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BOYS' GOLF

Section Penalty Reduces Play for Santa Margarita, Servite

April 24, 2001|PETER YOON

Santa Margarita and Servite will have their 2002 schedules reduced by two matches, a penalty for participating in unofficial matches last month, Southern Section Commissioner Jim Staunton said Monday.

Palm Desert and Cathedral City will also be penalized because they played matches against Lake Highland Prep of Florida last month, despite learning before the matches that Lake Highland was playing out of season. In Florida, golf is a fall sport.

Southern Section teams are allowed 18 matches each season, but the four penalized schools may not play more than 16 next season.

Staunton said the schools used bad judgment in playing the matches and agreeing to a request by Lake Highland Coach Jon Busch that the matches not be reported.

"I'm not saying they are bad guys," Staunton said. "But it's not exactly sportsmanlike to play the matches and try to hide them."

Servite Coach Tim Meagher was not pleased with the schedule reduction, but said there was nothing he could do about it.

"That's unbelievable," he said. "But what are you going to do? [The Southern Section] is the ultimate power."

Meagher, who will lose four of his top five players to graduation after this season, joked that the sanctions may be a blessing.

"We're not going to be good next year anyway," Meagher said. "Maybe we'll be better off playing only 10 matches."

SPLIT DECISION

Staunton plans on proposing new guidelines to cover the differences between 18-hole and nine-hole matches in an effort to keep students in classes more often.

Schools often split 18-hole matches into two nine-hole matches played on different days at different courses. Theoretically, a team could play 36 nine-hole matches and be within the section limit of 18 total matches.

Staunton is concerned that leads to students missing too much school.

"I've seen golf schedules that have kids out early four days a week," Staunton said. "If you look at trying to support the academic aspect, that's not a good situation. I'm going to work with our golf committee and try to bring reason to it."

One proposal he is considering would eliminate match splitting after daylight savings time begins. He said he would also like to eliminate the rule that says tournaments do not count against the section limit of matches.

LOOKING AHEAD

Aliso Niguel, looking for its first league title in boys' golf, can clinch the Sea View championship today with a victory over Woodbridge. . . . Huntington Beach can claim a share of the Sunset League title for the 13th time in 16 years today against Esperanza. . . . University and Corona del Mar play today with the Pacific Coast title on the line. . . . Top-ranked Servite needs a victory over second-ranked Santa Margarita Wednesday to clinch its second consecutive Serra League title.

League individual tournaments, which are qualifiers for the Southern Section individual championships, begin Monday. The first-round schedules: Olympic League at Los Serranos; Orange League at Dad Miller; Pacific Coast at San Clemente Municipal; Sea View at Talega; Serra at Western Hills; South Coast at Redhawk in Temecula; Sunset at Los Serranos. The Empire, Century and Golden West begin later in the week.

If you have an item or idea for the boys' golf report, you can fax us at (714) 966-5663 or e-mail us at peter.yoon@latimes.com

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

BOYS' GOLF TOP 10

Orange County Sportswriters' Poll

*--*

Pos. School League Rec 1. Servite (1) Serra 7-6 2. Santa Margarita (2) Serra 8-2 3. Brea Olinda (3) Orange 13-2 4. Capistrano Valley (4) S. Coast 14-3 5. Huntington Beach (5) Sunset 11-2 6. Aliso Niguel (6) Sea View 10-3 7. San Clemente (7) S. Coast 8-5 8. Woodbridge (8) Sea View 9-2 9. Esperanza (9) Sunset 10-3 10. El Toro (10) S. Coast 8-4

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Last week's rankings in parentheses

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