The Reseda High football team, jolted by the death of two-way starter Eric Hoggatt last week, has voted unanimously to play as scheduled Friday against rival Cleveland.
"They want to go onward and forward," Coach Joel Schaeffer said. "The goal here is to persevere."
To honor Hoggatt, who died in his sleep only hours after a Reseda game, Regent players will wear wristbands bearing the No. 7, Hoggatt's jersey number.
A memorial will be held at the school's football field Friday afternoon at 2:15.
Meanwhile, across town: Hoggatt's death has tempered the enthusiasm with which Cleveland players usually approach their game against Reseda.
"There's usually a lot of trash-talking going on the week of the game, during the game," Cavalier running back Kevin Reaux said. "We're not going to do any of that, but we have to take care of business."
Cleveland Coach Joe Santellano had a warning for his team after a lackadaisical practice early this week.
"[Reseda] has had a terrible week," he said. "But when they play us on Friday, they get a chance to let out their frustration by hitting and tackling us."
Embarrassing loss: Sylmar football players wear practice jerseys that have "Payback 22-21" emblazoned on the front--a motivational reminder of the Spartans' loss against Narbonne last year in the City Section quarterfinals.
But considering Sylmar's play during its opener against Taft, maybe the jerseys should read "Embarrassed 30-6"--the score of last week's game.
With Coach Jeff Engilman absent while serving the first of a two-game suspension, the Spartans were confused, disorganized and badly outplayed.
Engilman said he got five plays into watching video of the game when he felt his arm go numb. His blood pressure--for which he takes medication--sky-rocketed.
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Football Top 10
Rankings of Valley-area high schools by sportswriters of The Times
RK LW Team League) REC. 1 1 Hart (Foothill) 1-0 2 3 Westlake (Marmonte) 1-0 3 4 Antelope Valley (Golden) 1-0 4 5 Thousand Oaks (Marmonte) 1-0 5 6 Newbury Park (Marmonte) 1-0 6 7 Notre Dame (Mission) 1-0 7 9 Taft (Northwest Valley) 1-0 8 10 Quartz Hill (Golden) 1-0 9 NR Saugus (Foothill) 1-0 10 5 Kennedy (Northwest Valley) 0-1