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Rival Coaches Preparing for a Block Party

September 24, 1993

It's a football game pitting two coaches who have been around the block. The same block, it seems.

The intersectional pairing between Cleveland and Royal highs at Moorpark College tonight came about because Cleveland co-Coach Everett Macy and Royal Coach Gene Uebelhardt live on the same block in Moorpark.

"It's the Hatfields and the McCoys," Macy said.

Though the coaches live near each other, they haven't exactly been volunteering information.

"We lied about how bad each of us is," Macy said. "Typical coach stuff."

Last year, Cleveland pulled off a 14-6 upset, recording one of its two victories.

ALPHA LEAGUE

Dinner for 57

Village Christian Coach Mike Plaisance likes to plan ahead. Things tend to run more smoothly that way.

So, in anticipation of the Crusaders' 3 1/2-hour trip to Mojave for a nonleague game tonight, Plaisance called the Denny's restaurant in the desert community to make sure his entourage of 57 players and coaches could be accommodated for dinner.

Was the manager happy to get the business?

"Are you kidding?" asked Plaisance. "When is he gonna get a busload of people that want to eat in Mojave?"

MARMONTE LEAGUE

Standing Tall

Standout quarterbacks have become a fixture in the Marmonte League. Wayne Cook of Newbury Park (UCLA), Eric Bennett of Simi Valley (Nevada) and Ryan Fien of Royal (UCLA) are among the former league passers who have moved on to Division I schools.

Despite their departure, the talent level is still high.

After two games, league quarterbacks hold down three of the top four spots among area passers. Not surprisingly, senior Keith Smith of Newbury Park, an All-Southern Section Division III quarterback who passed for a Ventura County-record 3,318 yards last season, sits atop the list with 675 yards.

Following No. 2 Zack Hernandez (636 yards) of L.A. Baptist are seniors Jeremie Watkins of Simi Valley (592) and Kevin Crook of Westlake (539).

*

Before Thousand Oaks' game with Hart last week, Lancer Coach Bob Richards expressed concern about the Indians' size along the offensive line, which averages 6-feet-4, 252 pounds. "We've lined up our defensive line against (soda) machines so they can get a feel for what they're going to face against Hart," Richards joked. "The only problem is that the (soda) machines won't move as much as their line will." The Indians' offensive line moved swift enough to keep the Lancer defense on its heels throughout Hart's 24-17 nonleague victory.

*

Some league coaches figured Simi Valley would struggle on offense after the graduation of Bennett and receivers Aaron Whitley, Bryan Kalbfus and Tom Herman.

However, offense has been a strong point for the Pioneers. After opening with a 22-21 loss to Ventura, Simi Valley routed Granada Hills, 35-0. Receiver Ken Huggins has emerged as one of the area's top deep threats, catching 14 passes for an area-leading 333 yards (a 23.8-yard average) with three touchdowns.

Pioneer receiver Paul Boerem is tied for fifth among area Southern Section receivers with 10 catches for 129 yards. "They don't have all the flash and the speed that some guys do, but they run great routes, they have great hands and they read defenses well," Simi Valley Coach Roger McCamy said.

*

After consecutive 3-7 seasons, Westlake Coach Jim Benkert seems to have the Warriors back on track. Westlake, 8-2-1 in 1990, is 2-0 after victories over Buena and Ventura.

The Warriors--ranked eighth in The Times' regional poll--play Hart (No. 6) tonight. Although a nonleague encounter, the game is of great importance to Westlake, Benkert said.

"We've played two good football teams, but this is definitely a big one for us," Benkert said. "We're trying to establish ourself as a good team, and playing a good game against Hart will help."

CHANNEL LEAGUE

Mum's the Word

There were no parties and not much fanfare.

Actually, few at Rio Mesa said much after John Reardon's 150th win (21-3 over Camarillo last week)--and that's just fine with the longtime Spartan coach.

Reardon, in his 26th season, is Ventura County's all-time leader in football victories at 150-115-4. Rio Mesa is 2-0, and while Reardon is pleased with his personal accomplishment, he wants the Spartans to think only about the team's goals.

"It's exciting, but that's not the most important thing," he said. "This is one of the better teams I've had in the past 10 years, and I want the kids to be the story. That's what this is all about."

Said Spartan assistant George Contreras: "John doesn't want to make a big thing out of it. I'm real happy for him, and everyone else is, but he wants to keep all of that on the back burner."

SANTA FE LEAGUE

It Sure Beats 0-23

St. Genevieve, which snapped a 23-game losing streak in the final game of 1992, is inches from a three-game winning streak.

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