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Facts, Figures And Comments From Area Events

September 23, 1993

FALCONS FLYING HIGH

Cerritos College's 21-15 Mission Conference victory over Saddleback last Saturday was stunning.

Saddleback perennially has one of the nation's best programs. Coach Ken Swearingen ranks first in the nation in total victories with 242. Last year Saddleback went 11-0 and won the mythical national title. The Gauchos had a 20-game winning streak, including a 37-7 trouncing of Santa Monica in the season opener. They were heavily favored over Cerritos.

The Falcons struggled to tie Rancho Santiago of Santa Ana, 28-28, in their opener. Saddleback looked like it had another cakewalk.

Not so. The Falcons opened an 18-0 lead early in the second quarter. They got a 24-yard field goal from Mike Rodriguez with 6:53 remaining in the game to hold off a late Gaucho charge. "I'm real proud of the kids," Falcon Coach Frank Mazzotta said. "We hung in there pretty darn good."

The Falcons play an away game at 7 p.m. Saturday against San Diego Mesa College.

"It's not going to be an easy game," Mazzotta said. "Mesa always has a good program and it's tough to win in that stadium."

Mazzotta said he let his team gloat a few days after last week's win before getting down to business.

"They're all 19 years old and they may not want to focus on their job because they had a big win," he said. "It's my job to make sure they don't let the season get away from them. It was a great win, but it wasn't the whole season. We've got a lot more games to get ready for."

JUST HAPPY

A few weeks ago, cornerback Derrick Winston was happy just to be in a practice uniform for Cerritos College. Now, the walk-on from Salesian High appears to have won a starting job in the Falcon secondary.

Winston got his big break in the season opener with Rancho Santiago when Jeff Ridgeway was injured. Winston held his own, even though Rancho scored on a long pass on his side of the field. Another cornerback, Mario Bradley, went down last Saturday, and Winston, who is 6-foot-2, 180 pounds, was outstanding, according to Mazzotta.

"For a guy who walks on from a place like Salesian High School with no experience to get thrown into two ballgames like that, I'm proud as hell of him," Mazzotta said.

Salesian High, a Southern Section Division X team not known for its football prowess, is a boys parochial school in Boyle Heights.

NOT TO BE OUTDONE

Long Beach City College knocked off Golden West College of Huntington Beach, 21-7, last weekend. The Vikings are 2-0. Long Beach defeated Fullerton College, 28-14, in its opener.

Next up: A toughie at Riverside College at 7 p.m. Saturday.

"Riverside has been struggling, but it's a good team," LBCC Coach Larry Reisbig said. "I look for a real hard-nosed game."

CHUBASCOS

It began as a way for young swimmers to break the boredom of daily training regimens. Ten years later, Coach Mark Johnson finds himself with one of the more successful bodysurfing teams in America.

Johnson, the 19-year coach of the Cerritos Aquatics Club, which offers swimming and diving, founded the Chubascos Bodysurfing Assn. in 1983. Chubascos in Spanish means rain showers or squalls, which is appropriate, since the team has swamped much of its competition in recent years. In late August, club members swept the top three places in the 14 years of age and under category at the World Bodysurfing Championships in Oceanside. More than 350 swimmers in several categories competed in the weeklong tournament.

Leading the way was Chubascos' Eric Shin, who won his third consecutive title for boys under age 14. Second place went to Eric Kim, and Michael Chung finished third.

Johnson, an avid bodysurfer, explained that he wanted to expose swimmers to different training techniques when he came up with the idea of ocean training two or three times a week. Bodysurfing not only was a break from laborious pool swimming, but also helped maintain endurance. The idea caught on, even in landlocked Cerritos. This past summer, members like Shin kept a daylong routine.

"In the summer we worked out in the mornings in the pool, went to Huntington Beach to bodysurf and then came back for water polo workouts in the afternoon," Johnson said.

The Cerritos Aquatics Club is headquartered at Cerritos Park East.

Shin, a sophomore, is a starter on the Cerritos High School varsity water polo team. "He's really big and strong for his age," Johnson said of Shin, who is 5-foot-11, 180 pounds.

PACIFIC BEACHED

It was not a pretty match, but top-ranked Cal State Long Beach will take its three-game victory over visiting University of the Pacific last Saturday, upping its record to 8-0 in women's volleyball.

In a preseason poll, Big West Conference coaches voted Pacific a slight favorite to wrest the conference title from the 49ers. Despite hitting poorly, Long Beach dispatched the Tigers, 15-12, 15-7, 15-10.

It was an unusual match. Long Beach rallied from behind in each game, while the Tigers played out of sync.

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