The LookOut sports

Santa Monica Sports Notes

Guard Hampton Nunley scored 35 points for the St. Monica High boys basketball team Friday in a 60-58 non-league loss to Murphy Friday...

Santa Monica High tied Redondo, 1-1 in a non-league boys soccer match. Samohi has a 1-0-2 record...

Santa Monica College has a 4-5 record in basketball nearing the beginning of conference competition. SMC lost to Valley, 66-52 and to Skyline, 74-72. In the latter game Marco Mihjovic scored 22 points and Brandon Williams 15...

The SMC womens' basketball team coached by Lydia Strong has completed play in the College of Sequoias Tournament in Visalia and the Merritt Tournament in Oakland and also is nearing the beginning of Western State Conference play...

Without being specific, Samohi offensive tackle Chris Price has said he intends to play college football in the Northwest...

Samohi football stars James Cooper and Charles Gordon figure as the starting rightfielder and centerfielder on the school's baseball team, positions they played last season. Cooper recently confirmed that baseball is in his plans...

On Tuesday night St. Monica will play at Crossroads in basketball. The girls game begins at 5 p.m. and the boys at 7 in the school's Grisanti Gym...

Isaiah Fox, last season's Crossroads center, has quickly earned a starting position at the University of Arizona...

With Lacy, Samohi Could be Football Power Every Year

By Mitch Chortkoff

Several key seniors from Santa Monica High's CIF championship football team will graduate --- including James Cooper, Derrick Davis, Charles Gordon, Terrell Maze, Josh Smith, Chris Price, Pete Roses and Chris Gary. It's even likely that offensive co-ordinator Tebb Kusserow, the former head coach, will retire for a second time.

But I expect Samohi to have a powerful team year after year as long as Norm Lacy is head coach. There is every indication a program is being developed, one that accounts for graduation losses.

Lacy has been the Samohi coach the last two years. He took a team that had been 2-8 and produced a 9-3 season in 2000, which included one CIF playoff victory.

This season the Vikings were 11-2, including a 28-14 victory over North Torrance in the CIF Division 10 championship game. That's a two-year record of 20-5, and Lacy is just getting started.

If you paid attention to what was happening in several blowout wins this season you know Lacy had the next one in mind. Ricky Johnson was the quarterback, Adrian Gonzalez the tailback, Taj Landis the fullback and Paul Helmy the wide receiver.

On defense, Abraham Baudillo was a key performer all season. So was Johnson. Helmy did well at defensive back.

All of these players are coming back.

It is too early to predict who will be playing key roles for Samohi next season but these youngsters all have a good chance. They'll compete with newcomers that will include players from Samohi's league championship Junior Varsity team. And perhaps from others who did not play football this season.

``I think there are other good athletes in school who chose not to play football this season,'' said Lacy. ``Perhaps our success will inspire them to come out.

``But they'll have to be dedicated. I ask a lot of my players. If they want to succeed at this level they have to make a commitment.''

It begins with weight-lifting, which goes on most of the off-season.

The Vikings will be challenged next season. They're staying in the Ocean League but are expected to move up several rungs for the playoffs. The league could be anywhere from Division 4 to 7.

Lacy likes to see how his team stands early and has scheduled Peninsula High for the opener for a second straight year. Inglewood will move to the tougher Bay League but Redondo will be entering the Ocean League.

The job will also be more difficult if Kusserow isn't part of the staff. There are strong indications Kusserow will retire, but that isn't official.

Kusserow made a two-year commitment when he became an assistant to Lacy. The time frame was because he needed that much time to complete 30 years as a teacher.

``He has his 30 years now,'' said Lacy. ``It's possible he'll watch our games from a tower, like he watched my St. Monica High games during the nine years he was retired. We're friends and he'll watch games to provide a critique to me.

``But being on the staff is a major commitment. The game consumes you. It's possible Tebb will want more time for himself and his family but he hasn't told me that. So we'll see.''

At 61, Kusserow is in excellent health. He and his wife competed in road bicycle races all over the world during the years he was away from football.

The possibility of Kusserow's retirement was on Lacy's mind during the week of preparation for the North Torrance game.

``If it was going to be his final coaching day we weren't going to lose,'' said Lacy.
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