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Victory Not In the Cards


This was no card trick, and it was more tragic than it was magic.

Monroe High forfeited a nonleague City Section football game to Canoga Park on Friday after it was discovered the Vikings were without their mandatory emergency cards.

Rules require each team to have the cards, which detail each player's medical insurance information and include consent waivers for medical treatment, signed by parents or guardians.

On Saturday, Coach Chris Richards of Monroe was still baffled.

"We came back and looked everywhere," Richards said. "I know those cards were in our emergency kit."

Richards said he personally saw the cards in the kit when he stocked medical supplies on Thursday evening, and that they were there when team managers set the kit on the sidelines upon the team's arrival at Canoga Park on Friday. However, he stopped short of accusing Canoga Park of wrong-doing.

"I wouldn't say [they took them]," said Richards, whose team was trailing, 14-12, at halftime when the game was forfeited. "They couldn't have possibly known where they were in order to take them, but [the cards] disappeared sometime between when we got off the bus and when we needed them."

The Vikings needed the cards in the first quarter, when running back Steve Trammel injured his knee.

After an extensive search, school officials decided to call the game.

Richards isn't taking any chances again.

When the team returned to school, Richards handed out new cards, which players completed and returned Saturday morning.

"I made several copies of them so this doesn't happen in the future," Richards said. "The originals will stay in the emergency kit, my wife has copies and she'll be in the stands and each kid has a copy of their card. Several others will have copies too."

It was a difficult loss for Monroe (0-2) which faces resurgent Cleveland (2-0) next week and three-time Southern Section champion Paraclete (1-1) the next.

"We felt this was an opportunity for us to really rebound from the Hart game [a 36-6 opening loss]," Richards said. "But every time we try to get a leg up, the fence seems to get higher."


When the season began, Hart and St. Francis appeared destined to meet in the Southern Section Division III final.

Suddenly, neither seems so invincible.

St. Francis, the favorite in the Mission League, was upset, 24-14, by Crescenta Valley on Friday and Hart's sputtering but potentially potent offense will likely have to make do without standout junior running back Tim Gregory for at least a week.

Gregory, who rushed for 1,334 yards and 17 touchdowns as a sophomore, injured his right knee on a defensive play Friday against Thousand Oaks and is doubtful for Thursday's televised showdown with Westlake.

X-rays were negative on Saturday, but Gregory plans to see an orthopedic doctor and probably will have an MRI performed early this week, his father, Pete, said.

The apparent vulnerability of the division favorites leaves a door open for challengers.

Crescenta Valley (2-0), ranked sixth in the division, has won or shared two of the last three Pacific League championships and has a history of first-round playoff disappointments. But victories over respected Thousand Oaks and No. 2 St. Francis have shown the Falcons are a legitimate challenger threat for the title.

No. 3 Notre Dame (2-0) has throttled its opponents by a combined 65-6 margin and No. 4 Peninsula, a semifinalist last season in Division II, is 2-0 after rallying to defeat No. 5 Valencia, 25-21, Friday.

Hart, two-time defending champion, has won 25 consecutive games and is still the class of the division.

However, an offense that averaged almost four passing touchdowns a game in 1999 has thrown only three in two games, and Stanford-bound quarterback Kyle Matter was sacked nine times by Thousand Oaks.


Funeral services for former Lancaster lineman Majdy Haddad are tentatively scheduled for Wednesday.

Haddad, the Golden League's lineman of the year as a senior last season, and a co-worker at a Palmdale convenience store were killed Wednesday during a robbery.

On Friday night, Lancaster players wore Haddad's former No. 77 on their helmets.

"We dedicated the game and the season to Majdy," quarterback Josh Pratt said.

At halftime, Haddad's sister spoke to the home crowd at Lancaster, and the Eagles rallied from a 7-7 tie to claim an emotional 29-7 victory over Sultana.

There are plans to retire Haddad's uniformwith a ceremony most likely taking place during the school's homecoming game on Oct. 20 against Palmdale.

Coach Troy Jackson plans to cancel practice the day of the funeral to allow players to attend.

"I'm not interested in getting them focused on football that day," he said. "Football is secondary to what is going on with these kids.

"This is a big impact on our kids and our community. A lot of people are walking around in a daze right now."


Kickers took the spotlight in several Friday games:

* Jake Read's 20-yard field goal with 11 seconds left gave Littlerock (2-0) a 10-9 victory over Silverado.

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