Moropoulos gets sage advice, focuses ahead

SBCC football head coach Craig Moropoulos talks about Saturday's Vaquero game.

Craig Moropoulos was feeling a little low on Monday morning, two days after his injury-plagued SBCC football squad lost its second consecutive one-possession game, 30-24 at L.A. Valley. The team has lost its leading receiver due to injury and was down to just four defensive linemen for the game. But a run-in with a Santa Barbara sports legend brightened his day, and he brought the perspective along with him to the Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table luncheon.

Moropoulos was teaching a class at La Playa Stadium when he spotted Bill Bertka, the Lakers’ Director of Scouting and former head coach (as well as co-founder of the Round Table), on the track.

“He’s such a positive person, Bill is, and I told him about some of our situation and he said ‘Hey, you can’t do anything about it,'” said Moropoulos.

When he walked into Harry’s, he saw former UCLA basketball head coach and UCSB Athletic Director Gary Cunningham. He was reminded of a class on coaching he teaches in the spring, and the textbook he uses for the class — “Wooden on Leadership” by the late John Wooden.

“One thing he talks about in that book is don’t worry what you can’t control. Worry what you can control. All I can control is the next two weeks and how hard we work and perform in the next two games,” said Moropoulos, who was accompanied by fullback Marcus Ruffin and center Keith Serne.

The Vaqueros play at Glendale on Saturday.

BISHOP BLOODLINES: The Bishop Diego football team picked up a 17-6 home win over Santa Clara on Friday in a rematch of the 2007 CIF Mid-Valley Division Championship game. The Cardinal defense was stellar, allowing just two yards on 11 plays in the first half.

Coach Tom Crawford brought along two key players from the win, both of whom saw their older brothers play on the 2007 squad which lost in a thrilling title game against the Saints. Mike Winnewisser is a junior lineman who broke his hand in practice early in the season and has been playing center, snapping with his opposite hand this year. His older brother Scott is now a standout at Cal Poly, and his other older brother Christian has played quarterback at the University of La Verne.

Also joining Crawford was lineman Thomas Renick, whom Crawford accidentally introduced by his older brother’s name, David.

“That probably is reflective of how much Thomas reminds me of his older brother, because neither one of them would say two words,” said Crawford. “He does a wonderful job.”

TENNIS TRIUMVIRATE: The Santa Barbara Dons, San Marcos Royals and Dos Pueblos Chargers finished the girls tennis regular season in that order atop the Channel League, and it’s not new territory for the Dons. Santa Barbara has been either co-champion or champion of the league for the past 30 years.

Representing the Dons were coach Steve Geremia and four seniors — Stephanie Thornton, Ariana Hudson, Thalia Hudson and Savannah Fox.

San Marcos coach Jarrod Bradley reported that the Royals clinched second place by going 3-0 last week. He introduced the doubles team of Christine Pearson and Amy Ransohoff. Pearson has a 4.5 GPA, while Ransohoff is in the top three in her class and was also a Homecoming princess. The duo is 37-7 on the year.

The third-place Chargers were represented by the No. 1 doubles team of Christina Rasmussen and Keekee Daniels.

WOMEN OF THE WATER: Gregg Wilson and his UCSB women’s swim team had a solid season-opening performance over the weekend, finishing in the middle of a 3-team showdown with UCLA and Oregon State at the Bruins’ new pool in Westwood. Wilson was extremely proud of the performance, considering the team only brought 15 competitors and half of them are freshmen.

He was accompanied by two of the standout freshmen, Alie Knight and Sophia Yamaguchi.

He also shared a memory about the late John Ward, Carpinteria High’s athletic director and basketball coach who passed away three weeks ago after a short battle with cancer. Wilson and Ward coached their sons’ t-ball team together nearly two decades ago.

“It was a lot of fun for us, and we probably peaked as coaches during that t-ball season,” joked Wilson. “John was a great coach, a great dad and a better person.”

CATE LOOKING GREAT: The Cate football team is coming off of a 47-13 home win over rival Laguna Blanca, and has reached No. 3 in the CIF Division I polls — its highest ranking in the program’s six-year history.

Athletic Director Wade Ransom introduced senior Jackson Mauze as well as juniors Jeremy Miller and Blake “Magic” Wands.

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