Football teams will keep pluggin’ along

By Blake Dorfman,

“Three-up, three-down” isn’t just a baseball term anymore.

It also applies to football, specifically the wave of bad luck that struck the Santa Barbara City College football team on Saturday.

Starting quarterback John Uribe went down with a badly dislocated elbow in the second quarter. The second-string quarterback had dropped a class and was ineligible. The third-stringer had swine flu.

It all led to a 16-13 home loss to Santa Monica. At Monday’s Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table Luncheon, coach Craig Moropoulos called “the biggest, most crushing defeat I’ve had in a long time.”

A lot of coaches would just throw their hands up to the heavens and say “what next?” after losing all three quarterbacks. For Moropoulos, conference-leading receiver Oscar Medina was next. He came in and performed admirably under center, completing 12-of-18 passes before losing a costly fumble.

Uribe will miss the rest of the season, and Moropoulos said he will continue to rely on Medina when needed and press on. With a defense led by the likes of Matt Rachowski — who had a whopping 17 tackles and an interception in the game — the Vaqueros will look to bounce back this Saturday as they host L.A. Pierce.


DOS PUEBLOS: Either the Chargers or the Santa Barbara Dons will bounce back from what has been a tough season thus far, as the two teams will clash in a cross-town showdown at Peabody Stadium this Friday.

“I think it’s even,” said DP coach Jeff Uyesaka of the matchup. The Chargers fell to 2-4 after losing 36-3 at Buena on Friday.

Uyesaka said that he hadn’t been involved in a DP win at Peabody Stadium since the 80s, when he was a player and the Chargers won 2-0 on a safety. DP’s coach in that game was current San Marcos coach Jeff Hesselmeyer.

Along with Uyesaka at the luncheon were a couple of versatile juniors — linebacker/guard Brandon Johnson and linebacker/fullback/guard Aaron Thomas.

SANTA BARBARA: The Dons are still looking for their first win after dropping a 38-23 decision at Ventura on Friday. Coach Jaime Melgoza also brought along a pair of juniors in two-way linemen Jose Carrera and Taylor Dawson.

“I thought we had a lot of positive things… It’s great to see the kids sticking together,” he said of the Ventura game.

After wishing good luck to Uyesaka in the Chargers, he said that “it’s going to be a great football game” on Friday.

SAN MARCOS: After making some remarks about St. Bonaventure and possible illegal recruiting at last week’s luncheon, Hesselmeyer made a point to begin his time at the podium by praising the mighty Seraphs for their exceptional sportsmanship during Friday’s 42-0 win over the Royals.

San Marcos’ schedule has been as difficult as they come so far. Besides lowly Lompoc, the Royals’ opponents have a combined record of 23-7. The Royals host Ventura on Friday.

Hesselmeyer introduced defensive back Nate Delgadillo and lineman Tim Wallace as well as assistant coach Joby Nunez.

LAGUNA BLANCA: Ten players suited up for the Owls this weekend, and Laguna prevailed with a 36-20 home win over Ojai Valley School — their first of the season. Austin Rusack had an interception and ran for three touchdowns in the second half, while sophomore Logan Elder caught two touchdown passes from Troy Ritter and added two interceptions.

“It was a pleasure to coach that game,” said Robitaille, who added that Melgoza’s daughter, Amber, was the best player on the field for Vieja Valley School in Friday’s 6th grade flag football game against Laguna.

Along with Robitaille was Andrew McCaffrey, who caused and fell on a fumble against OVS. He also plays soccer and lacrosse.

BISHOP DIEGO: The winless Cardinals did all you can hope to do against Oaks Christian on Friday, which is just to play as hard as possible. The Lions, who are ranked fifth nationally in MaxPreps’ XCellent 25 poll, took out the Cards 65-6.

Andrew Torrellas, a senior who caught a 4-yard touchdown pass for Bishop’s only points, was at Harry’s along with hard-nosed sophomore running back Paul Garcia.

Now that the Lions are out of the way, assistant coach Matt Capritto said that a whole new season begins when Nordhoff pays a visit to La Playa Stadium on Friday.

“We’ve gotta win a few of these games to get into the postseason,” he said.

CARPINTERIA: The Warriors remained winless after four costly turnovers in the kicking game turned a scoreless first half into a 13-0 road win for Oak Park.  Coach Ben Hallock said he felt his team won the first half.

He introduced the Craddock twins, Wyatt and Gil, who are “great kids, fine students and fine players,” according to the coach.

Oaks Christian will invade Carpinteria this Friday, and Hallock wasn’t quite sure what to say.

“I don’t know what you can say about it… We’re just going to use it to try and get better. It’s a little absurd to have to play them, also,” he said.


DOS PUEBLOS: The top-ranked Chargers had a remarkable weekend, winning the California Challenge in San Diego thanks to a true display of perseverance on Saturday.

Led by tourney MVP Carly Wopat, who was also a runaway winner of the SBART Female Athlete of the Week Award, the Chargers fought off an 0-2 deficit to beat powerhouse La Costa Canyon in a morning match. Next up was perennial power Mira Costa, who the Chargers defeated in another 5-set marathon.

After all of that, DP somehow found enough energy to sweep host Torrey Pines in the championship match. Wopat’s parents, Ron and Cathy, were at the luncheon as was Carly’s twin sister Sam, another recent Athlete of the Week who played a huge role at the tournament according to coach Todd Garrett.

Setter Sammie Brown was also introduced and received a round of applause for recently committing to play at Notre Dame next season.

SANTA BARBARA: The Dons were also at the tournament, going 2-0 on Friday before losing both of their matches on Saturday. The latter was a 5-set heartbreaker against Santa Margarita, which had a final score of 16-14 in the fifth set.

Gannon brought “the cornerstones of the program,” Emily Rottman and Eve Ettinger. Rottman, who will play at the University of Virginia next year, exploded for 20 kills in just three sets on the team’s Friday night game.

Ettinger is just a junior but has already committed to play for USC after high school.

“To be honest, I’m harder on her than any other kid on the team, but that’s because I see so much potential,” said Gannon.

SAN MARCOS: Marriage has its ups and downs, and one of the downs for San Marcos volleyball coach Erica Menzel has been getting people to use her new last name, Downing.

“I used to be Menzel, but now I’m Downing. I just can’t seem to get rid of it,” joked the former San Marcos and UCSB standout after being introduced by her former name.

Once and for all — it’s Erica Downing.

Anyway, the Royals take on Laguna Blanca this week before diving into the second half of league in search of a conference win. Downing introduced a pair of seniors, Paulina King and Mallory Zaunius, as well as JV coach and former San Marcos player Kara Weirum.

LAGUNA BLANCA: The sixth-ranked Owls are enjoying a very successful season, with a current record of 12-1 and a 2-0 mark in the Condor League after home sweeps against Cate and Thacher this past week.

Coach Jim Alzina said that Lillie Hodges has really stepped up her play in her third year on the varsity team, serving as the Owls’ starting libero. Starting right-side hitter Hillary Williamson is averaging an impressive three blocks and three kills per game.

Alzina generously offered to pay for everyone’s ticket if they come to the game against San Marcos… Too bad admission at Merovick Gym is free.

BISHOP DIEGO: Terry Roberts discussed the amount of young talent on the Cardinals’ team, which is currently 2-4 in an incredibly tough Tri-Valley League. They face Oak Park, Oaks Christian and La Reina in their next three matches.

Roberts brought one of the few seniors in the program, Sophia Roberts, who has been out much of the season with an injury but is hoping to return soon. Also present was an example of the young talent, freshman Lauren Underwood. Roberts said that the youngster is the team’s most consistent player.

CARPINTERIA: The Warriors, like the Cardinals, have also had their hands full in the Tri-Valley League. They’ve gotten a big boost of confidence, however, due to the early return of middle blocker Jeanine Van Wingerden from a broken foot. Coach Katie Dolge also introduced the team’s setter, Jenny Annable.

“With each week we’re getting better and better,” said Dolge.

SBCC: Sports Information Specialist Dave Loveton reported that the Vaqueros are ranked seventh in the state and recently swept Oxnard thanks to strong performances by Jenn Waddill and Nicole Bergmann. Believe it or not, SBCC was rained out due to a leaky roof at Cuesta College over the weekend. They play at Moorpark next.

WESTMONT: The Warriors had a 15-14 lead in the fifth game against Azusa Pacific but couldn’t close it out in the last four matches, the Warriors have faced conference matchups against the first, second, third and sixth-ranked teams in the nation.

“We enjoy the fact that we’re in a conference that’s so good,” said sports information director Ron Smith.


SAN MARCOS: The Royals have lacked experience this year, but their improvement has been substantial, as the team has shaved roughly 35 strokes off of its scores, according to coach Shawn Ricci.

Ricci called the two seniors whom he brought “natural leaders.”

Lise Anderson is playing in the top spot and has earned medalist honors four times on the season, and Zaira Barbosa has also been a key contributor in her third year on the team.

CARPINTERIA: The Warriors have some players who hadn’t held a club or been on a course before two monnths ago.

“It’s a good thing I’m a golf instructor,” remarked coach Christine Gahan.

What they lack in experience they certainly make up for in smarts. Maya Stanford is an AP Scholar with Distinction, having score either four or five on five different AP tests. Christine Saito, meanwhile, is second in her class with a 4.34 GPA and is also incredibly focused and talented.

“She could be LPGA if she wants to,” said Gahan.

SBCC: The defending state champs began a stretch of two Western State Conference matches in three days on Monday at Robinson Ranch Golf Course. They are currently 8-4, tied for second in the conference. Kait Gatina and Jenna Boyle have been firing low rounds all year to support defending state individual champion Asaka Sim.

MALE ATHLETE OF THE WEEK: The SBCC men’s soccer team has now won five straight matches and are 5-5-2, 5-0-1 after a slow start. Danny Molineaux had a huge game against Canyons at La Playa Stadium this week, scoring all three goals in a 3-1 victory.

SPECIAL OLYMPIAN OF THE MONTH: Steve Glick has been a Special Olympics athlete and coach for 16 years, and he currently participates in four sports — tennis, softball, floor hockey and bocce ball.

He was recently part of the Fall regional games, where he was the pitcher for his softball team that finished a strong second place. Special Olympics representative Ashley Hoag said his leadership qualities are exceptional.

BIG FRIDAY PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Bob Dinaberg honored San Marcos’ Bennie Kirkwood with his second award as the radio broadcast’s Player of the Week. This week, the show will go on the air on AM 1490 at 6:45 p.m. prior to the Dos Pueblos vs. Santa Barbara game.

ALUMNI GAME: Athletic Directors Nan Verkaik of Santa Barbara high and Abe Jahadhmy of San Marcos announced that the schools will hold an alumni football game on May 29th. The two said that they have a bet on the game, which they will announce the terms of at a later date… That could get interesting

FALL CLASSIC: SBART President Catharine Manset Morreale announced that volleyball legend and Santa Barbara native Karch Kiraly will be the keynote speaker at this year’s Fall Classic, which will take place at the University Club in mid-November.

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