The LookOut sports

Santa Monica Sports Notes

The Santa Monica College mens' basketball team won its first round game in the Southern California playoffs, 95-88, at Long Beach City College Friday night. The Corsairs are hoping for a home game in the second round this week...The SMC women's team lost in the first round at Moorpark, 73-57...

The Crossroads boys soccer team won one game in the CIF playoffs but was eliminated in the second round by Avalon High, 5-1...

The Santa Monica College mens and womens' swimming teams won't have home meets this season due to construction of the new pool being far behind. On Friday SMC will be at College of the Canyons at 2:30 p.m. The coach is Steve Contarsy...

The high school baseball season is underway with Westside Tournament games scheduled this week. Santa Monica High is expected to be strong with a veteran team competing in the rugged Bay League. The team showed vast promise last season and now most key players enter their senior seasons...

Brandon Bowman, who comes from Santa Monica, is a starter on the Westchester High team that won the L.A. City boys basketball championship with a 57-50 victory over Fairfax High Saturday night at the Forum. The 6-foot-8 Bowman has signed a letter to play at Georgetown...

It will be a challenge for Coach Tommy Smith to produce wins this season with all Santa Monica College track meets being conducted on the road due to construction at the school...

Samohi's Lacy Reflects on CIF Title, Maps Strategy For Next Season

By Mitch Chortkoff

After winning its first CIF football championship in 20 years, what can Santa Monica High do for an encore?

Pondering the question, Coach Norm Lacy has decided he will continue to work diligently, ask a lot of his players and field another highly competitive team next season.

The next opportunity to see the champions will be Sept. 6 at Corsair Field, where Samohi will open the 2002 season against Canyon High of La Costa (San Diego). On the following Friday night, Sept. 13, Samohi will again play at Corsair Field, opposing Palisades. On Sept. 20 theVikings will play at Venice.

``We lose 25 seniors from our championship team but I think we'll be pretty good on defense from the outset next season,'' said Lacy. ``I don't know how fast we'll come around on offense. Improvement there might determine how well we'll do.''

There will be 15 days of spring practice beginning in the middle of May. Lacy might learn some answers then, including who will play quarterback.

With the graduation of James Cooper, the position will be open. The leading candidate is Ricky Johnson, who excels as a linebacker and was the mop-up quarterback last season. But Lacy says there are other candidates.

Several positions will have candidates from Samohi's league champion junior varsity team.

Viking fans will no longer see Derek Davis romp for 1,500 yards, but the tailback position should be in good hands with Adrian Gonzalez, who has gained 500 yards in a backup role, and Chris Clay, who scored some touchdowns in one-sided games. Clay was listed as a senior but that was an error and he has one more season.

Two-time all-league linebacker Araham Badillo and Gonzalez head the defense. Paul Helmy, a defensive back and wide receiver with considerable experience, should also play a key role. So should Taj Landis, a powerful 215-pound fullback who did some important work as a sophomore.

Lacy has a 20-5 record in two seasons as the Samohi head coach. After winning a CIF championship at St. Monica four seasons ago he now has one at Samohi. One of his strengths is having underclassmen play important roles, to keep the beat going when seniors depart.

But Lacy will be without his mentor, Tebb Kusserow, who has resigned from coaching after serving as offensive co-ordinator the last two years. Kusserow, the longtime head coach at Samohi until his retirement 10 years ago, came back as a favor to Lacy but made only a two-year commitment. His
place on the coaching staff has not yet been filled.

``Tebb may be up in the tower overseeing our games like he did for my St. Monica teams,'' said Lacy. ``And then we'll talk during the week. But being on a coaching staff is very time-consuming and he has fulfilled his commitment and is moving on. I expect to be more involved in the offense.''

Samohi will again play in the Ocean League but hasn't yet been informed what division that will be. It was Division 10 last season but is expected to be higher.

Lacy is concerned about an edict from John Deasy, new Superintendent of the Santa Monica/Malibu School District that the schools will no longer accept permits into the district. That means talented athletes from outside Santa Monica will not be welcome. Most schools have a way of accomodating those students.

``I'll have to deal with it,'' said Lacy. ``It is not a level playing field and this could be a huge problem.''

Lacy said he looks for athletes who are already in school but did not turn out for football. But he will ask a major commitment from them.

``Whether or not you're blssed with talent you've got to work hard,'' he said.

About 110 players are expected to come out for the school's various football teams.

Samohi 2002 Football Schedule

(Some sites have not been announced

Sept. 6 home vs. Canyon High of La Costa
Sept. 13 home vs. Palisades
Sept. 20 at Venice
Sept. 27 at Claremont
Oct. 4 vs. Morningside
Oct. 11 vs. Hawthorne
Oct. 18 home vs. Peninsula
Oct. 25 vs. Redondo
Nov. 1 vs. West Torrance
Nov. 8 vs. North Torrance
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