BY BLAKE DORFMAN, PRESIDIOSPORTS.COM
Ryan Throop bruised his hip and his ego on Thursday night, and he was brave enough to tell the story of it at Monday’s Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table luncheon.
The Santa Barbara High girls soccer assistant coach was being a good samaritan during his team’s game at San Marcos on Thursday, circling the field during the game and shagging wayward balls that tend to roll a long way at Valley Stadium, slowing down the game.
Well, he hit a slippery spot in the mud during the second half and took a nice spill. The San Marcos fans in the stands couldn’t help but erupt in laughter, and Throop tried to get up and shake it off as if it didn’t hurt.
“It was like slow motion. I hit the ground and my elbow and hip really hurt,” he recalled.
The Dons were trailing 1-0 at the time, but just like Throop, they shook it off. Female Athlete of the Week Briana Lopez scored a spectacular goal on a bending, left-footed corner kick to even the score in the 65th minute, and 10 minutes later she sent a corner kick to Kai Miller for the winner.
“It was one of the better high school games I’ve seen as a coach,” said Throop.
Lopez and Miller joined their black-and-blue coach at Harry’s, as did 3-year varsity player Krista Jimenez. The Dons are now 3-2-4 overall and 1-0 in the Channel League. They’ll face Dos Pueblos and Ventura this week.
Throop said he’s looking forward to “a good week of healing.”
His ability to shake it off and keep smiling is something that the rest of the luncheon crowd can take with them.
GIRLS WATER POLO
SAN MARCOS: The Royals’ injuries have cost them a little more than a bruised hip and an embarrassing moment.
“We have yet to have our full team this year and I don’t think we’re going to have it,” said coach Brian Roth.
One of the Royals’ key players broke her hand snowboarding over the holidays, and at one point San Marcos only had one of its four captains suited up. After suffering a 14-4 loss to Santa Barbara last week, the Royals are still a healthy 7-4 overall and 1-1 in the Channel League.
Roth introduced Rose Koper, whom he described as “passive and polite” out of the water but “extremely aggressive and physical” when she’s in the pool. He also introduced Brittny Hummel, who is not one of the four captains but acts like she is.
“I think she’s earned the title of ‘lieutenant.’ She’s not a captain by rank but she’s leading everyone in the water,” said Roth.
SANTA BARBARA: The Dons are having a much better season than last year, currently sporting a 7-5 record against a daunting schedule. At this time last year they were 3-8.
Freshman sensation Kelsey O’Brien has been a big reason for the improvement, as she leads the team in nearly every statistical category and is given the responsibility of guarding the other team’s best player. Coach Mark Walsh also brought along Charlotte Hendrix, who was named an all-Channel League third-team selection last season as a freshman and is currently the team’s second leading scorer behind O’Brien.
The Dons host San Marcos and Mater Dei this week before opening their own tournament, the 11th annual Tournament of Champions, on Friday against Agoura.
DOS PUEBLOS: The top-ranked Chargers can’t take too much from Throop’s story, because they haven’t slipped up yet. At 11-0, Dos Pueblos has been steamrolling through its schedule. The Chargers, who have won the last two CIF titles, seem to win at everything — they even seem to win the cookie raffle every time they come to the luncheon.
UCLA-bound goalie Sami Hill has 127 saves, 10 steals and eight assists already this season, while Alex Hill is the team’s leading scorer with 26 goals. DP is also looking forward to the return of Amanda Redfern from illness, and has enjoyed success from Kayla Rodriguez in her first stint as a starter.
UCSB MEN: The Gauchos had slipped heading into last week, losing six of seven games. They shook that off in a hurry, however, as they won all three of their conference games and now sit atop the Big West at 3-1.
Male Athlete of the Week Orlando Johnson scored 24 points and had seven rebounds in Sunday’s 68-67 home win over Pacific. He had 12 points and five assists in a rout of UC Davis and 17 points in a 4-point win over UC Riverside.
“We’ve won three straight and we’re starting to live up to expectations,” said assistant coach Dave Campbell, who added that Johnson is the most physical player he’s had in eight years with the program.
The Gauchos play at conference-favorite Long Beach State on Thursday.
WESTMONT MEN: As he does every year, coach John Moore began his turn at the podium by leading everyone in Westmont’s favorite chant:
“BEAT BIOLA! BEAT, BEAT BIOLA!”
Yes, the Warriors’ nemesis will storm the hills of Montecito on Tuesday night. Westmont is 11-3 and 3-2 in the Golden State Athletic Conference with a No. 22 ranking in the NAIA. Biola is 15-0, 5-0 and carries a No. 4 NAIA ranking.
“Tomorrow night’s game will be one for the ages,” said Moore.
He was accompanied by a player who doesn’t see the court much and has just three points on the year, but is nonetheless a big part of the program. Jared Madrazo — a senior from Bothell, WA — was cut as a freshman but asked Moore that spring if he could still be a part of the team. Moore immediately said yes.
Madrazo is in the Army ROTC out at UCSB and comes to hoops practice after two-hour stints with his battalion. He will be commissioned in May. A year and a half ago, his older brother Nick was killed while serving in Afghanistan.
“Jared had been a great part of our program and he’s going to be a great part of our society,” said Moore.
WESTMONT WOMEN: Coach Kirsten Moore brought in the new year with a new haircut.
“And something else is new — we’ve started losing, so unfortunately I’m here to report on that,” said Moore.
The Warriors have lost two straight conference games, but are still in pretty good shape at 10-3, 3-2. The team’s ice-cold shooting has been the biggest problem. Moore’s top three shooters went a combined 5-for-37 (13.5%) from beyond the arc in the two losses. The good news is that the players were all at the gym shooting on their own on Monday morning.
Unranked Biola, which is also 3-2 in the GSAC, will tip-off with the Warrior women at 5 p.m. Tuesday in the first game of the doubleheader.
SBCC: Sports information specialist Dave Loveton reported that the Vaquero men are currently 4-11 and that San Marcos High graduate Chris Vines recently had 15 points, nine rebounds and five steals in a loss to Moorpark. The women’s team, meanwhile, is 9-9 and posted a big win in its WSC North opener, as Jake Kelly had 18 points in a two-point win over Moorpark.
Wednesday’s game at L.A. Pierce has been switched to the Sports Pavilion due to construction delays. Also, the Vaquero baseball program’s annual golf tournament will be held at Glen Annie Golf Course on February 1st.
SAN MARCOS: The Royals are 14-3 overall and 2-0 in the Channel League after defeating Santa Barbara and Buena last week. San Marcos went a combined 41-for-52 (79-percent) from the free-throw line in the two games. J.P. Dodson was 11-for-13 from the charity stripe in the fourth quarter on the week and was the team’s leading scorer in both games.
“I’ve never seen a San Marcos team so focused,” said coach Jarrod Bradley of the Buena game, in which the Royals held the Bulldogs to their lowest point total of the season.
Bradley introduced Johnny Manzo, who has scored in double-figures in seven of the last nine games, and sharp-shooter Chad Ridenour, who is averaging a pair of treys per game. The Royals play at DP on Friday in front of what should be a big crowd at Sovine Gym.
DOS PUEBLOS: The Chargers are off to a 1-1 start in the Channel League after falling to Ventura and beating Santa Barbara last week.
“Coach (Chris) Hantgin and Coach (John) Slavin are doing a great job with that young team,” said Chargers coach Joe Zamora of the Dons.
DP plays at Buena on Wednesday before Friday night’s matchup with San Marcos.
Six-foot-8 senior Malik Heptot hasn’t played this season due to a foot injury, but was just cleared by a doctor to start conditioning again and should be back playing soon. Zamora said that he has been a huge help despite his injury, staying enthusiastic on the sidelines during practices and game.
Also at Harry’s was point guard Pablo Miranda, who is averaging nine points, 3.5 assists and 2.5 steals, and his co-captain Jay Larinan.
“Other than the fact that he’s a Duke fan, I really enjoy being around him,” said Zamora of Larinan, who is averaging 13 points, seven rebounds and 1.5 blocks.
BISHOP DIEGO: Coach Ray “Slash” Vazquez gave the shortest luncheon speech in recent history, clocking in at 29 seconds.
The Cardinals lost to Nordhoff in their Frontier League opener despite 15 points from senior Hayden Slaught. They were set to play Laguna Blanca on Monday night at the Brickhouse.
CARPINTERIA: The Warriors are 10-4 and pulled out a close victory over Santa Clara in their Tri-Valley League opener, 52-48, last week. Manny Rodriguez had 28 points on 11-for-16 shooting and also pulled down 18 rebounds in the game.
“Every single league game is going to be a war for us, but I think we’re ready,” said coach John Ward.
Carpinteria is without two key players this season due to academic ineligibility, and Ward brought two players who have helped fill the void. Junior Victor Garcia began the season on the JV squad, but was called up and has now become a varsity starter, scoring 13 points in a recent win over Exeter.
Then there’s Travis Doop, who hasn’t gotten much playing time at all this season but still managed to provide a great moment in a big game. Doop came in during the final minute with the Warriors down five against Bishop Diego and buried a 3-pointer. Carpinteria ended up winning the game in overtime.
“It was a really neat thing to see, and it’s kind of a highlight of our year so far,” said Ward.
The Warriors host Malibu on Wednesday.
CATE: Athletic Director Wade Ransom reported that the Rams are on a 3-game winning streak and have been led by senior captains Randy Person and Mark Mullan. Jake Winnikoff recently scored 14 points in his first varsity game against Dunn, and Houston Bradley scored 14 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter of a comeback win over Condor League-foe Midland.
DOS PUEBLOS: The Chargers’ band of sophomores are 0-2 in the Channel League after facing two tough opponents in state-ranked Ventura and Santa Barbara. Coach Maynard Pilapil said that his team’s effort against Santa Barbara was one of the best of the season.
He introduced Claire Murphy, whom he described as “the most respected” player on the team, as well as 6-foot-1 center Talitha Draper, who has about 10 nicknames but is most commonly known as “Big T.”
The Chargers play at Buena on Tuesday.
SANTA BARBARA: Nothing came easy for the Dons last week, who went 3-0. They edged San Marcos by three points and beat Rio Mesa by one on a Rebecca Griffin buzzer-beater. The defeated DP by 16, but coach Andrew Butcher said it was still a tough win to get.
“Every time I see them they’re better. By the time they’re all seniors it’s gonna be really scary,” he said.
He brought senior Karina Cervantes, who is the “glue” on the team, as well as blue-collar post-player Riley Lloyd. The Dons host Ventura on Tuesday night.
BISHOP DIEGO: The Cardinals are 10-5 and open up Frontier League play against second-ranked Santa Clara on Tuesday. The Saints feature a pair of transfers who stand at 6-foot-4 and 6-feet.
Coach Jeff Burich said that in any other system the two juniors he brought would probably be averaging double what they currently do. Post player Essence Thornhill is averaging six points per game while Kelsey Stimson is at 10 points.
“At the halfway point of our season, I’d say she our MVP so far,” said Burich of Stimson. “She’s our hardest worker in practice.”
CATE: Ransom said that it is a rebuilding year for the Rams, who start three freshmen but have received outstanding leadership from seniors Grace Williams and Simone Nettles. Freshman point guard Grace Dickman, who hails from New York City, has also hit the ground running as a young starter for the team.