The decade closed on a sour note as problems on and off the field obscured feats such as Bryan Dameworth’s national cross-country championship.
This was supposed to be the year of sportsmanship in high school sports, but the biggest story in the Valley area was anything but an endorsement for fair play and good will toward men.
In the fourth quarter of a scoreless game between Palmdale and Saugus high schools Oct. 13 at College of the Canyons, two referees were attacked by Palmdale players who apparently were upset and frustrated by three consecutive penalties against their team.
Darius Wilson and Michael Warren, 18-year-old seniors, were later placed on two years’ probation by a Newhall judge for their involvement in the brawl. In addition, Wilson, who had slammed a referee to the ground, was ordered to perform 480 hours of community service, and Warren, who had attacked a second referee, was given 400 hours of community service.
The Palmdale attack was the worst but not the only major incident involving area high school football.
A St. Genevieve High player and assistant coach were suspended for their role in a brawl that was touched off by an unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty, and a North Hollywood player was arrested for allegedly firing seven bullets into the air at a Grant High practice.
And Canyon Coach Harry Welch wasn’t the model of sportsmanship for his players when he broke a glass trophy case in the visitors’ locker room at Santa Barbara High. Welch went on a postgame tirade after his team’s controversial 28-27 overtime playoff loss. Welch claimed that game officials had awarded Santa Barbara a “fifth down” after regulation time had expired with Canyon leading, 21-14.
Ironically, the theme at the National Federation of State Assns. convention last summer was “Speak Out for Sportsmanship.”
Things were a little off kilter in high school baseball too. Last spring, the City 4-A baseball playoffs were suspended because of a coaches’ boycott stemming from a teachers’ strike against the Los Angeles Unified School District. But the strike was settled in 11 days and City Section Commissioner Hal Harkness reinstated the playoffs.
That was good news for Kennedy, which won the City 4-A title by beating Palisades, 4-3.
Bob Shoup, the only coach in the 28 years of Cal Lutheran football, was fired by the university. Shoup, 57, had been granted a one-year sabbatical for the 1990-91 school year and was under the impression that he would return to coaching. The school decided that he would remain on the faculty but only as a teacher.
Shoup started the Cal Lutheran football program in 1962 with a $5,000 budget and borrowed equipment. Nine years later, the Kingsmen won a National Assn. of Intercollegiate Athletics championship. The win was such a public-relations boost for CLU that it was credited with saving the financially strapped university from extinction.
Shoup, who learned of his dismissal from a reporter, has filed an official grievance with the school faculty committee. If he’s not reinstated as coach, his record at CLU will remain 185-87-6.
Shoup is also credited with playing a major role in convincing the Dallas Cowboys to use Cal Lutheran as a summer training facility, but that relationship is also ending after 27 years. Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones told the school in December that the team would relocate its training facility to Austin, Tex.
Notable: Agoura High senior Bryan Dameworth concluded an undefeated cross-country season by winning the Kinney national championships in San Diego. Dameworth had quite a year. He also won his third consecutive Division I title--in a state-meet record 14 minutes 45 seconds--and the Southern Section 2-A Division championship. Camarillo, led by Abe Valdez, won the Division I boys’ team title after fourth-place finishes in 1987 and 88. . . .
Angela Burnham of Rio Mesa High won the 100 and 200 meters for the second consecutive year in the state track and field championships. Burnham’s victories gave her an unprecedented five state sprint titles during her career and earned her Track and Field News’ female Athlete of the Year award for the second consecutive season. . . .
Woodland Hills West battered an eight-team field to win the American Legion World Series in Millington, Tenn. . . .
Right-handed pitcher Roger Salkeld of Saugus High was the third player picked in the baseball draft. He signed with the Seattle Mariners and was sent to the club’s Northwest Rookie League affiliate. . . .
California’s prep home run champion, Gino Tagliaferri of Kennedy, signed with the Detroit Tigers. . . .
The Cal State Northridge women’s swim team won its third consecutive NCAA Division II title. . . .
Steve deLaveaga, a senior guard, averaged 28.1 point a game for Cal Lutheran to lead NCAA Division II players for the second consecutive season. . . .
Darcy Arreola of Cal State Northridge, the two-time defending NCAA Division II champion in the 3,000 meters, won the Division II cross-country title.