February 17, 2012 |
"Undefeated" presents itself as a look at a single season in the life of a striving high school football team in impoverished North Memphis, Tenn., but really it's about so much more. Like all memorable sports documentaries — and this Oscar-nominated film is definitely one of those — "Undefeated" is really an examination not of how games are won and lost but how lives are lived, how young people faced with daunting challenges come to see, often in the most dramatic fashion, what is important going forward and what is not. "If you think football builds character, it does not," Bill Courtney, the volunteer coach central to the success of both the film and the Manassas High School team shrewdly observes.
September 12, 1989 |
There is a song being played on local radio stations and it is growing in popularity. It is a heroic tale of a man coming down from the mountains to lead a people out of darkness. Or, in this case, a university. The song is "Sparky Rock" and the subject is Sparky Woods, new football coach at the University of South Carolina. "Down from the mountains in the Appalachian land, "Came a young coach with the future in his hand. " . . . To lead the fighting Gamecocks on to solid ground."
October 27, 1994 |
When Cal State Northridge first opened its doors in 1958, students held an election to select school colors and an athletic nickname. Wise guys served up hundreds of sarcastic nominations that ranged from obscure to absurd. Printable nominees included Aeolians, Minotaurs, Sundogs, Hustlers, Phaetons, Chmultapultapecs, Outcasts and Desert Rats. Hustlers. Outcasts. Hmm. Certain color schemes were just as unpalatable. Try flame and emerald, yellow and lavender, pink and black or plaid and white.
September 9, 1992 |
The idea came to Los Alamitos High School football Coach John Barnes while he was watching Esperanza's 38-35 victory over Newhall Hart in the Southern Section Division III semifinals two seasons ago. "That year, I thought teams were overpowering us, and I was looking for a change," he said. "I watched Hart almost beat Esperanza with the run-and-shoot, and that was the year Esperanza was shutting everybody out. "I liked the way Hart spread the offense from sideline to sideline.
March 12, 1996 |
The Seattle Seahawks' formal presentation of their proposed move to Southern California was met with a mixture of laughter and disbelief by the rest of the NFL here Monday. Club executives dismissed a one-hour argument by Ron Olson, lawyer for Seahawk owner Ken Behring, that the league is gambling with the safety of its players and fans by playing in a building that is not earthquake proof. The Seahawks are using that argument in an attempt to break their Kingdome lease with 10 years remaining.
October 17, 1997 |
Just before halftime, with the score 41-0, the football players from Poly High in Sun Valley realized they were headed for another big loss. Linebackers during last Friday's game at Sylmar started arguing with defensive linemen. The quarterback hung his head. "That's when I get worried," cornerback David Valencia said. "I wonder if things will ever get better." Poly is smaller and slower than most of its opponents.
October 23, 1993 |
Before Wisconsin was undefeated, before ESPN and ABC began courting the Badgers, before the school's team was ranked 15th and mentioned in the same sentence with the Rose Bowl, there was an incident. It happened several years ago. Wisconsin Coach Barry Alvarez was the guest speaker at a local Lumberman's Assn. meeting when he overheard someone at a nearby table happily announce that he wasn't going to renew his Badger football season tickets. "I gave them up," said the lumberman.
January 4, 1995
Would anyone believe the Coach of the Year had a .500 record after four games this season? Actually, yes. That's because Antelope Valley High's Brent Newcomb has been around the block a few times--make that 17 times--and he knows a thing or two about scheduling. Because it's not how you start, it's how you finish. That's why Newcomb schedules the toughest folks he can find for early season nonleague games.
December 6, 1988
The Ivy and Citrus Belt leagues from the Inland Empire are well-represented in the 30th Annual Times football awards. Quarterback Terry Payne and wide receiver Curt Callicott from Hemet are among nine players from four schools in the Division IV Ivy League, which also includes players from Arlington, Palm Springs and Ramona, the Ivy League champion. Payne threw for 1,680 yards and 18 touchdowns, including 10 to Callicott, who caught 39 passes.
August 15, 1994 |
The last time the Chapman University Panthers football team ran out onto a field, Franklin D. Roosevelt had just been elected and the New Deal promised relief to a nation mired in the Great Depression. Sixty-two years later, players will once again don helmets and pads and march onto the gridiron this September. This time, the team will play home games in Orange--not Los Angeles--and will no longer carry its old name of California Christian.