No. 1 Cate Is Back to Try for Boys’ 1-A Tennis Title It Just Missed Last Year

Cate by a whisker: The Southern Section’s boys’ team tennis tournament will start today at various area sites. The division favorites are Santa Barbara (4-A), Calabasas (3-A), Indio (2-A) and Cate (1-A).

That’s right, Cate.

A small boarding school in Carpinteria, Cate is ranked No. 1 in 1-A and will be gunning for its first Southern Section title.

Cate’s best player is Matt Semler, a freshman from Portland, Ore., who is nationally ranked in the 14s.


In addition, the Rams have excellent depth, including five seniors, who led the team to the final last year, only to lose to Thacher of Ojai.

“We tied, 14-14,” said Cate Coach Bob Bonning, whose team is 14-0 heading into today’s opening round match against Crossroads. “But we lost in games, 98-96. You don’t forget something like that. It’s etched in your memory.

“The seniors are excited this year because they have the chance to win the school’s first title.

“Plus, I made a bet with the seniors a few years ago that if they would win a title before they graduated, I’d shave my beard. I’ve been here for 10 years and no one has ever seen me without one.”


The final match will be May 29. But don’t expect to see a bagful of Bics at courtside.

“Last year, a couple of the kids brought razors along to the final,” Bonning said. “It definitely put the hex on us.”

Kennedy’s Michael Pringle and Manual Arts’ Steve Broussard, the defending champion, are still in the running for the City Section’s 100-meter championship. Both sprinters advanced to the semifinals at Birmingham Friday.

The battle will continue in the fall, since both athletes are running backs who have accepted scholarships to Washington State.

Out on a limb: The baseball and softball playoffs will begin this week. Never one to pass an opportunity to be wrong, I like Riverside Poly or Rowland in 4-A baseball; Edgewood or Gahr in the 3-A; La Quinta or El Toro in 2-A; Whittier Christian or Atascadero in 1-A, and Crossroads in the Small Schools division.

In softball, I like unbeaten Ocean View in 4-A, but watch out for Righetti; in 3-A, the pick is Hacienda Heights Wilson; in 2-A, Royal Oak; in 1-A, Santa Paula, and in Small Schools, Viewpoint.

Congratulations to Crenshaw and Coach Willie West for winning an international high school tournament in Aarhus, Denmark.

As usual, the full-court press was devastating, but it also turned out to be a learning tool. Opposing guards were calling for help so often that the Crenshaw players now recognize the word in Gaelic, Turkish, French, Greek, Hebrew, and German.


Tracey and Lisa Williams are fanatics. Last Saturday afternoon

the sisters from Mountain View High, were attempting to qualify for Southern Section finals in track. Tracey, a freshman, advanced in the 1,600-meter and 3,200 meter runs. Lisa, a sophomore, pulled a muscle in the two-mile and didn’t qualify, but that didn’t keep her from joining Tracey for a Saturday night swim at East Los Angeles College in the 3-A Division consolation final of the 500-yard freestyle.

After the race, the girls said they were heading home, but rumor has it they stopped at a softball diamond, hoping to play a quick doubleheader before turning in.

All wet: Sonora sophomore Darren Ward’s strong finish in the 200-yard medley relay, cost Loyola its second straight 3-A swimming title. According to Loyola Coach Tim Coughlin, if Loyola’s Mike Childs had reached the wall first, the Cubs would have won the meet by one-half point, instead of losing by 3 1/2 to El Dorado.

Ward, who also won two other events, looks awesome and meet officials expect him to turn up on the U.S. roster at Seoul, South Korea, in 1988.

--Marvin Palmer of Riverside North was the only black athlete swimming in the 3-A competition Saturday.

Powell, a senior, was nationally ranked five years ago as a member of the Riverside Aquatics Swim Club, but tired of the sport and took an extended vacation. He returned to the pool this season and reached the consolation final of the 50-yard freestyle.

--Junior Jeff Smith of Atascadero sacrificed his curly locks for the team, shaving the majority of his head except for a carefully carved A, which stood out, as author Raymond Chandler once said, “like a tarantula on an angel food cake.”


--Dara Torres of Westlake in Holmby Hills, who last week set national prep records in two events, swims as if she’s being chased by Jaws I, II and III. Torres, a senior, won a gold medal in the Los Angeles Olympic Games, swimming in the 400 freestyle relay.

Prep Notes

He’s not on the varsity roster because he’s ineligible, but don’t be surprised when Crenshaw senior Rob Vaughn, an outstanding infielder, gets picked in an early round of the major league draft. . . . Westchester right fielder Dewitt Cotton stole six bases in a 7-1 victory over Palisades Friday. . . . Keep an eye on University junior Amanda Marks who qualified for the semifinals in the 1,600 and 3,200 meters at last week’s City track meet. The spunky 4-11, 85-pound runner hopes to advance to the City final, but has no illusions about her chances of winning. “I don’t think I have the raw leg speed to win right now,” she said. “I’d like to win but Kim Ojeda of Eagle Rock will set the pace. I just want to stay close to her. If I do, I have a good chance to qualify for State. That’s my goal.” . . . City darkhorse: Belmont’s Roman Gomez, the defending champion is the favorite, but don’t discount Hamilton’s Rick Tanner in the 1,600-meter run. . . . Rodney Spencer has been named football coach at Manual Arts. He formerly coached the B squad. . . . Pacifica senior Ferdinand Rivera rolled to his third straight Southern Section individual badminton championship Saturday at Cal State Dominguez. The team finals will be played Wednesday (3-A: Palms Springs vs. Rosemead) and Thursday (4-A: Estancia vs. Buena Park) at 3 p.m. at Westminster High. . . Aquinas collected its seventh straight De Anza League title in baseball, posting a 14-0 mark. One of the big reasons for the team’s 18-2 overall record is pitcher Mike Costello who has a 10-1 record with an earned-run average of 0.87. The senior left-hander has struck out 121 and walked only 33. Aquinas, which will open the 1-A playoffs Friday against visiting Bloomington at 3:15, has never won a Southern Section baseball title. . . . Kari Christensen of Pleasant Valley in Chico and John McGrory of San Marcos in Santa Barbara have been named the 1985 scholar-athletes of the year by the California Interscholastic Federation.

Defending champion Chatsworth will play host to Roosevelt this afternoon in a semifinal match of the City volleyball playoffs. In the other semifinal, University will be at Palisades. Both matches will begin at 3 p.m. The winners will play Friday night at Pepperdine for the championship. . . . Foothill’s Jennifer and Jill Osur and Alemany’s Ilene Hauser have been selected to the U.S. women’s basketball team for the Maccabiah Games in Tel Aviv, Israel, July 15-25. . . . First-year baseball Coach Mike McCurdy pulled off a big turnaround at Westlake. Last year, the Warriors were 2-22. This season they finished, 11-13, and just missed making the playoffs. . . . Reseda’s Joel Schaeffer and El Dorado’s Carl Sweet will coach the North, and Riverside Poly’s Mike Churchill and Gardena’s Bill Partridge the South in the Shrine All-Star football game July 27 at East L.A. College. . . . Andrea Thomas, a sophomore at Walton High in New York who has the fastest prep time in the nation at 400 meters, will compete in Saturday’s Pepsi Invitational at Drake Stadium. . . . In case you missed it: Locke’s talented sprinter Tesha Giddens has signed a letter of intent with the University of Texas.