It happened last week at Bakersfield High. Elissa White, who kicks for the Drillers, made two PATs in the first half of a 47-20 win over Foothill of Bakersfield. Then after being crowned Homecoming Queen (we wonder if she had her uniform on), White went out for the second half and booted three more PATs.
Also creating a stir among her male counterparts recently has been Kiashira Ruiz of Gustine High. She's a 5-2, 118-pound running back and made history two weeks ago in the mop up stages of a 57-28 victory by Gustine over Brookside Christian of Stockton. In her first action of the season, Ruiz broke through for a four-yard touchdown run. We're not sure exactly how many girls in the state have scored touchdowns, but we believe it's no more than three or four. We know the first to do it was Lorenza Coronado of Long Beach Jordan in 1995. She caught a touchdown pass thrown by Ortege Jenkins in the third quarter of a lopsided game vs. St. Bernard of Playa del Rey.
SOCAL FOOTBALL TITLE GAMES MAY HAVE NEW HOME: The new Home Depot Center, built recently near the confluence of the 405, 110 and 91 freeways in Carson, has been known so far for its ability to host soccer games. The L.A. Galaxy of the Major Indoor Soccer League has called it home and last weekend the final game of the Women's World Cup soccer tournament between Germany and Sweden took place there. There's been no mention of football events being held at the Home Depot Center, even on the venue's promotional web site, but that's going to change.
Officials from the CIF Southern Section have seen the possible layout for football and so has Steve Clarkson, who runs the annual Califlorida all-star games. Clarkson was very impressed with the football potential of the stadium and said last week at the Student Sports offices in Torrance that there may be an announcement soon about events his company, Air Seven, may be staging there.
According to a story last week in the Pasadena Star-News, the CIFSS is looking into playing perhaps as many as six football games at the Home Depot Center. They would replace the games currently played at Edison International Field.
The Home Depot Center has a seating capacity of 27,000, much less than the 50,000 plus that Edison holds. But only on rare occasions have prep football games even come close to 27,000 and a full house at the Home Depot Center can make for a much more memorable experience than a half-full baseball stadium. Like European soccer stadiums, the sound at the Home Depot Center is directed back down toward the field.
It's unknown if CIF L.A. City Section officials also are considering any move to have its football title games at the Home Depot Center or if the state CIF would consider the facility as a possible site for the first state football championships, should that proposal be approved later in the school year. If it turns out to be the best place for such football games, we say why not have as many of them there as possible. If the Home Depot Center had been built in October of 2001, how great would it have been for the De La Salle-Long Beach Poly game?
PSYCHING UP THE TROOPS: If the San Gabriel High football team seemed a little more pumped up than usual after halftime of its game last week against San Marino, there's a very good reason that was true. The Matadors were given a halftime pep talk by senior linebacker and fullback Kevin Harris, who is still recovering frome gunshot wounds he received during an attack on Sept. 28. Harris was hit six times in the leg and once near his shoulder while attending a party. His girlfriend was killed in the same barrage and another teenager was wounded. San Gabriel went on to a 22-14 victory and improved to 5-0.
BIG BOOTS: Nick Nelson of Sutter and Charles Nolte from Serra of San Diego both got their legs into significant field goals during games last week. Nelson boomed a 54-yard field goal during Sutter's 44-2 win over Las Plumas of Oroville. He broke the Northern Section record of 53 held by Chico Pleasant Valley's Tim Roth and Red Bluff's Kevin Johnson. Nolte was good on a field goal from 53 yards out during Serra's 28-25 win over Mission Bay. Nolte's kick came on the last play of the first half and just check the score once more to see how important it was in determining which team won.
ONE WINLESS STREAK ENDS, OTHERS DON'T: Hoover of San Diego defeated Kearny of San Diego, 14-7, last week to end a winless streak at 0-17-1. Kearny, though, expanded its winless streak to 0-19-1. The teams had tied last year. Live Oak of Morgan Hill didn't lose, but extended its winless streak to 0-17-2 with a 20-20 tie with Alisal of Salinas. Bolsa Grande of Garden Grove lost to Rancho Alamitos of Garden Grove, 54-0, and now has the state's fourth longest all-time losing streak at 0-39.
CALIFORNIA VS. THE WORLD: This category is winding down for the year except for that one game against a team from Louisiana. But there were six games vs. Nevada and two vs. Arizona last week in which California split 3-3 and 1-1, respectively. Two big wins against Nevada were Mammoth of Mammoth Lakes over Yerington 50-30 and Bishop over Spanish Springs of Sparks, 28-17. The win against Arizona was by Trona, an eight-man 48-0 winner over Desert Tech Charter of Lake Havasu City. California is only 4-10 vs. Arizona this season, but 3-0 vs. Desert Tech Charter. Meanwhile, California moves to 23-21 vs. Nevada for the season and 43-38 for all out-of-state-games.
200TH WIN (OFFICIALLY) FOR NEWCOMB: Coaches sure are glad to get these milestone coaching win deals over with, and that was the case again last Friday in Lancaster as Antelope Valley High's Brent Newcomb took care of his 200th football triumph. Newcomb, who has been coaching the Antelopes for 26 seasons, reached No. 200 with a 21-6 victory over Barstow.
In the Cal-Hi Sports coaching lists, which are based on on-the-field results, Newcomb is credited with 203 career wins. He had three of those wins taken away on forfeits, though, so the official 200th was against Barstow. "It's nice to get it over with," Newcomb told the Valley Press newspaper. "It seems like I've been worrying more about that than coaching."
Another CIF Southern Section football coach who was denied his 200th career win last week was Lalo Mendoza from Salesian of Los Angeles. Mendoza, who coached for 28 years at Verbum Dei of Los Angeles and is now in his second season at Salesian, fell short when his team lost, 21-7, to Garfield of Los Angeles.
Yet another CIFSS coach on the verge of No. 200 is Kevin Rooney of Sherman Oaks Notre Dame. Rooney, the 2002 Cal-Hi Sports State Coach of the Year, won his 197th career game last week as Notre Dame turned back Valencia, 24-23.
VOLLEYBALL COACHING MILESTONE: Within the next week, Poway High's Lisa Reis may become one of just a handful of girls volleyball coaches in the state with 500 all-time wins. Reis collected her 496th career win last week in Poway's win over Vista. Her team is currently No. 2 in the CIF San Diego Section and Reis is in the midst of her 23rd season. It's likely the state's all-time leader in girls volleyball coaching wins is DaeLea Aldrich from Mira Costa of Manhattan Beach. She's been leading the Mustangs since 1982 and reached her 500th career win during the 2001 season. We'd be curious to see any all-time totals for either Dan Glenn at Newport Harbor or Bill Rood at Linden. We're not sure they'd be close to 500, but their records probably would be impressive just the same.
WHO'S NO. 1 IN VOLLEYBALL?: We've got a split decision going on right now as the L.A. Times and the prepvolleyball.com web site are in disagreement.
When the current season began, St. Francis of Mountain View was the state's No. 1 team, but the Lancers have had some injury problems and fell out of the top 10 nationally. The L.A. Times currently ranks Mater Dei of Santa Ana as its No. 1 team in Southern California with a 19-2 record and has Marymount of Los Angeles at No. 2 with a 15-1 record. In the prepvolleyball.com Century Club national rankings, though, it's Marymount at No. 3 and Mater Dei at No. 4.
Both teams are in different divisions for the playoffs, too, so it's a debate that may linger well after the CIF state championships. We're no longer providing volleyball rankings, but we will select a State Team of the Year for our all-time state record book.
FIRE GUTS OFFICE DURING GAME: While Santiago of Corona was winning a 41-26 game last Friday over Temecula Chaparral, things definitely got hotter in the office of Santiago head coach Steve Mitchell. That office is part of a trailer parked near the field and the fire was actually reported during the first half by Mitchell's 13-year-old daughter, Emily. The Riverside Press-Enterprise also reported that the coach's daughter even moved some kids who were inside the trailer. The fire did not spread beyond the trailer and the game continued. Mitchell later told the Press-Enterprise that the fire destroyed his program's video equipment as well as various personal mementos.
NAME GAME: Sources tell us that University of Miami coaches love current freshman Kyle Wright, who starred last year at Monte Vista of Danville. But Kyle Wright still hasn't left the California scene. In a 54-6 win last week by Cardinal Newman of Santa Rosa over Santa Rosa, Cardinal Newman QB Kyle Wright completed 5 of 6 passes for 92 yards and one TD and ran 12 times for 76 yards and one additional score.