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Prep Review / Donna Carter : As Matter of Course, Even Valencia’s Winning Streak in Golf Must Pass

Bell bottoms, paisley print, hip huggers and streaking--they couldn’t go on forever, and neither could the the Valencia High School golf team’s four-year streak of consecutive dual-match victories.

Brea-Olinda ended the Tigers’ 48-match streak Thursday with a 195-201 victory at Imperial Golf Course in Brea.

The streak began in April of 1986 when the Tigers won their last match of the season. John Winek was the new coach, and golf was in its first season at Valencia after being dropped for financial reasons in the early 1970s, he said.

The team went 9-8 the first year; 18-0 the second; 18-0 the third; and was 11-0 before the loss to Brea.

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“It was a great ride,” Winek said. “The streak had to end. . . . The nice thing about it was every golfer who had golfed at Valencia (over the past four years) had something to do with our winning streak.”

Winek said his team had an off day against Brea, but he praised Brea’s performance, especially that of senior Kevin Claborn, who was three-under par.

“We were capable of playing better, and they played excellent,” he said.

The last time Brea defeated Valencia, Claborn was a freshman and the Orange League champion.

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“As a senior, this was a special accomplishment for me,” Claborn said. “Shooting the best score, especially against them, was pretty exciting.”

He attributed the victory to his team playing consistent golf instead of “trying for birdies.”

“I think we started to play more team golf and our players didn’t get selfish,” said Claborn. “We all played well that one day, and that made the difference.”

Brea Coach Bill Brown had all his players returning from last season’s team, which finished second to Valencia in league play. Based on that, he believed the Wildcats could beat Valencia even though his team lost to the Tigers in the first round of league play, 200-208, at the Alta Vista Country Club in Placentia.

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“We thought we would have to shoot around 200 to have a chance at them, and we shot 195,” Brown said. “The kids who really came through and shot so much better than they had been were senior John Swain, who shot an even-par 37, and freshman Jeff Botch, who shot a 40, which was by far his best round this year.

“Senior Kevin Claborn has just been playing outstanding golf all year. He is averaging one stroke under par.”

Even though the streak has ended, the rivalry continues. Brea (11-3, 4-1) and Valencia (12-1, 4-1) are the top contenders for the league championship again and will probably tie for first.

Winek, who turned 37 Friday, got a birthday present from his players--a victory over El Dorado. The players told him it was the first victory of the new streak.

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“We are one in a row,” Winek said. “You can’t get to 48 unless you have one.”

A banquet of baseballs--The big hits at Fountain Valley baseball games have not been a big hit with the school’s neighbors. It seems that players have been serving up home runs that have made their way over two fences and through the dining-room windows of homes that abut the field.

To rectify the situation, the Huntington Beach Union High School District is constructing a $16,250 net supported by 40-foot telephone poles to corral the stray balls, said Dave Hagen, the district’s assistant superintendent.

“We have a high fence already where the houses butt up against the field,” he said.

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“The outfield already has another fence in front of that which was installed at the end of the diamond, yet the balls are going not only over the lower fence, but the home runs are going over the extended fence.”

The district raised the property-line fence 10 years ago from about seven feet to 20 feet. The distance to the waist-high home-run fence is 325 feet, and it is 340 feet to the property-line fence, Hagen said.

“The aluminum bat makes it possible,” baseball Coach Ron LaRuffa said. He said balls hop the fences daily because with aluminum bats “even the littlest kid” can hit it 340 feet.

“The (augmented) fence should be sufficient, but with the bats the way they are today and the balls being juiced up . . . plus the wind blows out at our park,” he said.

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Getting in the swim of things--

For the first time in Capistrano Valley High School’s 11-year history, the boys’ swim team has defeated Mission Viejo in a dual meet.

The 82-74 victory came Tuesday.

“Beating them finally in a dual meet was wonderful,” said Cougar Coach Don Cholodenko, who has coached Capistrano Valley for four seasons.

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“We thought we might this year. This is probably the best team we have ever had as far as depth goes. We’re finally able to put three people in an event, and our third person is just about as good as our first in a lot of cases.”

The Cougars were led by three swimmers, who each won two events.

Sophomore Ryan Cox won the 200-yard freestyle (1 minute 46.7 seconds) and the 500 freestyle (4:44.5). Junior Paul Felton won the 200 individual medley (2:02.7) and the 100 backstroke (59.2). And sophomore Kevin Eggert, the defending Southern Section 4-A champion in the 100 breaststroke, won that event in 1:01.5. He also won the 100 butterfly (54.0).

“We only have two seniors in the program,” Cholodenko said. “Things should be looking good for a while.”

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Softball--Mater Dei pitcher Terri Kobata is just a freshman, but Tuesday she gave senior pitcher Keri Krupke of St. Paul, last year’s Southern Section 4-A champion, a battle in an Angelus League game at Memorial Park.

Kobata hung with Krupke pitch for pitch through 11 scoreless innings until she had to relinquish the mound to an even younger pitcher.

Nine-year-old Kenny Larcome, pitcher for the Minor A’s of the Southwest Little League in Santa Ana, took over.

The A’s had reserved the park for a game against the Dodgers and had already waited close to an hour for the softball game’s end.

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The Mater Dei-St. Paul game ended in a scoreless tie. Larcome’s A’s lost to the Dodgers, 13-12.

Shake and bake--Baseball games routinely are rained out, but shaken out?

Bobby Mangram’s Roadrunners at Saddleback High School had to cancel their game at Newport Harbor when an earthquake hit April 7 during the recent heat spell.

School administrators would not allow the baseball team to go into an earthquake zone, Mangram said.

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The game was rescheduled for Monday, which gave the Roadrunners three games in one week, and threw Mangram’s pitching rotation a curve.

Saddleback won, 9-4, but Mangram had to use his top two pitchers, Mike Arroyos and Shawn Simon, Monday. Had they played Friday, Arroyos would not have pitched again until Wednesday.

Mangram said he likes to give his pitchers a week between games.

So Wednesday, against Estancia, Mangram had to go with sophomore pitcher Robert Reyes (2-2). The Eagles won, 9-6, scoring six runs in the first inning off four walks and three base hits.

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Arroyos had to come back Friday against Estancia. He had played shortstop Wednesday, so his arm really hadn’t even gotten three full days’ rest. Estancia won, 3-1.

Mangram’s pitching rotation should be back to normal this week, he said. He hopes there won’t be any more quake-outs.

“We don’t mind the bake weather; it’s just the shaking we don’t like,” he said.

Cal Foster, coach of the Mission Viejo boys’ soccer team which won the Southern Section 3-A championship, said being named 3-A coach of the year is not really that important to him.

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The all-Southern Section teams were released last week and Foster and four of his players were honored in the 3-A.

“It is a good ego booster, I guess,” he said. “But I had a great team this year, and the kids played well and got along well. I don’t know if it was all the coaching that did it because those kids were determined to play the best they could play, and I just feel fortunate to have been there.”

Three Diablos made the first team: senior midfielder Joe-Max Moore, the 3-A’s offensive player of the year; senior Todd Patrick, the defensive player of the year; and senior forward Andy Wortrich. Defender Doug Larsen was named to the second team.

Foster will have a challenge next season. His entire varsity graduates with the exception of junior goalie Preston Cubel.

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Prep Notes

Applications will close Friday for varsity football coaching positions at El Dorado and Century high schools. . . . Director Dave Zirkle has two openings for teams to compete in the Orange Holiday basketball tournament scheduled for Dec. 26-29 in Chapman College’s Hutton Sports Center.


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