Briefly In Sports

Owens commits to Miami

Edison pitcher Henry Owens committed over the weekend to the University of Miami, Edison Coach Steve Lambright said Monday.

The senior left-handed pitcher, who went 9-2 last year, was in Jupiter, Fla., playing for the St. Louis scout team at the World Baseball Classic before visiting the Miami campus.

"Miami was the first trip I took and everything just felt right," said Owens, who also had planned to visit both USC and Arizona. "I toured the campus and the atmosphere was great. I had a great time with the team and I really liked all of the coaches. It felt like the right fit."

Owens said he informed Lambright of his decision Sunday.

"He called me and said, 'Coach, I'm committing to Miami,' " Lambright said. "He had a nice trip there and made his decision. Miami has a lot of history in terms of baseball tradition and it's a quality program.

"I think it's important that he got this decision now so that he won't be distracted in our upcoming season. He's going to be drafted high, as well, so it will be interesting to see what Henry ultimately does. He definitely has his head on straight and will think things through."

The 6-foot-7 Owens is expected to be an early selection in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft in June, even an "early first-round pick," Lambright, said noting that former Edison catcher Kyle Higashioka — a seventh-round pick by the New York Yankees in the 2008 draft — is the highest draft selection in Edison baseball history.


Former surf champ Andy Irons dies

Former two-time U.S. Open of Surfing men's champion and three-time World Champion Andy Irons was found dead Tuesday in a hotel room in the Dallas area. The cause of death was not immediately known. The 32-year-old, who lived in Kauai, Hawaii, was on his way home from Puerto Rico where he was scheduled to compete Sunday at the Rip Curl Pro Search Puerto Rico. He withdrew from the competition citing illness. An autopsy was scheduled for Wednesday.

Huntington Beach's Brett Simpson, who has won the past two U.S. Open Men's titles, is in Puerto Rico for the Rip Curl Pro Search contest, which he said Wednesday has been put on hold.

"It's pretty devastating news," Simpson said in a phone call from Puerto Rico of Irons' death. "I really looked up to him my first year on tour, and I've looked up to him for the last 10 years. He was just crazy committed to doing everything to the extreme. As Kelly Slater said, Andy gave everybody a run for their money. He achieved so much in the sport in a short period of time.

"I didn't see him here in Puerto Rico but I guess, from what I heard, he wasn't feeling well. It's lonely sometimes when you're traveling, and he probably just wanted to get home."

Simpson was part of a paddle out that was held in Iron's memory Wednesday morning at Middles Beach in Porta Del Sol, Puerto Rico.

"It was pretty emotional," Simpson said of the paddle out. "I knew him well and we talked and hung out a bit throughout the years, but seeing his really close friends like Roy Powers and Dusty Payne overcome by emotion at the paddle out, it was hard not to shed a tear."

Irons first won the U.S. Open of Surfing men's title in Huntington Beach in 1998 and captured his last title in 2005. He was the Assn. of Surfing Professionals World Champion in 2002, 2003 and 2004.

Irons' wife, Lyndie, is expecting the couple's first child in December.


Baseball skills clinic is Nov. 15

Lifeletics Baseball is offering three dates for its new Group Skills Clinics. The Beginning Baseball Session II Clinic, an introductory program for youth ages 4 to 7, is Nov. 15.

The Thanksgiving Position Skills Clinic is Nov. 25 and allows participants the chance to choose their position and work through a variety of advanced training schemes. The Winter Camp, set for Dec. 20, is a two-week camp for youth ages 5 to 13. The cost is $249 per camper. For information on all clinics, call (714) 843-1989.


Huntington Valley registration is Nov. 20

Huntington Valley Little League will hold in-person registration for its 2011 season from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 20 and Dec. 11 at league fields, 9191 Pioneer Ave., Huntington Beach.

Parents need to bring an original birth certificate for children they register along with three different, original proof documents showing proof of residency and registration fees. For more information or to register online, visit

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