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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS | VALLEY YOUTH CONFERENCE
ALL-STAR FOOTBALL GAME NOTEBOOK

Fargas to Michigan, Woods Out in Cold

July 17, 1998|STEVE HENSON | TIMES STAFF WRITER

You walk around campus getting attention not because of who you are, but because you happen to be the best friend of Mr. Popularity.

Many high school students know that feeling. But few are used the way lineman Brandon Woods of Notre Dame believes he was.

Woods' close friend is running back Justin Fargas, one of the most highly recruited players in the nation. And when recruiters came to court Fargas, they sung their sweet songs to Woods as well.

No matter that at 6 feet 1, Woods might be a tad short to play big-time college football. He said USC recruiters told him if Fargas committed to their school, he would get a scholarship as well. Other schools did the same.

"It was unfair and disappointing, because when Justin committed to Michigan, I stopped hearing from anybody," Woods said. "Justin and I talked about it. It was an uncool situation."

Woods said only recruiters from UCLA were totally straight with him, telling him from the beginning he would have to walk on.

Playing for the East in the Valley Youth Conference All-Star game provides Woods an opportunity to impress recruiters solely on the merits of his own performance.

"It's the main reason I'm playing," he said. "I want to go to a four-year school."

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Perhaps the most versatile player on the East roster is Kjell Nesen, a quarterback from St. Francis who will attend Washington State.

Nesen, who is left-handed and left-footed, punts and kicks off.

He could be used at defensive back, the position he played at Westlake before transferring to St. Francis before his senior year.

"He is a really good athlete and he's picked up the offense fast," said co-Coach John Greaves. "We'll run more than we pass, but Kjell will have an opportunity to throw the ball."

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It has become a family tradition to play in the East-West game for the Scheper brothers. Mike from St. Francis is the starting center tonight for the East. Brother Dave was a center from Crespi who played in the 1976 game. Brother Paul was a running back from Granada Hills and a participant in the 1978 game.

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It's not only the boys who brave the sweltering heat and practice every day to mold a team by kickoff tonight.

Cheerleaders from the high schools represented on the playing field have learned new routines--and each other's names--during two-hour workouts every evening for two weeks.

Coaches from Spirit Club International have taught cheers to the girls, who graduated high school in June. In addition to cheers during the action, they will perform a dance routine at halftime.

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East co-coaches George Giannini and Greaves are taking the low-key approach typical in summer all-star games.

"This game is a reward for four years of high school ball and the guys should have a good time playing in it," Giannini said. "We aren't going to be drill sergeants here. We don't have time to teach fundamentals, either. We just tune them up and teach the plays."

Giannini, coaching in his fourth all-star game, enjoys meeting players from throughout the Valley.

"There are no big egos and that's refreshing," he said. "Nobody seems to be here to show how good they are."

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

West All-Stars

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No. Player, School Pos. 1 Mike Swanson, Valencia WR 2 Vinny Walker, Monroe RB 3 Adebola Jimoh, El Camino Real DB 5 Demond Daniels, El Camino Real WR-LB 6 Carlos Gomez, Canoga Park FB-LB 7 Scott Doherty, Birmingham QB 8 Robby Coppola, Calabasas RB-LB 9 Dave Rosenberg, Calabasas K-P 11 Sedric Hurns, Taft RB-DB 12 Ryan Martinez, Chatsworth QB-DB 13 Ray Rodriguez, Kennedy QB-DB 15 Kevin Cork, Crespi QB 19 Justin Stewart, Chaminade WR-DB 20 Airabin Justin, Taft DB 22 Jerel Lewis, Reseda TB 23 Jorge Rocha, Chatsworth WR 26 Quincy Wright, El Camino Real TB 28 Ronnie Lauer, Crespi WR 40 Mike Shoemaker, Canoga Park TE-LB 41 Tyler Brennan, Taft LB 44 Anthony Joseph, Kennedy FB-DL 45 James Webber, Chaminade LB 50 Jon Ellinghouse, Calabasas C-T 51 Mike Everlove, Valencia OL 52 Marlon Bourdess, Canoga Park FB-LB 56 Antoine Martin, Birmingham OL 63 Carlos Meza, Taft OL 64 Roger Mendez, Crespi OL 67 Darrin Bourgeous, El Camino Real DL 69 Adam Sylvester, Calabasas OL 71 Eric Nelson, Crespi C-DT 72 Brian Bilek, Crespi OL 74 Eric Beltran, Monroe OG 76 Vince Hernandez, Chatsworth OL 80 Leon Pimky, Granada Hills WR-DB

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Coach: Rick Hayashida, El Camino Real

East All-Stars

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