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Clerical Error Pushes Team Out of Playoffs

From Staff Reports

A clerical error cost Eagle Rock’s softball team six victories and kept the undefeated Northern League champion out of the City Section playoffs.

An unidentified player was not included on an official roster submitted to the City Section at the beginning of the season, and the school was notified Wednesday that its appeal to the City Rules Committee had been denied. The omitted player was ruled ineligible for the playoffs and the team will have to forfeit six of its 10 league victories.

“We feel terrible and really regret our season has ended this way,” Principal Juan Flecha said. “We talked to the team [Thursday] and they’re naturally devastated.”

Section rules dictate that teams that forfeit more than two games but would have been eligible for the upper-division City Championship otherwise will not be allowed to compete for the lower-division Invitational title.

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As an undefeated league champion, Eagle Rock would have easily qualified for Championship Division playoffs, so the Eagles are out of the playoffs completely.

“You have to realize that clerical error or not, three adults -- the coach, the athletic director and the assistant principal in charge of athletics -- signed off on the eligibility roster before it was sent down here,” said Cheryl Barkovich, a City administrator.

Playoff pairings were determined Thursday, and as expected San Pedro, which won a coin flip to determine the No. 1 entry from the Marine League, was top seeded and rival Carson was seeded second. West Valley League champion Woodland Hills El Camino Real was seeded third and Valley Mission League champion San Fernando was seeded fourth.

-- Martin Henderson

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Treani Swain of North Hollywood Oakwood, who finished second in the girls’ 800 meters in the 2001 state track and field championships and fourth in the 400 last year, has committed to USC.

Swain, who has career bests of 53.4 seconds in the 400 and 2:09.00 in the 800, also took recruiting trips to Washington State and Maryland.

Jim Hartigan, the only football coach at Santa Margarita since the school opened in 1987, has resigned to become coach at Fresno Clovis West.

Hartigan’s record was 122-44-3. Defensive coordinator Mike Jacot, who has served in that capacity for three seasons, will be the interim coach.

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Chi Chi Biehn, a running back at Mission Viejo Capistrano Valley in the late 1980s, has been hired as the school’s football coach, replacing Randy Blankenship, who resigned after one season in order to pursue the athletic director position at Madera High in Central California.

Biehn, 33, has been an assistant coach at Aliso Viejo Aliso Niguel, where he is a social studies teacher, the last 10 seasons.

George Corisis, longtime girls’ basketball coach at Palmdale, will be presented a California State Resolution honoring his contributions to the city of Palmdale and the high school at 7 p.m. on Monday in the school’s gymnasium. Information: (661) 273-7148 or 946-9757.

Dave Rubio, women’s volleyball coach at Arizona, will conduct a free, advance/hitter clinic at 6 tonight at North Hollywood Harvard-Westlake’s Taper Pavilion. It will be held in conjunction with the Santa Monica Beach Club. Information: (818) 990-0895.

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