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Fatherhood, Coaching Keep Taft's Magorien on the Move


Sure, Taft High Coach Doug Magorien feels pressure to defend the City Championship.

But it is no different, perhaps less, than the daily rigors Magorien faces as the father of four young boys.

In his 15th year as a boys' volleyball coach at Taft, Magorien, 41, has more to plan than practice and conditioning strategies.

He must allocate time to spend with Taylor, 9, Travis, 7, Colby, 5, and Troy, who is almost 2. Not to mention his wife, Lisa, the dean of students at Chaminade.

Time is a precious commodity for Magorien.

A physical education teacher at Taft, he works after school twice a week for Youth Services, a city-wide program that rents high school gyms at night for various usage.

Magorien's night schedule last week was especially laborious.

On Monday, he played in his weekly soccer league; Tuesday, Taft played a first-round playoff match; Wednesday, he remained at school for Youth Services; Thursday, Taft played a second-round match; Friday, another night of Youth Services.

"Long hours," Magorien said. "It was getting pretty old. I'd rather spend more time at home with my family, but I do it because we need that extra $300-400 a month."

Despite his schedule, Magorien has guided the top-seeded Toreadors (16-0) to the championship match tonight at 8 against third-seeded Venice (16-0) at Cal State Northridge.

At times, his roles as parent and coach cross paths.

Last week in Taft's match against University, Travis ran onto the court during a timeout and grabbed Magorien's leg.

"I guess he saw the players coming toward the bench and thought the thing was over," Magorien said. "I gave him a big hug and told him he had to go back over with mom."

He took a week off from work in April to spend more time with his family. He missed two matches, going to the Bahamas with his wife and kids on a trip paid for in part by Magorien's father-in-law.

"I talked to my team about it and decided I was going to go," Magorien said. "How often would I have this opportunity with my kids?"

Magorien has an opportunity tonight to win his third City Championship since 1990. Then he'll go back to being a family man.

"We'll come home and talk about the game, and then it's right to family matters," Magorien said. "Who the kids should play with, who has a field trip, who's in trouble for hitting who. There's never a dull moment at our house."


North Hollywood Coach Ceil Miller knows all about Sylmar.

Several of the students she teaches at St. Didacus, an elementary and junior high school across the street from Sylmar High, end up as Spartans.

Now she has to coach the Huskies (10-5) against Sylmar (9-7) in the City Invitational final at 5:30 today at Cal State Northridge.

"The whole St. Didacus school is coming to watch," she said. "The brothers and sisters of some of the kids are at Sylmar now, but they better cheer for me or they're in trouble."


Note to the top two teams in the region: Brace yourself for the second round of the Southern Section Division I playoffs. In Highland's case, the first round too.

Royal plays Hart tonight in the first round, with a match against an Orange County power--Santa Margarita or Fountain Valley--looming in the second round.

Santa Margarita is ranked No. 6 in Orange County by The Times; Fountain Valley is No. 8.

Not quite the second-round route envisioned by Royal.

"Ouch," Coach Bob Ferguson said. "You've got Santa Margarita or Fountain Valley, then [potentially] Irvine, then Corona del Mar . . . that's a heck of a draw."

Highland also has a dangerous road, starting with a first-round match tonight against Simi Valley, which tied for second in the Marmonte League behind Royal.

Should Highland advance, it probably would play No. 4-seeded Loyola.


Of all playoff teams, Quartz Hill has the most to prove.

Despite having two college-bound players--Sahael Almuallem has signed with UCLA and Jared Corpening with Cal State Northridge--the Rebels (12-3) have been plagued by inconsistency and were swept twice by Highland in Golden League play.

Now would be a good time to show some spark.

"It's been just one debacle after another," Coach Jason Peplinski said. "I'm really kind of looking forward to seeing what happens in the playoffs."

The Rebels play at San Marino tonight in a first-round Division II match.


Two teams from the region could reach the semifinals in Division III.

Village Christian (21-0) is seeded No. 3, its highest seeding since being No. 3 in 1995.

Chaminade (15-3) is seeded No. 2, its highest seeding ever.

It might be looking too far ahead, but the teams could meet in the semifinals with the winner probably playing perennial power Santa Ynez for the championship.

"It would be a really good match," Village Christian Coach Bill Schnobrich said of a potential all-region semifinal. "Santa Ynez is a step above everybody and Chaminade and ourselves are a step above the rest."


Boys' Volleyball Top 10

Rankings of teams in the region


RK LW School (League) Rec. 1 1 Royal (Marmonte) 17-3 2 2 Highland (Golden) 13-0 3 3 Taft (West Valley) 16-0 4 4 Canyon (Foothill) 12-2 5 6 Chaminade (Mission) 15-3 6 8 Village Christian (Alpha) 21-0 7 5 Alemany (Mission) 13-3 8 10 Simi Valley (Marmonte) 13-3 9 7 Westlake (Marmonte) 14-3 10 NR Quartz Hill (Golden) 12-3


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