Notebook / Ray Ripton : Ex-Santa Monica High Grid Star May Be Near End of Pro Career

Mel Kaufman, linebacker for the 1988 Super Bowl-champion Washington Redskins and a former Santa Monica High School star, may be nearing the end of his professional career.

A United Press International story by Will Dunham from the Redskins’ mini-camp in Herndon, Va., said this week that Kaufman “failed his mini-camp physical because of (what was termed) career-threatening nerve damage in his neck.” The story added that Bubba Tyer, the team’s trainer, said Kaufman will be examined again before the Redskins begin training camp on July 17 and that a decision on his future with the team will be made then.

Tyer was quoted as saying that Kaufman, a six-year veteran, suffered “weakness and atrophy in his right arm” because of the nerve damage and that he has had the injury for several years. He said that the injury has degenerated to the point where “we can’t risk him playing football.”


Six former Westside prep football stars, including starting junior offensive guard Larry Jones of Hamilton High and redshirt freshman running back Amani Davis of University High, were on the spring roster for the University of Hawaii.

The 6-4, 263-pound Jones is a returning starter, and Davis is pushing two seniors and a sophomore for playing time at running back, according to Hawaii’s spring prospectus.

Other local players on the roster are sophomore slotback David Brantley of Westchester High, sophomore offensive tackles Sean Robinson, listed as a former Palisades High player, and Alfred Sanders of Crenshaw, and junior running back Lamar Young of St. Bernard. Grant Pittman, a wide receiver for St. Bernard last year, is listed as an incoming freshman in the fall.

Three boys and two girl Westside prep athletes were among 174 high school seniors honored as CIF-Southern Section student-athletes of the year before last Monday night’s baseball game between the Angels and the Cleveland Indians at Anaheim Stadium.

Westside honorees and their grade point averages are Glyn Milburn of Santa Monica High, 3.59; Rod Landis of St. Bernard, 3.64; James Brennan of St. Monica, 3.88; Kristin Klein of Marymount, 3.59, and Lindsey Caron Kozberg of Los Angeles Westlake, 3.7.

Those honored had to have maintained at least 3.5 grade point average in college preparatory courses for the last three years, lettered in at least one varsity sport and participated in an extracurricular activity.