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News, notes and quotes from around the Valley and Ventura

State's Best to Duel on Mat at Ventura

January 09, 1998

Four of the state's best high school wrestling teams will meet Saturday in the inaugural Ventura tournament.

Ventura, Santa Ana Calvary Chapel, Hughson and Poway will square off in a dual-meet format beginning at noon. The teams will wrestle three rounds in the one-day tournament.

Calvary Chapel, two-time defending state champion, is ranked first in Southern Section Division I. Calvary Chapel has won four state titles in five years. Ventura is ranked second in Division I.

Poway, state champion in 1986, has won 23 consecutive league titles and has placed first in San Diego Section 3-A Division for 16 consecutive years.

Ventura's Cristobal Gonzalez (189 pounds) and Dustin Clocherty (130) are ranked No. 1 in the state. Gonzalez, 25-1, placed third in the state last season. Clocherty is 21-1. Joe Martinez of Ventura is 16-2 and ranked second in the state.


Chilly reception: Notre Dame High tailback Justin Fargas leaves today for a recruiting trip to Michigan. He better bring warm clothing.

The weather forecast for Saturday in Ann Arbor calls for partly cloudy skies with a high of 32 degrees and a low of 17. The forecast for today is sunny with a high of 38.

In demand: The football recruiting craziness continues at Paraclete, much of it born of the Spirits' winning the Southern Section Division XI title.

Josh Foster, a 6-foot-7, 240-pound defensive end, was pursued early in the season by Tennessee and Vanderbilt. Tennessee dropped off the trail at that point, and was replaced by Colorado, which in less than 24 hours made its first contact with Foster and had him on a plane to its campus.

Foster visits Vanderbilt this weekend and Colorado, which has offered him a scholarship, wants him to call and accept or decline the offer Sunday as he prepares to fly home from the Nashville airport.

Colorado Coach Rick Neuheisel visited Foster's home last week and, surprise, Tennessee Coach Phil Fulmer is due to visit next week.

"[Recruiting] isn't exactly a science," Paraclete Coach Steve Hagerty said. "A lot of these coaches copy each other."

The strangest visit was made by a Fresno State representative, who arrived at a Spirits' basketball practice to evaluate Peter Cich, a 6-4, 230-pound senior who played defensive end in his only season of football.

"They measured his wingspan, his wrists, everything," Hagerty said. "Apparently they're into genetics now. Everyone thinks they're going to find something new that will get them in a bowl game."


In the pink: When he was a sophomore, Adam Kopulsky of Birmingham High gained national attention when was benched by his junior varsity coach, Al Bennett, after he dyed his hair pink.

After Bennett was supported by the Los Angeles Unified School District, Kopulsky dyed his hair blond and was allowed to play.

Now two years later Kopulsky, a 6-4 senior forward, has stuck with the program and is beginning to resemble his idol, Dennis Rodman, by more than just haircolor.

One of the top reserves for the Braves, Kopulsky is a tough rebounder who is not afraid to get down and dirty with opposing players.

In the final of the Birmingham tournament against Grant, Kopulsky scored seven points, grabbed six rebounds and was on the court in the final seconds, making two free throws to help seal the 82-74 victory.

"It was probably the best game he's ever played," Bennett said. "He has matured and worked really hard to become a good player."

Flash in the Pan: Fillmore junior basketball player Dago Pantoja entered the week with the hot hand for the Flashes from beyond the three-point arc.

Pantoja has hit 25 of his 41 three-point attempts for a 61% success rate.

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