Fall Notebook / Sam Farmer : College Debut Unfulfilling for Lopez

Ronnie Lopez made an inauspicious debut at quarterback in Pierce College’s 20-7 opening-night loss to East L.A. College last Saturday.

Lopez, who led Franklin High to the City Section 3-A Division championship last year, completed 12 of 29 passes for 142 yards and a touchdown.

He also threw two passes that were intercepted. Lopez had just 6 passes intercepted in 202 attempts last season.

Lopez said a thumb injury on his throwing hand in the first half of Saturday’s game affected his play.


“The ball started going off everywhere,” he said. “The receivers were running good patterns but I couldn’t get it to them.”

If Pierce is to be successful, Lopez said, the Brahmas will have to work together more efficiently.

“If we would have played as a team, we would have dogged them,” he said.

Twice as nice: Jeff Sofro, an All-Southern Section selection in basketball and baseball, will attempt to play both sports as a walk-on at Pepperdine this year. Sofro was also a Times All-Glendale selection in basketball and the Times’ Player of the Year in baseball.


He began preseason training with the basketball team last Thursday, and it didn’t take long for him to learn that the differences between high school and Division I play are hardly subtle.

“It’s quite a step up from high school competition,” said Sofro, who averaged 22 points per game at Glendale. “It’s really tough.”

Kendall leads: With his Labor Day victory at Lime Rock, Conn., Tom Kendall moved into first place in the International Motor Sports Assn., GTU standings with 105 points.

Kendall, a resident of La Canada, finished second to Dorsey Schroeder in the race but passed Amos Johnson by 10 points in the standings. It is the first time this season that Kendall has held sole possession of first place.


“You never like to finish second,” said Kendall, a two-time IMSA GTU-class champion. “But it’s nice to be in the lead points-wise.”

Kendall said his biggest concern is keeping his car running. Kendall finished a disappointing eighth at Sears Point in Sonoma, Calif., last month after his Chevrolet Beretta had problems with a fuel pump.

“The point is now to finish,” he said. “Even if I have to get out and push it.”

Placing third in the next three races would score more points than winning two races and missing a third.


“A year from now, nobody will remember who won the last three races,” he said. “They’ll just remember who the champion is. I just have to keep telling myself that.”

Kendall will race at Watkins Glen, N.Y., Sept. 25 and in a Columbus, Ohio, street race the following week.

Occidental outranked: Though the Occidental soccer team lost both matches on a road swing through Colorado last weekend, both Division III opponents were nationally ranked. The Tigers lost 4-1 to Colorado College, ranked third in the Far West, and 2-0 to top-ranked St. John’s.

“We showed flashes of brilliance but we couldn’t put it through,” said goalkeeper Chris Owen, adding that in the St. John’s match Occidental missed opportunities on a penalty kick and two one-on-one situations.


The Tigers hope to improve on last season’s fourth-place finish in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.