The L.A. Harbor football team against Valley College last week was not the same group of rowdy boys we saw two weeks ago against Bakersfield when four Seahawk players were ejected.
Harbor lost to Valley, 30-20, but drill sergeant and Coach Chris Ferragamo made sure his team was disciplined.
Who knows what Ferragamo, who was upset about an article that appeared in The Times on the Bakersfield incident, told his players? They looked like candles in pads and helmets, standing quietly on the sideline.
“We know we were a bunch of goody-goodies,” Ferragamo said. “Not much was said in the first half and there wasn’t much enthusiasm. I mean we were real good. There was tremendous team discipline. Now we’re going to be more voiceful. We’re going to say more and get into the game more.”
Offensive line coach Jim True will appear on the Harbor sideline after last week’s absence. He wasn’t a recipient of Ferragamo’s conduct indoctrination since he was banned from the game.
The action was taken against True for being involved in a heated shoving incident with trainer David Lew as Lew attempted to help an injured player on the field during the Bakersfield game. No other disciplinary action was taken by Harbor officials.
Defense continues to be Harbor’s strength, especially now that there’s a dent in the Seahawks’ offense.
Against Valley linebacker Sam Rizzuto had 11 tackles, defensive tackle Aaron Pulliam had made six and defensive end Kevin Johnson had four sacks. Jimmy DeLos Santos and defensive back John Williams each had one interception.
Offense remains a problem for the Seahawks however, especially with last week’s injury of quarterback Ed Lopez, who sprained a tendon in the thumb of his right hand.
Freshman Grant Beachley from San Pedro High took over and is expected to replace Lopez in this week’s game against Compton.
The 6-foot-3, 190-pound freshman connected with Michael Williams for a 17-yard touchdown pass against Valley, but Ferragamo says he still has a lot to learn about the Harbor offense.
“He’s very young and very raw,” Ferragamo said. “He seeks out receivers very well, but he’s just raw.”
It was evident in El Camino’s 31-31 tie against unranked Golden West College that the Warrior defense wasn’t in full force. Actually, it hasn’t been all season.
El Camino hasn’t played a game this year in which all five of its starters on defense have been healthy.
Defensive back Larry Bonner, linebackers Tui Suiaunoa, Ed Ulufanua and Paul Hill and defensive lineman Mark Comings have suffered injuries, so El Camino has started nine freshman a game.
Last week it couldn’t stop Golden West running back Blaise Bryant, who gained 277 yards and scored 3 touchdowns on 39 carries.
“It takes a while for freshman to get accustomed,” said Coach John Featherstone. “Unfortunately, every week we’re going to be overmatched physically.”
But Featherstone is still extremely optimistic about the remainder of the season despite his banged up defense and quarterback Frank Dolce’s ankle injury, which is expected to keep him out of this week’s game.
“We had some very positive meetings this week,” Featherstone said, “and we talked about what we need to do to get back on track. I mean we’re only three points away from being undefeated.”
El Camino still dropped from No. 2 in the state to No. 9 after losing 38-36 to Fullerton, and this week, the Warriors aren’t ranked in the top 20.
El Camino place-kicker Dominic Cefalone was named the Junior College Athletic Bureau’s special team player of the week for his performance against Golden West.
Aside from his game-tying, 56-yard field goal with no time on the clock, Cefalone was 4 for 4 in point-after kicks and 4 of his 5 kickoffs weren’t returned.
Not bad for a guy who had ankle problems earlier this season and suffered tonsillitis two weeks ago.
Cefalone wasn’t the only El Camino player who stood out.
Running back Neil Tuihalamaka was the team’s offensive player of the week for his excellent blocking, running and 55 yards rushed, and linebacker Edward Togia was named the defensive player of the week. The 5-foot-11, 230-pound freshman had 16 tackles, 1 sack and caused a fumble.
Talk about foot action, L.A. Southwest’s Jason Thompson made a 57-yard boot last week to put the Cougars on the scoreboard in the fourth quarter in their 56-3 loss against Bakersfield. The kick broke a school record.
“It was the only bright spot in that game,” said Southwest Coach Henry Washington, whose team is 2-2.
Thompson was redshirted last year at El Camino where he was up against Cefalone.
“He wanted a place where he could come and kick,” Washington said, “and believe me I welcomed him with open arms.”
For the first time this season, El Camino cross-country star Chris Hamilton didn’t place first in a race. The sophomore, who will skip today’s Mt. San Antonio College Invitational because of a sore hamstring, has won four of the Warriors’ five races this season.
But settling for second place in last week’s Irvine Invitational wasn’t all bad since El Camino took first out of 24 teams with 55 points.
Hamilton finished the 3.1- mile course in 18:59. Gina Kang came in second for El Camino and fifth overall (19:32) and Kelly Griebel placed sixth in the race as El Camino’s third finisher (19:34).
The men’s team, undefeated in the South Coast Conference (2-0), placed fourth at Irvine with 138 points. Freshman Carlos Carbajal came in first for El Camino and fifth overall.
Both teams will skip today’s Mt. SAC meet to prepare for a big conference tri-meet against Pasadena City College and Long Beach City College next week at El Dorado Park in Long Beach.
The El Camino men’s soccer team lost two games early in the season, but the Warriors are undefeated in the South Coast Conference (3-0) after last week’s victory over Glendale College. El Camino has also defeated Mt. Sac and Santa Monica College thanks to the outstanding play of sophomore Mark Sharp and freshman Raul Haro, who was last year’s City player of the year at San Pedro High.
“I think we’re finally coming together as a team,” said Coach Norm Jackson. “They were a bit individualistic at first. Now we’re very strong up front. We have a very strong attack.”
The women’s team is 2-1 in conference after shutting out Bakersfield 2-0 on Tuesday.
El Camino’s points came from Christy Shea, the Warriors’ top scorer, and Stephanie Eblem. Shea is a freshman from Redondo High and Eblem is a sophomore transfer from Westmont College.
Both teams have conference games against Long Beach today. The men play at Long Beach and the women play at home at 3 p.m.
Despite having only one sophomore in its starting lineup, the El Camino women’s volleyball team remains undefeated in dual matches.
The Warriors are 4-0 after Wednesday’s victory over Saddleback College. Coach Mary McLaughlin attributes the team’s success to a crop of talented freshman.
“We’re still working on different things with different people,” McLaughlin said, “but we’re starting to play together real well.”
The Warriors play their last non-league game against Cypress College today and open South Coast Conference play at Pasadena City College next Wednesday.