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BETWEEN THE LINES | HIGH SCHOOLS

Starr Has Risen Since Carson Days

November 20, 1996

When Taft High plays Carson in the first round of the City Section 4-A playoffs Friday, it will be the first time Toreador Coach Troy Starr will be facing the school that gave him his start in coaching nearly a decade ago.

Starr was a student-teacher at Carson in 1987 and was an assistant under legendary coach Gene Vollnogle, who retired in 1990.

Starr's thoughts on facing the Colts for the first time?

"I have no feelings whatsoever," Starr said. "Everybody I coached with there is gone. It's just another team."

Down and dirty: Officially, it will be a Southern Section Division III playoff opener Friday night between Newbury Park and Ventura highs. But there's a good chance the game at Ventura High will become the Mud Bowl.

The forecast calls for rain this week and the field at Ventura High, to state it mildly, long ago lost is lush, green hue.

"It's dirt," Ventura Coach Phil McCune.

Larrabee Stadium, as the facility is officially known, also is home to Buena and St. Bonaventure highs, Ventura College and the lower-level teams of all three high schools. A typical week at Ventura High includes games on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and usually more than one on each day.

"It's not good grass to begin with," McCune said. "Now, it's dirt from hash mark to hash mark."

Ready to go: Rio Mesa running back Carl Richardson, who suffered a sprained ankle during the second quarter last week against San Marcos, is expected to play Friday night in a Division III playoff opener at Arroyo Grande.

Richardson, who has rushed for 879 yards and has scored 25 touchdowns, left the game as a precaution, Coach George Contreras said.

Missing out: Chatsworth High wide receiver LaRon Buckner and quarterback Ryan Martinez are academically ineligible and will miss the playoffs.

Buckner leads area City Section players with 61 receptions for 969 yards and nine touchdowns. He also intercepted six passes.

Martinez split time at quarterback with Travis Winn and completed 30 of 58 passes for 564 yards and four touchdowns.

Defender's dream: Saugus linebacker Kevin Giberson had three sacks and two interceptions in Friday night's 35-7 loss to Hart.

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