Author: vinceechavaria

St. Monica football coach optimistic that Mariners will have good season

The St. Monica High School Mariners football team of Santa Monica may need some experience, but new head coach Jason Strouse says that the lack of experience will not be a reason to stop his team from finishing at the top of the league this season. Strouse — who took the St. Monica coaching job July 16th — says the Mariners are more than ready to improve on their 8-4 record from last season, when the Mariners finished second in the Camino Real League to Mary Star of the Sea, San Pedro. The team also made it to the Division 11 playoffs last year, but left with a substantial loss of 56-0 to Oak Park in the second round. The Mariners took another big hit this year when 16 starters, including most of the offensive and defensive line, graduated. “Weíre running on fumes, but we got some good kids back,” Strouse said. One of those key returning athletes is senior quarterback Mitch Smith, who threw for over 2,400 yards last year. Seniors Jeremy Brooks, wide out and split end, and Andrew Lennig, lineman, will also help provide leadership to the young team. “We donít have many starters back, but we expect to win the Division 11 championships and we have as good a chance as anyone,” the coach said. “Our big weakness is experience, but weíre an athletic and...

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St. Bernard football team needs to focus on keeping the ball, coach says

The St. Bernard High School Vikings of Playa del Rey will enter the 2004 football season with a focus on controlling the football on the field. The Vikings ended last season with an 8-4 record and a third-place finish in the Del Rey League. With league victories over Cathedral, Bosco Tech and Bishop Montgomery, the Vikings earned a spot in the playoffs, where they lost in the second round to Morningside High School. In order to improve on its efforts of last year, the mostly young team needs to focus on the offense this season, coach Greg Dixon said. “This year the basic thing is to control the football,” Dixon said. “We need to keep the defense off the field.” Many players graduated this year, and St. Bernard will look to some of its experienced athletes for direction and leadership, he said. “Theyíre a pretty young group,” Dixon said. Some key returning players who will help lead the team this season include last yearís all-league athletes, senior cornerback Kevin Cox and senior offensive tackle Ryan Payne. Senior Anthony Fernandez will help control the offense as starting quarterback. The Vikings will also get help from some experienced varsity players, including junior wide receiver and strong safety Kamron Brown, and junior Steven Aguilera, who will start as running back, Dixon said. The game schedule will offer its share of challenges this...

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Muscle Beach bodybuilding contest to honor fitness industryís Joe Gold

When contestants step on stage at the annual Venice Championships Bodybuilding and Figure Contest Labor Day, Monday, September 6th, they will not only be flexing their finely-tuned muscles for competition, but also honoring the late fitness industry legend Joe Gold. The contest is the third bodybuilding event this year for the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks, and it will be held Monday, September 6th, at the Venice Beach Recreation Center, home of Muscle Beach, 1800 Ocean Front Walk. Contests were also held on Memorial Day and July 4th this year. As the final bodybuilding contest for the year, the Labor Day event will have an additional treat with a special tribute to Gold, founder of Goldís Gym and World Gym, who died of congestive heart failure in Los Angeles July 11th at the age of 82. Joe Wheatley, producer and promoter of the event, said Goldís memory will be celebrated following the national anthem, with a bagpipe performance of “Amazing Grace” by Aaron Shaw of Glendale. Members of Goldís Gym and World Gym will also be present during the ceremony. “Gold will be remembered as a pioneer of bodybuilding and a guy who took chances,” Wheatley said. “He understood the sport and gave back.” The tribute to Gold is a fitting way to end the bodybuilding season, he said, and the Muscle Beach Hall of...

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Local high schools eye start of fall football season Fri., Sept. 10th

As September approaches and the new school year begins, the sound of cheerleaders and tackles under the Friday night lights also inches closer with the start of the new high school football season. Local teams are all preparing to showcase the results of their hard work at summer practices and they will step up on the field for the first battle of the season Friday, September 10th. Two Catholic high school teams — the St. Bernard Vikings of Playa del Rey and the St. Monica Mariners of Santa Monica — hope to start their new season off with non-league victories. The St. Bernard High School Vikings play in the Del Rey League and will host Culver City on their Playa del Rey field at 7 p.m. Friday, September 10th. The Mariners of the Camino Real League will have their first game away at Artesia at 7:30 p.m. Friday, September 10th. Two of the three local public high school teams — including the Venice Gondoliers and Santa Monica High Vikings — will also have to seek their first victory at an away field. The Gondoliers, playing in the Western League, will face-off with Carson High School at 7 p.m. Friday, September 10th. The Santa Monica High School Vikings, of the Ocean League, will test its football skills against West Torrance at 7 p.m. Friday, September 10th. The Vikings will battle...

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