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Lins' Theory of Relativity : Crespi Coach and Quarterback Plot Granddaddy of Upsets

November 04, 1994|VINCE KOWALICK | TIMES STAFF WRITER

ENCINO — Dave Lins is an easygoing guy who enjoys reading his name in the newspaper. But he's had it up to his chin strap with reporters, so many of whom insist on linking him with his coach.

For the record, Lins, senior quarterback for Crespi High, is not the son of Coach Tim Lins. Nor is he the coach's brother, cousin or nephew. As far as Dave and Tim are aware, they are not related. And they would prefer not to be mentioned in tandem.

Now if only the media would get it together.

"Some paper in Long Beach wrote that he was my son," Tim said. "They just assumed."

Said Dave: "One paper called me Tim Jr."

Even when the papers get it right, they overdo it.

"At times, it's annoying," Lins said. "Every time I see my name, I always have to see 'no relation to his coach' after it. Like, what's the big deal?"

No one ever said distinguishing himself would be easy. Yet Lins, who gives a good interview and exudes the maturity of a three-year varsity player, has succeeded in making a name for himself.

Lins leads area Southern Section passers with 1,566 yards and has completed 70% of his passes, a significantly higher percentage than any area quarterback.

He will need to be on the mark more than ever tonight, when the Celts (5-3, 3-0 in league play) travel to La Puente for a Del Rey League showdown with mighty Bishop Amat (8-0, 3-0).

For the record, the Lancers are accustomed to publicity, too. Bishop Amat has spent the season ranked No. 1 in the nation by at least one publication.

And Los Angeles television news programs are beginning to include highlights of the Lancers' games in their weekend sportscasts.

Senior tailback Daylon McCutcheon, son of former Ram running back Lawrence McCutcheon, has rushed for 1,385 yards and is considered one the nation's top Division-I prospects. Fullback-defensive end Kory Minor, who has contributed 174 yards rushing, also is considered Division-I material..

Both played on the 1992 team that set a state record by finishing 15-0, including a 31-10 rout of Sylmar before a Southern California television audience in the first-ever title game between City and Southern Section champions.

Lins will be facing Bishop Amat for the third time as a varsity player. And frankly, he's a little tired of reading all about Bishop Amat, too.

"I saw them all on Channel 7 the other night," he said. "They're supposed to be the all-everything team. They're so hyped up, all the pressure is on them. We think we can beat them."

Crespi's chances will rest largely with Lins, who leads one of the area's most potent passing attacks. Lins, who passed for 1,306 yards and eight touchdowns as a junior, has accounted for 71% of the Celts' offense this season. His targets include Wayne Emerson (54 catches), Jeff DeFinney (51) and Marcos Solorzano (28).

Few college scouts have taken notice of Lins (6-feet-2, 185 pounds), and he is considering going to Valley College next season. He doesn't have the strongest arm, but his skills are above average, and his accuracy and composure are exceptional.

In two seasons, Lins has completed 63% of his passes and has thrown only 11 interceptions in 441 passes. His 152 completions this season set a school record, breaking the mark of 150 set by Ron Redell in 1988.

Lins' 2,872 yards place him second in the school record book behind Cody Smith, who passed for 4,486 yards from 1989-91. He is within reach of Smith's single-season record of 2,028 yards.

"Dave has real good accuracy and he makes real good decisions," Tim Lins said. "He doesn't throw the ball where he shouldn't."

The Linses would like to erase memories of consecutive lopsided losses to Bishop Amat. As a sophomore, Dave played free safety in a 34-7 loss and was burned badly on a couple of plays.

Last season, Lins completed a dismal five of 21 passes for 36 yards in a 35-7 defeat.

More painful than his several overthrows, however, was the way he was portrayed in print the following morning.

"I can see how some people would think it was a horrible game," Lins said. "But some of the papers said some really rude stuff."

But Lins is much improved this season. And so are the Celts, according to their coach.

"I'm sure they're the best team we'll face this year," Tim Lins said. "But our guys are not a bit intimidated. Bishop Amat has always been highly ranked. But we have a tradition of playing very good teams tough."

That proved true two weeks ago, when Crespi pulled off a 14-13 upset of previously unbeaten St. Paul, then No. 9 in the state.

Lins completed 21 of 24 passes for 164 yards and turned in the play of the game to sustain a game-winning, fourth-quarter touchdown drive.

Lins caught his own deflected pass at the St. Paul 22-yard line and alertly ran for a first down.

He hit Solorzano for a nine-yard scoring pass with 12 seconds to play.

"He's played some real heady football for us," Tim Lins said.

"He's always been that way."

Spoken almost like a father about a son. Maybe the coach and quarterback are kin after all. Neither rule out the possibility.

The extended family of Dave resides in Wisconsin. Tim's relatives call Minnesota home.

Maybe somewhere in the Midwest, their family trees share the same roots.

"I'd have to think that we're related in some way," Dave said. "Lins isn't exactly the most popular name."

Except in the newspaper.

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