Samantha Salmons never had a chance.
A Nordhoff High football cheerleader and girlfriend of defensive lineman Buck Bakken, Salmons was led to the field last Friday after the Rangers' playoff victory over Fillmore.
There, before his assembled teammates and a crowd of fans, Bakken, 18, knelt in the mud and proposed to Salmons, 17, who tearfully accepted.
"I just wanted to do it in a special way," said Bakken, who has dated Salmons for a year and two months.
"My teammates came up and gave me hugs afterwards; they didn't act like normal football players."
The senior couple plans to attend Ventura College and have set a wedding date: Dec. 5, 1998.
Salmons' mother, Vicki Littlejohn, gave her blessing.
"They're both very mature and they're so comfortable together," Littlejohn said. "They've gotten better grades since they started going out. They're good for each other."
The candidate: Robert dos Remedios turned around the Burroughs High football program, but school administrators never liked his style.
At least that's the way Keith Knoop, one of his assistants, sees it.
"It seemed like at every corner there was someone disapproving," Knoop said. "He had high standards in turning the program around, and people weren't used to that. People weren't willing to follow his wagon train."
Dos Remedios resigned Tuesday after posting a three-year record of 15-15-1. Burroughs was 8-32-1 in the previous four seasons.
Knoop hopes to replace him.
"My discipline is a little more psychological," Knoop said. "But you have to have extremely high expectations. [Critics are] always going to be there. I don't really let people put pressure on me."
Chew out: Lauren Chew, a three-year starter for the Chaminade High girls' soccer team, will not play this season. She will concentrate on club volleyball, Eagle soccer Coach Mike Evans said.