North Hollywood's Clay Likely Out Against Reseda

Tailback Dante Clay of North Hollywood High, the leading City Section rusher in the region with 441 yards, probably will miss the Huskies' Valley Pac-8 Conference opener Friday night at Reseda because of a leg injury.

The injury--a calcified right thigh muscle--might keep Clay sidelined indefinitely, North Hollywood Coach Gary Gray said.

Gray compared the injury to the one receiver J.J. Stokes sustained last year at UCLA. Stokes missed most of the season.

Clay's injury occurred two weeks ago against Franklin when a player kneed him in the thigh.

Despite a painful leg, Clay played during the Huskies' loss to Kennedy last Friday but will not practice this week.

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Linebacker Oscar Gutierrez of Grant High is probably lost for the season after being injured in a car accident Saturday.

Gutierrez, a captain and two-year starter at outside linebacker, has lacerations on the left side of his torso and torn tendons in his left forearm.

Gutierrez was pushing his stalled car off the freeway when he was hit from behind by a vehicle driven by a suspected drunk driver.

"He could have been killed," Grant Coach Bill Foster said. "He's blessed and fortunate to be alive."

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Valley College (3-0) is tied with El Camino (2-0) for the top spot in the J.C. Athletic Bureau state ratings after defeating Bakersfield, 33-30, Saturday.

Moorpark (3-0) is ranked ninth, up two spots from the previous week.

Valley and El Camino each received 216 points. El Camino had eight first-place votes and Valley received three.

Cross-Country

The first Foothill League meet, scheduled for Thursday at College of the Canyons, has been moved to Griffith Park.

Saugus Coach John Beattie, the meet director, said safety concerns about the new Canyons course led to the switch. He was particularly concerned about a steep downhill stretch in the first mile that has been named "The Hole."

"There are a lot of little ruts and crevasses on that hill and the runners could slip on those," Beattie said. "I just don't think the venue is safe and enjoyable for the kids."

Not all league coaches agree.

Hart Coach Larry David, who helped put on a series of meets at Canyons over the summer, said the course is safe.

"It's difficult, there's no doubt about that," David said. "But this is cross-country. [Beattie] cited a safety and difficulty factor for the switch and I just don't see that as a problem. We ran seven races there during the summer and didn't have a single injury."

Canyons has been the home site for the Hart, Saugus and Canyon teams for several years. However, the first mile of the course was altered during the summer.

The Hoover and Nordhoff high boys' teams and the Thousand Oaks girls are ranked first in their divisions in the state poll.

Hoover and Thousand Oaks sit atop the Division I rankings. Nordhoff tops Division III.

Baseball

The Western Athletic Conference and the West Coast Conference have lost their automatic bids to the NCAA playoffs because they no longer are among the top 18 conferences in the nation, according to NCAA power ratings.

Cal State Northridge, a WAC member for one more season, and Pepperdine of the WCC can make the 48-team NCAA playoff field one of two ways: be granted an at-large bid; or win a conference and then a play-in game that will pit the champions of the two conferences.

Volleyball

Brent Muth has been hired to coach boys' volleyball at Buena High, Athletic Director Joe Vaughan said.

Muth, a former Buena player, has coached at Edison High in Fresno the past four years.

Muth replaces Steve Berk, who resigned after coaching as a walk-on the past two seasons. Berk is currently the St. Bonaventure girls' coach.

Buena had an 8-6 record last season and a two-year mark of 16-13 under Berk.

Boxing

Heavyweight Adam Flores of Ventura, representing Mexico, has won a silver medal at the Central American Games.

Flores, a former Buena High, Ventura College and Moorpark College athlete, has trained for only a year at the La Colonia Boxing Club in Oxnard. Born in Mexico, he holds dual citizenship, allowing him to box for Mexico while living in the United States.

Water Polo

Eric Appelin of Crescenta Valley High was selected most valuable player of the 16-team Buena water polo tournament last weekend.

Joey Bennett and Jon Conrad of Crescenta Valley were selected to the all-tournament team.

Contributing: Mike Bresnahan, Fernando Dominguez, Jeff Fletcher, Steve Henson, Mike Hiserman, John Ortega, Peter Yoon.

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