Family Ties to Be Tested in This Duel

Camarillo center Brad Rubin will square off against the football team coached by his uncle, Joel Gershon, when the Scorpions face Channel Islands tonight in a Marmonte League game.

The 6-foot-3, 265-pound junior is also the son of Audrey Rubin, a teacher at Channel Islands and Gershon's longtime chief statistician.

However, Gershon's "stat girl" is on a two-year hiatus while her son plays for Camarillo. She will spend tonight as she has every Friday night this season: in the stands behind the Camarillo bench.

"I think it's neat," Gershon said. "I'm really proud of him. I have three daughters, so he's kind of my male companion."

FIRED UP

San Fernando's press box looks like somebody used it for kindling. The windows are gone, the interior has been charred and the exterior is blackened by smoke. In short, it is unusable.

Coach Tom Hernandez said the structure was torched after the Rodney G. King verdict. There might yet be a silver lining--as long as nobody is in a hurry.

Hernandez said the school hopes to rebuild the structure using federal funds earmarked for reconstruction of buildings burned in the post-verdict rioting.

"Since we've got a chance to rebuild it we'd like to make it bigger, put a phone in there and make it a real nice deal," Hernandez said.

YOU, PLAY HERE

Feeling more like a frantic stage director than a football coach, Burbank's Randy Stage was forced to play several players out of position on defense late in last Friday's game against Arroyo.

His choreography, however, was anything but a thing of beauty.

Numerous injuries hit the Bulldogs during the fourth quarter, requiring Stage to shuffle his defense. Arroyo scored two touchdowns in the quarter for a 24-10 win.

"At one point we had nine guys playing out of position," Stage said. "Two guys had ankle problems, another guy had a wrist problem another had a problem with his thumb and so on.

"They couldn't go back in, so we had to move people around. You can't play defense by moving people around."

LENDING A HAND

On the bright side for Santa Clara, its offense managed to outscore Bell-Jeff's, two touchdowns to one, last week.

Unfortunately for Santa Clara, its offense also outscored itself.

It was quick--and quite painful--for the Saints.

During its opening two series, the Santa Clara offense turned the ball over on a blocked punt and an interception. In each instance, a touchdown resulted. Bell-Jeff prevailed, 20-13, for its first victory.

Santa Clara Coach Tom O'Brien believes that Bell-Jeff appreciated the help.

"Well, they seemed to be pretty happy after that," O'Brien joked. "And their coach (Doug Woodlief) seemed to be in good spirits after the game too."

COMPOUNDING A PROBLEM

It's a twisted story that began with a twisted groin.

Bell-Jeff defensive end Mike Reyes injured his groin two weeks ago against Montclair Prep. Then he ignored his doctor's advice to not play for two weeks and didn't tell his coaches he was hurt. Against Santa Clara last week, Reyes returned an interception for a touchdown, helping the Guards to their first victory.

A few plays later, he got hit, aggravating the injury. Now, he is going to miss those two weeks after all. No regrets, though.

"I'm glad that I played," Reyes said.

GROUND GRANADA

Can it be? Are the Highlanders taking the low road?

Granada Hills, a team that has set the area City Section standard for passing, ran the option play "four or five times" in last week's victory over Cleveland.

Sophomore quarterback Jim Landress, who has good mobility and speed, pitched to either fullback Faio Emelio or tailback Tremain Foriest.

"It worked pretty well," co-Coach Darryl Stroh said with a chuckle.

MR. DESTINY

San Fernando assistant Bill Frazier is the school football historian, so his memory is pretty sharp. Frazier says Sean Blunt is a man of his word.

Back in 1983, Frazier recalled a conversation he had with Blunt, an All-City standout who was set to play the following season at Nevada Las Vegas.

Frazier: "What are you going to major in?"

Blunt: "P.E."

Frazier: "Are you sure you want to major in P.E.? Why?"

Blunt: "Because I want to come back and coach football at San Fernando."

After the departure of Troy Starr to Taft, Blunt this season was named the Tigers' defensive coordinator.

Here's to tradition. Blunt is the fourth San Fernando player coached by Frazier who later returned to coach football at the school.

WEIGHTY ISSUE

Last season, San Fernando finished 10-2 and fielded a team loaded with skill-position players. Two earned college scholarships.

However, in the two losses (to Kennedy and Sylmar), San Fernando was pushed all over the field. That was not lost on Coach Tom Hernandez, who had seen it too many times before.

"In the two losses to Kennedy and Sylmar, they physically beat us up," Hernandez said. "I thought, no more passing leagues for us. . . . We're hitting the weight room."

As a result, San Fernando competed in just four passing-league games over the summer and spent time pumping iron. Hernandez, whose teams always have been ground-oriented, had another reason for bypassing the seven-on-seven competitions, though.

"Why be in passing leagues if you don't throw the ball?" he asked, rhetorically. "I don't understand why all these teams play in (seven-on-seven) tournaments, then, when the season starts, never even throw."

DEVILED ENDS

According to Kilpatrick Coach Glenn Bell, the Mustangs' reputation--deserved or not--seems to arrive in football stadiums long before the Mustangs do. Bell said he thinks officials are biased against his team because it represents a Los Angeles County youth correctional facility.

"We go into every game with two strikes against us," Bell said. "Being what we are, everything that we do and everything that we say is seen and heard. Unfortunately we play all these Christian schools and it looks like angels against the devils."

In Kilpatrick's 8-7 loss to Murphy last week, the Mustangs led, 7-5, in the fourth quarter, when face-masking and unsportsmanlike conduct, both 15-yard penalties, were called against the Mustangs on the same play, moving Murphy into position to kick the game-winning field goal.

SWEET REVENGE

Agoura girls' volleyball Coach Alan Segal has been a major critic of a Thousand Oaks program that was fortified by four transfers this season. With the addition of outside hitter Tricia Tuley from Santa Barbara High and sisters Michelle, Carolyn and Janette Penfield from Cleveland High, Thousand Oaks was considered by most Marmonte League coaches to be a strong title favorite.

So Agoura's four-game victory over the Lancers last Tuesday at Thousand Oaks was especially sweet for Segal.

"If (Thousand Oaks) hadn't had those kids come in, they would have had about as down a year as they've had in a while," Segal said.

Thousand Oaks Coach Ron Beick also directs a volleyball club in the winter and spring. Segal says that gives the Lancers an unfair advantage in attracting transfers.

"They say they don't recruit, but Ron has a large club and it helps that a lot of people see that," Segal said.

David Coulson and staff writers Steve Elling, Jeff Fletcher, Vince Kowalick and Jason H. Reid contributed to this notebook.

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