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Youthful Crenshaw Squad Pinning Its Hopes on Fomond


Playing middle linebacker and fullback for Crenshaw High School can be rigorous duty, but Dennis Fomond has the right frame of mind for both jobs.

"At either position, the idea is to make a big play," Fomond said. "At linebacker, you're trying to hit someone and cause a fumble. At fullback, you're trying to break a big run."

Fomond did a little of both last season, and as a result was named to the All-Southern League team for the second year in a row.

This season, with the Cougars rebuilding after losing 36 of last season's 47 players to graduation, Coach Robert Garrett hopes that Fomond will not only be able to effectively carry the ball, but in effect carry the team.

"If (the team) can exclude injuries, we could build around Dennis," Garrett said. "We are looking for a leader to step up on offense and defense, and I am sure Dennis can provide that."

As a middle linebacker, Fomond was among the team's leading tacklers last season. At fullback, he rushed for 429 yards and scored 11 touchdowns, leading the team in scoring with 74 points.

This season's young Cougars team will be in need of that sort of leadership. Crenshaw used six players at running back last season, including Fomond, but could not find consistency in its ground attack.

With quarterback Eric Scott playing for Northwestern and multipurpose back Kofi Nartey at UC Berkeley, the Cougars will need a new leader in their backfield.

"I have to lead this team along with (tight end) Darrell Mayo because we are the only returning players of the 11 with game experience," Fomond said. "I think the best is to lead by example because you can't lead just by word of mouth. If the players hear one thing and see another, that won't work. I know I will have to practice what I preach."

And though Fomond is reticent by nature, his on-field performance brags of talent.

In a game against Kennedy last season, Fomond scored three touchdowns, grabbed two interceptions and blocked a field goal attempt.

Fomond scored on the last play of the game, breaking a 45-yard touchdown run from the tailback position.

"My concern as a runner is getting past the line of scrimmage because I think I can outrun most linebackers," Fomond said. "That was definitely the best game of my life."

In a season that Garrett has dubbed a rebuilding year, it would certainly benefit Crenshaw's cause if Fomond had a few more career games left in him.

The 1993 schedule, which includes perennial powers Banning and Carson, will also feature CIF Division I runner-up Loyola.

Garrett must follow his preseason agenda of emphasizing a ball-control offense in order to compete with these high school juggernauts.

"We want the ball for 30 of the 48 minutes of the ball game," Garrett said. "It doesn't matter if it's by ground or air, we must control the ball."

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