San Diego : High School Review : Granite Hills Finally Brought Down to Earth

Through most of May, the top-ranked Granite Hills High School baseball team has had an easy time with its opponents, outscoring them, 62-24.

But last Friday, Grossmont--the second-place team in the Grossmont League--beat the Eagles, 8-0. Grossmont pitcher Lance Dickson threw a three-hitter and recorded seven strikeouts.

Some coaches would regard the defeat as a blessing for a team that has had such an easy time lately. Not so Granite Hills' Gordon Thompson.

"At this point, when you are trying to win a baseball championship outright, for the first time in the history of the school, losing to Grossmont was not a blessing," Thompson said. "This league is so tough."

In 1985, Granite Hills shared the league championship with Santana. In 1977, the Eagles dropped to second place after losing the final game of the season to El Capitan. However, Granite Hills went on to win the San Diego Section 2-A championship, beating Kearny, 8-4.

Although the Eagles were disappointed with Friday's loss, Thompson said his team is not devastated.

"At practice Saturday, everything was back to normal," he said. "We all agreed that Dickson pitched a tremendous game. We also agreed it was by far the best pitching we've seen all year. When someone does a job like he did, it was his day and not ours."

Thompson said he was mildly surprised by his team's huge winning margins. For example, the Eagles defeated defending 3-A champion Santana, 20-8. But the coach said he would be equally pleased if his team won by only one run.

"Winning by one run is enough," he said. "All those stats they put on the board (before Friday), that's ancient history too. If one run beats (the opponent), that's fine.

"I can't project into the future. Every day, when we went out to play a ballgame and kept putting those numbers on the board, I hoped--but didn't expect--that to happen, but it did and continued. But I've been around long enough to know that all good things come to an end."

The Coronado High baseball team last week had to forfeit four nonleague victories because it used an ineligible player who lived out of the school district.

Because the player also played basketball, the Coronado basketball team last week also had to forfeit all of its victories. The team had finished this season with a 6-14 record.

In the fall of 1985, John Johann, a senior who lives across the street from Mar Vista High School, decided he would rather attend Coronado. He used a friend's address to transfer. He didn't participate in any sports his junior year, but this season he played basketball and baseball before he broke his wrist early in the spring season.

Coronado baseball Coach Ron Smock was told two weeks ago by Bonita Vista Coach John Gibbs that Johann did not live in the Coronado district. Smock said he confronted Johann, and the player confessed to using the false address.

The proper procedure for an inter-district transfer is filling out a request.

"Never once did he know that you have to do that," Smock said of Johann. "He played basketball all season. That's why I assumed he was eligible."

Johann, Coronado's No. 2 pitcher, filed the required forms last week and is eligible to play.

Coronado (8-3), which is tied for first in the Metro-South Bay League with Castle Park, is now 11-11 overall instead of 15-7.

Brian Daly, The Times' San Diego Section basketball coach of the year, will leave San Dieguito to take a position as basketball coach at West Hills, which will open this fall in Santee with ninth-graders only.

Daly, a social studies teacher, said he made the change because he had been waiting for a social studies position to open up in the Grossmont Union School District. San Dieguito is in the San Dieguito Union High School District.

"I think it (Grossmont) is the best educational district in the county," Daly said. "It has a good balance between academics and athletics."

Daly, under whom San Dieguito went from last place in the Palomar League in 1985 to third place this past season, said the most difficult part of his decision was leaving his players.

"It's going to be tough to leave the kids behind," he said. "They are, by far, the best group of kids I have worked with to date."

The Sports Communication Network and KTTY Channel 69 have agreed on a three-year contract to provide community sports breaks, weekly coverage of a high school sporting event (on tape delay) and a weekly "Scholastic Sports Report."

SCN began broadcasting local high school sports last fall, providing coverage of the Section 2-A and 3-A football championships on a tape-delayed basis.

Saturday, SCN and Channel 69 will broadcast their first baseball game. The Granite Hills at Valhalla game, which will be played today, will be shown at 4 p.m.

Channel 69 also will broadcast four daily community sports breaks, lasting 10 or 30 seconds each.

The "Scholastic Sports Report" will include five features on local athletes during the half-hour show, scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Saturdays.

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