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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS | HIGH SCHOOL NOTEBOOK

Gregory Lost to Hart for Season

September 20, 2000|DAVE DESMOND

Hart High's football team was dealt a severe blow Tuesday when it was learned junior running back Tim Gregory will miss the rest of the season because of a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.

Gregory, who rushed for 1,334 yards and 17 touchdowns last season, was injured Friday night while playing defensive back during a 16-6 victory over Thousand Oaks.

He had only four carries against Thousand Oaks, but rushed for 131 yards and two touchdowns, his second two-touchdown game.

How big a setback is this to Hart (2-0), which plays Westlake (1-1) on Thursday night in one of the biggest games of the season?

"You're talking about maybe the best running back ever to play at Hart," offensive coordinator Dean Herrington said.

On Monday, Gregory had an MRI performed on the knee and learned the results on Tuesday. He is expected to have surgery in three or four weeks.

Hart coaches and players were informed of the test results after practice Tuesday.

"We're trying to see the plus side in all of this," said Gregory's father, Pete. "At least he's only a junior and will have another year . . . and the rest of the knee was still in good shape."

Gregory is the defending Foothill League champion in the 100 meters. This is the third consecutive season Hart's fastest player has gone suffered a serious injury.

In 1998, all-state receiver Jerry Owens broke a leg, and top receiver Garrett Fuller broke a wrist last season.

Mickey Mercado is expected to start in place of Gregory, and sophomore Randy Bacon, a talented transfer from San Jose Oak Grove, is practicing with the team and will be eligible to play in six weeks.

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Quartz Hill will get five starters back this week for a nonleague game against Canyon.

Versatile Derrick Teal, the Rebels' starter at tailback, defensive back, kicker, punter and kick returner, participated in contact drills for the first time Tuesday after missing the first two games due to an ankle injury.

Mychael Williams has filled in ably, rushing for more than 100 yards in each game.

"He's probably been our MVP at this point," Coach Pat Degnan said.

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Quartz Hill, of the Golden League, plays its final three nonleague games against Canyon, Saugus and Valencia, all of the Foothill League.

"We're starting our Foothill League schedule this week," Degnan said.

Last season, the Rebels played four Foothill teams, but dropped two-time defending section champion Hart, which routed Quartz Hill in the 1999 opener, and in the first round of the playoffs.

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