The LookOut sports
Santa Monica Sports Notes
Defending mens champion Ross Loel lost in the finals to Chase Exon of Pepperdine, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the 71st Santa Monica Open tennis tournament at Reed Park. Abigail Spears, formerly of UCLA, won the womens' singles championship with a 6-3, 6-1 victory over Petya Marinova, who currently plays for the Bruins...

Jorge Pacheco of Santa Monica won the singles championship in his division and teammed with Harry Weiss, also of Santa Monica, to take the doubles title in the same bracket...

Joe Young, a star on offense and defense for Samohi's football team last season, is playing as a true freshman at University of Texas, El Paso. He had an interception in UTEP's first game...

With more than 100 players out for football Samohi expects its lower level teams to be strong this season too. The junior varsity won its opener over University, 32-19. There is also a frosh-soph team...

Lacy, Samohi Enjoy A Smashing Debut

By Mitch Chortkoff

I turned left off Pico Blvd. and headed for the parking lot I've used for many years when there's a football game at Corsair Field.

But it wasn't available. There was a big hole and dirt all around.

``It's going to be a swimming pool,'' Samohi Athletic Director Mike Griswold later explained.

That wasn't the only change Friday night. Once inside the stadium I experienced what appears to be the rebirth of Santa Monica High football.

In a 39-6 rout of University, Samohi displayed plenty of talent, depth and speed. The crowd was large and enthusiastic. The Norm Lacy Era is well underway.

Derrick Davis scored four touchdowns, and this is a youngster who spent most of the summer around Beverly Hills High, expecting to transfer. Only when school began and Davis seriously considered leaving close friends and teammates did he decide to stay.

``We were prepared for him to leave. We had Plan B ready,'' said Lacy.

Davis is only 145 pounds but gets through a hole very quickly. He had a 50-yard run nullified by a penalty in which he cut back and left everyone standing.

``He's pals with James Cooper, Charles Gordon, Chris Gary and the other juniors,'' said Griswold. ``That's quite a junior class.''

Davis was considering transferring to be with Donald Paysinger, his coach at Samohi last season. But while Paysinger now works with another premier runner, Roger Smith, the Beverly star who has committed to Washington State, Davis will carve out his niche at Samohi.

``Four touchdowns, that's pretty good,'' Lacy said with a grin. ``But I'm not surprised. He was rolling and we kept giving him the ball.''

Lacy was bypassed as Samohi's head coach 10 years ago. He went to St. Monica and built a powerhouse that included a CIF championship two seasons ago. When Lacy came back to Samohi this season he brought Tebb Kusserow, retired for nine years but the Samohi head coach the previous 18 seasons.

Kusserow is the offensive co-ordinator and showed he hasn't lost his touch. He featured Davis and a pounding ground game but also gave quarterback Cooper a chance to shake up the defense with his aerials. Samohi has a nice balance and will be hard to stop.

University wasn't a great test. It has a new coach after Andrew Haas left for a job in New England. But it had some talent and could have been dangerous had Samohi not come out strong and built a 26-6 halftime lead.

Samohi will get a much sterner test Friday when it plays at Serra High in Gardena, a one-sided winner in its opening game.

``Serra has a couple of Division 1 players,'' said Lacy.

Davis began learning the role of a star runner. After the game he was interviewed by the reporter for Santa Monica's cable channel and newspapermen.

``We can't celebrate too much,'' he said. ``It's a long season.''

But a season off to a great start.

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