THE COLLEGES : Master’s Greer Needs Time to Scrape Off Rust, Polish Skills After Layoff
At six feet and a lean 165 pounds, The Master’s College guard Damon Greer appears to be in superb physical shape.
But the former Cleveland High basketball standout, who quit the San Jose State team last January in protest of then-Coach Bob Berry’s methods, said that he was only operating at 70-75% efficiency when he made his debut for Master’s last week against Cal Baptist.
“It will take me several games until I’m completely back,” Greer said after scoring six points and handing out four assists. “It will take some time for me to get completely comfortable playing with the guys and for them to do likewise with me.”
Coach Mel Hankinson agreed with Greer’s assessment and said that he is confident the point guard will come around in plenty of time for the Mustangs.
“When you sit out a year like Damon did, there’s always an adjustment, no matter what,” Hankinson said. “You’re always going to feel a little rusty out there. But I was very happy with the way he played.
“You could see flashes of what lies ahead for us out there tonight. You could see how Damon’s skills complement the other players on this team.”
Master’s (8-6) will play host to Grace College (Ind.) Saturday night at 7:30.
On the rise: Two former Valley-area college players were listed as top-10 prospects of American League West organizations in the recent issue of Baseball America magazine.
Kevin Appier, a 6-foot-2, 180-pound right-hander from Antelope Valley College, is listed as the Kansas City Royals’ No. 2 prospect.
Appier, 22, split last season between triple-A ball and the major leagues. He was 8-8 with a 3.96 earned-run average in 139 innings at Omaha and 1-4 with a 9.14 ERA in 22 innings at Kansas City.
Ray Young, a 6-3, 185-pound right-hander who originally was signed by the Dodgers out of Moorpark College, is listed as the Oakland Athletics’ No. 4 prospect.
Young, 25, began the 1989 season with 418 walks in 364 minor-league innings and was 3-6 with a 5.45 ERA in the first half. However, he won his last 10 decisions in the second half at Huntsville in the double-A Southern League, compiling a 2.50 ERA in that span and reducing his walks from nine to four per game.
Headed for the show: Steve Wapnick, a pitcher from Sepulveda who played at Moorpark College and Fresno State, was selected by the Detroit Tigers in the major-league draft earlier this month at baseball’s Winter Meetings in Nashville, Tenn.
Wapnick, a 24-year-old right-handed reliever, was left unprotected by the Toronto Blue Jays. He was 6-0 with a 1.57 ERA and nine saves last season at Class A Dunedin (Fla.), double-A Knoxville and triple-A Syracuse.
Wapnick was purchased by the Tigers for $50,000 and placed on the team’s 40-man roster.
He must make the major-league club out of spring training or be returned to the Blue Jays for $25,000.
Back on her wheels: A day before the Cal State Northridge women’s basketball team’s first scrimmage last year, freshman Sandi Olson was involved in a traffic accident that demolished her 1983 Nissan Sentra and forced her to miss the season because of a severe quadriceps laceration.
But a year later, the 6-foot-2 center is second on the team in scoring with a 9.2 average, including a 23-point performance in her collegiate debut.
In addition, Olson recently acquired a new car--a 1989 Sentra.
“I didn’t plan on getting the same model,” Olson said. “It just turned out that way.
“I’m not superstitious about it, but I’ll definitely be a much safer driver now.”
No place like home: The CSUN women’s basketball team will travel to Sacramento State for a game Saturday night.
Based on early-season results, however, the Lady Matadors probably would prefer to be playing at home.
After an opening win over Cal State Chico on Nov. 17 at the Cal Poly Pomona tournament, CSUN (2-10) dropped eight consecutive games--all on the road--before a convincing win at home over Point Loma.
That victory was followed by two more road losses to Idaho State and Boise State.
Visionary: Glendale College guard Bruce Heicke has forsaken his prescription goggles from last season and has returned to wearing disposable contact lenses.
Heicke, a sophomore who played at Notre Dame High, began sporting the goggles--which gave him the appearance of a 21st-Century Kurt Rambis--after he was poked in the eye two summers ago.
“I didn’t care how they looked, but they started to hurt me,” Heicke said of the goggles and the pressure they put on the bridge of his nose. “There’s a few people who’ve looked at me and then looked around for the guy wearing goggles.
“Once we start playing, I think they remember me.”
There was no doubt about Heicke’s identity two weeks ago after he had led the Vaqueros to the championship of the Glendale tournament and was named most valuable player of the eight-team event.
And last Friday, he made 13 of 14 free throws while scoring a game-high 25 points in an impressive win over Antelope Valley.
Heicke figures to be a marked man this week as Glendale (10-5) travels to San Diego to compete in the Palomar tournament.
Recruiting trail: Several Glendale College football players eligible to transfer at the semester break in January recently took recruiting trips to four-year schools.
Sophomore running backs Sean Hampton and Doug Dragomer visited Utah State and Western Michigan.
Sophomore wide receiver Pat Lynch visited San Jose State and is expected to sign with that school.
Mark MacMillan, an All-State defensive back for the Vaqueros in 1988 who is finishing his his two-year degree requirements, is expected to sign with either USC or Alabama.
Gary Klein and staff writers John Ortega and Kirby Lee contributed to this notebook.
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