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THE PREPS / ERIC SHEPARD

At Last, Jordan Can Celebrate Victory Again

October 18, 1994|ERIC SHEPARD

It had been three years since Jordan High of Los Angeles won a football game. Despite having a high-profile coach with a lengthy list of accomplishments, the Bulldogs could not seem to turn things around.

But the skid ended last Friday, when a fourth-quarter touchdown propelled Jordan to a 9-8 victory at Huntington Park in a City Section game. The victory stopped a 31-game losing streak, second-longest in the state.

"I had hoped we would have had more days like this sooner," said Willie Brown, a seven-time all-pro defensive back with the Oakland Raiders who took over at Jordan last season. "Wins are very important, and this one is going to take us another step in the right direction."

It did not come easily. Quarterback Nate Turner scrambled in from 12 yards out late in the game to put Jordan ahead. But the Bulldogs were penalized on the ensuing kickoff for an early celebration and Huntington Park drove to the Bulldogs' 33-yard line before turning the ball over on downs with a minute to play.

"Everybody (played) together," said Termell Goss, who led Jordan in rushing with 155 yards. "And Coach Brown really wanted to win this game."

The state's longest current losing streak is 35 by Huntington Beach Ocean View.

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City Section officials have gone to great lengths this football season to transform heated rivalries into spirited ones. Locke-Fremont and Dorsey-Crenshaw games were tabbed "Peace Bowls" and included team breakfasts the morning after the games, losing players serving the winners.

Carson and Wilmington Banning will play at Veterans Stadium in Long Beach on Friday night in one of the section's strongest rivalries. Administrators at the schools decided to do a double homecoming to promote a positive relationship.

"We want kids to be able to shake hands after the game," said John Newton, Banning's athletic director.

Said Barbara Fiege, City Section commissioner: "We want players coming away from games not thinking everyone on the other team is the enemy."

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Controversy has seldom followed the football program at Los Alamitos, so an ugly incident this season has put added pressure on Coach John Barnes.

During a game against Carson on Sept. 22, an unidentified Los Alamitos player punched assistant coach Steve Scully, who was taken to the hospital with two cuts that required 16 stitches, and eight chipped teeth.

The player, a senior, was arrested by Long Beach Police and was expelled from school last week. A hearing is scheduled Nov. 22 in Long Beach juvenile court. Scully, in his first season at the school, returned to the team two days later and has not missed any games.

"There is a perception that we run a squeaky-clean program and never have any problems," said Barnes, whose team has a state-leading 41-game unbeaten streak. "But kids are kids and people are people. I can't control everything that goes on and, given the state of our society, I'm surprised this kind of thing doesn't happen more often."

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In two seasons as the girls' basketball coach at Lynwood, Ellis Barfield compiled a 62-2 record and won two league titles and a State Division I championship. Problems off the court, however, forced school officials to ask for his resignation last week.

Barfield, 29, vows he will fight for his job over what he claims has been an absence of due process.

Problems began last July, when Barfield, assistant coach Michelle Allen and 12 Lynwood youth players were on their way to a basketball camp at Nevada Las Vegas. Allen was driving a van carrying the coaches and players when it flipped over several times, killing 11-year-old Tracey Myricks and injuring others. The accident occurred 14 miles north of Las Vegas.

Allen has been charged with involuntary manslaughter, and Lynwood school officials are anticipating civil suits from some of the players' parents.

Bill Lee, Lynwood's athletic director, said Barfield did not use good judgment in planning the trip to Las Vegas but refused to discuss specifics.

"This is about more than wins and losses," Lee said. "This is about responsibility and reliability and taking charge for what's going on."

Lee said he is vigorously searching for a new coach.

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The Southern Section will hold its first council meeting of the school year Thursday morning in Buena Park. On the agenda are controversial action items that could affect this year's football playoff groupings, as well as the possible formation of a new Orange County Section.

Prep Notes

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