Garland Signs With Cubs for $1.325 Million

Kennedy High pitcher Jon Garland, who was selected by the Chicago Cubs in the first round of last week’s major league baseball amateur draft, signed with the Cubs and will report to Mesa, Ariz., later this month.

Garland, a 6-foot-5 right-hander who was the 10th selection in the draft, signed for $1.325 million plus an additional $140,000 for school.

Garland, 27-4 in three varsity seasons for Kennedy, will bypass a full scholarship to USC and report to Arizona on June 27.

“We wanted to get it done quickly and the whole thing took about two hours,” said Vikki Garland, Jon’s mother, who negotiated the contract along with cousin Jon Bushart. “We want Jon to finish high school without having to worry.”


Because he has signed, Garland can’t play in Saturday’s Bernie Milligan all-star game at Cal State Northridge.

Coaching moves: Crespi High hired Tim Behrens to coach its water polo and swim teams.

Behrens, a Crespi graduate, coached Crespi’s junior varsity water polo team in 1993. He was the captain of the Claremont-McKenna water polo team that was ranked as high as 13th in the nation.

Behrens, who will also teach math, replaces Rick Solomon, who signed to play professional water polo in Europe.


Don McMaster has been named the girls’ basketball coach at Westlake High. He replaces John Hattrup, who resigned after one season.

McMaster has been an assistant boys’ coach at Thousand Oaks the past four seasons.

Westlake was 4-19 last season and finished seventh in the Marmonte League.

Bill Gemberling has resigned as swimming coach at Thousand Oaks High to pursue his teaching credential.

Gemberling won seven Marmonte League boys’ titles in nine seasons. He also won five girls’ titles.

Canyon High’s Charlie Briere said he will resign as softball coach, meaning the Cowboys (6-16) will have their fourth coach in as many seasons next year. Briere, a teacher at Pacoima Junior High who replaced Larry Mohr this season, is stepping down because of job conflicts.

“It was a tough call,” Briere said. “Some of the Canyon girls were not happy, but this is better in the long run. It took a toll on both groups of kids--my students and the players. It’s not fair to anybody.”

Signings: St. Bonaventure receiver Pepe Villasenor, who set a Southern Section season record with 111 receptions last season, has decided to play for Ohio Weslyan.


Villasenor, who had 1,278 receiving yards and 15 touchdowns last season, is second on the Southern Section career receptions list with 217. Ohio Weslyan is an NCAA Division III university in Delaware, Ohio, and does not offer athletic scholarships.

Oak Park High senior Randy Gastwirt, the Tri-Valley League boys’ basketball player of the year and a member of The Times’ all-region team each of the past two years, said he will play at Pomona-Pitzer next season.

Gastwirt, a shooting guard, averaged 21.9 points per game last season.

Peggy Johnson of Louisville High, runner-up in the girls’ 400 meters in the 1996 Southern Section Division III track and field championships, will attend Dartmouth in the fall.

Johnson, fourth in the Division III 400 in last month’s Southern Section divisional finals, has a personal best of 56.85 seconds in that event and has also cleared 5 feet 4 inches in the high jump.

Fast driving: Drivers from the region came out ahead in each of the divisions at Kern County Raceway last weekend.

Kenny Kranzler of Simi Valley won the late-model Division race Saturday night, with Chuck Durbin of Palmdale and Scott Dinger of Simi Valley finishing second and third, respectively. Durbin also won the Late-models’ trophy dash.

In the American V-8 Modified Division, Chris Peedan of Palmdale won, while Bruce Gallion of Lancaster was second and Brad Miller of Palmdale was third. Bob Kindoll of Quartz Hill won the V-8 Modified trophy dash.


Larry Wolford of Lancaster won the KCrazy 8’s (Figure 8) Division. Don Rogers of Simi Valley was in second place and Donnie Wright of Simi Valley was third. Rogers won the KCrazy 8’s trophy dash.

In Mini Stocks, the winner was Tom Berube of Simi Valley. John Petsco of Newbury Park came in second and Greg DiDoha of Lancaster was third. Berube also won the Mini Stock trophy dash.

John Slicker and Dave Martin of Lancaster teamed to win the back-seat Driver class. Butch Pfankuchen and Terry Swagert of Simi Valley finished second and Rogers and Robert Babcock of Simi Valley came in third.

Rookie driver Jerry Cain of Canyon Country finished fifth in the NASCAR Featherlite Southwest Tour Cactus Clash on Saturday night at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Cain finished behind race winner Bryan Germone of Windsor, Calif.

Scholarship winners: Nick DiPadova of Taft, John Habashy of L.A. Lutheran, Lisa Nielson of Canyon and Nadine Zamora of Alemany were awarded $500 scholarships by the Valley Youth Conference at an awards ceremony Tuesday night in Northridge.

DiPadova and Habashy are football players. Nielson and Zamora are cheerleaders.

Team qualifies: The Southern California 16-and-under Black team became the first California team in its age division to qualify for the Amateur Softball Assn. national tournament in Fresno, Aug. 4-10.

The Black team, mostly comprised of players who won a national title at the 14-and-under tournament last summer, won a Sioux City qualifying tournament last weekend.

Leading the way were pitchers Maureen LeCocq of Chaminade and Melinda Moulden of Crescenta Valley. Newbury Park’s Cindy Muran batted .538 with three triples and nine runs batted in.