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LOCAL NOTES

Principals Try to Solve Realignment Dispute

September 18, 1997

Huntington Beach Principal Jim Staunton is heading up talks between principals and Southern Section administrators to try to resolve the disputed realignment of the Pacific Coast, South Coast and Sunset leagues, set to begin in the fall of 1998.

The realignment proposal moves Marina from the Sunset League to the Pacific Coast League and Mater Dei from the South Coast League to the Sunset. Orange County principals approved the realignment, 47-13, in February. A section-wide committee reaffirmed it with an 8-0 vote in May.

Principals in the Sunset and Pacific Coast leagues said they would appeal the plan Oct. 21 at the Southern Section Council, where it comes up for a final vote. However, section administrators want to settle their differences earlier, so scheduling and booking facilities for the 1998-99 season can begin on time.

The six-team Pacific Coast League, led by Principal Barbara Callard of Laguna Beach High, contends state criteria involving competitive equity and enrollment was overlooked in the realignment process. Marina is a Division I school, and Pacific Coast League members range from Division IV to Division VIII.

Marina Principal Carol Osbrink also claims county principals failed to consider another state releaguing criteria--geography. She has support from other school principals.

"The Sunset League is very concerned about Marina being taken from us," Staunton said. "It's inappropriate where it has been placed."

Mater Dei Principal Patrick Murphy said he too, supports keeping Marina in the Sunset League.

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Orange High has named Eric VanVeen as boys' soccer coach and Chris Esperanza as its baseball coach, Athletic Director Dave Zirkle said.

VanVeen, a graduate of Trabuco Hills High and the frosh/soph coach at Santa Margarita High last season, replaces Kevin Esparza, who returned as a full-time student to Chapman University, where he is an assistant coach on the Panther men's soccer team.

Esperanza, who was known as Chris Thompson when he played quarterback at Orange in the late '80s, also is an assistant varsity football coach at the school. He was a co-coach with Randy Gonzales for the Panthers' varsity wrestling team last season and was freshman baseball coach. Gonzalez will take over the wrestling program.

Esperanza took his mother's surname, Zirkle said, because he wanted to live in and give something back to the school's Latino community. Esperanza replaces Ed Howard, who is an assistant baseball coach at Fullerton College.

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Mike Mullen has resigned as softball coach at Newport Harbor. The Sailors were 2-8 in the Sea View League, 9-12 overall in 1997. In five seasons under Mullen, Newport Harbor had a 50-57-1 record.

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Deanne Gutowski Schlobaum has resigned after three seasons as girls' track coach at Huntington Beach High, Huntington Beach Athletic Director Dave Van Hoorebeke said.

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