Scott Provin is going through his holiday routine again. He has a week off to visit his family and friends in Torrance, spend an abbreviated Christmas at home and prepare for another bowl game.
‘Tis the season to be busy for a University of Miami football player.
Provin, an offensive guard for the Hurricanes and a former standout at West Torrance High and El Camino College, will play in his second consecutive bowl game when Miami faces Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl on New Year’s Day.
The winner will probably be crowned the national champion, but such affairs are old hat for Provin.
This marks the third time in the last six years that Provin heads into the final game of the season with a chance to play on an unbeaten and untied team.
The first time was in 1982, the year West went 14-0 to win the CIF Coastal Conference championship. Provin was an offensive tackle for the Warriors, who defeated Santa Monica in the title game.
“Going into the CIF championship, I wasn’t used to playing in big games,” Provin recalled. “I remember gagging before the game. I was a nervous wreck.
“The last couple of years I’ve grown accustomed to playing in big games. I’m able to relax a little more now.”
As a redshirt junior, Provin watched his Miami teammates play in the Sugar Bowl. Last season he played offensive tackle as No. 1 Miami fell to Penn State in the Fiesta Bowl, ruining the Hurricanes’ chances of a national championship and an unbeaten season.
Of the Fiesta Bowl, Provin said: “It was the biggest, most dramatic thing that ever happened to me.”
The 6-foot-5, 247-pound senior is hoping for a better outcome in the Orange Bowl, which he says might be his last football game.
“I’m a pretty light guard,” he said. “I have friends playing in the pros who weigh 280 and 285. Being realistic, this will probably be my last game.”
Provin figures to get along fine without football. A business management major, he carries a 3.0 grade-point average and recently was one of 54 players across the nation who received the Toyota Leadership Award for excellence on the field and in the classroom. He will graduate in May.
“Beating Oklahoma and winning the national title would be a good way to go out,” he said. “I hope everything works out because it would be like a dream season.”
Provin enjoyed something of a dream season his senior year at West. The Warriors, under former Coach Fred Petersen, were one of the dominant teams in Southern California and regularly blew out opponents.
Provin is the only member of the 1982 West team still playing football. He didn’t go out for the sport until his junior year, at the urging of his close friend, Steve Center, the quarterback for West’s championship team.
He had only competed in volleyball up to that point.
“My first year in football I was totally clueless,” Provin recalled. “I didn’t even know how to get into a stance.”
He quickly learned with the help of assistant coach Fred Burch and was a pivotal member of West’s unbeaten team the next year. Provin fondly remembers that season.
“It was a totally different experience than at Miami,” he said. “I was playing with friends whom I had known since kindergarten. Back in Miami, I’m playing with guys I’ve just met.”
But there are similarities.
Provin says Miami quarterback Steve Walsh reminds him of Center because “he’s usually pretty calm, but when things get intense, he gets excited.” Miami linebacker George Mira Jr. reminds him of former West standout Greg Bochesa because “he’s a really intense player.” Provin compares Miami wide receiver Michael Irvin with Loren Richey, an All-CIF receiver at West who went on to star at El Camino and Utah, because “both are always open.”
Provin, who arrived in town Monday night, will fly to Miami on Christmas Day so he can report to a team meeting on Dec. 26. It will be the third straight year he carries out the routine.
“I stuff the Christmas tree in the car,” he says, “and leave for the airport.”
Awaiting Provin is another chance for a perfect season.
Westchester, winner of last week’s Tournament of Champions, will take a step up in competition beginning Saturday when it opens the Las Vegas Holiday Prep Basketball Classic at the University of Nevada.
Palos Verdes and Serra are also in the tournament, which includes three teams ranked in the USA Today Super 25--No. 11 Coolidge of Washington, D. C., No. 18 Springfield Gardens of New York and No. 25 Douglass of Atlanta.
The 29-team tournament is the largest holiday meet in the nation.
First-round games match Westchester (7-0) against Kofa of Yuma, Ariz., Palos Verdes (7-2) against Oak Hill of Mouth of Wilson, Va., and Serra (4-4) against Las Vegas Western.
Second-round games and the quarterfinals will be played Monday, with the semifinals Tuesday and the finals on Wednesday.
St. Bernard (7-2) begins play Monday in the Kingdom of the Sun Tournament in Ocala, Fla.
Oops Dept.--In the program for this week’s Glendale Kiwanis Basketball Tournament, there are brief descriptions of each of the competing teams, including Banning High. Apparently the writer got his Bannings mixed up. Instead of Banning of Wilmington, which is playing in the tournament, the write-up is on Banning of Riverside County, which is not in the tournament.
Eight South Bay players, including three from Camino Real League champion Serra, have been named to the All-CIF football teams in the Southern, Coastal and Northwestern conferences.
Serra is represented on the Northwestern Conference team by quarterback Eric Hamilton, defensive lineman Erik Simien and defensive back Deon Figures.
Linebacker Greg Franklin and defensive back Anthony Jefferson of Leuzinger were also selected to the Northwestern team, as was El Segundo defensive end Heath Jones.
South Torrance tight end Brett Austin, the Bay League player of the year, was chosen to the Coastal Conference squad.
Hawthorne quarterback Curtis Conway, The Times South Bay Back of the Year, was selected to the Southern Conference team.
PREP NOTES--In a rematch of last year’s CIF 4-A soccer final, West Torrance defeated Mater Dei, 2-1, in two overtimes Tuesday to win its second consecutive South Torrance Holiday Classic title. Mickey Gray scored the game-winner with 30 seconds left in the second overtime as West improved to 12-0. West and Mater Dei tied for the 4-A title, 1-1, a year ago. . . . With a 61-50 win over Thousand Oaks on Tuesday, the Morningside girls basketball team upped its record to 12-1 and made the finals of a tournament for the third time this season in the Tournament of Champions at Santa Barbara High. The Lady Monarchs faced Santa Barbara for the title Wednesday night. . . . Junior forward Mike Houck, the leading scorer and rebounder for Redondo’s basketball team, will be out of the lineup at least until Jan. 5 with a sprained ankle.