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By the Numbers | Notebook

Small School Produces Big Talent

June 03, 1997|MARTIN HENDERSON | TIMES STAFF WRITER

There were only 35 kids in the 1993 eighth-grade graduating class of St. Angela Merici school in Brea, but 10 have gone on to be high school athletes who, if not stars, are important contributors at their high schools.

Among them are two players on Mater Dei's Southern Section champion boys' basketball team, Kevin Augustine, the Southern Section Division I player of the year, and Anthony Vallas.

Among the others from St. Angela's class of 1993: Sarah Cody, a standout volleyball and basketball player at Rosary; Bill Brundige, baseball, Servite; Allison Catania, cross-country and track, Mater Dei; Justin Declues, basketball, Servite; Jennifer Kanne, cross-country, basketball and track, Rosary; Enjolie LaFaurie, soccer, Mater Dei; Jimmy Landry, basketball, Sonora; Brent Reimer, water polo and swimming, Brea Olinda; Mike Vanderwood, football, Servite.

Another person in the class until seventh grade, when she transferred to a public school,was all-county girls' basketball player Rochelle Anthony of Brea Olinda.

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Ryan Bettencourt has been hired as the girls' basketball coach at Newport Harbor. It is Bettencourt's third head coaching job in four years.

He was an assistant last year at Ocean View, after coaching at Pacifica and then Santa Margarita. His varsity record is 23-28.

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Len Whitacre, who coached Villa Park girls' basketball to a 35-11 record over two years, has been rehired by the Spartans.

Whitacre, who won two Century League titles at the school, left to take a job at Costa Mesa in 1994, largely because of the long commute. He was taking back roads from Laguna Hills to Villa Park.

"The drive was killing me, but a couple things have changed the last couple of years," Whitacre said. "I have two children living at home instead of six, and they completed the 5/55 interchange. It's still 28 miles, but it's not 28 miles of terror."

He coached Costa Mesa 1 1/2 years and went 30-17.

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Club volleyball for girls in Orange County is big.

How big? Three of the top four teams at the Southern California Volleyball Assn. girls under-16 championships at Cal State Dominguez Hills in Carson last weekend came from the county.

The championship went to the Orange County Volleyball Club of Newport Beach, which beat San Diego Coast, 16-14, 15-12, in the final. Coast advanced to the championship match by upsetting top-seeded Power, another all-Orange County team. Orange County beat Laguna Beach in the other semifinal.

The Newport Beach-based OCVBC played nine matches over two days. The team is coached by former La Quinta standout Gary Nakamura and is composed of Danielle Bauer (Foothill), Katie Beauregard (Mater Dei), Jamie Brownell (Corona del Mar), Marissa Cothran (Newport Harbor), Kellie Cramm (Laguna Beach), Sally Jahraus (Laguna Beach), Chanda McLeod (Marina), April Ross (Newport Harbor) and Julia Topik (University).

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Ross, a 6-2 freshman and three-sport standout, has had a time of juggling her schedule. Ross qualified for the state track and field finals in the high jump at Friday night's Masters meet in Long Beach with a leap of 5-4. Then she played nine volleyball matches Saturday and Sunday as middle blocker for her club team.

Since early December, Ross has practiced with her club volleyball team 3 1/2 hours a night four times a week. She also played varsity volleyball and basketball. She had played varsity soccer, too, but said she couldn't fit it into her schedule this year.

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Newport Harbor and Corona del Mar participated in the high school national championship sailing event last weekend in Grosse Pointe, Mich. The Sailors took second place; the Sea Kings were 10th.

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When Marina's softball team tried an unsuccessful squeeze bunt in the sixth inning of its second-round playoff victory over Irvine, it was the Vikings' first squeeze play in 27 games.

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The first 1997 football prospectus has arrived. It came from Southern Section Division V champion Santa Margarita. Among the tidbits: the Eagles' game at Las Vegas Durango will be its seventh game against an opponent not in the Southern Section. It is the first of six road games--including five in a row.

Times staff writer Paul McLeod contributed to this report.

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