Ninety players are expected to take part in Cal State Northridge's first spring football practice Wednesday, but three familiar faces will not be among them.
David Foster and Sean O'Brien, both sophomore linebackers, will miss spring workouts while they recover from knee injuries suffered last season. They are expected to be ready to play in the fall. James Aiono, a senior defensive tackle, will miss at least the first week of drills as he completes rehabilitation after knee surgery.
Two community college recruits also will be absent. Jim Crane, a 6-3, 240-pound JC All-American linebacker from Scottsdale (Ariz.) College, has returned to his home temporarily for "personal reasons." Mario Napili, a tailback from Sierra College, also has left the team--permanently--for personal reasons and has returned to Northern California.
Big lefty: Cal Lutheran's men's tennis team is 5-0 in Golden State Athletic Conference matches, 8-6 overall. Chris Groff leads the Kingsmen with an 11-2 record as the No. 1 singles player. The left-hander won all four of his matches last week without losing a set. Said Coach John Siemens of the 6-3 junior: "Chris Groff is a dominating player. I expect him to break into the top 30 players in the NAIA."
As of the last rankings, Groff was not ranked.
Shannon Oakes has established herself as one of the top pitchers in the California Collegiate Athletic Assn. after leaving Northridge to return home.
Oakes, who now pitches for Cal State Bakersfield, attended CSUN for two years after graduating from Bakersfield's South High. She redshirted in 1983 and was 5-3 in 12 games as a freshman in '84.
Oakes is 8-1 with a 0.62 ERA this season.
Regal record: CLU's women's softball team has improved its record to 10-5 after winning eight of its past 10 games. Catcher Teri Rupe has keyed the Regals' recent good fortune by hitting .405 and driving in 11 runs. CLU will play host to seven teams next week in the CLU tournament, beginning Friday morning and ending Saturday afternoon. Visiting teams include Augsburg College of Minneapolis; Azusa Pacific; La Verne; Loyola Marymount; UC Santa Barbara; San Diego, and USC's club team.
How important was depth at the Division II national swimming and diving championships? The Northridge men's team won as many individual races (three) as champion Cal State Bakersfield but was outscored 479.5 to 237.5. Northridge finished third--the first time in 13 years the Matadors weren't second or better.
CSUN's women's team won its second national championship, 349-274, over 1986 champion Clarion (Pa.).
Tim Karim, a 6-10 center from Grossmont College in San Diego, has attracted scholarship offers from practically every West Coast Division II school with a basketball team, including Cal State Northridge.
Karim already has visited Northridge but has not yet reached a decision on his future. CSUN hopes to add seven players--four from community colleges and three from high schools--by April 8, the first NCAA signing day for winter and spring sports.
Among the local players Northridge is recruiting are David Swanson of Alemany, Berry Eget of Crescenta Valley, Travis Bice of Simi Valley, Jonathan Walker of Thousand Oaks and Rick Welsh of Westlake.
Darcey Arreola, Nancy Bowman and Tina Cheney of Cal State Northridge qualified for the NCAA Division II championships in Saturday's quadrangular track meet at UCLA.
Arreola set CSUN freshman records in winning the 1,500 meters in 4:22.79 and finishing second in the 800 in 2:09.74. Her time in the 800 qualified her for the nationals.
Bowman, a two-time All-American in cross-country, placed second in the 3,000 meters with a personal best of 9:47.5, and Cheney finished second in the 1,500 with a personal best of 4:30.08.
For the men, Walt Stewart won the high jump and set a freshman record with an effort of 6-10 3/4. Tyrone Jeffries lowered the freshman school record in the 110-meter high hurdles, placing fifth in 14.74.