BY BLAKE DORFMAN, PRESIDIOSPORTS.COM
If you look hard enough, there are always a few themes that tie everything together at the weekly Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table press luncheon.
Take the number two, for example.
There were two sets of twins at Harry’s this week — one set from Bishop Diego and the other from San Marcos.
BISHOP DIEGO SOFTBALL: The Sleep sisters, Diana and Paige, are making a big impact on the Bishop athletic community in just their first year of gracing the campus.
Both are starters on the volleyball team, and Diana is the softball team’s leader in home runs. Paige had two hits with an RBI and a double in the Cardinals’ first league win, a 14-2 mercy-rule decision over Carpinteria last week.
SAN MARCOS VOLLEYBALL: Roger Kuntz brought along a pair of twins from his San Marcos boys volleyball team, which suffered a tough 5-set loss to Buena earlier in the week but has made some lineup changes and has Kuntz confident heading into Thursday’s game against DP.
In last week’s Tournament of Champions, the Royals had leads over Corona del Mar and Valencia before ultimately falling.
“We’re capable of playing at a high level, but we’re also capable of playing average, too,” said Kuntz.
The Berkeley-bound doublet of Sam (defensive specialist) and Will (setter) Hayward are starting to see much more playing time after an impressive start against Santa Ynez recently.
“The only way I can separate them right now is by their hair,” said Kuntz.
Also along for the Royals was hard-working libero Danny Nguyen.
WESTMONT TRACK: Alison Sharp and Lisa Griego aren’t twins, but they did both have great performances on their birthdays over the weekend at the Golden State Athletic Conference track championships in San Diego.
Sharp posted personal-bests in the shot put, discus, javelin and hammer throw (a school record of 136-4), while Griego pulled away from the pack down the stretch in a hotly contested 5,000-meter race.
Lauren Millota won the 100 hurdles by a nose for the Warriors.
SAN MARCOS SOFTBALL: The Royals also have twins on the roster, and coach Alex Sheldon brought along one half of the Fretz sisters on Monday. Jenise Fretz, who was at Harry’s, and sister Leanne went a combined 4-for-7 back on March 25th — their 17th birthday. The Royals split a weekend doubleheader with Carpinteria, and Sheldon also introduced senior Scarlet McIntosh. The coach said that Fretz and McIntosh both deserve praise for putting up with him.
“They both really understand my sense of humor. I don’t know if they find it funny, but they get it and I appreciate that,” said Sheldon, who also announced that his team finished third in the CIF academic race with a cumulative GPS of 3.56.
SANTA BARBARA BASEBALL: Guess how many generations of baseball players hitting coach George Rempe has mentored with the Dons?
Rempe’s son played with the father of Santa Barbara High sprinter R.J. Bisquera, who was awarded a $500 scholarship by local track guru Robin Paulsen on behalf of the Easter Relays Committee. In other words, Rempe is now coaching the sons of his former players.
The Dons lost three games by one run each this past week.
“It’s not a position that we’re used to at Santa Barbara for many years, but I want to make it clear it’s not because of lack of effort or even skills,” he said. “It’s not because of anything the kids do or don’t do except for being inexperienced and young.”
Rempe was accompanied by junior outfielder Gavin Feuer and sophomore catcher Spencer Fraker, who worked his way up from the JV this year. The coach was also happy to see Cal Poly freshman Mason Radeke, the Dons’ ace last season, pick up the win against UCSB Sunday at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium.
SANTA BARBARA VOLLEYBALL: Chad Arneson also had a reason to be proud of a former player this week, as ex-Don Carson Clark won the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation’s Freshman of the Year Award for his prowess on the UC Irvine men’s volleyball team.
Arneson’s Dons played lights-out in a sweep of Dos Pueblos last Thursday, with Chris Pratt dominating in the middle, pounding 19 kills and racking up seven blocks. Arneson pointed out that an added bonus was that the match ended in time for everyone to catch the Lakers game.
He brought along a pair of sophomores, Alex Biedul and 6-foot-7 middle blocker Clifford Anderson.
BISHOP DIEGO BASEBALL: Trent Speier has not one but two major-league relatives. His uncle, Chris Speier, starred at UCSB and played for the Giants, Expos, Twins and Cubs. His cousin Justin Speier currently plays for the Angels.
Coach Brian Moulton thought that his senior-laden team was going to contend for a Tri-Valley League title this season, but the Cardinals have had a rough time and don’t have a league win yet. One reason for that could simply be bad luck. His team had an 8-1 lead at Carpinteria on Thursday before Warrior Isacc Cervantes completed an amazing comeback by blasting a walk-off 3-run homer for a 9-8 win.
Bishop will keep plugging along and focus on the bright spots, like junior catcher Joe Salda.
UCSB SOFTBALL: It’s been a roller-coaster season for the Gauchos, who are “gonna need a little love” from the NCAA selection committee in order to make the postseason, according to coach Brie Galicinao.
She brought two star players who are already in the history books. Freshman pitcher Krista Cobb, who pitched a two-hitter and three-hitter on consecutive days against Pacific this weekend, hurled the program’s first-ever perfect game in her first collegiate star. Second baseman Christine Ramos, meanwhile, set the UCSB career hits record earlier this season.
SBCC BASEBALL: The Vaqueros are also hanging on to hopes for a postseason berth after winning five of their last seven games. Sports Information Specialist Dave Loveton reported that Jacob Trimble hit .700 over three games last week, while Steven Keller hit a pair of homers.
Corey Krupp set the school record with his 33rd stolen base during the week, which is particularly impressive because of how many times he’s been caught stealing this year — two.
UCSB BASEBALL: The Gauchos lost two of three against visiting Cal Poly in a crucial weekend series, but still have a chance to break into the postseason with series wins over the likes of mighty Fullerton. Coach Bob Brontsema showed how fired up he is by getting ejected after a spirited conversation down the first-base line with the umpire.
Brontsema brought catcher Marty Mullins, who has thrown out over half of the runners he’s faced this year and is hitting over .300.
WESTMONT BASEBALL: The Warriors have just one game left before Russ Carr Field’s facilities are demolished to make way for a brand new ballpark. Sports Information Director Ron Smith reported that Sam Wiley went 4-for-4 with a homer in a recent win, and Timothy Crabbe pitched a complete-game 3-hitter in Thursday’s win over Azusa Pacific.
Smith will be on Thursday’s episode of “Wheel of Fortune” on Channel 6 at 7:30 p.m.
SAN MARCOS BASEBALL: The Royals had a bye week, so Rob Crawford came to the podium, said he had nothing to report, and faked like that was all he had to say.
But he had a statement to make that would have been unthinkable in recent seasons, when San Marcos was a doormat in the Channel League.
“Our challenge is to run the table and win this league,” he said.
And they just might do it. The Royals are right in the thick of the uber-close league race at 3-3 with six games to go, including a pair against DP this week.
Chazz Kavanaugh has come back from a knee injury to become a key player in this crucial stretch. In keeping with the luncheon’s theme, he came of the bench and went 2-for-2 in a recent win.
“He works harder than anyone I know,” said Crawford.
Mac Gostow has more than just two talents — he plays water polo, is a stellar student and is also involved in theater at San Marcos.
“If you want, he’ll probably come up here and sing for you,” said Crawford.
BISHOP DIEGO VOLLEYBALL: The Cardinals came off of a three-week vacation and picked up two big wins last week — a sweep of rival Carpinteria and a victory over Buena.
Junior Ray Nowak has a new-found love for the weight room and it’s paid off for the outside hitter, who is number two on the team’s kill list behind star middle Garrick Vanderfin.
Joe Vitalari recently came in to serve when the Cardinals trailed Oak Park 3-12, and by the time he was done it was all tied up at 12 apiece.
SAN MARCOS TRACK: Along with Santa Barbara’s UC-Santa Cruz-bound Bisquera, Danielle Gemberling was honored with the well-deserved $500 scholarship from Paulsen and the Easter Relays.
Gemberling won the county title in the girls 1600 over the weekend with a time of 5:21.07.
“Danielle isn’t just a 4.0 student an an athlete at San Marcos. She spends a lot of time helping others in the community,” said coach Marilyn Hantgin. “She understands what it means to work hard and to work as a team.”
Paulsen also announced that $1,000 will be donated to the track programs of the Easter Relays’ host schools: Santa Barbara, San Marcos, Carpinteria, SBCC and Westmont.
Gemberling was joined at the luncheon by five male teammates — Nate Reed, Scott Clark, Jason Stevens and Zach Sweiter. Then there was Shane Rowen, who is only a sophomore but is already seventh all-time in the school’s triple-jump record books with a mark of 42-7.
The Royals’ frosh/soph girls won their sweepstakes at the county meet, while the Grand Sweepstakes went to DP.
SANTA BARBARA TRACK: Dons coach Spencer Barr, like Hantgin, got to make two trips to the podium on the day, as he honored Bisquera before stepping up to introduce some more athletes. Tess Emerson took third in the frosh/soph high jump and 400 while also winning the 300 hurdles on Saturday. Briggs Deardorff took third in the 1600 and 3200 varsity races, and Erika Berglund had strong showings in the frosh/soph 100, 200 and 4×100 relay.
SANTA BARBARA BREAKERS: General Manager Erik Burkhardt called the Breakers, the defending West Coast Basketball League champions, “Santa Barbara’s Unity Team.” The team includes Santa Barbara High and Westmont alum Santiago Aguirre, Dos Pueblos grad Shantay Legans and ex-Gaucho Josh Merrill.
The Breakers picked improved to 3-0 after Saturday night’s home opener at the SBCC Sports Pavilion, a 120-78 decision over the Beijing Aoshen Olympian team from China. The team also features exciting players like Tim Taylor, Allan Purnell and Zach Fray. Fray is quite a leaper, and he serves as a body double for LeBron James and Kobe Bryant in commercials.
The Breakers play at home every Saturday for the next six weeks, with each tip-off slated for 7 p.m.
SBCC TENNIS: Ryan Sweeney and Meghan Schaefer each advanced to the third round of the prestigious Ojai Tournament over the weekend. Sweeney and Elliot Markowitz reached the round of 32 in doubles play, as did Schaefer and Carla Dauden. Sweeney, Markowitz, Alex Zazove and Zack Scott will represent SBCC in the Southern California Individual Regionals on Thursday in Long Beach.
SBCC TRACK: Jesse Trace took second in 110 hurdles and Aeryus Holloway was third in the triple jump over the weekend at the Western State Conference Championships. A total of eight Vaqueros qualified for the SoCal Prelims, which will take place Saturday at Mt. SAC.
FEMALE ATHLETE OF THE WEEK: Gillian Morgan, UCSB water polo’s all-time scoring leader, made a big splash by scoring the game-winner in UCSB’s upset of top-seeded Cal State Northridge in the sport’s first-ever Big West Tournament. The Gauchos went on to finish second in the tourney.
MALE ATHLETE OF THE WEEK: Cate pitcher John Warren’s parents flew all the way from Saudi Arabia for the school’s Parents Weekend. He made it worth the plane ticket, tossing a no-hitter with 14 strikeouts in the Rams’ 10-0 mercy-rule win over Condor League rival Thacher. He also went 2-for-4 at the plate with two RBIs.
SCHOLAR ATHLETE OF THE YEAR: Nick Bern of Cate School earned Athlete of the Week honors two years ago after he held the powerhouse Dunn boys soccer team to a season-low one goal. Soccer coach Dave Mochel called Bern the best high school goalie he’s ever seen.
The long-legged senior is also a standout on the track, winning the county title in the 800 over the weekend with a mark of 2:03.64. He has previously dipped below two minutes.
Bern also carries a 4.185 GPA with a slate of course including AP Statistics, AP Calculus, AP Physics B, AP Physics C and English Literature. He participates in Mock Trial and is a Boy Scout among many other things. He also volunteers for the Special Olympics. He thanked his coaches and teachers as well as his parents, Samuel and Laurie, who were at the luncheon beaming with pride.
Next week’s luncheon will be the last of the year before the annual Hall of Fame banquet on May 11th.