Under the best of circumstances, Hart High’s football team figured to have a difficult time against state power St. Bonaventure of Ventura last Friday. In a momentum-swinging 33-21 loss at Ventura High, injuries took a toll on Hart. By the fourth quarter, Hart (1-1) was down to its fourth-string running back, Patrick Sarkissian, after Delano Howell (ankle), Robbie Casselberry (strep throat) and James Wheeler (neck) went down. “Have I ever been down to my fourth-string running back? No, I haven’t,” said Hart coach Mike Herrington, a 17-year veteran. “But the thing was the injuries didn’t just hurt our offense, they hurt our defense, too. Robbie’s a full-time defender, too, but when we use him at running back, we can’t use him full-time on defense – especially when he’s got strep throat, because he just ran out of gas. Then we put James Wheeler back there, but when we do that, we lose him on defense, too, because a running back just can’t go both ways. “By the time Patrick was in there, he was basically a blocking back, but he plays defense, too, so the whole situation just limited our effectiveness on defense.” Howell, a touted sophomore who injured his ankle during the season-opening 7-6 victory over Moorpark, suited up against St. Bonaventure but wasn’t ready to go. He’s probable for Friday’s game against Westlake at College of the Canyons. Casselberry and Wheeler also are expected to be back – at their usual positions, receiver and defensive back. Offensive lineman J.T. Hartmire (ankle) and defensive lineman Steve Burton (broken thumb) also are hurting. Hartmire, a 6-foot-2, 315-pounder who is among the Foothill League’s biggest players, has been hobbling for the past few weeks. After missing an opening scrimmage, Hartmire played against Moorpark, then reinjured the ankle last Wednesday during practice and was held out against St. Bonaventure. “Hartmire probably could have gone in against St. Bonaventure,” Herrington said. “He wanted to, but after seeing him in warm-ups we decided against it. I’d say he’s probable for this week.” Burton’s injury is more serious. He’s scheduled to undergo surgery Friday, when a screw will be inserted into his thumb. He’s out for at least two to three weeks and possible for the rest of the season. “The bone in his thumb completely broke away,” Herrington said. Burton doesn’t have much luck. He missed half of last season because of a shoulder injury. After losing to St. Bonaventure, Herrington’s weekend didn’t improve Saturday. Three of Hart’s most notable former standouts who have made the starting lineup at Division I colleges – quarterback Matt Moore (Oregon State), defensive lineman Chris Frome (Notre Dame) and kicker Josh Cummings (Pittsburgh) – played in losses. “All our kids lost – but at least (former Hart golfer) Jason Gore won that PGA event,” Herrington said. Respected prep sports Web site calpreps.com has computed official “dynasty ratings,” based on the performances the past four years. Among the factors computed are overall won-loss records, playoff records, strength of schedule and performances against national top-1,000 opponents. In the state ratings, Hart is sixth, Valencia is 14th and Canyon is 52nd. Here’s the top 20: 1. De La Salle (Concord); 2. Mission Viejo; 3. Los Alamitos; 4. St. Bonaventure; 5. Long Beach Poly; 6. Hart; 7. Notre Dame (Sherman Oaks); 8. Vista (San Diego); 9. Clovis West; 10. Clovis East; 11. Oak Ridge (El Dorado Hills); 12. Torrey Pines (San Diego); 13. Valley Christian (San Jose); 14. Valencia; 15. St. Francis (Mountain View); 16. Loyola (Los Angeles); 17. Oceanside; 18. Santa Margarita (Rancho Santa Margarita); 19. Monte Vista (Danville); 20. tie between Los Gatos and Sutter. For 10-year-olds, Castaic’s youth football team plays some serious defense. The youngsters held Ventura to minus-10 yards in a 22-0 victory Saturday at Castaic Middle School, its second shutout in as many games. Among Castaic’s top defenders are Jordan Benty, Issa Nassarrelah, Jake Johnson and Christian Parrish. And, finally, I would bet today’s high schoolers have no idea football kickers used to kick straight-on before soccer-style kickers came along. Gerry Gittelson’s column appears in the Daily News three times a week. He can be reached at (661) 257-5218, [email protected] or by fax at (661) 257-5262. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe top 10 theme park moments of 2019 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!