Oxnard High defensive end Eric Terrill (6-foot-3, 225) was furious when he discovered his car was stolen from the school parking lot Sept. 17.
Having a car ripped off will put a damper on anyone's day, but Terrill was especially downcast because he had a football game to play that evening.
"I had just finished lunch and I went to where my car was parked--and it wasn't there," Terrill said. "I thought it was just a prank but I found out it wasn't.
"I didn't really feel like even playing that night, but then I got real mad and decided I wanted to play."
Terrill vented his frustration on Littlerock, terrorizing the Lobos with 10 tackles (five solo) and forcing a fumble in the Yellowjackets' 15-12 nonleague win. Fortunately, Terrill's car was recovered Thursday.
"He played so well that we thought about getting someone to steal it again," joked Oxnard Coach Neil Kazmierczak. "We thought it might give him that same spark."
The car safely in his possession, Terrill had nine tackles (four solo) and forced another fumble in Oxnard's 24-9 nonleague win over Channel Islands the following evening.
Newbury Park receiver Leodes Van Buren is accustomed to defensive backs who try to break his concentration with taunts and insults. Van Buren, however, said few teams have jawed as much as Buena did in a nonleague game.
"They were talking a lot of trash all game long," Van Buren said. "They kept on saying things, trying to get me mad.
"But that stuff doesn't bother me. It only fires me up and gets me going."
The Bulldogs helped energize Van Buren throughout the Panthers' 43-28 victory. He finished with five receptions for 125 yards and three touchdowns.
A Place to Start
Reseda Coach Joel Schaeffer wants feedback.
Principals at City Section schools in the Valley have been ordered to restructure the two area conferences, with the changes expected to take effect in the fall of 1994.
City Commissioner Hal Harkness long ago conceded that the restructuring is overdue because the eight teams in the Northwest Valley Conference are stronger in most sports than their Valley Pac-8 rivals--particularly in football and baseball.
Schaeffer, who admits he is still smarting over the City's failure to move his school from the Northwest Valley to the Valley Pac-8 as promised, has drawn a proposal dubbed the "405 Freeway Plan," wherein the San Diego Freeway would serve as the approximate geographical dividing line between the two conferences:
* West Valley alignment: Chatsworth, El Camino Real, Granada Hills, Taft, Birmingham, Canoga Park, Cleveland and Reseda.
* East Valley alignment: Kennedy, Sylmar, San Fernando, Van Nuys, Grant, Monroe, North Hollywood and Poly.
In short, Kennedy and San Fernando would be swapped for Canoga Park and Birmingham.
"I think it's much more balanced across the board this way," Schaeffer said.
New Kid in Town
Some coaches hope for a fleet-footed running back, others for a strong-armed quarterback or a 270-pound center with wings on his heels.
Kennedy Coach Bob Francola likes fresh faces too. His fresh face doesn't even suit up.
"When people talk about new people in their programs, they usually talk about kids," Francola said. "Fred's been as important as anybody."
Fred Grimes took over as offensive coordinator this season and the results have been nothing short of remarkable. Kennedy is 1-1-1, but the offense has shown uncharacteristic diversity and is averaging 303 yards, despite playing games against tough Sylmar and Bakersfield. Heretofore, the Kennedy offense was largely run-oriented and the school was known more for its defense.
Junior quarterback Dan McMullen, for instance, is on a pace that would easily outdistance the best passers in Francola's eight-year tenure. McMullen, a first-year starter, threw four touchdown passes last week in a 55-12 blowout of Crenshaw. John Toven threw four scoring passes all last season.
Grimes, formerly a head coach at North Hollywood and most recently the offensive coordinator at Chaminade, called 60-70% of the plays against Crenshaw, Francola said.
"If I was a high school kid trying to play quarterback, I'd want somebody like Fred working with me," Francola said.
It's been working for McMullen, who has completed more scoring passes in three games than the past two starting quarterbacks did in their entire senior seasons. Next to fall are older brother Mike, now a pitcher in the San Francisco Giants organization, and Jeff Newman, who played football at Hawaii.
The statistics of Kennedy's starting quarterbacks since Francola took over:
1986--Jeff Newman (744 yards, nine touchdowns). 1987--Tony Smets (193 yards, four touchdowns).
1988--Tony Smets (1,013 yards, 11 touchdowns). 1989--Tony Vazquez (801 yards, 10 touchdowns).
1990--Mike McMullen (1,328 yards, eight touchdowns). 1991--Tavarus Logie (720 yards, six touchdowns).
1992--John Toven (882 yards, four touchdowns). 1993--Dan McMullen (436 yards, seven touchdowns and counting).