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Simon and Garfunkle dramatically crooned it, but prep football powers Orem and West may actually (OK, sort of), have lived it. "Like a bridge over troubled water," the Tigers and Panthers have overcome heavy graduation losses and injuries to reclaim residency in the familiar confines of the Deseret News' prep rankings (See D1).

After disappointing season openers, both squads enter the second half of the 1994 campaign in the top five. Both teams maintained permanent residency in the rankings throughout the 1993 season."I don't know if they're more talented than last year's team, but they have one whale of a lot of heart," West coach Don Holtry said of his No. 2 ranked Panthers. West moved up three spots in the 4A poll after dismantling previous No. 1 Olympus, 21-10 Friday. The Panthers, winners of four straight games, are now in hot pursuit of new rankings leader and defending state champion Pleasant Grove, which handed West its only loss.

Meanwhile, in the 5A circuit, the Golden Tigers return to the leadership fold after a 0-2 start. Orem holds the No. 4 spot after blasting No. 2 American Fork Friday.

"We really had some problems early, but things are starting to come together," said Orem coach Paul Clark. "If we can get everybody back healthy, we can be a pretty good football team."

Pretty good seems to be commonplace with parity manifesting itself in all five classifications.

Bingham , Delta , Uintah , Kanab , Manti and Milford are the lone unbeatens remaining in the state.

BY WHOM? BYU's Friday night special with Utah State at Cougar Stadium has failed to alter much of the Utah County high school scene. Four prep games were slated to go head-to-head with the Cougars. However, as of Saturday, only one contest will change its start time to accommodate the rare conflict. The Springville at Timpview game, originally set for 7 p.m., will kick off at 4 p.m. instead.

Meanwhile, Payson, Pleasant Grove and Orem plan on sticking with evening start times.

"That's right," mused Payson coach Bart Peery. "We'll take 'em on."

The Lions discussed the possibility of change, but felt it would infringe on the school's homecoming activities. Thus, Payson and Spanish Fork will meet at 7 p.m., as may the Provo at Pleasant Grove encounter. And last, but certainly not least, Mountain View's crosstown trek to Orem will remain a 7:30 p.m. meeting.

FAMILY TIES: Excuse Scott and Paula Gardner for being big boosters of the Viewmont High golf team. The Centerville couple has three children swinging sticks for the Vikings. Sons Jono and Preston, a senior and junior respectively, are joined on the team by 9th-grade sister Jessica.

COACHES WANTED: Copper Hills High School, which will open in the Jordan School District in the 1995-96 school year, is now accepting applications for teachers who can qualify to serve as head football coach, girls' tennis coach, cheerleader adviser and drill team instructor. In addition, the school is seeking to hire a debate coach and a technology lab instructor. These positions require a secondary teaching certificate and endorsements in one or more areas of the basic core curriculum in addition to coaching skills and abilities. Applications will be accepted at the Jordan District Personnel Dept., 9361 S. 300 E., Sandy, until 5 p.m. Monday, Oct. 3. For more information contact the district personnel office at 567-8150.

ON THE AIR: Sports Radio 570 AM and KSOS AM 800 continue weekly coverage of high school football Thursday with radio broadcasts of Region 1 tilts. Sports Radio will call the shots from Layton when Fremont comes to town, while KSOS will carry the Weber at Northridge action. Kickoffs are set for 7 p.m. with pregame shows at 6:50 p.m. In addition, Sports Radio returns to the prep airwaves Friday with the Judge Memorial at Woods Cross non-league encounter at 7 p.m.

SKY HIGH: Opposing volleyball teams are finding it hard to get spike attempts through the front line of the Sky View Bobcats. That may be due to the fact that the second-ranked Bobcats have one of the tallest (if not the tallest) teams in the state. Led by 6-4 outside hitter Mari Burningham, Sky View has four players measuring 6-foot-1 or taller. Also included in the skyscraper club are Jessica Sparrow, Rena Gilden and Taffy Smart. Sparrow is 6-2, while the other spikers represent the short end at 6-1. Sky View faces stiff tests this week with games against ranked Cache Valley rivals Mountain Crest and Logan.

MAN VS. MACHINE: Rep. Karen Shepherd's loyalty to the 2ndCongressional District proved costly in the latest edition of the Deseret News' Man vs. Machine prep football pick'ems competition. Shepherd dropped a 26-22 decision to Noland Parry's computer-generated Power Guide in the quest for accuracy in 38 games Friday. However, she did do well enough to keep the human race in front in terms of the overall competition. Through five weeks, score it: Man 124-61, Machine 121-64. Take that, technology. Next week's guest picker is Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah. His picks, along with those of the Power Guide, will appear later this week.