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a-B THE BAYTOWN StiN Sunday, Augiut SO, La Marque Cougars put 1986 memories behind LA MARQUE (AP) — The La Marque Cougars are preparing for the 1987 season with many of the same players and same memories that propelled them to the 1966 Class 5A championship game. Quarterback Michael Little again will be throwing out of the run-and-shoot offense to wide receiver Ronnie Johnson. And there are still traces of the 1986 emotion- packed charge to the final without Head Coach Hugh Massey, who was killed in an auto accident prior to the Cougars' quarterfinal victory over Aldine MacArthur. After La Marque lost the championship to Piano, 24*7, some observers speculated the Cougars had finally run out of emotion. But Coach Larry Nowotny doesn't credit emotion for his team's 1986 success "I never did feel that way," said Nowotny, who took over as coach following Massey's death. "We expected that particular team to be that good. "Emotion, as in anything, has a lot to do with it, but you don't get that far on emotion alone. You've got to bring some players along and they've got to perform." Little and Johnson, now seniors, were among the players who led the Cougars last season. Little completed 149 of 283 passes for 2,793 yards and 30 touchdowns. Johnson caught 40 passes for 1,230 yards and 16 touchdowns. Little expects the Cougars to continue winning. "We've put most of that (last season) behind us," he said. "It's still something that's in the back of our minds but there's not much of it around now. We're just concentrating on this season." Nowotny, an assistant coach at La Marque prior to Massey's death, faced a difficult assignment when he took charge last season. Following Massey's death, La Marque beat MacArthur 10-0 in the quarterfinals and Austin Reagan 26-14 in the semifinals. "There were times that it could have gone either way, the emotion could have been a negative," Nowotny said. "As with anything that was close to you, you keep those memories dear. But you come to a point where you have to realize that you have to go forward." The Cougars, Nowotny said, long ago made that realization. Although they'll get stiff competition from La Porte in District 24-5A play, Nowotny doesn't shy away from the favorite's role. "It's logical that we're the favorites," he said. "We've got a lot of our offensive players back. They've proven themselves as receivers. "But we do have to rebuild our offensive line and the defensive is totally a rebuilding process." Tackle Otis Nealy, 6-foot-2 and 210 pounds, is the lone returning starter on defense. Johnson, 5-8 and 166, will be among the top recruited wide receivers in the state this season. He's anticipating an outstanding senior season for himself and his team. "We felt at the beginning of last season we could make it and I think this year's team is about the same," Johnson said. "Last year I caught 40 (passes). This year I want to make it 80." The Cougars will open their season at home Friday against Robert E. Lee. The Ganders fell to La Marque 63-0 in last year's first game and lost again 36-14 in the bi-district playoffs. Stat stars to compete for headlines in '87 DALLAS (AP) — Michael McKnight, a small-town running back who rushed for 2,588 yards and scored 40 touchdowns last season, returns for his final high school football season this fall. But the 5-foot-ll, 190-pound halfback from ChUlicothe will have plenty of competition for headlines this football season, even though he will be shooting for four touchdowns a game in his quest to break the national high school scoring mark. / mong other returning Texas schoolboy football stars are Crosby quarterback Glenn Yarbrough, who passed for 1,741 yards last season; McAllen running back Mark Morgan, Class 5A's top rusher last year as a junior, with 1,702 yards; La Marque quarterback Michael Little, who passed for 2,793 yards in 1986; Mission quarterback Lupe Rodriguez, who will again have available two of the receivers who helped him rack up 2,738 yards in passing last season; Caddo Mills defensive back Glen Swafford, who intercepted 16 passes in 1986; and Wheeler linebacker Richard Smith, who had 215 tackles last season. ChUlicothe. a Class 1A school, has a new coach and a wishbone offense for the first time, but the focus is definitely on McKnight, who scored seven touchdowns in one game last season. "He looks great. He's worked hard all summer. He was in the weight room even' day." said Coach Mack Lowe, who was at Ropesville, near Lubbock, last season. "His breaking national records is not our goal for the season, but if he can get it, I'd be tickled to death," Lowe said. McKnight, who says he hopes to go on to college and pro football, said he's looking forward to this season, since almost his entire offensive line is back from last year, "and they should be awesome." Little led La Marque to the Class 5A state championship game last year before the Cougars bowed to Piano. "I'm planning on being a lot better. I read (defenses) a lot better, and my arm's a lot stronger than it was. We did good last year, but I'd like to go for even more yardage than last year, and I'd like for us to score more points." Little said. La Marque Coach Larry Nowotny, who took over after former Coach Hugh Massey was killed in a car accident two days before La Marque's quarterfinals victory, said Little "can throw long and he can throw short. Our team has a lot of confidence in Mike. He is just a natural leader." At Mission, Coach Rusty Dowling not only has quarterback Lupe Rodriguez back for his senior season, but has two of the state's top receivers back in senior Frank Hernandez, who caught 51 passes for 685 yards last season, and junior Nati. Valdez. who caught 68 passes for 992 yards. Both Hernandez and Valdez missed three games. "Out of 10 plays, we probably are going to run the ball twice. We are going to throw the ball a bunch. That's what we do," Dowling said. "Lupe has good quick feet, a very good knowledge of our passing game, and he is good at handling blitzes and reading coverages. Plus, the fact that we do have some very good receivers makes him look good on occasions." At Cameron Yoe, a Class 3A school, is another quarterback considered one of the top in the state. Paul Johnson threw for 1,600 yards last year in leading his team to the quarterfinals. "He has a really quick release and a strong arm, but his strong suit is his judgment," Cameron Coach Toby York said. "Going into the third round of the playoffs last year, he threw for 17 touchdowns with only one interception, so we thought that was a real important statistic." Yoe will return a team with 19 seniors. The entire backfield, including Mike Bradley, who rushed for more than 1,000 yards last year, is back in 1987. At Wheeler, a Class 1A school in the Texas Panhandle. Coach Preston Smith said his 4-3 pro-type defense is designed for his son, 6-0,195-pound Richard, to make a lot of tackles. "He should be making a lot of tackles again for us this year," Smith said. "He has a nose for the football." He and his brother. Bubba, are both two-way starters for the team. Pilot Point, a Class 2A power in North Texas, has two top performers returning in running back Andrew Mack, who recovered from an early season injury to rush for 1,500 yards last year, and linebacker Rocky Jones, who missed four games with a separated shoulder but still led the team in tackles. Swafford. of Class 2A Caddo Mills, had 16 interceptions last year, four more than any other returning Texas schoolboy, despite splitting his time as a receiver on offense. He'll be the team's quarterback this year, as well as a defensive back. A hurdler and high jumper during track season. Swafford's leaping ability "and his knack for always being where the ball is" helped make the Caddo Mills pass defense almost inpenetrable last year, said Coach Randy Hitsman. Bremond. another Class 1A powerhouse, has two returning running backs who between them accounted for more than 4,000 yards on the ground last season. Tim Scott rushed for 2,574 yards and Charles Bailev for 1.650. GLENN YARBROUGH of Cro*by Is the leading returning passing yardage leader in Class 4A. The Cougar quarterback totaled 1,741 yards last season. (Sun suff photo by Alfml Valdez) Irvine in Little League final WILLIAMSPORT. Pa. i. AP) By reaching the Little League World Series championship game, a distinctly Californian team accomplished what 6.600 other teams across the country set out to do. "Win or lose tomorrow, to be No. 1 in the United States is an accomplishment in itself." said Bob Garcia, manager of the team from Irvine. Calif., a suburb of about 60.000 people 35 miles southeast of Los Angeles. Going into the championship game today against Hua Lian. Taiwan. Irvine had won 18 straight tournament games, using strong pitching, an explosive offense and the rallying cry. "Catch The Wave." Hua Lian. 15-0. was attempting to give the Far East its 17th Little League championship in the last 21 vears and Taiwan its RENT-A-CAR U-SAVE 422-0535 seventh title in the last 11 years. Reporters from three Los Angeles area newspapers and a Los Angeles television crew have flown to Williamsport to cover the team of 11-and 12-year- olds. Perhaps Irvine's proximity to Hollywood has helped the players adjust to the glare of celebrity. "It's California. This is just like a big party for them." Garcia said. "The notoriety and everything is wonderful for them." Team players have even performed a homemade music video that several of the 80 family members and supporters who have traveled to Williamsport enjoy showing. In the video, made last weekend at the West regional finals in San Bernardino, Calif.. the team sings the current Los Lobos hit. "La Bamba." Right fielder Steve Mendoza follows with a lip-synced rendition of the Beastie Boys song. "You've Got To Fight For Your Right To Party." wearing sunglasses and playing "air euitar." Scoreboard I ootklll NFL standings AMERICA.': CONFERENCE East W 1. T Pet PF PA Houston a! Indianapolis New York Jet.v at New York Denver at Uis Angeles Hams Sunday's Rama Lnv M.cc!f» Hauler!, u: I'alia- Monday, AUK 31 BulfaJi Quality Is Not Expensive Its... PRICELESS TRANSMISSIONS A Texas Professional Kansas '.' San UK'C Seattle ! .' 1. A Kaidrs (' 2 " <w NATIONAL CONFERENCE East ^ Y 'iiams J '1 MI IK*' ;;; 15 Dallas ; 1 u :jv \ -: c Philrtlphia i I ; i .V«i ;•• .->: s; l.oui> i i n ;*" <•; •;; Central ChfCaiin J '! « I i'»"O ^ !7 Minnesota ! ; " .Vo '>-; ;»; Tarnn.t ila; i ; i. v«> v. v. [Vlroit I i (' M", a n>. (.;rct'nBa> " i 0 I«HI n .v; West I. 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Sept J Sr.rcv rpor t al Jjck^on, if «-ct->N<i r> Wichita at Kl P»»v it n«-rs.-uiry Champkxulup i Betl ol srven i fH<Uy. Sept » Kast champton at Nir*! chAmpton Saturday. S*pt i K^st champion a[ West champwn Bednarski enjoys playing time with UT 427-3776 1 yr or 12,000 milt wirrtnty 427-3776 From Page i-B Ji 1C* ASA Towing - free f$tim*t*f free Rood Tttt -.:.- One fry Stnri c» SiiKfl19t7 \ NOW OFF f KING INSTANT CRCDIT \ ; While he would like the opportunity to hit opposing backs and receivers more oflen. he is too busy concerning himself with his present role to start thinking about anything else. "Everybody always wants to increase'their playing time, but I'm just trying to keep my sights on this year," he said.'"I just want to do the best I can this year, and by doing that everything else will take care of itself." But being a walk-on who has to fight for his playing time means a lot of work must be put in. Bednarski's summer included plenty of H. "This year I laid off a couple weeks, then I started lifting three limes a week," he said. "After a month of that, I started running and then started increasing both aspects so I would peak when we came in i for preseason workoutsK "Being a walk-on, you have to put in a lot of extra work. You're at a disadvantage because the other guys are going to get the first, shot. They're paid for it (with scholarships), so there's an investment in them. When you get your shot you've got to be ready, and that keeps you working hard and on your toes." While Bednarski said he has goals as he heads into the season, such as making at least one tackle per game on the kickoff team, he said the team as a whole has a goal — winning the Southwest Conference title. He feels that's not a farfetched goal, either. "I think this year we'll be able to compete/' he said. "I really think we have a lot better team than some people realize. We're young, but we're real together and we've got good morale. Everything is positive." With David McWilliams as the new head coach replacing Fred Akers, Bednarski sees the upcoming season as a new beginning at UT. "We're getting a fresh start." he said. "We've got a fresh program, everything is new and everybody seems a lot happier. There are a lot more < fans) coming out to our practices and everybody has really been behind us." Bednarski would love to help contribute to a new winning tradition at Texas as a linebacker, but if his role remains a special teamer he won't complain. He's happy to have a role, no matter what it is. nett, a linebacker who was the second player picked m the NFL draft last spring, and the Oilers' Alunzo Highsmilh, a fullback and the third player taken in the- draft, are both holdout*. Indianapolis is coming off a :i7-. 13 loss at Minnesota last wevk. while Houston is coming off a 16- K! victory over New ((rleans. "We still have some thinus we need to accomplish," said Glan v j 11 e. " W e m a d e e n o u g h mistakes < we saw on film that there are things for us to work on and correct " The Colts, too. are looking for. improvements. "Some areas 1 thought we'd be further ahead." said Meyer, referring to the Colts' passing game — both offensively and defensively Starting quarter back Gary Hogeboom has hit only eight of 23 attempts for W yards and has been sacked four times for losses of :w yards in the first two games On defense, the Colls havo- aliowed an average of 252 passing yards a game "Houston is a much improved team. They're a very pressing team and very aggressive. They try to make the big play defensively." said Meyer In Houston's victory over Now Orleans, the Oilers held the Saints to just 25 rushing yards on 18 attempts. "They just got after them, like a young Chicago Bears" team. I'm telling you. they're impressive." said Meyer. "This will be a much more severe test" defensively than Minnesota was." The Houston ground game pro-" duced 217 yards against New- Orleans. "Their (Colts) offense will be a test for our young players/', said Glanville. "They run a 'white' formation with two tight ends and two wide receivers and . a 'maroon' formation with three' tight ends and one wide receiver. It's something we haven't seen, so far. They give you a lot of mo- '. lion and we will have to adjust to that."