Van Nuys' Appeal Falls on Deaf Ears

After a Thursday meeting with City Section officials, it became official: The top-seeded Van Nuys High girls' volleyball team is out of the 4-A Division playoffs.

The Wolves' appeal to a City panel was denied a day after they were disqualified from the playoffs.

An 11th-hour plea by Ruth Foster, mother of ineligible player Sharon Foster, could not save Van Nuys, which forfeited 12 regular-season victories and a first-round playoff victory over El Camino Real.

After a deliberation of nearly 45 minutes, the five voting members of the appeals panel upheld the Wolves' disqualification by a unanimous vote.

Sharon Foster, a transfer from Village Christian, was declared ineligible after a City Section investigation because she changed residences and her parents or guardian did not move with her, a violation of Rule 214 (B).

Ruth Foster tried to show she lived with Sharon in Van Nuys at the house of Ruth's stepsister, but. . . .

"There was no documentation of proof from the parent that she in fact lived with her daughter in the house of the [stepsister]," City Commissioner Barbara Fiege said. "She was asked for that and did not have it."

Ruth Foster brought to the meeting a signed letter from her stepsister. She has hired an attorney and might take the appeal to the California Interscholastic Federation offices.

"I told her she could choose to do that, but the playoffs will go on," Fiege said.

Van Nuys Coach Dave Bessler informed his players of the decision.

"It's over for this year," said Bessler. "If something does happen, great. Right now, I look at it as a shot in the dark."

Stepping down: Softball Coach Mike Morgan resigned his position at Newbury Park to spend more time with his family and his janitorial business.

Morgan, who took over at Newbury Park in midseason 1994 after Wally Thornhill resigned abruptly, is the third coach in the league to resign since the end of the softball season. Beth Calcante left Westlake for a job at Enterprise Rent-A-Car and Nichole Victoria resigned at Camarillo to take an assistant coaching position at Oregon State.

Newbury Park (23-6-1, 12-1-1 in league) won the Marmonte League title last season.

Derald Brecht, junior varsity coach at Newbury Park, also resigned.

Irish aye: Pitcher Jennifer Sharron of Thousand Oaks signed a letter of intent with Notre Dame.

Sharron, who took recruiting trips to Iowa and California, was a Times All-Ventura County selection last season who went 20-8 and had an 0.38 earned-run average. Her strikeout-to-walk ratio was 293 to 22.

Hiring on: Canyon High has named Charlie Briere as softball coach. Briere replaces Larry Mohr.

New Cardinal: Manny Elizarraraz will coach the Santa Paula High boys' soccer team this season.

Elizarraraz, 27, was approved by the school board Wednesday night. He replaces Joe Magdaleno, who resigned in September for health reasons after coaching the Cardinals since 1980.

Dual role: Ellen Blackmun, Pepperdine women's basketball captain in 1995, was named girls' junior varsity basketball coach at Calabasas High, where she is a teacher.

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