What did we know? We were a bunch of coaches.

"One time, we put a bunch of red jerseys in with a bunch of white pants and came away with a whole bunch of pink uniforms."


The middle screen pass to a wide receiver has become one of the hottest plays on the football scene. Granada Hills receiver John Moss caught four passes last week for 64 yards on the play, wherein he runs a pattern that parallels the line of scrimmage, catches the ball underneath the defensive coverage and bolts downfield.

"Everybody is running it now," said San Fernando assistant Troy Starr, the team's defensive coordinator. "It's the play of the '90s. It's a nightmare to defend."

Imitation is indeed the most sincere form of flattery. Granada Hills discovered the play during its victory over Carson four weeks ago.

The Colts, it seems, ran the play so successfully against Granada Hills that the Highlanders added it to their own playbook.


Antelope Valley might have its best team in the three years since its 1988 Southern Section championship team, and the Antelopes have improved with the emergence of sophomore running back C.J. Fagan.

Last spring, Fagan was a starter, but he sustained a broken leg in June and was sidelined for three months.

In his first appearance of the season, he broke a 73-yard touchdown run among his three carries against Palmdale.

"You're going to hear a lot more about him," Coach Brent Newcomb said.


Newcomb keeps his defensive players on their toes with an in-house competition to determine the team's best defenders.

Newcomb uses nearly every defensive category imaginable--solo tackles, assists, quarterback sacks, passes broken up, interceptions--in a points system to rate players.

Before last Friday's game against Palmdale, safety Freddie Edwards had 83 points and linebacker Eugene Dreher was second with 82. Edwards also leads in rushing with 494 yards.


Santa Clara's 5-0 win over Fillmore did not excite offensive purists, but it thrust Saint nose guard Ed Flores into the spotlight.

Flores, a 6-foot, 230-pound junior who transferred from Channel Islands, made two sacks and a half-dozen other tackles behind the line of scrimmage.

"He pretty much dominated their center," Coach Tom O'Brien said. "The position seems to fit him."


Few words have been exchanged this season on the Bell-Jeff sidelines between players and coaches.

The Guards, who have struggled to an 0-6 record, have only 25 players. Many are forced to play both offense and defense and, consequently, spend little of their time on the sideline.

"That's the biggest problem," Coach Doug Woodlief said. "When you have to sit down and talk to someone, they're out on the field."


James Parks of Moorpark and John Bjerke of Thousand Oaks have more in common than coaching two of the Southern Section's top-ranked girls' volleyball teams. They are also roommates.

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