By Blake Dorfman, PresidioSports.com
Ben Hallock says he’s not one to believe in luck, but on his way out to the field before Carpinteria High’s football game at Nordhoff on Friday, the coach came across a dollar bill on the ground and picked it up.
At first, it looked like the bill was working, as the Warriors intercepted the Rangers’ first pass and returned it for a touchdown. But a rash of turnovers and an unstoppable Rangers offense that has tallied a school record in touchdowns for the season sent the Warriors into the locker room at halftime trailing 34-6.
“On the way back in I put the bill right back where I found it,” said Hallock at Monday’s Santa Barbara Athletic Press Luncheon.
The Warriors, who lost the game 41-20, may not have a win on the season, but there’s a big opportunity awaiting them on Saturday when they play archrival Bishop Diego in the “Little Big Game” at La Playa Staium.
“They need to win out to have a shot at the playoffs. I always like local teams to do well but I think we’re gonna have to try and play the spoiler,” said Hallock.
Also representing the Warriors were versatile standouts Jovan Saenz and Isaiah Chavez.
BISHOP DIEGO: The Cardinals picked up their first win, a 30-20 decision at Santa Clara, on Friday.
Vince Figueroa had two touchdown receptions, including one in the corner of the end zone on fourth down, to go along with a forced fumble and a tackle for a loss.
“It was without a doubt the best game he’s ever had for us,” said coach Tom Crawford.
On the other end of those passes was quarterback Kyle Holland, who was at Harry’s along with Figueroa and Crawford.
“He could care less about his stats. He just cares about winning the game,” said Crawford of the junior captain.
The coach added that he’s been impressed with his team’s steady progression and is also “very impressed with how Carpinteria plays.”
It should be quite a showdown on Saturday.
SAN MARCOS: Running back Kyle Miller was relentless for the Royals in Friday’s 14-7 victory at Dos Pueblos’ Scott O’Leary Stadium, rushing for both scores as well as 162 yards on 36 carries.
“On plays where he was hit for a one- or two-yard gain he turned it into a four- or five-yard gain,” said coach Jeff Hesselmeyer.
Also at Harry’s representing the victorious Royals were linemen Kyle Leon and Louis Giroux as well as Male Athlete of the Week Manny Hernandez.
Hernandez had 40 yards rushing on four carries at fullback (he was Miller’s lead blocker) and also got in on 18 tackles defensively. He handled the punting duties for a 40-yard average.
“He’s been our glue on defense the whole year,” said Hesselmeyer.
The Royals play at Buena on Friday.
DOS PUEBLOS: The Chargers just couldn’t slow down the Royals’ relentless rushing in the cross-town showdown, and coach Jeff Uyesaka was full of praise for the San Marcos coaching staff.
DP certainly had a few big plays in the game, however, and Uyesaka introduced the receiver at the end of on of those plays. Eric Arroyo caught a 54-yard pass to from Zack Boytis to convert a third-and-25 in the third quarter. Uyesaka also brought along senior Cody Clark, whom he described as a man of few words.
SANTA BARBARA: The young Dons were handed another loss on Friday, this one a 41-0 defeat at the hands of Buena at Peabody Stadium. First-year coach Jaime Melgoza stuck to the same principle he’s been pushing the entire year when it comes to his squad.
“As long as we’re getting better, that’s the name of the game,” he said before introducing linebackers Robert Palmer and Conner Wohler.
As far as this week?
“This week it gets a little bit easier. We play St. Bonnie,” joked Melgoza.
The Seraphs, who will move to the Marmonte League next season, have not lost a Channel League game since joining the conference in 2002.
LAGUNA BLANCA: The Owls, who are in a rebuilding year, were torched by the seventh-ranked Cate Rams at home on Saturday in mercy-rule fashion. Rams running back Randy Person ran for four touchdowns and returned a kick for another in the rout.
“He ran all over the field. We were chasing him all day,” said coach Ray Robitaille.
The Owls’ only score came on a 65-yard scamper by sophomore Austin Rusack, and Laguna was also able to block a punt in the game.
Cate coach Ben Soto was not able to attend the luncheon, but praised Rusack as well as Rams leader Cormac O’Connor over the phone Monday morning.
Robitaille introduced fullback and linebacker Jack Stegall, who is also a kickboxer and plays volleyball for the Owls.
Laguna Blanca plays Dunn on Friday before Saturday’s Condor League championship game between the Rams and the No. 3 Thacher Toads — a marquee matchup in the 8-man football world.
SBCC: The Vaqueros were already starting a wide receiver at quarterback two weeks ago, but then that receiver went down with a broken wrist.
“On Friday morning, we weren’t even sure if we were gonna have a quarterback,” said coach Craig Moropoulos, who could use a lucky dollar-bill considering the injuries his players have dealt with.
Thankfully, second-stringer Cale Carson got an academic eligibility issue figured out in time to make the start, and he was excellent despite a heartbreaking 42-40 loss at West L.A. Carson completed 14 of 22 passes for 209 yards and two touchdowns, but the Vaqs couldn’t pull off a game-tying two-point conversion with 59 seconds left.
SBCC plays at L.A. Valley this week. Moropoulos introduced Carson as well as running back Michael Douglas, a Maui native described as “as good a downhill runner as I’ve had” by the coach.
UCSB WOMEN: The Gauchos played Cal Poly on Sunday with a chance for the Big West title. For a team that began the season at 3-7, that’s quite an accomplishment.
While the Mustangs defeated UCSB 2-0, the Gauchos still have a chance to make their second consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance by winning the Big West tournament. Their first game is at Cal State Northridge on Thursday, and if they win they’ll play for the title on Sunday.
Coach Paul Stumpf said that his team is as healthy and fit as its been all season, and that the Gauchos are also playing their best soccer of the year.
Along with Stumpf was assistant coach and recruiting coordinator Chris Fernandez as well as Tammy Lenham and Cory Yoshida. Lenham, a senior goalkeeper who has bounced back from two shoulder surgeries, had a career-high 12 saves last week against Pacific and was named Big West Player of the Week. Yoshida, meanwhile, is just a sophomore and notched her first collegiate goal earlier this year at UC Davis.
UCSB MEN: The Gauchos are 13-3-1 and ranked No.2 in the nation with just two games to go in the regular season, the first being Wednesday at Fullerton.
“It’s that time of year,” said assistant coach Leo Chappel, referring to the upcoming postseason.
Neil Jones, the captain of UCSB’s 2004 squad that made the NCAA title game, is now an assistant coach with the team and was at Monday’s luncheon as well as Swedish senior utility-man Martin Hedevag, who assisted Tim Pontius’ golden goal in Saturday’s double-overtime win at UC Irvine.
WESTMONT WOMEN: The Warriors battled to a tie with No. 6 Vanguard in their last game, finishing with the No. 8 seed heading into the Golden State Athletic Conference Tournament.
In the first round, they’ll match up with the nation’s third-ranked team, Azusa Pacific. The good news is that the Warriors handed APU its only loss of the conference season a few weeks ago, and coach Kristi Kiely said that the team is playing as well as it has all year.
WESTMONT MEN: Sports Information Director Ron Smith reported that the Westmont men’s team’s 4-0 win at Vanguard over the weekend was what coach Dave Wolf called the best regular-season match the team has played in four years. That should give the Warriors plenty of momentum when they play at Concordia in the first round of the GSAC tourney on Wednesday.
SBCC WOMEN: Sports Information Specialist Dave Loveton reported that Kelly Deckers has put away 13 goals and six assists for the Vaqueros, who are ranked 13th in Southern California and host Oxnard on Friday.
SBCC MEN: Santa Barbara High graduate Blake Nania scored his first collegiate goal in a 1-0 win over Citrus last week. SBCC is ranked fifth in Southern California and stand at 7-0-3 in the Western State Conference. They host Glendale Tuesday night at 7 p.m.
UCSB: “We’re not quite where we anticipated we’d be,” said Gaucho assistant Tim Settem.
UCSB finished sixth and eighth in two recent tournaments and came within two goals of USC, the nation’s top-ranked team, last week but is off to an 0-3 start in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation.
The Gauchos host Cal in a conference game on Saturday, and Settem pointed out that there was a standing-room only crowd at the USC match.
“That’s what we’re known for,” he said.
Milos Golic has 16 goals over his last four games, including six against Stanford and six against Cal State Long Beach.
DOS PUEBLOS: The Chargers lost to Ventura in the final seconds of a home match last week and will likely have to share the Channel League title, but DP is still ranked sixth in CIF and plays San Marcos on Tuesday before heading into the playoffs.
Assistant coach Travis Elaine brought two juniors, Chase Racich and Jared Rassler.
SANTA BARBARA: The Dons played five games in just 24 hours over the weekend at the North Orange County Tournament, including a one-goal win over Northwood in the finale.
“I really liked our resolve in that win,” said coach Mark Walsh, who pointed out that Northwood had only played one other match in that 24-hour period.
The Dons play at Buena on Thursday with a CIF bid on the line. Walsh was joined by Torrey Plana and Evan Schu.
SAN MARCOS: It’s been a struggle for the Royals this year, but the team has plenty to look forward to with just two players graduating. Coach Jeff Ashton introduced two young sophomores whom he is hoping will “be leaders in the near future” — Ben Battles and James Sweeney.
LAGUNA BLANCA: A strong season continues for the No. 6 Owls, who are 17-1 overall and 5-0 in the Condor League, having not lost a set in the conference.
Coach Jim Alzina had lots to say about the two players he was accompanied by.
Krista Brown is a “freakish athlete,” proving so after recently jumping up and touching the top of the antenna in front of Alzina.
“I also think that the quietest person is generally the smartest, and she’s said about five words all year,” added Alzina.
It’s no surprise she’s thinking about Harvard.
Outside hitter Amanda Schulenberg was also at the luncheon.
“She’s absolutely one of my heroes in life. She’s overcome so much,” said Alzina. “She’s more happy when someone else makes a good play.”
LAGUNA BLANCA: Athletic Director Mike Biermann spoke about the Owls’ cross-country team on behalf of coach Miguel Galindo. Boys standout Parker Lilly is the Condor League’s top runner and finished fifth overall with a time of 15:54 at last week’s county championships.
On the girls side, freshman Marla Ponzer has been a pleasant surprise, finishing as the top freshman at the Ojai Invitational earlier in the year.
FEMALE ATHLETE OF THE WEEK: For the second year in a row, Dos Pueblos golfer Nicole Bullemer won the Channel League individual crown, this time while battling the wind at Soule Park last week.
She shot a 3-over 75 on Tuesday to finish with a two-round score of 155 and claim a 10-stroke victory for the title.