Both Lee High School football coach Steve Sengstack and Westminster (Calif.) Coach Stan Clark make a point of insisting that Thursday night's 7 p.m. East Coast-West Coast classic at Lee in Springfield is much more than a football contest to promote good will.

"Well, our kids aren't about to allow a team to travel across country and beat us in our own back yard," Sengstack said. "But this is a wonderful opportunity for both teams. There is a lot of good will and friendship. But the bottom line is both schools want to win. This is no scrimmage.

"Of course, the Westminster team has a different system. They have been working out three months since spring. We've been working out three weeks.

"We exchanged films last year but we think this team is much improved. This will be a good opener for us."

Clark agreed that while the week-long odyssey of touring the Nation's Capital and its monuments has provided the players many opportunities for taking pictures for their scrapbooks, his team would still like to uphold California's rich football tradition by taking home a victory.

"This is not an East vs. West type of contest by any means, but we want to win the game," Clark said. "I know we aren't playing the best team here and we are not the best team in our area. Everything here has been very nice, but we are here primarily to play football."

Westminster, located in a suburb of Los Angeles, is unique in that it is one of a handful of the nation's schools to have voluntary drug testing. For its efforts in establishing its Say No to Drugs programs, the school received a congratulatory letter from First Lady Nancy Reagan, who is involved in the program.

Reagan was not here to welcome the visitors, but that didn't dampen the spirits of the 52 players, plus coaches and a handful of parents, who raised more than $50,000 to come east.

"The kids did everything from paper drives, collecting aluminum cans to car washes to get here. They raised $23,000 and our booster club raised another $20,000 through bingo games and things," Clark said. "This trip took a lot of effort but it is worth it. The kids can learn a bit more about history. They have exchanged gifts and T-shirts with the Lee players and they are enjoying themselves."

The game came about by accident. The Westminster community had begun its venture to make the trek east a few years ago but had no opponent. When the final preparations were being made, Clark called the Virginia High School League to inquire about any team with an opening during the week the Lions would be in the area.

"We only got an opening because we lost our game with Jefferson {now a high-tech academic school that plays a Class AA schedule}," Sengstack said. "While they were looking last year, they found us."

Lee also earned another trivia niche in 1985 when it played Einstein, making it the first Northern Virginia AAA school to meet a Montgomery County school in a regular season game (they tied, 20-20).

Lee suffered through an 0-9-1 season in 1985 before Sengstack began his tough rebuilding job. The Lancers were 3-7 last year, scoring only six touchdowns.

"We were competitive much of last year but didn't have a good offense," Sengstack said.

"We worked on improving in that area and we feel we have a better offense now."

Lee's strength is still on defense, where end Collis Heath and strong safety Matt DiGiulian are back.

The Lee players are also looking forward to the game with great enthusiasm.

"We are going into this game thinking of it as an East Coast versus West Coast battle," said Heath, a cocaptain of the Lancers. "It would be a big letdown if we didn't play well. We're not even thinking about losing. I'm very anxious to see them on the field, look at their style of play. I'm very glad they're here.

"A win would help our confidence and build some early school spirit, and we need that. It might seem like a meaningless game to some people, but not to us.

"They are an opponent. We will do all of our mingling with them on the field. I'll get to know them better after the game is over."

In the Lions, Lee will be facing a team that is big, physical and runs out of a multiple offense. Westmin-ster, which has about 2,500 students and plays in the toughest district in its area, finished 5-5-1 in 1986 after making the state playoffs and finishing 8-3-1 in '85.

"We are not as big as we were last year. Our biggest people are linebacker Ray Smith {6 feet 1, 245 pounds}, offensive tackle Byron Winger {6-5, 240} and guard Mike Enger {6-1, 220}," Clark said.

"It should be a good game. We hoped Lee might come out next year but they indicated the cost would be too much. It was a big venture for us to get here and I doubt if we will do this again. But it was worth it."