CHINO, Calif. -- The sign outside of the farm community of Chino, Calif., was draped with a weathered banner proclaiming the city the site of the Summer Olympics shooting event.
Behind the sign, dairy cows lazily munched on grass under a coppertone sky in the stifling midday heat. Up the road, the entrance to the state prison stood stone gray and cold.
Chino is an American phenomenon. A rural city that has been sucked up by the rapidly-expanding metropolis of nearby Los Angeles. The city streets reflect Chino's schizophrenic nature as big city condominiums border pasture lands and tract houses.
Down one such street, over near Don Antonio Lugo High School, is the home of Joaquin Zendejas Sr. and his family. Since 1977, the home as been the site of the first family of American placekicking.
Two of Joaquin's sons -- Luis and Max -- have gone on from Don Antonio Lugo High to become college football's most prolific kickers. Luis, a senior at Arizona State, is closing in on Tony Dorsett's career scoring record. He also owns seven NCAA kicking marks and has tied six others.
Max, a junior at Arizona, tied an NCAA record on Oct. 6 by kicking a field goal in his 16th straight game.
But the pair's statistics are even more impressive than their records.
Luis has hit 115 out of 116 extra points and 72 of 96 field goal attempts in his career. Max has hit 90 of 91 extra points since coming to Arizona. This year, as of Oct. 6, he had connected on 13 of 17 field goal attempts and an incredible 3 of 4 from beyond 50 yards.
Two of Joaquin's nephews -- Tony and Martin -- have carried on the Zendejas record-breaking tradition at 1AA power, the University of Nevada-Reno.
Tony, now a member of the USFL's Los Angeles Express, was an 1AA All-America three years running and holds a slew of 1AA place kicking records as well as marks for all divisions.
In his three-year collegiate career, Tony connected on 70 of 86 field goal attempts for an 81.9 percent mark. The only kicker in collegiate history with a higher percentage is former Washington kicker Chuck Nelson, who finished with an 81.9 percent mark. The 70 field goals is a career record for all divisions.
Martin, a redshirt freshman this year at Nevada-Reno, missed his first field goal attempt of the 1984 season but since has connected on 12 in a row tying a 1AA mark. He also scored 19 points in a game this year against Texas A&I tying yet another 1AA mark for most points in a game by a kicker.
Joaquin's oldest son -- Joaquin Jr. -- was a kicker at California's LaVerne College. He played professional football for awhile for the New England Patriots.
There are also two younger Zendejas -- Joaquin's sons Alan and Alex - still at Don Antonio Lugo High awaiting their chance to dent the NCAA record book. Alan has hit 7 of his 8 field goal attempts this year. Five of those field goals came in one game setting a California Interscholastic Federation (the state high school ruling body) record.
Alex, a sophomore, is the kicker on the high school's junior varsity team and hit a 40-yard plus field goal in a game Oct. 4.
Luis says Alan may be the best of the bunch.
'I think Alan is better at his level than when Max and I were (high school) juniors,' he said.
Joaquin Sr. is humble about his family's successes. He says he started his children kicking so that they could play professional soccer not football.
'I started to play soccer more than 20 years ago,' he said. 'That's why I started teaching my sons how to kick. I wanted them to play professional soccer. It seemed that I never bought any clothes, I just bought soccer balls.'
The elder Zendejas says his sons changed their interest from soccer to football when they saw the big crowds at the high school football games.
'Not many people go to watch soccer,' he said. 'That's why my sons switched.'
Joaquin would bring his children and his nephews down to the stadium at Don Antonio High every day. He would teach and watch them kick for hours. But his instructions were not just about kicking.
'I told them a lot of things,' he said. 'But the one thing I always told them was they had to practice and work hard. I never wanted my sons to sit the bench.'
Because he has a son at both Arizona and Arizona State, it would seem that the elder Zendejas would have a problem when the two Pac-10 schools collide on Thanksgiving weekend. At last year's game, Zendejas was seen in the crowd wearing both an ASU hat and an Arizona cap.
'The way I look at that game is that I have won before I leave home,' he said. 'I cheer for both my sons.'
Luis says whom his parents cheer for depends on a number of things.
'They both want us to do good, and they mostly go for the person that has a chance to go to a bowl or something like that,' the ASU kicker said. 'They also have their little friendly things, like 'I've got to root for Max, he called me more this year.'
'Last year, they had to be more on my side because I got them tickets. This year, Max gets them the tickets so they'll be in U of A seats.'
However, when the word rivalry is mentioned both brothers are quick to say there is none.
'It's not a rivalry, really,' Max said. 'It's just a matter of helping each other out. Entering the season, we share tips, and we call each other up after every game to see how we did. I'm always cheering for him and he cheers for me. It's more like we are a team.'
Luis says there is family pride at stake when he and Max take the field.
'I tell him 'don't miss, not even against us,' and he tells me the same,' he said. 'It's mostly for the name. As happy as we are for ourselves, we're more happy for the name.'
Luis says if he has missed one thing in his career, it has been to win a game with no time left on the clock. Max, on the other hand, has had the opportunity twice.
In 1982, Max hit a field goal with time running out to give Arizona a 16-13 triumph over Notre Dame in South Bend. Then last year, he hit a 45 yarder as time ran out to beat his brother's ASU Sun Devils, 17-15.
While thoughts of professional football are on the minds of both the Zendejas brothers, Max says the short professional career of his brother Joaquin has taught the family a valuable lesson.
'I think it was great for Tony and Joaquin, but the fact that Joaquin did not stay kind of makes me think and concentrate more on college than football,' he said. 'I thought there were lots of opportunities for kicker. I don't see how he (Joaquin) didn't make it.'