According to the Star's notebook on Page C7, fans began filling in Larrabee Stadium almost three hours before the 1999 game between 9-0 Ventura and 8-1 Buena.
Big crowd of 9,000 doesn't come late
By David Lassen and Derry Eads
By 4:45 p.m. there were already dozens of people in the Larrabee Stadium
stands staking out space with blankets. By 5:45 the number was in the
hundreds and the choice top-row seats on the tiny visitors' bleachers -- the
only row in the small seven-row stands with a real chance of seeing over
those on the sidelines -- were already spoken for.
And when the two teams took the field an hour before the game the stands
were virtually full. The roar when they came out was louder than anything
you'd hear during some games.
"They say it seats 6000" said Buena coach Rick Scott. "But I know we've had
some games here with about 9000 people."
Thursday's crowd may have exceeded that figure.
"We come out for warmups and the stands are full" said Ventura coach Phil
McCune. "It's just great. Our kids are really enjoying this."
So clearly was Scott even before his team established its early dominance.
"I've coached in the Hart-Canyon rivalry and in the Newbury Park-Thousand
Oaks rivalry" he said. "I honestly believe there's something special about
Part of that he said is that players from both teams start in the same youth
program so they start out as friends. Part is that Ventura is a true
two-school town unlike the three-way rivalry in Thousand Oaks or the
five-way split in Oxnard. And part is that changing school boundaries mean
that brothers of players Scott coached at Buena are now players at Ventura.
But the best feature he said is that this rivalry is something of a
"All Phil's kids are in his attendance area and all mine are in my
attendance area" he said. "It's the purest form of rivalry. We don't have
any imports or exports or ringers."
It was an exceptionally lucrative game for both schools. For the last seven
or eight years said Scott the teams have been splitting the gate receipts.
"It's actually better to be the visitor" said Scott "because then you've had
your five home games and you get half of this one. Plus you don't have to
deal with supervision or security or all the other things that go with it."
Security he added can be a challenge.
"There's one area over there that's hard to secure" Scott said gesturing
toward the stadium's west end. "Kids jumping the fence are pouring over like
Part of Buena's pregame preparations were conducted across the street from
the stadium in the Ventura gym.
"We have our gym offense" said Scott "things we don't want people seeing out
on the field before the game. And it's warm in there. It makes more sense
than trying to warm up cold muscles out in cold weather."
Some miscellaneous statistical notes:
* Buena earned its fifth Channel League title of the decade and third
straight. Ventura was thwarted in a bid for its first league championship
since 1993 when it earned a share of the crown by beating Buena in the final
* Buena winner of nine straight can tie its school record of 10 consecutive
wins set in 1971 in its CIF-Southern Section Division IV playoff opener next
week. Playoff pairings will be announced Sunday.
* Buena receiver Cody Murphy entered the game with 48 receptions and with
his three catches Thursday is now five away from the school mark of 56.
Ventura running back Tyler Ebell who needed 29 points to set his school's
single-season scoring record is now eight away from that mark.
Copyright, 1999, Ventura County Star