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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS | HIGH SCHOOL NOTEBOOK

Valencia Setting Pace for Injuries

September 01, 2000|DAVE DESMOND

A tough job just got tougher for Valencia High.

The Vikings, who lost to Hart in the Southern Section Division III final last season, already had the daunting task of replacing running back Manuel White and linebacker Ray Cassaday, Times All-Valley selections who have moved on to UCLA.

Sophomore David Shipp, who was to replace White, reportedly suffered a ruptured spleen on Tuesday and will likely miss the season.

Mark Stockland will start at running back tonight, when Valencia plays Alemany in a scrimmage.

Danny Gonzalez, one of the region's top offensive linemen, is expected to be sidelined through the season opener Sept. 8 against Highland because he has yet to receive a proper brace to protect a knee that was surgically repaired last year.

Guard Robert Miulli broke his thumb this week and is questionable for tonight.

Add to that summer injuries to starting defensive back Jess Arnds, who suffered a broken leg, and receiver Mike Jones (broken arm) and the Vikings look more suited for the E.R. than the Southern Section.

"We've had more injuries prior to the season than any time I can remember in 20 years of coaching," Coach Brian Stiman said. "You have to overcome and move on, but I feel for the young men who might not get a chance to experience playing football this year."

*

Marcus Demps of Highland has the ability, the grades and the genes to be a Division I college player.

Demps, 6 feet and 185 pounds, ranks among the best defensive backs in the region, has a 3.8 grade-point average and scored over 1,000 on the SAT.

He's the brother of Will Demps, the Golden League defensive player of the year in 1997 who is playing at San Diego State.

Marcus is constantly reminded of his sibling.

"It's cool when everybody comes up to me and says, 'Hey, you're Will's younger brother,' " he said. "It only makes me want to work harder."

Why?

"Someday, people might say he's Marcus' older brother," he said.

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