By Mitch Chortkoff
Twelve players from Culver City High’s 2012 Ocean League baseball championship team have graduated.
As a result, Coach Rick Prieto is using the Centaurs’ summer league contests to inspect young players who hope to form the nucleus of next season’s team.
The Centaurs annually participate in the South Bay Summer League against strong opposition.
So far Culver has a 4-7 record, good for fourth place.
“We’re holding our own,” said Prieto. “We’re giving our returning players and incoming freshmen an opportunity to compete for the 2013 varsity team.”
In its most recent game Culver defeated Lawndale, 16-1.
Culver’s principal rival in the Ocean League the last two years, Santa Monica, has brought on a controversy by firing Sheldon Philip-Guide, who was the league’s Coach of the Year twice in the last three years.
Among those expressing their disappointment have been former Santa Monica High, UCLA and Dodger pitcher Tim Leary and actor Tony Todd, who has been a fund-raiser for the baseball program and Philip-Guide’s assistant coach.
The dispute allegedly centers on parents of some players complaining about their sons’ lack of playing time.
Santa Monica has cancelled its three games in the South Bay Summer League this week.
“Why hire another coach,?” says Todd. “Just let the parents coach the team.”