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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS | AREA COLLEGE NOTEBOOK

Mission Tries to Make Statement

October 19, 2000

Despite a change in the original timeline, Mission College officials maintain their resolve to reinstate sports on a limited basis to the Sylmar school.

"We are still on target," said Carlos Nava, dean of student services.

The plan, though, is different than the one first presented to the public. The school announced months ago it would field men's and women's soccer teams in the fall of 2001 and baseball and softball in the spring of 2002.

Nava said Mission now is aiming to launch baseball and softball in the spring of 2002, but soccer is on hold.

"Right now, baseball is our focus," Nava said. "It's always been our focus. If funding is available, we'll try to bring back soccer in the fall of 2002."

Nava said he received funding from the school for a study to determine the cost of supporting baseball and softball, from purchasing uniforms and equipment to field rental, transportation expenses and coaches' salaries.

He anticipated requesting the school to include funding for the sports in its 2001-02 budget. Mission's fiscal year begins in July.

Mission, Nava said, has several other projects that need funding. The school is trying to resurrect its performing arts program and restore many classes that were eliminated during cutbacks in 1997-98.

Those are among the reasons the school is not bringing back soccer next fall. Besides the money, securing a field for one team is difficult, nearly impossible for two.

"Once we get a program started, we don't want to come back and cancel it," Nava said. "We need to know we are on solid footing."

Antelope Valley: Friday the 13th proved unlucky for the women's soccer team. The Marauders lost to Victor Valley, 4-1, allowing their first goals this season at the Lancaster National Soccer Center.

The Marauders have outscored opponents, 27-4, at the center.

Glendale: The men's and women's cross-country teams look like favorites to win the Western State Conference championships on Tuesday at Hancock.

The men's squad dominated the Cuesta Invitational on Saturday, claiming the top five individual spots in the five-mile race: 1. Alejandro Lemus, 2. Ivan Alvarado, 3. Henok Mulgeta, 4. Mike Serratos, 5. Marco Arriaga. Teammate Henry Briseno finished eighth.

The women's team placed second behind Southwestern, but Kim Lorimer was the individual winner, with Nancy Lopez placing fourth.

Lorimer is defending WSC champion and was selected All-American last year.

Under Coach Eddie Lopez, the Vaqueros are three-time defending WSC men's champions and won seven other conference titles. They were state champions in 1998 and 1995.

The women's most recent WSC titles came in 1997 and 1998.

The Master's: The Mustangs' men's soccer team, riding a seven-game winning streak, is ranked No. 25 in NAIA, the first time the team has cracked the Top 25.

Master's (14-3) had six consecutive shutout victories during the streak. Junior goalkeeper Eric Pattison has nine shutouts. Midfielder Rusty Brooke leads Master's with 22 points, including five game-winning goals.

Moorpark: Sophomore wrestler Saul Lucatero is ranked No. 1 in the state at 149 pounds and sophomore Cristobal Gonzalez is top-ranked at 184 pounds.

Other ranked Raiders are Steve Hernandez, No. 2 at 157 pounds; Rey Torres, No. 3 at 165 pounds and Ben Flores, No. 5 in the heavyweight division.

Lucatero and Gonzalez were All-Americans last season. Gonzalez placed second in the state.

Moorpark is ranked No. 3 in the state behind Palomar and Sacramento City. The Raiders are hosting the South dual championships on Saturday.

Pepperdine: The men's and women's basketball teams, which both qualified for the NCAA tournament last year, have been selected by conference coaches as the favorites to win West Coast Conference championships this season.

The men, last season's regular-season champions and tournament runner-up, received four first-place votes and 46 points to edge San Diego, which also had four first-place votes and 44 points. Following were Gonzaga (38), San Francisco (34), Santa Clara (27), Portland (17), Loyola Marymount (11) and St. Mary's (11).

The women, last season's regular-season champions, drew nine first-place votes and 49 points. Santa Clara was second with the other first-place vote and 42 points. Following were St. Mary's (34), Loyola Marymount (32), Portland (26), San Francisco (18), Gonzaga (14) and San Diego (9).

Valley: Three football players suspended recently by acting Coach Ron Ponciano for bad behavior are back, with two changing positions.

Receiver Julian Battle is switching to safety, a position he played in high school, and quarterback Tim Wilson is at receiver. Running back Roderick Thomas remains in the backfield.

"I think they realize they are on thin ice," Ponciano said. "I've always given kids a second chance. . . .

"[Battle] had a great practice [Tuesday]. Wilson seemed to be having fun."

*

Fernando Dominguez and Vince Kowalick contributed to this report.

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