January 3, 2010
There was a time last summer when it seemed as if Westlake was not merely just a year away but perhaps not capable of getting there. The Warriors had only three returning starters on each side of the ball. Their defensive line was composed of two sophomores and two juniors with no varsity experience. "We didn't have any leadership on defense at all," Coach Jim Benkert said. Fortunately for Westlake, direction wasn't a problem when it came to coaching. The Times' coach of the year shifted hard-hitting senior Adrian Muguerza from free safety to linebacker before the season and instantly, Benkert said, "we were a better football team."
December 2, 2009 |
Debate continues to rage among sports fans in Southern California about what transpired in the final minute of the USC-UCLA football game. Was it appropriate for UCLA Coach Rick Neuheisel to call a timeout with 54 seconds left after USC took a knee leading, 21-7? Did USC Coach Pete Carroll make the right call to let quarterback Matt Barkley throw a 48-yard touchdown pass on the next play? Was the taunting from players just part of a rivalry game? Michael Josephson, who runs the Josephson Institute and created the "Character Counts" movement in high school sports competition, said, "I think this is sort of a sideshow.
September 28, 2009 |
Call it a kinetic anomaly. That's what happens when receiver Nelson Spruce of Westlake Village Westlake decides to twist, turn or contort his body, then somehow make a catch while defying gravity. He's always doing something to counter the defender when the ball is in motion, whether that means slowing up, speeding up or changing directions. "It's an ability to adjust to the football without the defensive back having an opportunity to make a play," Coach Jim Benkert said.
October 28, 2000 |
Jim Benkert smiled. For once, he wasn't the one getting soaked by ice water after the game. That honor, if it can be called that, was bestowed upon defensive coordinator Mike Leiben of Westlake High, who was shivering but smiling because his defense stymied Royal during a 33-15 victory. The Warriors held Royal to 192 yards--only 40 on the ground--and all but wrapped up a second consecutive Marmonte League championship Friday night at Royal.
January 6, 2000
OFFENSE *--* Pos. Name School Yr. Ht. Wt. B James Bethea Cleveland Sr. 5-11 180 B Curtis Brown Paraclete So. 6-0 170 B Matthew Hicks North Hollywood Sr. 5-11 200 B John Sciarra St. Francis Jr. 6-2 185 B Jason Winn Granada Hills Sr. 6-2 185 B Ruben Zaragoza Kennedy Sr. 5-10 150 R Steve Carballo Crescenta Valley Sr. 5-10 170 R Nathan Steele Saugus Sr. 6-1 170 L Chris Burgess Notre Dame Sr. 6-1 260 L Rusty Colburn Crescenta Valley Sr. 6-5 275 L Brook Emelio Alemany Sr.
December 9, 1999 |
From the day Jim Benkert walked to the front of the Westlake High theater and introduced himself to skeptical parents and players 11 years ago, he has bucked the stereotype of a football coach. No crooked nose. No gruffness. No oversized muscles gone soft. The blond Benkert looked more like Dennis the Menace than Don Shula. No one was thinking Boy Wonder. "They all figured I'd be a one-year wonder," Benkert said. Looks deceive.