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CaliFlorida Stars Brace for Heavyweight Battle

January 02, 2002|Eric Sondheimer

There are at least seven linemen weighing 300 pounds or more who are scheduled to play today in the CaliFlorida Bowl at 2:30 p.m. at El Camino College.

The play of the offensive and defensive lines could be critical in determining which team wins the third annual meeting between top high school football players from California and Florida.

California won the inaugural game, 21-11, at the Rose Bowl two years ago. Florida won last summer, 17-14, at UC Santa Barbara.

An all-star game matching players from the City Section and Southern Section will be held at 10:30 a.m. Admission is $10 for the doubleheader.

Florida has Gavin Dickey from Tallahassee Lincoln and left-hander Dan Shula from Ft. Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas as its quarterbacks. Dickey is being recruited by USC, Florida and Clemson.

California counters with Brigham Young-bound Ben Olson of Thousand Oaks, UCLA-bound Drew Olson of Piedmont and Arizona-bound Ryan O'Hara of Pasadena Muir. Some recruiting experts say Ben Olson is the No. 1 quarterback prospect in the nation. Drew Olson, also an outstanding baseball player, has impressed coaches in practice with his accuracy and athletic ability.

But it's the linemen who figure to make the difference. California's linemen are so feisty that Arizona-bound Tim Volk of Sherman Oaks Notre Dame got into a scuffle with Long Beach Poly 300-pounder Winston Justice during practice on Sunday. They had to be separated by coaches. Afterward, they shook hands.

California's hopes rest with having five players from Southern Section Division I champion Long Beach Poly on its roster, including running back Hershel Dennis, named the Glenn Davis Award winner by The Times as the top player in Southern California.

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