Notebook : Banman Wins Small Gift for Big Feat

Dave Banman was playing a nightmare round of golf that only a weekend hacker could appreciate.

The 17-year-old from St. Bonaventure High was finding everything but the fairway to travel from tee to green. He hit balls to adjacent fairways, under trees and behind rocks.

It wasn't an unexpected performance. Neither Banman nor his Seraph teammates figured to do well in the Southern Section Northern Regional Championships. They were competing against some of the best high school golfers in Southern California.

Earlier that morning, first-year St. Bonaventure Coach Damian Wilkerson told his golfers to try their best and to have fun. "I also told them I would buy anyone a new car if they hit a hole-in-one," he quipped.

Banman, a senior, wasn't thinking about his coach's promise when he approached the third hole at Olivas Park Golf Course in Ventura. Instead, he worried about hitting the ball in a creek 45 yards from the tee.

The tournament was played in a shotgun format and Banman had already cursed his way through 12 of the 18 holes.

But Banman used an 8-iron to reach the green in one shot on the 142-yard hole.

"It took one funny bounce, kicked right, bounced once or twice more and rolled into the hole," Banman said. "I couldn't believe it. The coaches near the green said it went in the hole. I was in shock."

Banman walked up to the hole like he was Jack Nicklaus at The Master's, picked up the ball and smiled. Then he jumped up and down.

It was his first hole-in-one in four years of golf.

On the next hole, he had a triple-bogey and finished with a 98, 26 shots over par.

Wilkerson overheard other coaches talking about Banman's shot and wondered if he would make good on his promise.

Not wanting to disappoint his player, Wilkerson ran off to purchase the new car and presented it to him at the course.

There it sat. A silver Porsche Turbo Carrera with raised white-lettered Pirelli radial tires.

The toy car also had a radio-remote control.

"No, I didn't really think he was going to buy me a real car," Banman said. "I know how much teachers make."

Stake in Philly: Gil Valencia, a former Camarillo High baseball player and the left fielder for Oxnard College this season, said Tuesday that he has signed a contract with the Philadelphia Phillies.

Valencia, 18, was drafted by the Phillies in a late round of last year's free-agent draft but instead opted to play at Oxnard. The Phillies, however, retained rights to him for a year, and Valencia decided to forgo his sophomore season.

He will report to the organization's rookie camp in Clearwater, Fla., in early June and likely will be assigned to one of the Phillies' Class-A affiliates.

"I'm dying to go down there, see the talent and take my shot," Valencia said. "It was an offer that really appealed to me."

Valencia batted .350 for the Condors this season.

Traveling abroad: Oxnard High has been invited to play baseball next spring in Ocotlan, in the Mexican state of Jalisco. The Yellowjackets will be the only U. S. team competing in the 12-team tournament.

Coach Tony Diaz said the trip has been in the planning stages since Ocotlan High competed in the Friendship Games, hosted by Oxnard last March.

The Yellowjackets must wait for approval by the Oxnard School District before organizing fund-raisers to pay for the trip.

Extending its Friendship: Diaz also announced that he has received inquiries from Japan, Korea and the Soviet Union for information on next year's 4th Friendship Tournament.

Diaz said that a high school team from Japan had accepted an invitation for this year's tournament but cancelled the trip because of the death of Emperor Hirohito.

Three schools from Mexico did compete in the tournament.

Wins by forfeit: Ventura College won the men's team title in the Western State Conference track and field championships after Bakersfield was forced to forfeit its title.

Bakersfield had won both the men's and women's titles at the WSC finals on April 29, but it forfeited its men's title because it had used an athlete who was declared academically ineligible. Ventura, which had placed second, was awarded the men's title.

The Pirates also qualified seven men for the Southern California finals at Cerritos College on Saturday.

Won Lee and Ryan Rapoza each qualified in two events at the Southern Cal prelims last week at Cerritos. Lee had a qualifying throw of 47 feet, 11 inches in the shotput and a qualifying mark of 116-9 in the hammer throw. Rapoza qualified in the pole vault (14 feet, 6 inches) and the javelin (183-6).

Other qualifiers included: John Jump in the 400 intermediate hurdles (54.37); Jaime Galindo in the 5,000 (14:58.10); Reggie Betton in the high jump (6-6); Tran Sanders in the shotput (46-2 1/4); and Chris Tipton in the discus (134-2).

In the women's meet, Rachel Rossbach set a school record of 17:52.95 to qualify in the 5,000. Denise Graham qualified in both the 100 (12.91) and 400 hurdles (1:05.68).

Other qualifiers included: Lori Montoya in the 1,500 (5:01.21); Heather McCarley in the 400 hurdles (1:007.25); and Graham, McCarley, Terry Lamos and Sharon West in the 1,600 relay (4:06.73).

Twice as nice: Gil Carrillo of Moorpark qualified in two events for the Southern California finals.

Carrillo qualified in the long jump (22-5) at the Southern California prelims last week and ran on the 400 relay team with Paul Lefton, Danny Cross and Gordon Prescod (9:46.16).

Other qualifiers included: Ramon Perez in the 1,500 (4:00.73); Chris Anderson in the triple jump (44-9); Korey Fleck in the javelin (177-1); Matt Thomson in the steeplechase (9:46.16); and Efrain Robles in the 10,000 (32:57).

In the women's meet, Carol Myszkowski qualified in the long jump (16-8) and the triple jump (36-7 3/4).

Other qualifiers included: Remera Jones in the high jump (5-0); Colleen Gavin in the 400 (58.36); Lisa Noller in the 800 (2:25.88); and Anna Howald in the 1,500 (5:00.52).

Moorpark's 1,600 relay team of Howald, Noller, Gavin and Vicky Wagenbach qualified in 4:08.35.

Singled out: Darin Pleasant of Moorpark was selected the WSC Player of the Year and is also the only singles player from the school to qualify for the Southern California regional tennis tournament beginning today at Mt. San Antonio College.

The doubles teams of Pleasant and Mike Studebaker, and Scott English and Jason Monroe also advanced to the regionals from the WSC tournament finals last week.

Staff writer Ralph Nichols contributed to this notebook.

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