Sylmar High may be the defending City Section 4-A Division football champion, but not everyone is convinced of the Spartans’ invincibility.
Reseda Coach Joel Schaeffer, for instance, takes exception to Sylmar Coach Jeff Engilman’s preseason remarks about the strength of the Northwest Valley Conference, of which Reseda is a member. Sylmar plays in the Valley Pac-8 Conference.
“Sylmar would be 5-5 in this league,” Schaeffer said. “He should be selling snow to Eskimos.”
After his team faced Bakersfield running back Steve Wofford last week, Kennedy Coach Bob Francola took a swipe at Sylmar tailback Tyrone Crenshaw, the City 4-A player of the year. Kennedy held Crenshaw to 61 yards in a 7-7 tie in the opener while Wofford rushed for 265 yards against the Golden Cougars last week.
“Crenshaw couldn’t carry (Wofford’s) water bottle,” Francola said. “We won’t see a better back all year.”
EAST VALLEY LEAGUE
Now, Sylmar’s Response
To say that Kennedy held Sylmar’s Crenshaw to 61 yards two weeks ago is a bit misleading, according to Engilman. Crenshaw carried the ball only 13 times, meaning that he averaged nearly five yards a carry. “Yeah, that Northwest Valley defense really stopped (Crenshaw),” Engilman cracked.
What stopped Crenshaw--or rather, what kept him from a 100-yard rushing game--Engilman said, was poor play selection by the coaches. Engilman failed to call Crenshaw’s number enough.
“We were just way too conservative (with Crenshaw),” he said. “Tyrone’s gotta touch the ball at least 25 times a game.”
Last week, Crenshaw rushed for 160 yards and caught two passes for another 15 yards--and the Spartans rolled to a 41-0 rout of Chatsworth.
And how many times did Crenshaw touch the ball? Exactly 25 times.
WEST VALLEY LEAGUE
Finally, Chatsworth gained a player rather than losing one. Last week, Coach Myron Gibford learned that two-way lineman Hugh Hall was lost for the year with a herniated disk in his back. Then quarterback Aaron Hummel and running back Marlon Jones were sidelined with injuries in a loss to Sylmar.
Monday, there was good news. Junior lineman Dan Crespo’s eligibility petition was given a thumbs-up by the City Section in an appeals hearing. Crespo, a transfer from Montclair Prep, will start at center Thursday against Canoga Park and eventually will play both ways.
Crespo (6-foot-2, 240) sought eligibility last week based on academic grounds, but the petition was denied. The family reapplied and was granted eligibility based on financial grounds.
The Game Must Go On
A half-hour delay and some fans with soggy shoes were the only effects local flooding had on Harvard-Westlake’s homecoming game Saturday. A water main ruptured that morning on Coldwater Canyon Avenue, the main access to the Studio City school where a football game was scheduled for 1:30 p.m.
Some fans walked to the game through ankle-high water while others drove up a back street to the school. About 600 people showed and the game began at 2 p.m.
“There was mass confusion in getting here,” Coach Dave Bennett said, “but people managed.”
Around the Leagues. . . .
* Newbury Park quarterback Keith Smith failed to throw a touchdown pass in the Panthers’ 43-7 rout of San Marcos. Smith had thrown at least one touchdown pass in every game since the ninth game of his sophomore season, a span of 14 games.
* Simi Valley running back Jevon Markarian suffered a punctured right calf muscle during Simi Valley’s 35-0 win over Granada Hills. Pioneer Coach Roger McCamy is unsure if Markarian, who rushed for 990 yards last season, will play Saturday against Serra of San Diego.
* Reseda Coach Joel Schaeffer has a 13-1-1 record against Birmingham. The teams will play Thursday.
* Crespi players raise their socks at the start of the fourth quarter. Why? “Tradition,” one player said.
* Royal High volleyball player Teri Enright had 26 digs against Santa Barbara last Thursday, which tied her for second place in the Highlander record books.
The school record for digs in a match, 31, was set by Enright’s sister, Jill, last season.
Kennedy Cosgrove and staff writers Steve Elling, Jeff Fletcher, Paige A. Leech and Jason H. Reid contributed to this notebook.
The Times Top 10
Rankings of Valley-area high schools by sportswriters of The Times: Rank: 1 Prev.: 1 Team: Newbury Park League: Marmonte W-L: 2-0 Last week: Def. San Marcos, 43-7 This week: Fri. vs. Buena
Rank: 2 Prev.: 2 Team: Taft League: North Valley W-L: 2-0 Last week: Def. Gardena, 40-0 This week: Thurs. at Monroe
Rank: 3 Prev.: 3 Team: Antelope Valley League: Golden W-L: 2-0 Last week: Def. W. Bakersfield, 16-7 This week: Fri. vs. Bakersfield
Rank: 4 Prev.: 4 Team: Canyon League: Foothill W-L: 2-0 Last week: Def. Crespi, 28-20 This week: Thurs. at Thousand Oaks
Rank: 5 Prev.: 5 Team: Sylmar League: East Valley W-L: 1-0-1 Last week: Def. Chatsworth, 41-0 This week: Thurs. at El Camino Real
Rank: 6 Prev.: 7 Team: Hart League: Foothill W-L: 2-0 Last week: Def. Thousand Oaks, 24-17 This week: Fri. vs. Westlake
Rank: 7 Prev.: 10 Team: Saugus League: Foothill W-L: 2-0 Last week: Def. Royal, 21-20 This week: Fri. at San Marino
Rank: 8 Prev.: NR Team: Westlake League: Marmonte W-L: 2-0 Last week: Def. Ventura, 13-12 This week: Fri. at Hart
Rank: 9 Prev.: NR Team: Rio Mesa League: Channel W-L: 2-0 Last week: Def. Camarillo, 21-3 This week: Fri. vs. Santa Clara
Rank: 10 Prev.: NR Team: El Camino Real League: North Valley W-L: 2-0 Last week: Def. North Hollywood, 49-14 This week: Thurs. vs. Sylmar