Like many coaches at Pasadena Muir High, Clyde Turner is faced with the task of integrating gifted athletes into a team that performs up to the high expectations of the community.
The pressure has meant short careers for many of his colleagues: Jack Allen is the school’s seventh football coach in the past eight years, for example. But Turner is proud that he is in his 13th season as the boys’ track and field coach.
“There is a rich tradition of high-quality athletes here,” said Turner, who has won one State title and five Southern Section championships. “The community knows this and just expects every team to win titles every year. They don’t understand all the factors involved, but that doesn’t change anything.”
Although the Mustangs are overwhelming favorites to win the team title in the State meet Friday and Saturday at Cerritos College, Turner cautions his supporters not to count on a victory.
Problems are routine for Turner, such as the one involving freshman sprinter Obea Moore last week. Moore, who had qualified for last Friday’s Southern Section Masters’ meet in the 400 and 800 meters, clashed with his coach over which race he would run, because a double was too difficult.
Turner wanted Moore to run the 400 because he had the event’s fastest qualifying time, but the talented freshman said he was going to run the 800 at the urging of his parents and youth coach.
“On a team, you cannot let individuals put themselves first, so this created a problem,” Turner said. “I explained the situation to our captain (hurdler Ken Haslip) and team, and they decided to let Obea make his own decision although they were not happy about it.”
Moore ran the 800 and finished third. He partially made up for this disappointment by running strong legs on Muir’s victorious 400 and 1,600 relay teams.
Located in northwest Pasadena near the Rose Bowl, Muir attracts some of the Southland’s top athletes. That is not always a blessing to coaches, who must also learn to cope with personal agendas.
“I tell all of my kids there are no letter I ‘s in the word team ,” Turner said. “This school has graduated some terrific athletes, so one or two is not going to make or break it. I try to remember that philosophy.”
Andre DeSaussure of Woodland Hills Taft, who two weeks ago said he planned to skip the State meet, has changed his mind and is one of the favorites to win the 400 meters this weekend.
The Washington-bound senior, who has overcome several injuries this season, cut back his schedule to concentrate on preparing for football this fall. But after winning the 400 in 47.77 seconds at the City finals last Thursday, DeSaussure decided to run another week.
“I wanted to see if I could cruise a 47,” he said. “I felt great. I really hope I can win (the State title).”
Track fans might remember that the final day of the State meet was canceled hours before it was to start last year because of the preceding night of heavy rain.
The weather quickly cleared, however, and by the time the finals were to start, the sun was out and the track was dry. The CIF, heavily criticized for its call, vows not to make the same mistake this year.
The final day of the 1993 State meet was eventually rescheduled two weeks later, but this year, if a delay or postponement is necessary, the track and field advisory committee has the option of continuing the meet Sunday.
Simi Valley police detectives said last Friday that they will ask the Ventura County District Attorney to consider filing charges against Mike Scyphers, Simi Valley’s baseball coach. Scyphers has been on paid administrative leave from his job since May 3 while police investigated claims that he allegedly mishandled his team’s money and discipline. Scyphers was out of uniform but present Friday as Simi Valley was eliminated from the Southern Section playoffs after losing to Fountain Valley, 12-1, in a Division I quarterfinal. . . . All-State wide receiver Leodes Van Buren of Newbury Park is expected to stand trial for allegedly firing a gun into the back of his girlfriend’s home last month. At a preliminary hearing in Ventura County Superior Court last Friday, Van Buren’s arraignment was set for June 9. The senior player accepted a football scholarship to Colorado in February.
Jaret Wright of Anaheim Katella, expected to be selected in the first or second round of this week’s amateur baseball draft, ended his high school career on a down note. The right-handed pitcher, who throws in the mid-90-m.p.h. range, gave up six hits and nine runs in 1 2/3 innings of relief as Katella lost to Lakewood, 12-1, in the Southern Section Division I quarterfinals last Tuesday. . . . Alhambra Keppel won its fifth consecutive Southern Section badminton title last week, defeating Garden Grove, 15-4. The Aztecs are 96-0 in that span. . . . Led by Pene Gbegnon, University won the City girls’ gymnastics title with 150.5 points. Venice was second with 147.6.
Times’ Top 20 Baseball Poll
The Times’ top 20 high school baseball poll, with teams from the City and Southern Sections.
School Sect. Div. Rec. LW 1. Fountain Valley SS I 25-3 2 2. Chatsworth City 4-A 26-4 5 3. Lakewood SS I 23-6 4 4. La Quinta SS III 26-3 6 5. Sylmar City 4-A 25-5 3 6. Bishop Amat SS III 26-1 1 7. Cres. Valley SS I 19-5 16 8. SO Notre Dame SS I 21-5 20 9. Tustin SS III 22-6 7 10. Nogales SS I 21-7 9 11. West Torrance SS III 24-6 15 12. San Marino SS IV 21-1 13 13. Brea-Olinda SS II 22-5 8 14. Rio Mesa SS II 21-6 NR 15. El Dorado SS I 21-8 11 16. Hart SS II 21-6 14 17. Gahr SS II 21-8 NR 18. Corona SS III 22-6 NR 19. Simi Valley SS I 20-7 19 20. Redondo SS II 24-5 10