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NOTEBOOK / SEAN WATERS : Santa Monica Picks Escalera to Coach Football Team

April 29, 1993|SEAN WATERS

Danny Escalera was named Monday to replace Ron Guercio as Santa Monica High football coach.

Escalera, 37, was the Viking sophomore coach last season. Guercio was fired March 29 after two seasons.

"This is a wonderful institution, rich with tradition," Escalera said. "It's one of the dream coaching jobs, certainly one of my dreams. I look forward to the challenge. We're on a collision course with success."

Escalera was the only candidate to meet with a six-member selection committee. The Thursday meeting lasted 1 1/2 hours.

School officials were looking for an on-campus teacher, and Escalera convinced the panel that they did not have to open the position to candidates outside the school district.

"It was an unanimous vote," Athletic Director Frank Nishimura said. "The committee was left with the feeling that Danny is a very organized individual and was impressed with his overall approach to the game.

"He emphasizes education and has a strong belief in preparing the student-athlete for college."

Escalera began his coaching career as an assistant under Steve Grady at Loyola from 1979 to 1983. He left Loyola in 1984 to become coach at St. Monica, and he resigned that position after an 0-9 season in 1986. He served as a defensive coordinator and offensive assistant under Brad Ratcliff at University during the 1987 and 1990 seasons.

Escalera plans to install an I-formation offense. The Vikings ran a multiple-set offense last season and finished 0-10.

Escalera will keep Viking assistants Arnell Bevins, Kerry Dawson and Peter Sawaya. Spring practice begins May 24.

Star search: The Crossroads baseball program is never short of a star, not with a television star in right field and two movie stars sitting in the stands.

The television star is left fielder Josh Saviano, who stars in "The Wonder Years." Saviano plays the character Paul, a sidekick of Kevin, who is played by Fred Savage.

The movie stars are Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell. Hawn's son, Oliver Hudson, plays right field.

Russell, who played in the minor leagues for three years, volunteered to work with Roadrunner middle infielders during practice.

"He has been very helpful," Coach Chuck Ice said.

Add stars: Ice jokes that he should receive a 10% commission for allowing Saviano to leave practice early to attend his television shootings.

Ice, however, said he got a good scare when Saviano split open his finger while he successfully bunted during a suicide squeeze.

Said Ice: "I am in trouble now. I've damaged the merchandise. There goes my commission."

Stat watch: The Westchester baseball team has nine players batting .300 or better, including four over .400.

Six players have combined to drive in 106 runs. Four players have combined to steal 80 bases, and four players have combined to hit 30 doubles.

Westchester pitchers Andrew Spencer, Mike Escamiloa and Jaleni Ferguson have combined to win 13 games and have a combined earned-run average under 2.40.

Add Crossroads: Senior pitcher-shortstop Richard Condon is showing why he has been a three-time Southern Section first-team selection.

Condon is batting .478, including a .727 average in Delphic League play. Condon has 22 hits, including five doubles, two triples and two home runs. He has 13 RBIs and 18 stolen bases.

In Friday's game against Whitney, Condon singled in his first at-bat and then was intentionally walked three consecutive times.

As a pitcher, he has 5-0 record with one save and a 2.58 ERA.

Ojai tennis: P.J. Dormire of Santa Monica and Terry Hiete of Marymount reached the quarterfinals in last weekend's Ojai Valley tennis tournament.

Competing in interscholastic singles, Dormire defeated Jed Weinstein of Corona del Mar, 6-3, 6-3, and Luis Pontes of Point Loma, 6-1, 6-3, but was defeated by Eddie Weiss of Fountain Valley, 6-3, 6-2, in the quarterfinals.

Hiete lost to eventual champion Rosemary She of Cerritos, 6-3, 6-1, in the girls' 18 and under competition. Hiete received a bye in the first round and won by default in the second round.

Nancy Kwon of Palisades lost to Katie Kirkmire of Ojai, 6-2, 6-2, in the second round.

In other interscholastic singles matches, Jay Jackson of University lost to eventual champion Alex Decret of Santa Barbara, 6-1, 6-0, in the second round. Amir Nasirzadeh of Beverly Hills, Damon Stein of Palisades and Eric Anderson of Brentwood were eliminated in the first round.

In interscholastic doubles, Mark Miller and P.J. Gopaoco reached the second round before losing. Hani Yassin-Jay Ericsson of Westchester, Oliver Catlin-Jeff Manson of Palisades, Scott Kaufman-Greg Lewis of Brentwood and Jin Park-Jai Kim of University lost in the first round.

Let's play two: Beverly Hills High will have two alumni baseball games Saturday at La Cienega Park.

A game matching two alumni squads will begin at 11 a.m., followed by a 2 p.m. game matching alumni, who, in the words of Coach Bill Erickson, "still think they have it," against the varsity squad.

Steven Herbert contributed to this notebook.

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