Saturday, September 09, 2006


Simi Valley fully motivated
Pioneers excited to play at their newly renovated stadium tonight

By Loren Ledin, September 15, 2006
Sometimes, it's not merely how good you look on the football field.
It's how good your football field looks.
Simi Valley High coach Todd Borowski buys into that theory, particularly with the Pioneers ready to begin play in the school's newly renovated stadium tonight. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. against Pacifica High.
The makeover marks the first improvements at Bob Jacob Memorial Stadium in 39 years, or since the stadium opened in 1967. A state-of-the-art artificial surface with an advanced drainage system replaces the grass playing field. A nine-lane tartan track and field running track replaces the dirt oval. Borowski thinks the renovations give his players a boost, too.

"It's something the kids in our program can take pride in," said Borowski, in his second season as the Pioneers coach. "It's our goal that playing football here becomes the best possible experience for our players. Playing and practicing in a top-notch facility certainly enhances the experience for our kids." The completed renovations are merely Phase 1 of the planned project. According to athletic director Matt LaBelle, next on the agenda is the installation of new bleachers, with new press boxes on each side of the field.
To mark the occasion, a ribbon-cutting ceremony is slated for 6 p.m. Ruth Jacob, the widow of former Simi Valley High principal Bob Jacob, will be on hand, as will representatives from all Pioneers athletic teams.
"It's about time," said LaBelle. "It's something our school has needed for a long time." Just like its stadium, Simi Valley wouldn't mind an upgrade on the field. Last year's 5-5 record included narrow last-minute losses to Newbury Park, Thousand Oaks and Royal. The Pioneers opened the season with a 14-13 loss at Buena.

Simi Valley entered the 2006 season with virtually 11 new starters on offense. "We had nine guys graduate, while two other guys are playing new positions," said Borowski. "That's a lot of experience to replace. But we've got good players. We just need to make the plays."
Junior running back Langston Jackson appears to be the player to build upon. He rushed for 79 yards on 19 carries in the opener, and had an 80-yard touchdown negated by penalty.

Talk about renovation projects. Pacifica brings a rejuvenated program into tonight's matchup behind second-year coach Donnie Rea.
The Tritons put on a defensive clinic in their opening-game, a 17-0 shutout over Cabrillo. Masi Tutitama recorded two sacks at linebacker, and also rushed for 105 yards on 16 carries. Rea said he is stressing defense first with the program. "That's always been our emphasis," Rea said. "We put our best players on defense, because that's where you will win most games. Our guys will rotate on offense, but basically stay in the game on defense." After moving over from Channel Islands last season, Rea guided Pacifica to a 2-8 record. But attitudes are changing. "Our goal at this stage of the season is to play hard, and play tough," he said. "We don't talk to our guys about wins and losses. We feel like if we can stay in .
Copyright 2006, Ventura County Star. All Rights Reserved.,1375,VCS_136_4980849,00.html
Buena holds onto edge Simi Valley
By Bob Buttitta,
September 9, 2006
Buena High's 14-13 victory over visiting Simi Valley on Friday night was far from perfect, but coach Justin Berenson isn't complaining. "It was a sloppy game, but we got the job done," Berenson said. "It could have been 28-7 in favor of Simi if it were not for some mistakes they made, but we still made enough big plays to win. It's nice to win an opening game." Simi Valley (0-1) had two touchdowns called back due to penalties and had the potential go-ahead drive stopped midway through the final quarter when the Pioneers fumbled at the Buena 14-yard line. "We played pretty well, but we had too many costly penalties," said Simi Valley coach Todd Borowski. "We outplayed them and should have won, but we didn't. We were our own worst enemy.

"The positive is that we played some good football against a pretty good football team. I'm not happy that we lost, but I feel better about our team than I did before the game started." Buena running back Tyler Bevin's second touchdown of the night, a 1-yard plunge with 10:06 remaining in the fourth quarter, proved to be the winning margin. It capped a 17-play, 55-yard drive that saw the Bulldogs convert on fourth down three times.
They were also aided by two defensive holding calls, including one on fourth down at the Simi Valley 13.

Bevin was the offensive star for the Bulldogs, rushing 37 times for 139 yards and scoring both his team's touchdowns. Buena linebacker Freddie Simpson got things rolling for Buena midway through the first quarter, intercepting a Simi Valley pass and returning it to the Pioneers 30.
The Bulldogs turned the turnover into six points. Quarterback Ian Hooper opened the drive with a 13-yard completion to Bevin. On the next play, Bevin broke up the middle for 9 yards, moving the ball inside the Simi Valley 10. Four plays later the senior crashed into the end zone from 2 yards out, giving Buena a 7-0 lead.
The Pioneers offense made up for the turnover on its next possession, putting together an eight-play, 70-yard scoring drive. Running back Langston Jackson was the main weapon, gaining [74 yards on 19 carries.] But it was wide receiver Sammy Scherr who got Simi Valley in the board, hauling in a 28-yard touchdown strike from quarterback Brandon Fricke, tying the game at 7-7. It looked like Simi Valley had broken the tie early in the second quarter, after pulling off a fake punt as Jackson took the snap and raced around left end and up the sideline for an apparent [80 yd.] touchdown. But the score was nullified by an illegal motion penalty. Simi had another touchdown taken off the board when a touchdown pass from Fricke to Scherr was called back due to holding. So instead of leading by two scores the Pioneers found themselves tied at halftime, 7-7.
The second half started well for Simi Valley as Adam Hernandez returned the second-half kickoff 82 yards for the go-ahead touchdown, but Simi Valley failed to convert the extra point, a failure that eventually came back to haunt it. "About 90 percent of our guys are either seniors starting for the first time or juniors, so it's not surprising we had some mistakes," Borowski said. "The good news is that it's the first game and we have a lot of positives to build on."

The race is on...