Southern Section's Swap: Hart-Break for Football Fans

Times Staff Writer

The Canyon High football team, winner of three straight Northwestern Conference titles, has been moved to the Coastal Conference along with the rest of the Golden League by the Southern Section playoff grouping committee.

Be still, you beating Hart fans.

There is no chance of a Santa Clarita Valley showdown between Canyon and Hart in the playoffs.

Hart, along with the rest of the Foothill League, has been moved from the Coastal to the Northwestern Conference. Basically, the Golden and Foothill leagues switched conferences.

"The Golden League, Canyon High in particular, had dominated the Northwestern Conference for three years," said Bill Clark, Southern Section administrator. "There is more overall strength in the Coastal Conference."

Clark said the committee considered enrollment and level of competition in its decision to replace the Golden League with the Foothill.

While Canyon Coach Harry Welch and Hart Coach Rick Scott agree that Canyon deserved to move up, both are disappointed that Hart won't remain in the Coastal.

"I feel great about Canyon High moving up," Welch said. "But it's a slap in the face of the Foothill League. Hart and Schurr were two of the best teams in the conference, and Burroughs and Burbank are on the way up. Hart should dominate the Northwestern the way we did."

Added Scott: "For the sake of our community, I wish Hart, Canyon and Saugus highs were in the same conference. Actually, it's kind of goofy that we aren't all in the same league."

Both coaches believe that a Hart-Canyon playoff game would draw more than 10,000 people. The two schools will meet in a nonleague game to open the season and expect to draw nearly 10,000 spectators.

Schools have until April 4 to appeal the committee's recommendation.

Clark said that league changes will be considered next season, and that if the schools in the Santa Clarita Valley wish to be in the same league, they should make it clear at that time.

Although the Golden League is the only newcomer to the Coastal Conference, the Pioneer and Rio Hondo leagues are joining the Foothill League in the Northwestern Conference.

The Pioneer moves from the Desert-Mountain Conference, Rio Hondo from the Eastern Conference. Moving from the Northwestern are the Los Padres League (to the Desert-Mountain) and the Ocean League (to the Southern).

Harvard, formerly of the Pioneer League, has been moved to the Sante Fe League.

Totally Rad: Had Scott Radinsky's teammates known how dominant the Simi Valley pitcher was going to be, most of them could have skipped the trip to Riverside Poly on Friday night.

As it was, all Radinsky's teammates could do in Simi Valley's 1-0 win was stand under dim lights and overcast skies and watch Radinsky throw overpowering pitches.

The senior left-hander struck out 18 and allowed only one hit.

Three fair balls were hit by Riverside Poly--a ground out to first base in the fourth inning, a bunt fielded by Radinsky in the sixth and the hit, which traveled all of 30 feet.

With one out in the seventh, John Turner hit a bouncer off the plate that was ruled a hit when Radinsky slipped in the wet grass attempting to make the play.

Radinsky walked three, including two in the first inning. He picked off a runner in the first, then struck out eight straight, which broke his own school record of seven. After the ground out, he struck out five more in a row.

"The sophomores in my lineup came back to the bench with their eyes the size of silver dollars," Riverside Poly Coach Rich Graves said. "I'd heard stories that Radinsky's mechanics weren't the greatest and that he gets riled, but he looked smooth to me. His poise was super."

Graves said that several of Radinsky's fastballs were clocked at 91 m.p.h. by major league scouts in attendance.

Jeff Halpern, who coached Van Nuys to the City 3-A semifinals in 1984-85, has been named basketball coach at Birmingham.

Halpern, 42, replaces Jim O'Hara, who coached Birmingham for 30 years. Halpern coached the B and C teams teams at Grant for 10 years.

Because he lost his teaching position when enrollment at Van Nuys dropped last year, Halpern was moved to Birmingham, where he coached the wrestling team this season.

When the Burroughs softball team defeated Cabrillo in the Simi Valley tournament recently, it was the 400th win of Jerry Libman's coaching career.

In 23 years at Burroughs, Libman has coached varsity baseball, junior varsity boys basketball, B football and girls varsity basketball in addition to softball. He added up all the wins and it totaled 400.

"It makes me feel good," Libman, 44, said. "I went through yearbooks and banquet programs for the total."

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