Digest : Eligibility Concerns Are Expected to Become Academic at CLU

A number of academic hang-ups should become academic today when several Cal Lutheran football players receive final clearance on their eligibility cases.

Cal Lutheran opens its season at Sonoma State on Saturday, but about 30 Kingsmen were unable to play in the alumni game last Saturday because of difficulties in documenting their eligibility.

Coach Bob Shoup said he expects most of the problems to be rectified. Several freshmen still have incomplete Proposition 48 paper work and are not expected to be available Saturday.

Thirteen veterans, 13 freshmen and five transfers are ironing out eligibility problems.

KADY, an independent television station in Oxnard, has backed out of its commitment to televise two Cal Lutheran football games this season.

KADY had planned to broadcast two Cal Lutheran homes games, against Hayward (Oct. 14, 2 p.m.) and Southern Utah (Oct. 28, 1:30 p.m.), but was reportedly unable to sell enough commercial time.

Cal State Northridge baseball Coach Bill Kernen held his first team meeting Wednesday, welcoming recruits and returning players to Matador Field.

Eleven players--nine of them sophomores--are back from last season's team that finished 30-19-1 overall. Second baseman Randy Thompson is the only junior among the returning players and pitcher Vale Lopez is the lone senior.

Eight freshmen and two transfers are new to the program, including: John Bushart (pitcher from Thousand Oaks High); Monty Jones (pitcher, Tustin); Eric Johnson (catcher, Chatsworth); Mike Simms (catcher, Alemany); Scott Richardson (shortstop, Eisenhower); Earl Johnson (first base/designated hitter, Fairfax); Kyle Washington (pitcher/outfielder, Pasadena); Andy Hodgins (shortstop, Simi Valley); Scott Sharts (first base/pitcher, University of Miami); and Todd Denhart (pitcher, El Camino College).

The Matadors begin fall practice Sept. 24th and will include among their 14 fall games contests with Division I opponents such as UCLA, USC, San Jose State and Pepperdine.

"I've always wanted to do that," Kernen said in regard to scheduling four-year schools, along with junior colleges, during the fall. "With a young team, I don't want them to have to wait until the spring to get their first look at pitching at the four-year level."

Northridge opens its season Jan. 30 at USC and will will play 24 of its 55 games against Division I opponents. The Matadors assume Division I status in 1990.

Dave Weatherman, who helped pitch Cal State Fullerton to the 1979 national baseball championship, has joined the Northridge coaching staff as a full-time assistant, replacing Randy Day, who resigned in July.

Weatherman, 30, won 42 games in his collegiate career at Fullerton and was head coach at West Torrance High for five years.

Rick Vanderhook, 28, has also joined the Northridge staff. Vanderhook, a former player and assistant coach at Cal State Fullerton, will be the Matadors' third base coach and will be involved in recruiting.

Mark Morton, who was an assistant last season, will coach on a part-time basis while attending school full time to complete work toward his degree, Kernen said.

John Johnson, a former Channel Island High running back who had planned to sit out this football season to concentrate on baseball, has changed his mind. He will play both football and baseball at Ventura College.

Johnson, who batted .412 as a senior, was a 54th-round draft choice of the Seattle Mariners in the June amateur baseball draft. The Mariners promised a large signing bonus if Johnson had an all-star baseball season, so he decided to drop football in order to protect his right knee. Johnson has undergone two surgeries on the knee because of football injuries.

But he just couldn't stand watching football practice through a chain-link fence.

"My brother told me to go through life without regrets," Johnson said. "The more my friends talked about it and the more my family brought it up, the more I wanted to play."

Johnson rushed for 3,485 yards in three years at Channel Islands and earned a football scholarship to the University of Arizona. He later lost his freshman eligibility when he failed to meet NCAA Proposition 48 standards. At Ventura, he hopes to earn a second chance to play for the Wildcats.

Leonard Schoenfeld of SSK/Reb's, a North Hollywood softball team, became the first Southern California player to be honored as an Amateur Softball Assn. Class A All-American after leading his team to a seventh-place finish in the national championship tournament Labor Day weekend.

SSK/Reb's finished seventh in a 47-team field in Midland, Tex., winning six of its eight games in the nationals. On Labor Day, SSK/Reb's beat Viking Coke of Elk River, Minn., 25-24, in eight innings, then lost to Lemoyne Sleeper of Lemoyne, Pa.

Schoenfeld, a first baseman, had 23 hits in 30 at-bats (.767) with eight home runs and 18 runs batted in.

Vernon's of Jacksonville, Fla., won the title for the second time in four years, defeating the Armed Forces All-Star team in the second championship game of the double-elimination tournament.

Wade Scott, a sprinter and long jumper from Chabot College in Hayward, has enrolled at Cal State Northridge.

Scott, who has bests of 21.50 in the 200 meters, 48.10 in the 400 and 23 feet, 8 inches in the long jump, could help offset the loss of junior Jerry Gilmore, who ranks sixth on the all-time Northridge list with a personal long jump best of 24 feet, 5 1/2 inches.

Gilmore dropped track and field to pursue a modeling career.

"Wade should help us in the long jump and the sprints," Northridge Coach Don Strametz said. "He can score major points in those events at the conference meet."

Debby De Angelis has been hired as business manager for the Cal State Northridge athletic department. Her primary responsibilities will be to prepare the annual budget and expenditure reports for CSUN's 16 teams.

The Northridge Athletic Assn. will be holding an 11:30 a.m. pregame tailgate party before Saturday's game against Cal State Fullerton at Santa Ana Bowl.

Information: (818) 885-2661.

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