Coaches Still Talking About Canyons’ Upset

Times Staff Writer

College of the Canyons’ 5-2 loss to Antelope Valley on Tuesday may have been one of the biggest upsets in the state this season.

At least, that’s the view of Mike Gillespie, who has coached Canyons for 16 years, winning two state and 10 conference titles. Canyons is 20-3 overall and 7-1 in conference this season.

“I think that would be the view of anyone who follows the game,” Gillespie said. “I can’t remember a bigger upset and certainly can’t remember one this season.”

It was hardly upsetting for conference rival Valley. The Monarchs (15-8, 5-3) have lost twice to Canyons this year and have three games left with the Cougars. But Valley gained a game this week on Canyons in the Mountain Valley Conference. Even though the Monarchs still trail Canyons by two games, Valley Coach Scott Muckey is resting a bit easier.

“It gives us a game to fool around with,” Muckey said. “It means we can lose to anyone else--Mission or West L.A. or Antelope Valley. But we still need to sweep three from Canyons.”


That, as the Monarchs have learned the hard way, is easier said than done. Valley lost its first two games to the Cougars by a combined score of 15-2.

Said Muckey: “Yeah, we still feel we have to pull a rabbit out of our hats. I guess that sort of stuff happens every once in a while. But I didn’t think Antelope Valley would be able to score five runs against Canyons, and I was really surprised Canyons only scored two against Antelope Valley.”

Gillespie was just as surprised.

“It really breaks the conference wide open,” Gillespie said after the loss. “Muckey won’t believe it. He’ll probably call The Times five times to check the score.”

Said Muckey with a touch of sarcasm: “Yeah, Gillespie can’t keep it together. They’re falling apart. They couldn’t keep a 14-game winning streak going. What’s wrong with them?

Added Muckey: “When you go through a 20-game conference schedule, you’re going to fall flat on your face once. I just wish Canyons would fall flat on their face against us. Now I’m just worried that they’re going to be so mad, so hyped up after that loss, that they’ll be tough to stop.”

Add JC baseball: The Mountain Valley Conference will send only one team to the state tournament this season. A year ago, the conference’s top two teams were invited.

Valley, the 1982 state champion, went to the tournament last season as a second-place team behind conference champion and eventual state runner-up Canyons.

This season, however, it’s do or die.

“When we went last season, it was very exciting for us,” Muckey said. “But that’s the way it goes. You have to win your conference championship once in a while.”

Each season the state chooses the conferences that will send two teams. The Mountain Valley Conference will get two invitations again in 1988.

This season, the odds are against Valley. Many community college baseball observers believe that Canyons is fielding its best team ever. Muckey said his team isn’t too shabby itself.

“I would rather go as a second-place team this season than last season, " Muckey said. “I think we are a much better ball club this season than we were last season. We have already beaten a lot of first-place teams earlier in the season, like Long Beach and Orange Coast. Our record is the same as a lot of the first-place teams.”

Last add JCs: In the latest Southland Poll, conducted by community college sports information directors, Canyons is ranked No. 1 with 12 of 15 first-place votes. Valley is No. 13.

Play ball?: Pierce Athletic Director Bob O’Connor has said that at least two weeks will pass before a decision is made regarding a new football coach at the Woodland Hills campus. A decision also is pending on the fate of 14 Los Angeles Community College District physical education instructors who have yet to be reassigned because of proposed budget cuts.

“The president says we’ll have a program,” O’Connor said. “We’re going ahead with preparations for the football season. We’re ordering equipment. We just don’t officially know who’s going to head the program.”

Of the 39 physical education instructors who received layoff notices, 25 have been reassigned to other subject areas.

District administrators met Tuesday to discuss the situation but not much emerged from the meeting, O’Connor said. Pierce won’t decide on a coach until the layoff situation is resolved.

“Nobody knows what’s going on,” O’Connor said. “Everything is up to the district and the union.”

The Cal State Northridge softball team fell from the top spot in the latest NCAA Division II coaches poll and has been replaced by Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, also from the California Collegiate Athletic Assn.

CSUN is ranked No. 2. Chapman is No. 10.

You can go home again: Danny Berryman, a 6-3 guard for the Moorpark College basketball team last season, will visit the Nevada Reno this weekend.

Moorpark Coach Al Nordquist said Berryman is leaning toward Reno because the Wolfpack plays at Louisville and Kentucky next season. Berryman, an All-Western State Conference selection, is from Louisville.


Pierce designated hitter Mark Bowen is batting .460 and leads Valley-area community college players in hitting. Bowen has hit safely in 14 of 15 games with 10 runs batted in. . . . The Cal Lutheran softball team is 16-3. The main reason is a pitching staff that leads the National Assn. of Intercollegiate Athletics District 3 with a team earned-run average of 1.10. Kim Peppi and Becky Wolfe lead the team and are No. 2 and No. 3, respectively, in league statistics. Peppi is 8-1 with an ERA of 1.04. Wolfe is 6-2 with a 1.16 ERA. . . . Cal State Los Angeles honored several former Valley-area athletes for their performances this season in basketball and swimming. Janine Scollard, a junior from Grant High and Valley College, was named the most dedicated athlete on the women’s swim team. Scollard set school swimming records in the 50- and 100-yard freestyle events, and swam on four record-setting relay teams. Debbie Young, a 5-5 senior forward from Faith Baptist and Pierce, was named most inspirational player on the basketball team. Young also was honored as a CCAA scholar-athlete for carrying a 3.42 grade point average in physical education. . . . CSUN sports information director Lorin Pullman is recovering from back surgery and is expected to return to work in May.