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SIDELINES : Penn State Dethroned, Monarchs Tumble in Pollsters' Revolt

November 04, 1994

Now Jim Fenwick knows how Joe Paterno feels.

In the wacky, difficult-to-gauge world of college football polls, the aforementioned coaches' teams lost ground in national rankings even though one won and the other did not play.

Paterno's Penn State team fell this week from the top spot in the Associated Press poll after punishing then-21st-ranked Ohio State, 63-14, in a Big Ten Conference game.

Fenwick's Valley squad, unbeaten in seven games and off to one of its best starts, dropped from 10th to 13th in the J.C. Grid-Wire poll despite having a bye last Saturday.

Maybe it was part of a sinister plot against Lions. The teams have similar nicknames: Valley goes by either Monarchs or Lions, and Penn State is the Nittany Lions.

Pigskin package: They play together, they stay together.

Taft High seniors Jerry Brown and DaShon Polk--best friends who are among the top football recruits in the area--said they are a package deal when it comes to choosing a college.

"They told me to tell all college recruiters they're going to the same place," Taft Coach Troy Starr said. "I think they're inseparable. They say nothing's going to change their mind--they're going to the same school."

Brown, a 5-foot-11, 180-pound running back, was the City Section 3-A Division player of the year as a sophomore and has rushed for 46 touchdowns and nearly 4,700 yards in his career.

Polk, a 6-3, 215-pound safety, is a fearsome hitter and the Toreadors' leading receiver.

On the run: One week, she was a relatively unknown cross-country runner outside the Ojai city limits. The next, she was being touted among the top Division III runners in the Southern Section, if not the entire state.

Such is life for Nordhoff freshman Elaine Canchola, who gave Agoura's Amy Skieresz--the defending State Division I champion--and Thousand Oaks' Kim Mortensen--the fifth-place finisher in the 3,200 meters in the State track and field championships in June--an early scare in last week's Ventura County championships at Lake Casitas in Ojai before finishing third.

Canchola, in only her fifth cross-country meet, finished 13th in the Division III team sweepstakes race of the Mt. San Antonio College Invitational on Oct. 21. But her time of 18 minutes 32 seconds over a comparable course at Lake Casitas was almost 30 seconds faster than her 19-minute clocking at Mt. SAC.

"She still doesn't know what she's doing," Nordhoff Coach Ken Reeves said. "She placed 13th at Mt. SAC and thought she was garbage."

Family planning: Moorpark High running back Bryan Wilkins, who has rushed for 1,187 yards and scored 21 touchdowns in eight games, is one of the area's hottest recruits. Arizona, Washington, UCLA and Utah are among the schools said to be wooing him.

Wilkins won't decide where he will go alone. The 6-foot, 190-pound senior said he will solicit advice from his girlfriend, Shauna, who gave birth to his son, Bryan Keith, last week.

"If I could, I would stay out here on the coast," Wilkins said. "But if there's something better elsewhere, Shauna and Bryan will come back there with me."


Bakersfield High's Steve Wofford scored four touchdowns against Bakersfield Highland last week to move past former Lompoc High star Napoleon Kaufman and within six of Russell White's state record of 94.

White concluded his career at Crespi High in 1988 before moving on to California and later to the National Football League, where he played briefly for the Rams.

Hitting streak: Cal State Northridge volleyball players Missy Clements and Heather Anderson have been on a hitting tear over the past four matches.

Clements, a 5-11 senior outside hitter, has 74 kills and a .432 hitting percentage during the 12-game stretch.

Anderson, a 6-2 senior middle blocker, has 68 kills and is hitting at a .356 clip.

Things to Do

Today, 3 p.m., Moorpark College cross-country course: Eleazar Hernandez of Camarillo High and Keith O'Doherty of Thousand Oaks renew their rivalry in the Marmonte League cross-country finals. Hernandez won the team sweepstakes race of the prestigious Mt. San Antonio College Invitational on Oct. 22, but O'Doherty outkicked him to win last week's Ventura County championships. The Thousand Oaks boys' and girls' teams are heavy favorites, and Amy Skieresz of Agoura is expected to win her third consecutive individual girls' title.

Tonight, 7, North Campus Stadium: Cal State Northridge will play host to The Master's in a men's nonconference soccer match. Master's (15-2-1) is bound for the NAIA playoffs. Northridge (7-8-1) would like to salvage some pride. The Matadors have scored two goals in a seven-match stretch during the past month.

Compiled by Mike Hiserman. Contributing: Kennedy Cosgrove, Dave Desmond, Fernando Dominguez, Dana Haddad, Vince Kowalick and John Ortega.

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