Last year was a tough one to swallow for local football, as none of the five 11-man teams made the postseason for the first time in memory.
That’s all changed this time around, as Bishop Diego, Carpinteria and Dos Pueblos were all represented at Monday’s Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table luncheon to discuss their upcoming playoff matchups.
Bishop will head down to Granada Hills on Friday to take on 9-1 Sierra Canyon, while Carpinteria will travel to Montebello to take on Cantwell Sacred Hart of Mary, which also has a 9-1 record. Dos Pueblos, meanwhile, will try to ride the momentum of its first Channel League title since 1979 against visiting Camarillo. Both teams are 7-3.
Carpinteria defeated Bishop Diego on Friday in the “Little Big Game,” 14-7, thanks to a touchdown in the final minute.
“Both Coach [Ben] Hallock and I took a sigh of relief in knowing that I think we came out of it without injuries on either side, and going into the playoffs that’s obviously critical,” said Cardinals coach Tom Crawford.
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The Chargers had a night to remember at Larrabee Stadium against Ventura on Thursday, and congratulations on Monday came from many different speakers at the podium. Sitting in the front row were Dick Miers and San Marcos coach Jeff Hesselmeyer, who were both with the DP program for the 1979 league title.
“You coach for causes, and one of mine is firstly to make my family proud, but also to make the coaches that helped me get to where I am proud also,” said DP coach Jeff Uyesaka, paying homage to his two predecessors at the luncheon.
Uyesaka is a rather stoic person, and he said he didn’t even realize how proud he was of the accomplishment until he came home and his daughter said he looked as happy as she’s ever seen him. Uyesaka brought along Male Athlete of the Week Nicolai Bornand as well as receiver Jim Lagatutta, who had two huge catches in the game, and 290-pound lineman Felipe Cruz.
CHLORINE KINGS: While the DP football team accomplished something for the first time in 31 years, the water polo team one-upped that by reaching the CIF Semifinals for the first time since 1978. Thanks to an huge 9-8 win over No. 4 Newport Harbor on Friday, the Chargers will now face Mater Dei at a neutral site in Irvine with a trip to the championship match on the line. The Chargers have lost to the Monarchs twice already this year. Coach Chris Parrish brought along starter Christian Terpening, who was recently cleared to return to the lineup after a ruptured eardrum, and hard-working practice player Zach Reardon.
Carpinteria football coach pointed out that it’s hardly a “neutral” site, as Mater Dei is in Santa Ana, just down the road from Irvine. Westmont basketball coach John Moore offered encouragement to Parrish and his team, saying that one of the hardest thing to do in sports is to beat a team three times in a season, meaning the Chargers are due to take down mighty Mater Dei.
DONS MOVE ALONG: Coach Steve Geremia was at Harry’s to talk about his Santa Barbara High girls tennis team, which will host a CIF Quarterfinal match on Tuesday against El Dorado. The time of the match has been moved up from 2 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. in order to avoid possible issues with darkness. The Dons swept all nine doubles sets in their previous win over Aliso Niguel.
WARRIORS ON FIRE: The Westmont women’s basketball team is 4-0 to start the season and got an unbelievable showing off the bench from Vanessa Farias on Saturday. She scored four points in the first half before making seven consecutive treys in the second half and finishing with 31, the seventh most in program history.
HAPPY TO BE HOME: The Westmont men’s hoopsters have been all over the map to start the year, including a game at UCLA followed by a matchup with St. John’s (coached by Warrior coach John Moore’s brother-in-law, Steve Lavin) in New York and a win over Evergreen State up in Olympia, WA.
“Over the last 10 days, we’ve been to LA, we’ve been to New York City and in Seattle,” said coach John Moore. “And as I was flying back in from Seattle last night, I said to myself ‘Wow, I get to come back to this town,’ and then to a place like this (the luncheon). This feels like home to me.”
Moore also shared a recent revelation he had about the luncheons. He came as a player in the 1970s, meaning he has now been at them in five different decades.