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Laker Byron Scott’s Desire to Coach at Morningside Brings a Laugh at School

Byron Scott, who signed a five-year contract Monday with the Lakers for an estimated $1.2 million a year, said when he retires he would like to coach basketball at his alma mater, Morningside High.

Are the folks at Morningside excited? Well, not exactly.

“That’s the biggest laugh I’ve ever heard,” said Ron Randle, who coaches the Monarchs’ basketball team with Carl Franklin. “He better stick to comedy because that’s what he’s talking.”

Randle said Scott has done little to help Morningside since his graduation in 1979 from the school that is within walking distance of the Forum.

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“We’ve sent letters and made calls and asked him to show up as a guest speaker, but he hasn’t been able to make it,” Randle said. “I think the ball is in his court at this point.

“The sign of a good coach is putting his best foot forward for the team instead of his mouth.”

Randle said when Scott was a senior at Morningside, the Dads’ Club bought the player a suit to wear to the Dapper Dan Classic in Pittsburgh.

“I think he’d be remiss in not remembering some of that,” Randle said. “I’ve spent my coaching stipend the last four years to sponsor our kids at summer camps. It takes that type of commitment to be a coach. I don’t know if he’s ready for that.”

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Add Morningside: Randle said the Monarchs are about $2,000 short of what they need to participate in the Iolani Classic in Honolulu on Dec. 15-21.

To raise the funds, Morningside will hold a basketball clinic Oct. 18-22 and a 3-on-3 tournament for adults Nov. 12-13.

The clinic, which will feature Long Beach State Coach Joe Harrington and assistant coaches Tony Fuller of UCLA and Stan Stewart of UC Santa Barbara, costs $5 and is open to players ages 12 to 18. The 3-on-3 tournament carries an entry fee of $20 per team and includes T-shirts and trophies.

Anyone interested in either event can call Randle at 419-2702 or the Morningside student store at 419-2989.

Before the season, Carson football Coach Gene Vollnogle said his main concern about the Colts’ new two-quarterback system was that either Perry Klein or Fred Gatlin would outperform the other by a wide margin.

That, he said, could result in the Colts benching one quarterback.

Although Klein has been the better passer through four games, Vollnogle said he intends to continue alternating his quarterbacks after each series.

“Perry started off so well and he’s still hot,” he said. “But Fred is improving. We’re running the ball more than throwing the ball, so Fred is a little more valuable at this stage.”

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Klein has clearly outperformed Gatlin as a passer. The transfer from Palisades has completed 27 of 42 attempts (64%) for 510 yards and 6 touchdowns with 1 interception. Gatlin is 17 of 35 (48%) for 245 yards and 3 TDs with 2 interceptions.

Gatlin has netted 58 yards rushing on 18 carries. Klein, who has been sacked several times, has six yards on 12 carries.

“It makes it a good situation,” Vollnogle said. “Both of them can throw and both of them can run. When one is in the game, it gives the other a chance to stand on the sidelines and look at the defense to see what’s going on.”

In Carson’s 48-16 win over San Pedro last Friday, the Colts favored their double-wing passing offense when Klein was at quarterback and were more apt to run the veer option with Gatlin in the game.

Prep football fans wanting to get a look at Carson and Banning, two of the area’s best teams, can do so Friday when the schools play a rare double-header at Harbor College.

In the Conference Two games, Banning meets Narbonne at 2:30 p.m. and Carson faces Washington at 8.

Vollnogle said he cannot remember the rival schools ever playing separate games on the same field on the same day.

“It’s never happened that I can remember,” he said. “I was surprised. I didn’t know Banning was playing there until (Monday). I hope they get their game over in time because our ‘B’ game starts at 5:15.”

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Bishop Montgomery’s football team (4-0) is off to its best start since 1983, the year it reached the CIF Northwestern Conference finals and finished with a 12-1-1 record.

When asked about the Knights’ recent success, Coach Andy Szabatura had trouble pinpointing a reason.

“Talent-wise, I don’t think we have any superstars,” he said. “There seems to be a good sense of balance, and maybe we’re doing a better job of coaching.

“We have a good blend of kids. I wouldn’t want to say they are my best team. They’re a bunch of blue-collar workers.”

Some thought the Knights would be in trouble because of the graduation of their top player from last year, quarterback/defensive back Niu Sale. But the emergence of several seniors--including wide receiver-turned-quarterback Scott Altenberg, tailback Richard Jones and linebacker Pete Ortiz--has bolstered the team in early games.

Bishop Montgomery completes non-league play Friday night at home against Serra before opening in the always-tough Angelus League against Servite, ranked No. 3 in the CIF Division I poll.

The 1983 Knights, led by quarterback Bryan Bero, were unbeaten until they lost to Canyon of Canyon Country, 40-24, in the CIF finals. It was the first of three straight Northwestern Conference crowns for the Cowboys.

Mary Star (2-2) is another football team enjoying its best season since 1983. That was the last time the Stars reached the playoffs.

Coach Jerry Aguilar, who was an assistant under Joe Radisich during the school’s glory years in the 1970s and early ‘80s, said Mary Star is reaping the rewards of starting underclassmen in recent seasons.

“We had to play a lot of younger kids in the last year or two,” Aguilar said. “Last year we started five sophomores and we took it in the shorts. Teams just murdered us. Now they’re juniors and they’re playing with a great senior crop. These guys all want to do well.”

Mary Star has only 27 players on the varsity, making it tough to conduct proper practices and substitute during games.

“We can’t even run a full scrimmage,” Aguilar complained. “We utilize every one of them in our games. Against Cantwell we played everybody. But I can’t help it if we still had eight starters in there late in the game.”

Prep baseball players in California will be allowed to wear metal cleats this season after a 5-year ban.

The decision, made this summer by the National Federation of High Schools, was hailed by coaches, who argued that non-metal cleats led to more injuries because of a loss of traction.

“It’s amazing,” said El Segundo Coach John Stevenson. “It took almost nothing to get metal cleats eliminated, and it took five years of hard work, surveys and lobbying to get back to where we were in ’84.

“There were so many more injuries with non-metal cleats than there ever were with metal cleats. With metal cleats there were some cuts, but you can’t devise a perfect system. With non-metal cleats kids were slipping and sliding all over the place. It led to a lot of ankle injuries and pulled muscles.”

PREP NOTES--The Mira Costa girls volleyball team, ranked No. 1 in the nation by Volleyball Monthly, lost in the quarterfinals to Davis of Northern California, 15-13, in the San Marcos Tournament of Champions in Santa Barbara last Saturday. Santa Barbara won the title by defeating defending state Division I champion Irvine in the finals. Irvine’s Bev Oden was named MVP and Mira Costa’s Piper Hahn was selected to the all-tournament team.


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