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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS

High School Notebook

November 16, 2000|LAUREN PETERSON

After sitting out two seasons, senior linebacker Andrew Juarez of Rio Mesa decided to tackle football again.

Juarez, 6 feet and 225 pounds, finished with a team-high 63 tackles and was a bright spot in a tough season for the Spartans (1-9).

"I missed it," Juarez said. "I just figured I had one more year left, and I wanted to play. I just tried my hardest, did my best."

Juarez had 11 tackles for losses, three fumble recoveries and three forced fumbles.

After playing as a freshman, Juarez was academically ineligible as a sophomore and decided not to play last season to focus on other interests.

Among his pastimes is the custom restoration of bikes and cars.

As a 12-year-old in 1994, Juarez won the Lowrider Supershow bike of the year award, earning a spot on the cover of Lowrider magazine with a Sting Ray bicycle that had a car frame welded onto it.

"The trophy was bigger than me," Juarez said.

On one side of the baseball-themed bike was a mural of a baseball field with Juarez's favorite player, Barry Bonds. On the other side was a picture of Juarez in an all-star uniform from his youth-baseball days.

Juarez, 17, has since graduated to cars. He, his father and uncle are working on a 1996 Honda Civic with Oxnard boxers Fernando Vargas and Robert Garcia painted on it, and Juarez also has a 1964 Chevy Impala that he plans to restore.

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