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May 05, 1994|ROB FERNAS

FRESH START

After a disappointing college career, former Serra High football standout Erik Simien could have a future in the NFL.

At least his agent thinks so.

"The whole package is still there," said Erik Aldridge, a Serra graduate and an agent for Marshall-Harris Sports Management based in Seattle. "He still looks like Charles Atlas."

Simien, a 6-foot-2, 245-pound outside linebacker, signed a rookie free agent contract with the Philadelphia Eagles and survived the cut at last weekend's mini-camp. He reports to another mini-camp June 1.

"The Eagles signed three free agent linebackers and sent the other two home," Aldridge said. "(Simien) will play with them in the preseason."

Simien was a prep All-American at Serra and enjoyed a successful freshman season at Notre Dame. But after suffering an injury as a sophomore, he lost ground in the program and transferred to Nevada Las Vegas, where he finished an injury-plagued college career with a losing team.

Aldridge says Simien looks at the NFL as a new beginning.

"He hasn't been this excited about football since his freshman year at Notre Dame," Aldridge said. "It's a chance for him to go out there and show people what type of player he is."

Two of Aldridge's other clients have signed with pro teams. Former St. Bernard standout Terrill Steen, an outside linebacker from San Diego State, signed with the Sacramento Goldminers of the Canadian Football League, and former Dorsey standout Beno Bryant, a running back and return specialist from Washington, signed with the Rams.

PROM NIGHT

A few Morningside High baseball players apparently thought getting ready for the prom was more important than showing up for a game.

As a result, the Monarchs forfeited their Ocean League game against Beverly Hills on Friday because they didn't have enough varsity players to field a team. Morningside's prom was Friday night.

"Some of the guys decided to get ready for the prom," Monarch Athletic Director Barry Slocum said. "It kind of hurts when kids put that priority before the team."

Beverly Hills Coach Bill Erickson said his school was not informed of the forfeit until half an hour before the 3 p.m. game at Beverly Hills. This was after Beverly Hills had changed the starting time from 7:30, at La Cienga Park, to accommodate Morningside's prom.

Asked how he felt about the forfeit, Erickson said: "Pretty crappy. Our kids were all there. The umpires were there. The field was all prepped. The stands were filling up. It just stinks."

Slocum, who was not at school Friday, said Morningside first-year Coach Tom Seyler probably could have played the game by bringing up junior varsity players, but decided to play the JV game and forfeit the varsity game.

"(Seyler) has talked about disciplining the seniors who didn't show up," Slocum said. "If I had been here, I would have tried to see us take a team over there. I hate to see us forfeit. We definitely plan on playing the rest of our games."

The forfeit dropped Morningside to 0-10 in league play.

THE FEW, THE PROUD

Rommuelle Gatongay, who plans to join the Marines after his graduation from Narbonne High, will be prepared for at least one aspect of military life.

Long hikes should be a breeze.

Gatongay finished the Southern Pacific Conference dual meet track season unbeaten in the 1,600 and 3,200 meters. He also competed in the 800, winning four of seven conference races, and ran on Narbonne's 1,600 relay team.

"He's a super competitor," Narbonne Coach Kevin Matherly said. "He never says 'Quit,' just 'What's next?' "

Gatongay's attitude carries over to the classroom, where he maintains a 3.8 grade-point average out of a possible 4.0. In track, his best times this season are 4 minutes, 36 seconds in the 1,600 and 10:18 in the 3,200.

Matherly said Gatongay wants to attend college after following his brother in the Marines.

"He just became a U.S. citizen two or three weeks ago," Matherly said of Gatongay, whose family is from the Philippines. "He grew up here and finally got the paperwork done."

Narbonne, which was 3-4 in dual meets, hosted the conference prelims on Wednesday. The finals are Wednesday at Veterans Stadium in Long Beach.

HOT HAWKS

The Redondo High baseball team, which clinched the Ocean League title last week, has no shortage of standouts.

Senior third baseman Steve Rawson entered the week leading the South Bay with 10 home runs and 31 runs batted in, and has been impressive as a relief pitcher with a 3-0 record, three saves and a 1.62 earned-run average.

Senior shortstop Morgan Ensberg, batting behind Rawson in the cleanup spot, entered the week with a .436 average, 27 walks and 21 RBIs.

And senior second baseman Domonek Prince was batting .420 with 22 RBIs in the leadoff spot after going eight for 11 with seven RBIs last week.

But if Coach Tim Ammentorp had to pick a most valuable player, he said it would be senior pitcher-outfielder Scott Albin, who brought a 7-0 record and three-year varsity mark of 19-3 into Wednesday's game against Mira Costa.

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