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TV Piqued Simelane's Interest

October 10, 1998

Harvard-Westlake (5-0), off to its best start in more than 10 years, has gotten a lift from free safety Lerato Simelane, a junior from South Africa.

Simelane had not played football until he arrived at the Studio City campus last year. Soccer has been his primary sport, but he has adapted quickly to football.

"We like him a lot," Wolverine Coach Dave Bennett said. "He's a fierce hitter."

Simelane said his only previous knowledge of football came from watching television.

"It looked fun," he said.

Last season, Simelane tested himself by trying to chase down running back Justin Fargas of Notre Dame. "I got a few tackles on him," he said.

As for his American experience, Simelane said, "It's a great country. People take sports seriously."

Have a cigar: Littlerock High assistant Tom Hegre's wife, Jamie, gave birth Friday to the couple's second child, daughter Aubrey.

Hegre was not present for the Lobos' nonleague game against Capistrano Valley. Before he left, however, he passed his responsibilities as running backs coach to Coach Jim Bauer.

"I can do that," Bauer joked. "You, run fast. You, score touchdowns. Simple as that."

Number game: When in doubt, go back to what works.

For Kennedy High wide receiver Matt Garnas, that means switching his uniform number to 45, the jersey he wore the last two years.

Garnas was an All-City receiver last year, but has been plagued by illness and dropped passes this season. Garnas was held out of the lineup by Coach Bob Francola last week against Chatsworth.

"He's back in my good graces," Francola said. "We'll see if this works."

Hush, hush: Reseda fullback Joseph Looney was justifiably proud of his offensive performance in the Regents' 24-7 victory over Grant. He had overcome nagging injuries to rush for 104 yards and a touchdown in nine carries.

But when he began to describe the nature of the injuries to a reporter, Reseda Coach Joel Schaeffer caught Looney's eye and wagged his finger, letting the player know he wasn't to divulge the information.

Said Schaeffer: "I don't like talking about injuries in the newspapers. [Quarterback] Skyler McKnight's ankle injury was in the paper last week and it looked like Grant went after [the ankle]."

Ankle tackles are rarely effective. Reseda outrushed Grant, 206-62, and controlled the ball for 35 minutes.

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