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VENTURA COUNTY ROUNDUP | Simi Valley/Moorpark

2 Decathlon Teams Face Different Years

August 30, 2000|MIKE MCCARTHY and CHE TABISOLA

As Simi Valley and Moorpark students return to school today, the fortunes of the state's top two Academic Decathlon teams have gone in different directions.

Moorpark High School has lured back Coach Larry Jones, who led the school's team to a national championship in 1999. Last year, Moorpark High finished second in California, behind Simi Valley High School.

Simi Valley's team finished second in the country, but the school may not get a chance to defend its state title, in part because last year's coaches, Ken and Sally Hibbitts, have stepped down.

"At this point I really need time off," Ken Hibbitts said. "It was an exciting year last year, but I need time to sit back and let someone else take charge."

The school hasn't recruited a new coach, and all but one student on last year's team has graduated. The remaining student doesn't want to be on this year's team.

Jan Britz, Simi Valley High's new principal, said she is still trying to recruit a new coach.

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