The Woodbridge girls' basketball team, winner of the State Division II championship, begins a busy summer tournament schedule without a permanent head coach or many of its top returning players.
Eric Bangs, who guided the Warriors (33-1) to the Southern Section Division II-AA title and the No. 1 ranking in Orange County, resigned in May to join the coaching staff at Irvine Valley College.
Tracy Roberts, an assistant at Woodbridge the last seven years, has been named interim head coach. Roberts said he will serve in that capacity until interviews for the position are concluded, probably at the end of summer.
Forward Krissy DuPerron, a Times Orange County second-team selection, is still healing from a separated shoulder and will not participate in any games with the Warriors this summer, Roberts said. She will instead spend the time in rehabilitation to prepare for her junior season.
In addition, Roberts said many of his players, including Times' All-County first-team members Erin Stovall and Melanie Pearson, have been invited to participate in Amateur Athletic Union and national tournaments and will miss games.
"There will be one--or none--of our returning starters at any of the tournaments we're in," Roberts said. "We view these games as a chance to look at our younger kids and see where they'll fit in."
Woodbridge's stiffest test may come June 23-26 at the Estancia Summer Classic, where seven of the county's final Top-10 teams, including Division I-A champion Mater Dei, will compete. The Monarchs (28-2), who fell three-points shy of the State Division I title, will be led by Melody Peterson, Times Orange County girls' player of the year for 1994-95.
Brea Olinda knows the kinds of problems Woodbridge will be facing in its season of transition. After all, the Ladycats have been through it twice before.
After Brea Olinda won the State Division II title in 1993, Coach Mark Trakh left to take the women's head coaching job at Pepperdine. After winning the State Division III title in 1994, John Hattrup, a walk-on coach, abruptly walked off, saying he was seeking a position with more permanence.
Taking over the program this past season was Jeff Sink, who won 11 league and two state titles in 14 years at Lathrop High in Fairbanks, Alaska. He guided the Ladycats to a 30-3 record and the section Division II-A title.
Brea Olinda returns all-county guard Kiyoko Miller and plays host to the summer's first tournament, beginning today in the school gym.
Coach Gary McKnight's boys' basketball team at Mater Dei is still savoring its overtime victory over Oakland Fremont in the State Division I championship game in Oakland.
But last month the Monarchs (36-1) lost their third all-county player in as many seasons when sophomore sensation Schea Cotton returned to Bellflower St. John Bosco. He followed the departure last year of center Chris Burgess, who transferred to Woodbridge, and that of point guard Olujimi Mann, who two years ago left for Santa Ana Valley.
Times Orange County first-team members Shaun Jackson (Wyoming) and Clay McKnight (UC Irvine) have graduated, but the Monarchs return an experienced backcourt of Kevin Augustine and David Castleton and center Kevin Vukovich.