Fullerton, Saddleback: No to PONY Bowl

Times Staff Writer

As expected, Saddleback and Fullerton colleges were invited Tuesday to play in the fifth PONY Bowl Dec. 7 in LeBard Stadium.

However, both schools unexpectedly declined to accept--at least for now.

For the record:

12:00 a.m. Nov. 14, 1985 For The Record
Los Angeles Times Thursday November 14, 1985 Orange County Edition Sports Part 3 Page 19 Column 1 Sports Desk 1 inches; 30 words Type of Material: Correction
A headline in Wednesday’s Times said Fullerton and Saddleback colleges declined invitations to the 1985 PONY Bowl. The two schools are still considering the bids and are expected to make their decisions Sunday.

Fullerton was the first to turn down Keith Calkins, PONY Bowl manager and chairman of the game’s selection committee. Calkins said that Hal Sherbeck, Fullerton coach, told him he wanted to wait until Sunday morning before making a final decision.

Then Calkins, who is Saddleback’s director of health, recreation and physical education, was turned down by his own coach, Ken Swearingen, who apparently didn’t want to accept a bid that Fullerton did not think enough of to accept right away.


That all left Calkins feeling a bit befuddled.

“I think that a Saddleback-Fullerton game is the best matchup we could have in Orange County and the premiere bowl game in the state, and I mean that objectively,” Calkins said. “I don’t know why Fullerton said no and I don’t know why we said no.

“We’re undefeated (9-0) and could win the national championship. But to do that, we’ll have to play somebody in a bowl game.”

That somebody in all likelihood, will be still be Fullerton. But why didn’t Sherbeck accept Tuesday and make the third Fullerton-Saddleback PONY Bowl matchup in five years official? Why the pregame posturing?

First, Fullerton (6-2) still clings to its remote hopes of playing Santa Rosa (8-0), the top-ranked team in the state by the JC Athletic Bureau, in the Shrine Potato Bowl in Bakersfield.

But Taft (6-1-1), which lost to Fullerton two weeks ago, has already been invited to the Potato Bowl, and Herb Loken, game manager, expects the Cougars to accept and play either College of the Sequoias (7-2) or Glendale (8-1).

“We don’t expect a response until after this week, but we don’t expect Taft to turn us down, either,” Loken said.

And even if Taft should pull a surprise and turn down the Potato Bowl, an additional corporate sponsor would have to be found to help defray the travel costs of Santa Rosa and Fullerton in order to make that North vs. South matchup a reality.


So, in other words, don’t expect Fullerton to go to Bakersfield.

Second, Sherbeck, who was unavailable for comment Tuesday night, may have declined to accept the PONY Bowl invitation in order to help the first-place Hornets to avoid a letdown in this Saturday’s Pac-9 Conference game against last-place Mt. San Antonio.

Swearingen didn’t want to discuss the PONY Bowl Tuesday night. In fact, he wouldn’t even confirm Saddleback had declined its invitation.