The LookOut sports

Santa Monica Sports Notes

Michael Murray, a non-playing squadman on the USC football team last season, is not on the team this season and will concentrate on track. Murray, from St. Monica High, was listed as a fullback.

I have a lot of admiration for guys who take a pounding on the practice field each day despite knowing they won't play in games. There are 20 non-playing squadman at USC this season, ranging from recruited players who'll redshirt to walk-ons who just want to be part of the program...

Forward Austin Croshere, a graduate of Crossroads School, was popular on the NBA free agent circuit this summer after playing well against the Lakers in the Finals. He decided to stay with the Indiana Pacers on a seven-year contract worth $51 million. ``It's like monopoly money,'' said Croshere...

Swyer Graduates: It's End Of an Era at Samohi

By Mitch Chortkoff

When I received an invitation to attend a going away party for Jonas Swyer reality made a direct hit on me.

The Santa Monica High baseball star really is going across country to play for the University of Connecticut. We won't be seeing him pitch no-hitters for the local school anymore or drive balls off outfield fences.

Some schools offered Swyer a scholarship to pitch but he wanted to be in the every-day lineup and only considered those offers. UConn likes his bat as well as his arm, so he'll be the DH or will play third or first when he's not on the mound.

It's time to reflect on his career. The Swyers moved to Santa Monica many years ago because Alan and Ronni believed they had found a nice environment for youngsters Jonas and Cody.

They did. The Santa Monica homeowners have enjoyed watching their older son play baseball and will be seen in the next few years at Cody's swimming meets.

Both kids have been batboys for UCLA Coach Gary Adams. Both have their academics in order.

My relationship with the family began in Jonas' junior year when he pitched a no-hitter. I wanted to learn more about the game and set up an appointment at the school. But before the date arrived Jonas pitched a second no-hitter.

What followed were many afternoons at the Samohi ballfield. At times the team did well, and what Samohi fan will forget the victory over El Segundo last year? But at other times the team faltered, like the many error-plagued games in the recently-concluded season.

I asked a baseball scout, veteran Westside observer Art Harris of the Dodgers, about Jonas' potential.

``He's one of those young men who finds a way to win,'' said Harris. ``He gets the job done. He figures out a way.''

Jonas throws in the high '80s, in baseball language, meaning his fastball has been recorded at 87 mph on numerous occasions. One time he hit 90 mph.

The young man has grown to 6-foot-1 and with continued growth and experience should have a fine collegiate career. And then who knows? His desire is to be a major league player.

I believe I speak for many Samohi fans in saying thanks for the memories.

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