Superintendent Sarvis on hand at Harry’s

Superintendent Sarvis speaks to the athletes and coaches on hand at Harry's on Monday.

The Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table was given a heap of kudos by a very influential person in the community on Monday, when Santa Barbara School District Superintendent Brian Sarvis stopped by Harry’s for the weekly press luncheon.

“I’m really here just to thank the Athletic Round Table for what they do, the attention they pay to our students and the attention they pay to sports,” said Sarvis.

Sarvis was at Peabody Stadium on Friday night for “The Big Game,” as Santa Barbara High defeated San Marcos in a 6-0 defensive battle.

To make sure he wasn’t showing any bias, Sarvis made sure to sit on the Dons side of the field for the first half before moving over to the Royals bleacher for the second half.

The last “Big Game” to finish with a 6-0 score was won by San Marcos back in 1972, making the low-scoring affair a rare sight. This year’s Gary Blades Memorial MVP winner, Santa Barbara linebacker Robert Palmer, is the first-ever strictly defensive player to earn the award.

Palmer had three sacks, three hurry-ups and six solo tackles to help the Dons thwart a pair of red-zone drives by San Marcos.

Both Dons coach Jaime Melgoza and Royals coach Jeff Hesselmeyer were full of compliments for one another at the luncheon.

CHAMPIONS OF CHARACTER: Westmont is one of nearly 300 schools competing in the National Association for Intercollegiate Athletics, and it is at the top of the heap in regards to character.

This past year, the NAIA conducted its first-ever “character scorecard,” based on sportsmanship on the field, involvement in the community, servant leadership and academic performance. Westmont finished in the top five.

“We’re really grateful for that recognition and feel like it represents who we are and who our student athletes are,” said sports information director Ron Smith.

MAJOR IMPROVEMENTS: Golf can be a maddening game, but local high-school teams have been making unheard of improvements to their games this season. San Marcos girls coach Shawn Ricci reported that his team had a few rounds over 300 to start the year, but last week fired a 236 in the final match of the season.

Big contributors to that effort were at the luncheon. Senior Alexandria Peretiako shot a personal-best 40 and Melissa Jewkes picked up her best-ever round with a 43.

Representing the Carpinteria girls golf team were Samantha Hudson and Liz Gutierrez. Assistant coach Steve Benzin reported that the Warriors have seen a 46-shot improvement this season.

DE-FEET-ED: Hesselmeyer continued to come to Harry’s prepared with a one-liner to share. This time it came when discussing a rash of penalties on Friday night:

“Right now I’m not sure that we have a foot left to stand on, we’ve been shooting ourselves so many times this year.”

SPIKERS GOING STRONG: In its first official year of CIF competition, the

Providence Hall girls volleyball team is already putting together winning streaks. Coach Dale Colburn reported that the Lions won three straight since coming to the luncheon previously, including a pair of 5-set decisions. Faith Emerson has sparkled statistically, as she had 55 kills and 21 aces during those three matches.

Laguna Blanca, meanwhile, is 10-2 overall and 4-0 in the Condor league. The Owls recently beat the No. 3 team in CIF, Viewpoint. Their upcoming match with San Marcos was described by Royals administrator Aaron Solis as “The Hollister-Modoc-Las Palmas Showdown,” relating to the short jaunt between the two schools.

The biggest showdown, however, will go down on Tuesday night at DP as the Chargers will host Santa Barbara. DP beat powerhouses Mira Costa and Archbishop Mitty over the weekend en route to a third-place finish at the Torrey Pines Tournament, and will try to defend their own gym against a Dons squad hungry to avenge a four-game loss at J.R. Richards Gym a few weeks ago. First serve for that match will be at 6 p.m.

SHOOTOUT:SBCC’s football team came up on the wrong end of a thriller on Saturday, losing a 16-0 lead in a 35-30 loss to visiting L.A. Pierce.

“It was a shootout, and I felt Sunday morning like I got hit with every shot,” said coach Craig Moropoulos.

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