Highland High quarterback Camy Smith has given new meaning to throwing "up field" this season, especially when the intended receiver is Brian Floyd.
Smith, a junior, is 5 feet 7. Floyd is 6-5.
But Smith has played a huge role in Highland advancing to the Southern Section Division II semifinals. He leads Golden League quarterbacks with 1,702 yards and 16 touchdowns passing.
Maybe that's why Coach Lin Parker lists Smith at 5-10 in the program.
"I don't want opposing teams preparing for him," Parker said. "But I don't know if it really matters when the ballgame starts."
Smith is at least three inches shorter than any of his five primary receivers: Floyd, Will Demps, Mike DeLeon, Chris Smyres and Alex Avina.
Parker suspects Smith might be only 5-6. "On a very good day, he's 5-7," the coach said.
It might be a tall order, but Smith is good at getting the ball to Floyd for big plays. Floyd, a sophomore, has 10 receptions, six for touchdowns.
Castoffs: Highland has been preparing for the biggest football game in school history, its semifinal playoff game against Ayala at 7:30 tonight at Citrus College.
But on Tuesday the Bulldogs were relegated to the school's baseball field for practice. The football practice field was being used for a boys' soccer match.
"Nobody at my school, in the administration or athletics, expected us to still be playing football," Parker said. "In the Antelope Valley, almost every park has 18 soccer fields, but our soccer coach insists that they play on our practice field."
Getting the message: If Highland defeats Ayala, Parker will have another distraction. He has been served a subpoena to appear as a witness for a trial in Sylmar juvenile court, starting Monday.
Said Parker: "When I told the deputy sheriff that I might be coaching for a section championship, he said, 'You will be there or you'll be more than a witness.' "
Sweet guy: To express his appreciation to the football team, Highland Principal Jay Clark passed out Clark candy bars to players before practice Wednesday.
Family affair: The Camarillo High football team's remarkable run to 10 consecutive victories, the Marmonte League championship and a berth in the Division III semifinals is especially enjoyed in the Festerling and McGrath households.
Mike McGrath, the Scorpions' senior center, is the son of line coach Terry McGrath. Jeff Festerling, a junior tackle, is the son of offensive coordinator Charlie Festerling.
McGrath and Festerling are considered Camarillo's best offensive linemen. Terry McGrath teaches at Simi Valley High, where he coached for many years. He decided to coach at Camarillo this season to join his son.
Charlie Festerling has taught and coached wrestling and football at Camarillo for more than 20 years.
Another chance: Chris Nordquist was dismissed as girls' basketball coach at Channel Islands High last year, when school officials learned he was at the center of an NCAA investigation.
Since then, the NCAA placed the New Mexico State men's basketball team on probation for three years. The report placed most of the blame on Nordquist, who was a restricted-earnings assistant for six seasons with the Aggies.
Yet, when the Raider boys' basketball team opened the season Wednesday in the Nordhoff tournament, Nordquist was on the bench--as an assistant to Coach Gary Abraham.
Nordquist remained as an English teacher at Channel Islands after being let go as coach, and Abraham couldn't resist the opportunity.
"When you have somebody with that amount of basketball experience on your campus, you have to take advantage of it." Abraham said.