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Shackleford to Coach Last Golden West Game


Believe it or not, there's another significant Mission Conference football game tonight besides Rancho Santiago-Fullerton.

While those teams meet at Titan Stadium for a share of the Central Division title, Golden West's Ray Shackleford, in his 29th season, is coaching his final game.

Golden West (2-5-2, 2-2-1) plays at Riverside (2-6, 1-3).

Shackleford was told by the college's administration three days before the start of the season that this would be his final year. He will continue to teach at the college.

Shackleford (157-118-11) is the second-winningest active coach behind Saddleback's Ken Swearingen. He has sent more than 500 players to four-year colleges and has three players in the pros.

Glenn Parker (who played at Golden West in 1986-87) has played in four Super Bowls as a Buffalo Bills offensive lineman. Two players are gaining notoriety in the Canadian Football League.

Blaise Bryant (1987-88) is a standout running back with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, and receiver Ray Elgaard (1979-80) is with the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Elgaard is the leading all-time receiver in the CFL.

Golden West's best seasons came in 1977 and 1978 when the Rustlers finished 9-2 each time. Each year, Golden West capped the season with victories in the Avocado Bowl. But Shackleford hasn't allowed himself time to reminisce about the accomplishments of past players or teams.

"I've been very occupied each week preparing for the game," he said. "I haven't spent a lot of time thinking that this is the last game. . . . Maybe next year when I'm not coaching it will hit me. That's the impression I get anyway. Otherwise, it's been nothing dramatic."

With a victory tonight, Golden West can clinch third place in the division despite an up-and-down season that saw the Rustlers lose three starting tailbacks to injury.

Freshman quarterback Brian Schneider has had a solid season, throwing for 1,382 yards and 13 touchdowns.

"It's been a frustrating year," Shackleford said. "We had better players than we've had in recent years but we haven't been able to win as many games as I expected."

In other Central Division games:

Rancho Santiago (7-1, 4-0) vs. Fullerton (5-2-1, 4-0), Titan Stadium, 7 p.m.--Rancho Santiago is first in the Southern California poll and seventh in the J.C. Grid-Wire national rankings. The Dons have won seven in a row. Fullerton, which has won five of the last six, is ninth in Southern California.

The game features the conference's best defenses. Fullerton is giving up a conference-low 341 yards and Rancho Santiago is at 351. This is also the 71st meeting of the teams. The series is tied, 30-30-4. The winner is almost assured of an invitation to the Simple Green Orange County Bowl Dec. 3 at Orange Coast. The game will be carried live on KBPK (90.1 FM).

Fullerton concludes the regular season at Southwestern and Rancho Santiago plays host to Saddleback on Nov. 19.

Orange Coast (1-7, 1-3) at Saddleback (1-7, 1-3)--Much more was expected of these teams. Saddleback is led on defense by sophomore linebacker Andy Osborne, who became the Gauchos' all-time tackle leader last week.

Orange Coast started with the most inexperienced team in Coach Bill Workman's career and hasn't developed as expected. The Pirates are last in the conference in offense (294 yards) and second to last in defense (461 yards).

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