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PREP EXTRA / A weekly look at the high school sports
scene in the Southland

Crenshaw Has Become a Power in Football

October 22, 1998|GARY KLEIN

Crenshaw High has won 16 City Section basketball championships, but the Cougars have yet to win a major division football title.

That could change this season if Coach Robert Garrett's team can maintain the level of play it exhibited two weeks ago in a 28-6 Southern Pacific Conference victory over two-time defending champion San Pedro.

Crenshaw, 4-2 overall and 3-0 in the conference, experienced a letdown of sorts last Friday in an 8-0 victory over Washington. The Cougars will need to be on their game Friday in a key Southern Pacific game against Banning.

"I think we celebrated a little too long after beating San Pedro," Garrett said. "We have a 24-hour rule around here, and the players let it go over 72. That causes problems in your next game."

Crenshaw had reason to celebrate.

The loss was only the second in 33 games for San Pedro.

"It means a little bit more to beat a team like San Pedro," Garrett said. "When schools from the South Bay come here, they do a lot of crying about lack of facilities. I say, when you go to Rome, do as the Romans do. If you come to dinner at my house, don't bring your own plate and fork."

Senior quarterback Keenan Carter has been the leader of a team that also is getting exceptional performances from running back Terrence Whitehead, wide receiver Markus Green and linebacker Jamel Applewhite.

"In the past, I think some of the kids viewed hard work as punishment," Garrett said. "This group looks forward to getting out there and doing the things in practice that are necessary to win."

Garrett said a 38-22 loss to City 4-A runner-up Woodland Hills Taft on Sept. 18 and a 34-12 loss to Southern Section power Loyola paved the way for the Cougars' 3-0 start in conference play.

"Those teams were scheduled with a definite purpose in mind," Garrett said. "You can't afford to relax for a minute against a team like Loyola. Even though we lost, we learned.

"That experience is serving us well."

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