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Polk Uses Football to Set Good Example

November 10, 1998

Growing up in Pacoima, DaShon Polk discovered he could use football as his ticket to a free college education. The former Taft High defensive standout is taking full advantage.

As a starting outside linebacker for ninth-ranked Arizona, Polk recorded four tackles, including two for losses, as the Wildcats downed Washington State, 41-7, last Saturday. Arizona is 9-1 overall, 5-1 in the Pacific 10 Conference, and Polk has 44 tackles this season, including 10 for losses.

Playing major-college football is particularly rewarding for Polk, a 6-foot-3, 225-pound junior who left behind his grandfather and took with him the hopes and aspirations of his neighborhood when he went off to Tucson three years ago. He is on schedule to graduate next fall.

"I've got a lot of friends locked up in jail or resting in peace," he said. "I wish everybody could just experience this. Education is something you can't go anywhere without."


Former Agoura High linebacker Jon Gibbs had four solo tackles and six overall in Dartmouth's 24-14 loss to Columbia. Gibbs' 96 tackles, including 50 unassisted, are second on the team. . . . Former Taft High receiver Andre DeSaussure of Washington caught three passes for 93 yards in a 27-22 loss to Oregon. . . . John McLaughlin, a senior linebacker at California who played at Hart, contributed five tackles in the Bears' 55-22 loss to Arizona State. McLaughlin has made 27 tackles this season, seven for losses. . . . Linebacker Eric Guenther, a Westlake graduate, has received a medical redshirt year at Illinois after injuring a knee Sept. 19.

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