The LookOut sports

Santa Monica Sports Notes

When last weekend began there were four teams tied for the Ocean League football lead -- all with one loss. But, as expected, Inglewood defeated South Torrance.

Now South Torrance has two losses and is unlikely to gain a playoff berth unless it can upset Santa Monica Friday night...

Torrance Coach Rock Hollis praised Santa Monica quarterback James Cooper following Friday's game.

``The quarterback is a heck of an athlete,'' said Hollis.

Samohi Coach Norm Lacy was proud of his strategy on the blocked punt that got the Vikings going following a sluggish start. ``We sent 10 guys after the punter,'' he said...

Sears and the WNBA presented a check for $377,872 to the National Alliance of Breast Cancer Organizations following a celebrity basketball game at Crossroads School recently.

Lisa Leslie, MVP of the WNBA and star center of the champion L.A. Sparks, was present and explained that early detection is extremely necessary in dealing with breast cancer...

The Samohi girls volleyball team defeated Culver City in four games...

Homecoming King Cooper Focuses on Beating Torrance

By Mitch Chortkoff

Every football coach wants his players to focus on the game. Every coach worries about distractions.

On Friday night, James Cooper was not only the Samohi quarterback but Homecoming King. And three teammates, Derrick Davis, Charles Gordon and Chris Price were in the Homecoming Court.

So perhaps it was no surprise when Samohi botched a trick play on the opening kickoff, fell behind Torrance, 3-0, and took awhile to get into a rhythm. But the Vikings settled down and proceeded on to a 46-3 Ocean League victory before a large crowd at Corsair Field.

``We had four players in the Homecoming event and, yes, it was a distraction,'' said Coach Norm Lacy. ``It's a great moment for these young people in their high school career but I think we were fortunate to be playing Torrance, which doesn't have one of its best teams, rather than one of the contenders in our league.

``We tried to put in some trick plays this week but every one backfired.''

However, with Torrance determined to stop the run, Cooper took advantage of single coverage on his receivers to have a big game. Included was a 30-yard TD pass to Gordon with 48 seconds left in the first half, increasing the Vikings' lead to 21-3.

Cooper threw touchdown passes to Gordon and Chris Gary in the second half.

Gary was able to play after missing the previous game with a broken finger. Price and Peter Roses returned following a one-game suspension for fighting during the Vikings' victory at El Segundo.

The defense and special teams played well. Ricky Johnson blocked a punt and Abraham Badillo ran it in for the Vikings' second touchdown.

The Ocean League race remained in a three-way tie when Inglewood and North Torrance also won their games. Samohi has one league game remaining, at South Torrance Friday night.

In material gathered for the Homecoming festivities, all four Samohi players said they want to play college football. The only one to hint at where he will go was Price, who said he plans to play in the Northwest.

Cooper said he most admires his father and Barry Bonds. Gordon said he most admires his mother. Davis said he most admires his father, who has always been there for him. Price said his favorite teacher is Sean McDaniel.

Another member of the Homecoming Court is Justin Brownstone, a member of the track and cross country team. Brownstone said he most admires Grandpa Joe. He plans on attending college and doing something that will make his family proud.

The Princesses are Erin Buckingham, Megan Early, Christina Moreno, Karma Dickerson and Annabel Diaz.
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