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El Camino Real Is Carrying Thoughts of Reseda Player

September 24, 2003|Eric Stephens

Woodland Hills El Camino Real has had some lean years of late, so last week's 45-6 victory over Reseda ordinarily would have been worth celebrating. The Conquistadores are 3-0, their best start since winning their first four in their City 3-A championship season of 1997.

However, with the news of Reseda player Nick Zemke being in a coma after the junior collapsed during the game, El Camino Real Coach Rick Hayashida said the first day back at practice was difficult.

"They're still thinking about it," Hayashida said. "We have the type of kids who are much like theirs and they were thinking to themselves, 'Hey, that could be me.' "

Although Zemke's condition has cast a pall, the Conquistadores are focusing on improving upon their quick start.

Leading the way for El Camino are running back-safety Matthew Sattler and quarterback Daray Davis, who has been equally adept at running and throwing the ball.

Sattler, a 6-foot, 220-pound senior, established himself as one of the City's better running backs by rushing for 1,259 yards last season. He has gained 395 yards in two games this season.

"He's tough to bring down," Hayashida said. "I think he's been more impressive on defense. He's on the field all the time."


El Camino's season-opening victory Aug. 22 was special for Hayashida. With nearly $30,000 raised from players' parents and other sources, the Conquistadores took their first trip to Hawaii and came home with a 29-15 victory over Kauai High.

The game was played as a tribute to Hayashida's late grandfather, Mac Kawa- mura, who lived on Kauai and was a big supporter of the high school's athletic program.

"It was one of the things I wanted to do," Hayashida said. "It was great to see the players jumping off waterfalls and seeing the nature on the island."

-- Eric Stephens

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