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Football Field Is Her Place for Some Kicks

September 18, 1997|VINCE KOWALICK

She's got a leg. And she knows how to use it.

In fact, Joy Barry, a soccer star turned football player for Ventura College, might have booted her way into the record books with an innocuous extra-point last weekend against West L.A.

Barry's kick is believed to be the first point scored by a woman in a junior-college football game.

Officials at the state Junior College Athletic Bureau and the National Junior College Athletic Assn. stopped short of declaring Barry's feat unprecedented, pending further research. But seemingly no one can recall a female football player putting points on the board.

"As far as I know, there has never been a female scorer," said Wayne Baker, associate executive director of the NJCAA in Colorado Springs. "I've been here 13 years, and I've never heard of it. And no one has ever said anything about it. It's an unusual happening, that's for sure."

Not really. Barry, who stands 5 feet 4 and weighs 125 pounds, was seven for seven on PATs as a junior for Thousand Oaks High in 1994. Enrolling at Ventura, she shunned football in favor of her first love, soccer. Last season, Barry was selected conference most valuable player as Ventura finished 20-2-2.

The urge to split the uprights, however, never quite faded. Barry approached Ventura football Coach Terry Morris last spring asking for a tryout.

"He said, 'You're either going to impress me or you're not going to impress me,' " Barry said. "I guess I impressed him."

"Shocked is more like it," Morris said. "She wasn't just kicking them. She was kicking them dead-center."

Interestingly, Barry isn't the only female kicker making headlines this season.

On Tuesday, former Duke kicker Heather Sue Mercer, who in 1995 attempted to become the first woman to kick for a Division I college, filed a lawsuit in federal court, alleging sexual discrimination by coaches.

Barry, who takes the field only for point-after attempts, is less passionate about football.

"I'm doing this because I like to kick and I want to help the team out," she said. "Soccer is my thing. I probably wouldn't get very far kicking [footballs]. If I got a football scholarship, that'd be cool. But how many girls do you know that get one?"


What's the difference between Leodes Van Buren and Keyshawn Johnson?

Both would prefer to be on the receiving end of more spirals. But Van Buren--unlike his outspoken, pass-catching, book-writing counterpart with the New York Jets--is willing to be patient.

"We can't get the ball to everybody," Van Buren said.

Van Buren might be the best of a talented corps of receivers at Moorpark College. Yet, the former record-setting receiver for Newbury Park High was not among six Raiders who caught a pass Saturday in a 33-19 nonconference victory over Antelope Valley.

Only two passes were thrown Van Buren's way, one of which was intercepted. Van Buren strolled from the field after one series shaking his head. He approached Moorpark Coach Jim Bittner, holding his arms outstretched to make his point.

"We have eight excellent receivers on this team," Bittner said. "We're not concentrating on one guy."

Van Buren saw more action at free safety, a position he played in high school.

"Our defense needs my help," Van Buren said. "I'm basically whatever they want me to play. When the team needs me, I'll be a big-time wide receiver."


Moorpark linebacker Judd Granzow appeared every bit the Division I prospect he is supposed to be against Antelope Valley.

Granzow (6 feet 4, 225 pounds) who retired from baseball after one season in the Dodgers' organization, had three sacks, eight solo tackles and caused a fumble. Granzow penetrated with ease from his outside position.

"I feel quick out here," Granzow said.


It's D-Day for the players trying to make the Cal State Northridge women's golf travel squad.

Today nine golfers will play the last of five rounds to determine which five will compete for the Matadors in the Grizzlie Invitational on Sunday through Tuesday at Montana.

"We have four very solid players," Coach Carrie Leary said. "We lack a little bit of depth."

Not like last year, though, when Leary had to scrape together enough players to field a team.

Leary said that junior transfers Kimberly Kelly, from American River College in Sacramento, and Cheryl Musser, from San Diego State, probably will be the team's top players this season.


Kelly is already in love with the Simi Hills Golf Course in Simi Valley, where the Matadors often practice. Especially the 145-yard, par-3 17th hole.

"I got my first hole in one and my first eagle on the same golf course on the same back nine," said Kelly, who shoots in the high 70s.


The Northridge men's golf team, under 12-year Coach Jim Bracken, opens the season Monday in the two-day Pacific Invitational in Stockton.

Sophomore Tim Wren, who played in the U.S. Amateur in August, and senior Ryan Fowlkes are Northridge's top players.


Ryan Geisler didn't take long to earn a spot in the Cal Lutheran football record book.

On his second collegiate attempt, the freshman from Camarillo High split the uprights with plenty of room to spare from 57 yards out.

Geisler's field goal, just before the half against Pacific Lutheran last Saturday, topped the previous Cal Lutheran record of 53 held by Joe Haynoski, who did it in 1983 and 1984.

Geisler isn't the only Cal Lutheran kicker off to an impressive start.

Punter Jeff Shea is averaging 46.2 yards per punt. Against Pacific Lutheran, he kicked six times for an average of 49.1--including one of 75 yards.

Shea has led all Division III punters the past two seasons, averaging 44.9 and 45.3 yards.


Staff writer Fernando Dominguez and correspondent Lauren Peterson contributed to this notebook.

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