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Notebook / Alan Drooz

January 01, 1987|Alan Drooz

End of the year awards for the South Bay's highlights, lowlights and bright lights of 1986:

Right Place at Right Time: Loyola Marymount Athletic Director Brian Quinn, who has presided over an athletic renaissance in his first year and a half. Since March, Loyola teams have appeared in the National Invitation Tournament for men's basketball, the College Baseball World Series and the NCAA Western Regionals for women's basketball--all for the first time.

Best Unknown Player: Cal State Dominguez Hills senior William Alexander, who for four years has been one of the top Division II basketball players on the West Coast. Barring injury or a major slump, he'll become the all-time California Collegiate Athletic Assn. scoring leader in mid-season--and receive little recognition for it.

What Have You Done Lately: Chris Ferragamo's Banning High team, reputed to have its best defense ever, steamrolled to an 11-0 start and a No. 1 ranking in the country in high school football, then lost the Los Angeles City championship game to Carson and ended up ranked No. 4 in the state. Runner-up: Mira Costa's volleyball team, which lost its first match in two years to Hueneme in the state championship and fell from No. 1 in the nation to No. 3 behind Hueneme and a team from Chicago.

Double Time: Dominguez Hills soccer Coach Marine Cano not only survived another season as coach of both the men's and women's teams but had the women ranked in the top 10 nationally in only their third season, and led the men to finish a strong second in the CCAA.

Best Show in Town: St. Bernard High senior David Whitmore has been making spectators' eyes pop for three years with his extraordinary jumping exploits on the basketball court. He's in full stride now and is worth the trip to Playa del Rey, especially against upcoming Angelus League opponent Mater Dei.

Houdini Award: To Harbor College, which has made its football and basketball programs disappear and reappear to the consternation of coaches and players who didn't know whether to stay in school or look for a position somewhere else.

Whatever Happened to: El Camino College's offense? The football team that usually scores--and surrenders--points like the Miami Dolphins put together a solid defense, then forgot where the end zone was. The Warriors finished 3-7. Runner-up: Ed Goorjian. The former Loyola basketball coach was an assistant at Cal State Fullerton last season and is now coaching in Saudi Arabia.

Hustle Award: To Loyola Marymount basketball player Mike Yoest, who has blossomed into a college star after two seasons as an unheralded role player. Yoest's rise is a testament to hard work and enthusiasm.

Coach of the Year: With tips of the cap to Paul Westhead (Loyola basketball), Dave Snow (Loyola baseball), Nancy Fortner (Loyola volleyball), Marine Cano (Dominguez Hills soccer), Chris Ferragamo (Banning football), Gene Vollnogle (Carson football), Jim Drennen (Chadwick football), Paul Landreaux (El Camino basketball) and Cliff Warren (Rolling Hills basketball), it's mind-boggling that Harbor College football Coach George Swade didn't know whether he'd have a team as late as July, lost most of his stars and returning players who left because of the program's uncertainty--and still played for the championship of the Southern California Conference. Under those circumstances his 5-4 record was astonishing. Swade resigned last week after a 10-year stint.

All-Pro: Former Hawthorne High and Pepperdine star Mike Scott won the Cy Young Award as the top pitcher in the National League, became only the third pitcher in N.L. history to strike out 300 batters in a season and won two games against the New York Mets in the playoffs.

All-American: UCLA junior running back Gaston Green lived up to the standard expected of him when he left Gardena High, setting a school rushing record with more than 1,400 yards including 266 in Tuesday's Freedom Bowl. That gave him seven straight 100-yard games.

All-Rookie: Former Lawndale High and Loyola Marymount star Tracy Jones impressed Pete Rose enough in spring training that he was in the Cincinnati Reds' opening day outfield. Jones batted .349 for the Reds but his playing time was limited by injuries.

All Gone: Lawndale native George Foster, at one time the most feared slugger in the National League, was dropped by the New York Mets and missed out on the playoffs and World Series. Foster had his last big day for the Mets in Dodger Stadium last spring, hitting two homers in one game.

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