The LookOut sports

Santa Monica Sports Notes

Lacy, who went to USC, is using the same plan as the Trojans this season. He concentrates on defense and leaves the offense to Kusserow. At USC, new head coach Pete Carroll is his own defensive co-ordinator and leaves the offense to Norm Chow...

Ruben Lawrence, a key Samohi lineman last season, is now playing at Santa Monica College. Linebacker Darius Bell is at Northern Arizona...

While Samohi was doing so well last season, Santa Monica College also had a good year, qualifying for and winning the inagural Beach Bowl at SMC. The Beach Bowl will be back this season courtesy of the sponsor, US Bank...St. Monica also showed promise in Randy Robinson's first season and returns many key players, including quarterback Ben Agatep...

The SMC womens' volleyball team will open its season Thursday, Sept. 6 against the Alumni. Other early season matches include the following: Grossmont at SMC Sept. 14 at 7 p.m., the Pasadena City College Tournament Sept. 15, all day, at Long Beach City College Sept. 21 at 7 p.m. and home matches against Oxnard Oct. 4 and Hancock Sept. 5, both at 7 p.m...

Former St. Monica High star quarterback Chris Griffin, who excelled at SMC last season, is on the St. Monica coaching staff...

When former Crossroads and UCLA basketball star Baron Davis (now of the Charlotte Hornets) conducted his basketball skills camp at the Roadrunners' new gym in August he was joined by Darius Miles of the Clippers and Lakers assistant coach Kurt Rambis...

"We're Loaded if I Don't Screw Them Up," Says Samohi Coach Lacy

By Mitch Chortkoff

Norm Lacy has earned a reputation as one of Southern California's best high school football coaches. It's likely he's going to improve a group of players, not mess up a good thing.

But Lacy is so impressed with his Santa Monica High football team this season he says:

``We're loaded if I don't screw them up. I expect a lot from our players. I like the looks of our freshmen too, so we could be around for awhile.''

Lacy arrived last season and took a team with consecutive 2-8 seasons to a 9-3 record and Samohi's first CIF playoff victory since 1988. Most of the key players were juniors and have come back with greater experience.

The goals are an Ocean League championship (Inglewood won it last season) and further advancement in the playoffs. The Vikings were eliminated in the second round by eventual champion Paso Robles.

It should be a lot of fun. As the victories mounted last season the size of the crowds increased. There were road games where Samohi had more fans than the home team.

The school has a proud football tradition but interest fell off during some lean years. The return of Lacy and former head coach Tebb Kusserow as offensive co-ordinator marked the beginning of a new era.

How good can Samohi be? Lacy has raised the bar, taking winless University High off the schedule and replacing the Wildcats with perennial CIF power Peninsula. Samohi will go to Peninsula in the season opener Sept. 7.

Viking fans are familiar with the team's stars:

  • James Cooper returns at quarterback after throwing for 1,300 yards and 14 touchdowns.
  • Derrick Davis was co-Ocean League player of the year after rushing for 1,700 yards and 26 touchdowns despite missing the Paso Robles game with an injury.
  • Chris Gary caught 31 passes and Terrell Maze 22.
  • Josh Smith is a 260-pound tight end with excellent blocking skills and good hands.
  • Jesus Valdovinos came up from the JVs to be the fullback, an outstanding blocker with surprising running ability.

Charles Gordon was the most celebrated of the receivers last season but suffered a broken leg in the second game at Venice. He came back in basketball and was an all-league outfielder in baseball.

Lacy expresses pleasure with the offensive line, led by tackels Steve Predisik (225) and Milosh Blagozavac (310), guard Kia Kahazevaki (260), guard Don Solcha (200) and Chris Price (310).

Other prominent players, some working mainly on defense, are all-league Abraham Badillo (245), returning starter Nick Sandoval and linebackers Seth Levin and Keith Hodnett. Paul Helmy is a defensive back brought up from the JVs when injuries struck last season. Now he has some experience. Ricky Johnson had his moments last season too and is being counted on as a rover.

Newcomers include Zeido Hamze, a 215-pound transfer from Malibu High, and Keith Roses, a transfer from Bishop Montgomery who has been impressive in practice.

The coaching staff includes former Samohi star and seven-year NFL player Sam Anno, Rick Garner, Travis Clark, Mike Bailey, Austin Thomas, Phil Austin and Darren Willis. With so many quality coaches the players receive individiual attention.

Kusserow, who was head coach for 18 years and absent from the game for nine, begins his second year back. He gave a two-year commitment and will decide after the season if he'll return.
Lookout Logo footer image
Copyright 1999-2008 All Rights Reserved.
Footer Email icon