Canyon Coach Wally Hammond, who announced his resignation last week after eight years as coach, denied that the move was prompted by controversy over a banner displayed by the Saugus baseball team.
"I decided at the beginning of the season," Hammond said about the resignation, which is effective at the end of the season. "That incident was just one more nail in the coffin. It made me realize I did the right thing."
Members of the Saugus team taped a banner to the wall of the visiting dugout after defeating Canyon, 9-1, on May 8. The banner alleged that Hammond said Saugus didn't deserve to be in first place. Hammond denies making such a statement.
"I could understand if they put it up in their locker room or in their bus on the way over. But I can't see them leaving it in the dugout. I would never let my kids do that," said Hammond, 52.
Hammond, who will continue to teach driver's education at Canyon, was 128-73-5 and won three Golden League championships. Canyon, which placed third in league this year with a 10-5 record (14-9 overall) plays today at Apple Valley in a Southern Section 2-A wild-card game.
Now that you put it that way: Canoga Park Coach Doug MacKenzie wasn't happy with his team after it dropped an 8-3 decision to Reseda last week, but upon closer inspection, maybe the loss wasn't so bad.
"If we would have won, we would have had to win every game for the rest of the season," said MacKenzie of the loss, which snapped a 12-game win streak. "We would have had to make it all the way through the single-elimination playoffs and everything. That's something like 18 straight games, and that's a lot of extra pressure."
With pitching ace Mike Kerber sidelined because of tendinitis, Canoga Park struggled before putting together a 12-game winning streak. Now, as the Hunters prepare for the playoffs, the status of Adam Schulhofer (7-2), who has a sore shoulder, is in question. MacKenzie hopes that the time off--Schulhofer will have another week until the playoffs begin--will heal the shoulder.
The shower hits back: Poly starting pitcher Nick Lymberopoulos, who is 7-0 with a 1.50 earned-run average, fell through a shower door at home last week and missed his first start of the year. The wound to his right arm required 12 stitches, but he is expected to begin throwing this week and should recover in time for the City playoffs, which begin next Wednesday.
Shirt stop: Canyon shortstop Jason Stanley was charged with an error when a sharp grounder took a bad hop and disappeared inside his shirt, allowing an Antelope Valley runner to reach base. . . . It took Canyon only three pitches to take a 3-0 lead over Antelope Valley. Gary Morgan and Ernie Figueroa each singled on the first pitch thrown to them. Ken Sollom then hit the third pitch of the game for a home run. . . . Burroughs Coach Paul Heaney teaches at Bell-Jeff and is the cheerleading coach there. The past two summers Bell-Jeff won camp competitions, and this year Heaney will work as an instructor for USA Cheerleading.
"It's taught me how hard the support people really work and it's showed me some flexibility exercises that I use for the baseball team," said Heaney, who started working with cheerleading squads six years ago. . . . Greg Frazer resigned last week after seven years as baseball coach at Village Christian.
Alemany epitaph: Although Alemany (18-9) won one more game than it did last season and was 13-2 in nonleague games, the Indians were 5-7 in Del Rey League play and missed the playoffs.
"There were so many factors," Coach Jim Ozella said. "We got tight and didn't play well in important games. I'd say we played 11 poor games in league."
Only one senior--Mike Gartland--batted better than .300, but Ozella can take solace in knowing that starters Greg Biley, Mark Scott, Jon Beauchemin, Sean Sosa, Joe Cupo, Bill Horvat, Mike Simms, Brian Rosselli and Charlie Winner all return next season. . . . Lance Smith, who quit the Crespi basketball team midway through last season and transferred to Chatsworth, will be eligible for the entire 1987-88 basketball season, the City Section's Interscholastic Athletic Committee ruled Monday. Smith, a junior, lost his starting forward position at Crespi and quit shortly thereafter. His mother, Donna, is principal at Chatsworth. . . . George Kenney, who was Crespi's athletic trainer since the school opened 26 years ago, died recently, apparently of a heart attack. Kenney was 69.
Swimming: Birmingham's Pat Wilson is "a very hairy young man," according to Coach Nick Rodionoff. "When he shaves it really makes a difference." Wilson dropped from a 56.0 to a 54.0 in the 100 butterfly and finished second at the City swimming finals last week. "I saw a film where air bubbles were caught in the hair, and it actually has a drag factor," Rodionoff said.
Track trouble: City administrators put the Taft, Canoga Park and Reseda track teams on a year's probation Monday for their part in a brawl that occurred following the West Valley League prelims May 1. Taft varsity sprinter O'Shun Pierre allegedly started the fight by "striking" Canoga Park student Kiesha Anderson, according to Don Thomas, an assistant principal at El Camino Real who helped break up the fight.
Canoga Park hurdler Bernard Jackson reportedly then attacked Pierre, and about 12 students from the three schools became involved in the fight. Pierre and Jackson have been suspended for the remainder of the season, although Canoga Park officials maintain Jackson was merely defending Anderson and himself.
"Pierre attacked the young lady and Bernard was protecting her from further damage," said Jim Rose, assistant track coach at Canoga Park.
Thomas, however, defended the City's action, saying: "Everybody in that situation was very aggressive. Lots of punches were thrown, kids were bouncing off poles, cars and asphalt. We have to take action to keep this from reoccuring."