Reg Welker hopes his blend of competitiveness and practical jokes plays well on the junior college circuit.
Welker, who coached Hueneme high baseball team for nine years, has been selected as the new coach at Oxnard College and awaits final approval from Ventura County Community College District. He will replace George Peraza, who resigned in May after one season as coach of the Condors.
"I think this is an important step up for my coaching career," said Welker, who will remain as Hueneme's athletic director. "I've reached a point where I needed a new challenge. It was time to either get a new coaching job or time to move on to another career."
Welker had a 124-105-5 record after taking over the Hueneme program in 1981. He won his only Channel League title in his first season.
And although he didn't win a bunch of championships, Welker did earn the respect of his colleagues.
"Reggie was my best friend in baseball," Ventura Coach Dan Smith said. "I will miss his competitiveness. He played to win and at the same time, he played with class. When the game was over, it was over. There were never any grudges."
Welker and Smith have both been known to employ practical jokes to gain the upper hand in their friendly rivalry.
They both have pulled worm-eating stunts to motivate their players. This season against Ventura, Welker handed in a lineup card with the names Robinson, Reese, Snyder and Gilliam printed on it.
Smith thought they were players called up from Hueneme's junior varsity, but they were really the names of the 1959 Brooklyn Dodgers.
"I didn't see anyone I recognized," Smith admitted. "He got me with that one."
Endless summer: Santa Clara Coach Lou Cvijanovich has developed a reputation for running grueling, militaristic-type basketball practices that are not meant for the fainthearted. But his players won't have to worry about those practices until November.
Instead, they will compete in four summer tournaments, attend three basketball camps and play in two summer leagues.
"I don't hold practices during the summer," Cvijanovich said. "I think kids should go out and have some fun. I give everyone a chance to play and let the younger kids develop.
"I don't think winning a summer league is a prerequisite to winning a CIF championship."
The Saints, who won the State Division IV championship last season, began their vacation by attending a weekend camp held by Coach Jerry Tarkanian at Nevada-Las Vegas. Cvijanovich and Santa Clara boosters drove the players in vans to Las Vegas and they spent three days participating in drills and playing in games.
"They play nothing but man-to-man defense," Cvijanovich said. "They work the living daylights out of the kids. It's great for the kids because they have fun and it reinforces what we teach them in practice."
It also gives college coaches an opportunity to scout prospective Division I players.
"Everyone is talking about Shon Tarver," Cvijanovich said about last year's State Division IV Player of the Year. "I think he'll have his pick of what college he wants to attend."
Cvijanovich will split up his squad to compete in two tournaments beginning today at Fairfax and Carson highs.
The Saints will conclude their vacation by attending a mini-camp at Cal State Long Beach run by 49er Coach Joe Harrington.
Starting over: Playing without any returning starters, the Santa Clara girls' basketball team faces its first test of the summer when it competes next week in the Santana tournament in San Diego.
The 16-team tournament begins July 13th and features perennial powers Point Loma and Brea-Olinda.
"We have no height, no quickness and no real experience," Santa Clara Coach Tom McConville said. "If we win a game, it will be interesting."
But McConville believes the Saints will be able to extend their 73-game winning streak in Frontier League play.
"I'm sure teams think they'll have a better chance of beating us this season," he said. "But I think we'll still be one of the favorites to win the league title."
Baseball tryouts: The Major League Scouting Bureau will hold its final baseball tryout camp Saturday beginning at 9 a.m. at Loyola Marymount.
Players ages 16 to 25 are eligible to try out. American Legion participants are required to have written permission from their coaches.
Comeback kids: Westlake-Agoura captured the Gene Waid Memorial American Legion baseball tournament Monday by coming back from a five-run deficit to defeat Camarillo, 7-6, in the final. The victory was the 12th in a row for Westlake-Agoura, which is 19-1-2 overall.
Mike Suarez singled home Ken Teasley with two out in the seventh for the winning run.