BY BLAKE DORFMAN, PRESIDIOSPORTS.COM
The UCSB Athletics marketing crew certainly nailed this one.
The Gauchos’ video promotion of “Gunnar Shades” — plastic neon sunglasses named for loud-mouthed infielder Gunnar Terhune — has become a YouTube sensation with nearly 20,000 views in the past week. The first 250 fans at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium on Saturday got a free pair, and the shades even made it to the Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table luncheon on Monday.
“I encourage you to go on our Web site, ucsbgauchos.com, and go on our YouTube page and check it out so you see what I have to deal with every day with our guys,” joked coach Bob Brontsema, who was wearing a pair for the first part of his turn at the podium. “It’s the tip of the iceberg of what goes on out at UCSB with some of these guys. You can raffle off these ‘Gunnar Shades’ (hands them to SBART President Catharine Manset-Morreale). I’ve had enough of ’em.”
While the shades may shield the sun, nothing could shield No. 22 Cal State Fullerton, which won the weekend series with UCSB with a 17-3 blowout on Saturday and a 6-1 win on Sunday.
“They are really, really good. I mean really good,” said Brontsema, who noted that Gaucho ace Mario Hollands continued his outstanding play by winning the series opener on Friday.
“I think Mario Hollands is gonna pitch in the Big Leagues, and I know Fullerton ran out there probably two or three guys that’ll end up playing in the Big Leagues,” he said. “There’s a lot of great players out there, and I guess coming out on a Friday at two o’clock is tough, so I guess that would be my pitch here for anybody that wants to jump on the bandwagon and help us get lights out there.”
Until then, the sun-drenched day games will keep “Gunnar Shades” a hot commodity.
DOS PUEBLOS GIRLS: The Chargers breezed past Buena last week to remain undefeated in the Channel League, and then proceeded to top a 29-team field at the Mt. SAC Meet of Champions over the weekend.
“It was great for us to see what we can do when we have most of our varsity team there,” said coach Leslie Roth. “It also gave us a chance to put together some of our fastest relay teams.”
The DP 400 freestyle relay squad of Emily Rose Williams, Janelle Nguyen, Kiley Neushul and Michelle Dockendorf shattered the meet record by nine seconds.
Roth brought along two freshman whom she credits with helping to push the older swimmers to train harder. Kate Evans has been doing so in the 200 freestyle while Madison Faulkner has excelled in the 100 butterfly, recently recording a mark just 0.07 seconds off of a CIF consideration time.
The Chargers host San Marcos, coached by Leslie’s husband Brian Roth, on Thursday.
SAN MARCOS GIRLS: Roth notched his second league win in six years at the helm last week when the Royals prevailed over Buena.
“We’re able to do that with no club swimmers, and I think that’s a pretty big feat for the girls at San Marcos,” he said.
The first swimmer he introduced was Emily Wheeler, a four-year varsity team member who has battled back from medical issues earlier in the year.
“We had to re-train her mind. We had to talk about just having fun and just enjoying being there every day,” said Roth. “She started swimming better and better and better.”
As a result, her time in the 100 butterfly has improved by three seconds since the beginning of the year.
Also at Harry’s was Ashley Wagner, a sophomore transfer who picked up two personal-best times at Mt. SAC over the weekend.
SANTA BARBARA GIRLS: The Dons picked up their first win of the season last week in comeback fashion against Ventura, trailing by five points heading into the final individual event, the 100 butterfly. Maddie Trabucco won that event, and the Dons’ 4×400 relay squads finished first and third to win the meet.
“A lot of times the kids don’t pay attention to the scoring of a meet because it’s not like it’s up on a big scoreboard or there’s someone reading off the score after every event,” said coach Mark Walsh. “…When I told them we hadn’t had a win yet and that it would be nice to get one, they said ‘Really? We haven’t won yet?'”
The boys meet was also decided by less than 10 points in the Dons’ favor. Walsh introduced freshman Claire Bergthold, who spends a lot of time in the water as a swimmer and club water polo player, as well as junior Mark Davis.
“He’s our hardest worker in the program, and by a lot,” said Walsh of Davis.
SAN MARCOS BOYS: Coach Jeff Ashton was concerned after a sub-par performance against Buena last week.
“We didn’t swim very well against Buena, so I was a little worried going into Mt. SAC this weekend to the high school Meet of Champions,” he said.
He was worry-free afterwards, as 50-percent of the Royals’ times were personal bests and 75-percent were season-best marks. Ashton introduced juniors Christian Sloan and Chris Bebb. Sloan battled illnesses early in the season, so last week’s meet against Buena was his first. At Mt. SAC, he swam his best time ever in the 200 free.
Bebb, meanwhile, has switched into a sprinter’s role this year and is hoping for a big drop in his times heading into league finals.
LAGUNA BLANCA: Athletic Director Mike Biermann introduced senior Bryson Alef, who recently won the county championship in the 50 free and 100 free. He will be competing in the 100 free and 100 breast in CIF competition before heading off to swim at Amherst next year.
SANTA BARBARA HIGH: The Dons picked up a pair of crosstown wins over rival San Marcos last week.
“I’m very glad we’re done with San Marcos. They’re very good, and the game Friday almost ruined my weekend because I was so exhausted afterward,” said assistant coach George Rempe.
The Royals are the only team to beat Santa Barbara this year, and the Dons were ranked No. 12 in the most recentL.A. Times poll.
Rempe said that much of the team’s success has been due to a “We, not me” attitude, and it is exemplified by the two players he brought to Harry’s.
The first is senior Patrick Soulages, who serves as the Dons’ bullpen catcher.
“He’s solely responsible for getting our rather large pitching staff ready for practice or before they go into games, either as starters or relievers. He also provides invaluable information to the coaches about the pitchers’ stuff, and he helps in any way he can to make the Dons better,” said Rempe.
Fellow senior Gavin Feuer can best be described as a “Comeback Kid” due to the fact that he’s battled back from injury both last season and this season to make it back on the mound and contribute as a pitcher. He closed out both games against the Royals last week.
SAN MARCOS: The Royals had spent years in the Channel League cellar before Rob Crawford took over last season, and Crawford viewed achieving the status of “rival” to Santa Barbara as a compliment in itself.
“The good news is we are a rival now, and it’s because we play well,” said Crawford. “I’m proud of where we’re headed and what we’re doing as a program, and I’m proud of the young men on the team that have kind of turned this thing around a little bit.”
He brought along senior do-it-all Andrew Doss and pitcher David Kim. Doss had a big RBI in a win over Tucson High School on the Royals’ recent trip to Arizona. Kim, meanwhile, is one of the team’s two starters for Channel League play and has also proven to be a dangerous hitter. He’s headed to UCLA next year.
SBCC: The Vaquero offense exploded last week with 19 runs on 19 hits against Moorpark. Conner Rehage, a Dos Pueblos alum, added to his home run total and now has 11, placing him second in the state. The Vaqs lead the state in homers with 48, and are one shy of the school record.
Sports Information Director Dave Loveton also announced that men’s volleyball coach Melody Parker will be resigning after 13 years with the team.
“Melody, who’s going to become a grandmother in the next couple of weeks, is one of the classiest people I know and she’ll be greatly missed,” said Loveton.
LAGUNA BLANCA: Senior Niall Platt is undefeated in his 4-year Condor League career, and he is also the Goleta City Amateur Champion. The smaller schools play nine holes, and Platt recently shot a jaw-dropping 30 on the front nine at La Cumbre Country Club. His talents have led to a scholarship to play golf at Notre Dame next year.
BISHOP DIEGO: Athletic Director Dan Peeters spoke on behalf of golf coaches Marty Herrera and Pete Georgi. The Cardinals are hoping to capture their first Frontier League title in many years, and much of that is due to luncheon guests Anthony Pell and Garrett Garcia.
His coaches say that Garcia has a perfect temperament for the game. His smarts in the classroom are substantial as well, as he will be studying Mechanical Engineering at UC San Diego next year. Pell is the team’s No. 2 golfer and has battled through a recent slump hoping to come out strong as the home stretch approaches.