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WR adds new leaders

Newest hire is track and field coach

Posted: December 22, 2008 10:21 p.m.
Updated: December 23, 2008 4:56 a.m.

The West Ranch athletic program has welcomed some new faces to its coaching staff.

Third-year assistant track and field coach Paul Buccola will take over as the girls head coach and co-head coach with Randy Smith.

Smith will pull double duty as he steps into the head coaching position for the girls varsity basketball team.

Former girls coach Ron Manalastas left the program in October.

A retired IT professional, Buccola will fill the vacancy left by Christine Scott, who is now a teacher at Canyon.

Buccola spent the last two seasons coaching the sprints and relay teams for the Wildcats.

"He's just a really nice guy with lots of wisdom and is really patient with the kids," said West Ranch athletic director Dody Garcia.

Prior to his arrival at West Ranch in 2007, Buccola coached the same events at Hart High School, where he arrived in 2006.

Buccola spent over 20 years in the youth Warriors program where he coached many of the athletes who compete in sports around Santa Clarita Valley, including Valencia football players Zach Tartabull and Brock Vereen.

Buccola also coached Vereen's brother Shane, who currently plays football for the University of California at Berkeley.

"I have mixed feelings at (track) meets," Buccola said. "Seeing kids I coached when they were little, it's cool."

Buccola said that aside from winning, he looks forward to seeing the progression of the athletes.

"My basic philosophy is the kids' improvement," he said. "I'm more into seeing that."

Buccola left the youth Warriors program in 1984 for a brief stint training motorcycle riders. He holds a degree in Clinical Hypnotherapy and helped riders in mental and physical training capacities.

Buccola also coached track and field at Notre Dame High School of Sherman Oaks, his alma mater.

"It's a good feeling to see kids that I coached in the 70's now coaching other people."

The Wildcats' first meet will be on March 7, where they will compete in the SCV Invitational at Canyon High.

Other new faces at West Ranch include varsity boys soccer coach Mo Burgess, who took over for Doug Eagle.

Burgess takes over a Wildcats program that finished 6-9-3 overall last season. The team is currently 0-2-1 with losses to Dos Pueblos and Santa Ynez.

Tammy Bangasser is at the helm of the girls varsity soccer team. The West Ranch girls finished 6-6-2 overall last season and 3-4-1 in the Foothill League.

Signal sports editor Cary Osborne contributed to this story.


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