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Some Agoura Fans Choose to Cheer for Extra Credit

October 30, 1998|PETER YOON

The stakes were high for the Agoura High water polo team, and Coach Jason Rosenthal looked for any edge to help his team in its game against 17-time Marmonte League champion Royal last Friday.

Bribery was not overlooked.

Rosenthal, who teaches four physical education classes at Agoura, offered extra credit to any of his students who attended the game. Students could chose between 10 extra points or a waiver from a required one-mile run this week.

Nearly half of Rosenthal's 220 students took him up on the offer, helping the Chargers draw a school-record crowd of more than 400 to watch Agoura defeat Royal, 9-8. The decision all but assured that Royal will not win at least a share of the league title for the first time since 1980.

"We wanted to get a big crowd out there," said Rosenthal, whose team gave Royal its first home loss since 1986 earlier this season. "It was a big game and we wanted to make sure it would be a tough place for Royal to play."

Rosenthal said he has offered extra credit for attending games in the past, but he had never allowed students the option of sitting out a run.

"Those who needed the points, took the points," he said. "But a lot came out to miss the run. As long as they do everything else that's required in the class, it's a good way to get them involved."

Rosenthal said the tactic actually attracted new fans.

"I've had a lot of them ask me when our next home game is," he said.

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Ventura suffered its first loss of the season Tuesday, in triple-overtime against defending Southern Section Division IV champion Santa Barbara, 12-11.

The Cougars (21-1), top ranked in Division IV entering the game, defeated third-ranked Santa Barbara by a goal earlier in the season. The season series likely will be decided in the playoff semifinals or final.

"Hopefully it will be a loss we get out of our system and we'll stop worrying about losing one game," Ventura Coach Joe Abing said.

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Harvard-Westlake was forced to revise its plans before traveling to Loyola for a Mission League game Wednesday.

Rich Corso, coach of Harvard-Westlake, originally thought it was a home game, since the Wolverines played at Loyola last year.

"Apparently there's some kind of two-year cycle I wasn't aware of," he said.

Corso takes his team to the 16-team John Felix Cal State Invitational tournament this weekend at Bellarmine Prep in San Jose. Among the top tournaments in the nation, it features defending champions from the Southern, Central, Sac-Joaquin, North Coast, Central Coast and San Diego sections of the CIF.

Harvard-Westlake opens play against Sac-Joaquin champion Sacramento Jesuit today at 8 a.m.

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

The Top Five

Rankings of boys' water polo teams from the region

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RK LW School (League) 1 1 Harvard-Westlake (Mission) 2 2 Ventura (Channel) 3 3 La Canada (Rio Hondo) 4 4 Glendale (Pacific) 5 5 Crescenta Valley (Pacific)

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