Expectations are running high around Rich Lawson's abode, and not just because his Chaminade High football team is off to a 1-0-1 start. Lawson's wife, Julie, is expecting their first child in November, and the due date coincides with Chaminade's regular-season finale.
"Hopefully, she can hold out for a couple of more weeks," he said, laughing. "Then maybe we can win a playoff game or two and finish up with football before we start the family thing."
Not that Lawson, 35, isn't pulling double duty already.
Each Tuesday, he goes from one extreme to another. After finishing with practice at school, he hustles off to a class in Lamaze--a training program in natural childbirth.
From black and blue to pink and blue?
"Hey, it's all coaching," he cracked.
Help wanted: Last spring, Granada Hills co-Coach Darryl Stroh placed an ad in the school paper.
He asked that an announcement be read over the school public-address system.
"I was looking for anybody with any ability to throw a football," Stroh said.
For all of its talent at the skill positions, Granada Hills is perilously thin at quarterback; senior Bryan Martin has no backup.
Great performances are expected of Martin, but there is no stand-in should he falter or suffer injury.
"I don't think we've even had anybody else take a snap," Stroh said. "Even the (B team is) hurting for a quarterback."
And things aren't getting any better. Eric Moss, a two-way starter at receiver and defensive back, suffered a shoulder separation in practice last week and will miss two games. Care to guess who the second-string quarterback is?
"Right now it's Eric Moss," Stroh said. "Well, not right now ."
Granada Hills, ranked No. 1 in the Times' Valley poll and No. 10 in the state by Cal-Hi Sports, opens Friday at Lynwood.
Add peril: Not only is Martin the Highlanders' only quarterback, he also will be exposed to danger on special teams.
Martin, the punter last season, also will serve as kicker. What's more, it appears as though he will kick off. Martin, who transferred to Granada Hills from Illinois as a sophomore, said he was the kicker and punter during his freshman and sophomore seasons.
Sure, he's a triple threat, but he's also thrice threatened.
"We don't really want him out there (on kickoffs)," co-Coach Tom Harp said. "But he's the best we have at it. I'm not sure what we'll do."
Crespi chronicles: More than the emergence of junior Cody Smith as a quarterback with great poise and passing touch has made Crespi (2-0) a favorite in the new Mission League. The Celt defense also has been impressive, allowing 20 points in two games against strong opponents.
Cornerback Lance Thomas, outside linebacker Mike Peters and defensive ends David Muir and Alex Pupich have stood out in particular.
The Celts are deep as well as talented: Safety Bill Canalez and linebacker Brian Getz, thrust into the lineup after injuries to Dereck Williams and Rob Abeyta, were instrumental in Crespi's 7-6 victory over highly regarded Redlands last week. Canalez had two interceptions and Getz made a game-saving tackle on Redlands' two-point conversion try with one minute left.
Talented Raider: Channel Islands' Pharoh Milner, who rushed for 440 yards as a fullback last season, started his first game at quarterback in the Raiders' 30-18 win over Rio Mesa on Friday.
Milner, a 5-foot-9, 185-pound senior, rushed for 35 yards in eight carries and completed two of eight passes for 16 yards.
"He had good command of the huddle and a lot of poise," Coach Joel Gershon said. "In general, his leadership was very good."
The fullback position has been filled by Jason Bell, who gained 77 yards in nine carries and Lamont Pearson (11 carries for 38 yards). Bell and Pearson complemented tailback Renard Carn, who had a game-high 197 rushing yards in only 11 carries.
Causing a ruckus: Glendale football Coach Don Shoemaker intended to give equal time to a pair of running backs in the Dynamiters' 36-13 win over Alhambra on Friday--a plan that lasted until halftime when Pathon Rucker got a little greedy.
However, Shoemaker isn't complaining.
Rucker, who finished with 191 yards in 25 carries, including three touchdowns and a pair of two-point conversions, accounted for 118 of Glendale's 170 rushing yards in the second half. "We were trying to balance our attack," Shoemaker said. "But, heck, with the stuff he was doing, it didn't make any point to give the ball to anybody else."
Tall in the saddle: Senior Mike McMullen has won the Kennedy quarterback job, beating out junior Tavarus Logi.
McMullen, who stands 6-foot-5, gives the Golden Cougars better pass-run equity than does the 5-10 Logi, a more run-oriented player. McMullen's height tipped the scale in his favor.
"We're going to try to be as balanced as we can be," Coach Bob Francola said. "I think (McMullen) has a better idea of what we want to do back there right now."
Add Kennedy: Officially, Logi and McMullen are Kennedy's quarterbacks, although Francola believes that senior Keith West could give both a run for their money.
West, an All-City Section soccer player last season, is Kennedy's lone two-way player. Actually, the term two-way doesn't do him justice.
West had caught 29 passes last season as a receiver and is a three-year starter in the secondary. He also will handle punting, kickoff and kicking duties.
"He could definitely be a quarterback," Francola said. "In terms of eye-hand coordination, he's our best athlete."
Too hot to handle: Mike Mirolla was a little hot-headed during St. Genevieve's game against Murphy.
But Mirolla was not in the mood to argue--the junior tailback had a 104-degree fever, according to St. Genevieve Coach Mark Lovett--so he let his actions do the talking.
Mirolla gained a career-high 112 yards in 11 carries and scored two touchdowns in the Valiants' 20-0 win. He also set up a score with a 55-yard run.
New ballgame: If George Giannini had been told two weeks ago that his running game against St. Monica would consist of Greg Cole and Eliel Swinton, he probably would have scoffed.
Then again, he probably would have scoffed if he had been told that potential All-American tailback Derek Sparks would be withdrawn from Montclair Prep by his uncle, Jerome, after just one game.
But both circumstances are painfully real, as is the Montclair Prep record of 0-2. Giannini, in an attempt to evaluate the madness, still believes that he has a good football team. Just a football team that needs time to adjust.
"We have to face reality," Giannini said. "We based our offense on one All-American tailback, and now we have to change our offensive attack. You can't do that overnight."
New kid in the pool: It isn't exactly Lou Gehrig replacing Wally Pipp, but now that sophomore goalie Ralph Radka has replaced starter Paul Krueger for the Royal water polo team, Radka might not relinquish the position until graduation day 1993.
Radka allowed 21 goals in three games as Royal won last weekend's Irvine Heritage tournament.
Krueger, who broke his hand at the end of summer practice, is expected to return within two weeks, Snyder said.
"Krueger is going to have to fight for his position," Snyder said. "This guy (Radka) played great."