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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS | HIGH SCHOOL NOTEBOOK

Wolverine Fans Also Came Up a Bit Empty

September 13, 2000|ERIC SONDHEIMER

Harvard-Westlake is known for its strong academics and athletics, but fan support is dwindling.

The Wolverines had fewer than 100 people in the bleachers Thursday night at Valley College for their opener against Channel Islands.

"I think the main issue is emphasis on academics," quarterback Richard Irvin said. "Even myself, that night I had a good deal of homework to do."

Players sought to generate interest and support from students, but their recruiting drive didn't produce the desired results.

This is the first year Harvard-Westlake is holding some of its home games at Valley College so it can play at night. The Wolverines are among the few schools in the region that don't charge admission.

The school's 1,550 students come from a wide area, including Santa Monica, Long Beach, East L.A., Alhambra and Thousand Oaks.

"It's tough to get kids to travel distances on school days," Headmaster Thomas Hudnut said.

The Wolverines play a 2 p.m. game at their Studio City campus on Saturday.

"We'll do better," Hudnut said.

*

Guess what was the first offensive play in Oaks Christian history? The fumblerooski.

Coach Bill Redell, in his debut as coach at the new Westlake Village school, let freshman offensive guard Scott Feskens carry the ball and he ran 45 yards to the one-yard line.

"I bet the director of finance we'd score on the first play," Redell said. "It cost me a dinner."

Redell doesn't usually call plays during games, but his offensive coordinator, Mark Bates, couldn't attend Friday's opener against Bell-Jeff after undergoing an emergency appendectomy.

"I had to work this time," Redell said.

Oaks Christian won, 30-8, before more than 1,000 fans at its new stadium. It is playing a junior varsity schedule this season.

"There's a real sense of excitement going through this place," Redell said.

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