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Choppers at Fire Sites Give Northridge Taste of the Din of a Dome

November 09, 1996

While the Cal State Northridge football team practiced Thursday, two fires broke out within a few hundred yards of the practice field.

No one connected with the football team was hurt. To the contrary, the fire might have helped, Coach Dave Baldwin said.

"There were helicopters flying right over us just as we were doing a two-minute drill," Baldwin said. "It helped us with crowd control."

Northridge will play Idaho State tonight in Holt Arena, an indoor stadium where crowd noise can be a problem for opponents.

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On second thought: Mike Johnson, a Northridge assistant basketball coach, is old friends with new UCLA Coach Steve Lavin from their days at Purdue. Johnson credits Lavin with helping him get a foothold in California.

"I'm really happy for Steve," Johnson said of Lavin taking over the Bruins. "He's got the best job in the country."

Better than Northridge?

"Oh, the second-best job in the country."

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Home games: Cal Lutheran football figures prominently in the lives of Kingsmen assistant coaches Ben McEnroe and Eric Davis--and then some.

McEnroe's wife, Kami, is coach of the school's cheerleading squad. Davis' wife, Kecia, is the school's head athletic trainer.

"There's a lot of purple stuff in the house," said McEnroe, who tutors CLU's offensive linemen.

The McEnroes met at Bakersfield College, where Ben played football and Kami was a cheerleader. Ben played for Cal Lutheran in 1991 and 1992. He was the team's most inspirational player as a senior in '92.

Cal Lutheran also is omnipresent for the Davis family. While Eric works with Kingsmen kickers on the field, Kecia roams the sidelines, administering treatment to injured or ailing players. In the spring, she coaches the Cal Lutheran softball team.

"I don't tell him how to punt, and he doesn't tell me how to treat injuries," Kecia said.

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Detached: The Cal Lutheran football team can't seem to figure out how to hang on to the ball.

The Kingsmen lost four fumbles--two that were returned for touchdowns--in a 41-11 loss to Redlands last week. In seven games, Cal Lutheran has 24 fumbles, losing 15.

Two weeks ago, Coach Scott Squires gave Zack Hernandez a football with a handle after the backup quarterback fumbled three times in a game.

"We need to play with that," Squires said.

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