The Preps : Coaching Change Leaves Granada Hills Players Out in the Cold

The Forgotten People: Lost in the shuffle of the anything-but-smooth coaching change in the Granada Hills football program were the players, who got a pat on the back and nothing else after tying for the Valley 4-A League title and finishing 6-4 overall.

Wayne Quigley, dismissed by Principal Al Irwin for "philosophical differences," was replaced by Darryl Stroh on Jan. 18. Quigley could stay at the school as a physical education instructor, but he said Monday that his plans are to leave as soon as possible.

Quigley's last official act was to cancel the team's awards dinner, which had been scheduled for Jan. 22.

Athletic Director Donald Stone said: "The banquet is something that's always put on by the coach, and the coach canceled it. There have been no attempts at rescheduling it, either. I guess they just decided to give (the letters and trophies) away at school."

That's just what Quigley did.

"We passed them out in the weight room during sixth period," he said. "We gave individual trophies for the best players at each position and for the players of the week."

Many prep athletes look forward to the awards dinner and the recognition they get at it.

Quigley said he didn't want to "stand up in front of a group of people who might be hostile" to him.

What the players got instead, Quigley said, "was an informal, casual sort of thing. It was no big deal."

Unfortunately for the players, that's true.

The best quarterback in the Foothill League in 1984, Burbank's Gary Lotka, might have been on the court, but you won't be able to convince Hart basketball Coach Doug Michelson that the best arm around when the two teams met Friday night for first place belonged to anybody but his starting guard, Kevin Honaker.

With the game tied just before halftime, 18-18, Honaker took an inbounds pass, headed down court a few steps them launched a 75-footer. Swish.

"Both teams were 3-0 in league and 12-3 overall (Hart was actually 12-4), so it was a very important game," Michelson said. "We got the ball after a couple free throws with two seconds left and got it to him (Honaker) specifically, and he cast it off and it went in. That put us up by two at halftime and gave us a lot of momentum."

For an encore, Honaker did the same thing at the final buzzer from half-court. The last of his 20 points that night might not have done much for the team, since Hart still lost, 48-45, but that won't make it any less memorable, Michelson said.

"I was thinking about calling the networks because this must be unprecedented," he said. "We've got both on tape and they're real clear.

"Every time I talked to someone this weekend, they wanted to talk about the shot more than the game."

How will it affect Honaker?

"I think people might stick a little closer on him now," Michelson said.

Add Hart: Even after losing Mark Ensing, Steve Mehr, David Strauss and Darryl Ingram to graduation, the Indians are a respectable 12-5 overall and still in the chase in the Foothill League. Most noteworthy is that they've done it with a starting lineup that stands 6-2, 6-2, 6-2 across the front line and 6-1 and 5-11 at the guards.

South Gate junior Keith Billingslea, a starter since his freshman year, got a look-see by USC assistant Stan Stewart in Friday's 57-51 loss to San Pedro.

"He can really stick it, and he's got a lot of time to improve," Stewart said.

Billingslea scored 25 points, although he had the advantage of being rested, unlike the other players, who bothered to play defense.

Prep Notes The resignation of Ron Price at Crenshaw brings to 10 the number of City football coaching vacancies that have developed since the end of the season because of firings, resignations and health-related problems. Price, who has shared the coaching duties with Earl Smith since 1977, is stepping up to the junior college ranks. He will become an assistant coach at Santa Monica City College. . . . The Crenshaw basketball team has scored more than 100 points in five straight games, including a 106-70 victory over Palisades on Friday. Next up is a game at Westchester Wednesday. . . . The National Football Foundation scholar-athlete dinner will be held Thursday at the Sportsman's Lodge on Ventura Boulevard in Studio City with long-time professional and college Coach John Ralston the keynote speaker. Fourteen high school football players, along with USC linebacker Duane Bickett, will be honored for academic excellence. Long Beach Poly quarterback Nick Riesgo leads the group with a 3.96 grade-point average.

Kennedy of Granada Hills ran its Valley 4-A League winning streak in girls' basketball to 66 games Friday with a 64-35 victory over Grant. . . . The La Salle soccer team has given up a total of two goals through its first 15 games. . . . Football recruiting update: Banning's outstanding quarterback, Jamelle Holieway, took a trip to the University of Colorado over the weekend. . . . Running back Brian Davis of Washington, Pa., Parade magazine's co-player of the year, has orally committed to Pitt after saying last week that he would wait until his birthday on Feb. 17 to sign, four days after the national letter-of-intent day. . . . Parade's other top player, linebacker Ned Bolcar of Phillipsburg, N.J., has reportedly given an oral commitment to Notre Dame.

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