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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS | AREA SCHOOL NOTEBOOK

Westlake Reverses Field on Transfers

September 08, 2000|MIKE BRESNAHAN

In recent years, Westlake High has been questioned by rival football coaches who feel the school accepted too many interdistrict transfers.

That precedent appears to be changing this season.

Last week, Dan Brown, a junior defensive back, was informed by Westlake officials that because he lives in Simi Valley, he should be attending Royal.

Brown, who had attended Westlake as a freshman and sophomore, moved to Simi Valley during the summer but failed to submit proper paperwork to attend Westlake as an interdistrict transfer. Brown now attends Royal.

Brown joins Ryan Weisnahan, a Simi Valley resident who attended Westlake last year, but transferred to Royal last spring.

"Kids who have applied and have been legitimately accepted by the district, those students have a right to be here," said Lou Lichtl, Westlake athletic director. "In some cases, some kids haven't been cleared by a particular district to attend a school and they are returned to their home area."

Chad Henley, who lives in Simi Valley, was approved last week to play football for Westlake. Henley, one of Royal's best linemen last season, moved to the Westlake attendance area during the off-season.

"I'm a strong believer in community schools, but at the same time, the CIF has said a student has a right to change schools," said Lichtl, who replaced Joe Pawlick during the summer. "If we do indeed have an athlete that is residing elsewhere and should not be playing for Westlake, we will take care of that."

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One player anxious to take the field tonight is junior linebacker Richard Martinez of Ventura.

Martinez, whose brothers were all-county linebackers for the Cougars, missed all but a few plays last season because of a broken left leg.

Martinez sustained the injury, originally thought to be a sprain, in a preseason scrimmage against Thousand Oaks.

He played a month later against Oxnard and recorded three tackles for a loss in only three plays, but hobbled off in pain. New X-rays showed the fracture in his leg, ending his season.

Martinez, who became interested in football while watching brothers Joe and Mark, can't wait to play against Simi Valley.

"You don't even know," he said. "Just to butt heads with a different-colored jersey is what I've been waiting for."

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