The Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table announced its Hall of Fame Induction Class of 2011 at the start of Monday’s press luncheon at Harry’s Cafe.
The athlete inductees are Jennifer Lafferty of San Marcos softball; Linnea Mendoza Meister, Santa Barbara High volleyball; Omel Nieves, San Marcos boys basketball; Scott Puailoa, San Marcos and City College football, basketball and golf, and Kyle Shotwell, Dos Pueblos football.
Ken Preston, who coached the UCSB men’s volleyball team for 30 years, is the coaching inductee; Bill Pintard, long-time manager of the Santa Barbara Foresters, is being honored with the Special Achievement Award; the South Coast Community Aquatics is the Community Leader award recipient, and Larry Crandell, affectionally known as Mr. Santa Barbara, is receiving the Presidents Award.
The inductees and award winners will be feted at the 44th annual SBART Hall of Fame Banquet on Monday, May 23 at the Fess Parker Double Tree Resort.
Board member Jeanie Purcell-Hill said announced that cost for the banquet have been adjusted to “make it more accessible to families wanting to experience the highlight event of local sports.”
Tickets are $40 for adults and $35 for youth. They can be purchased at Round Table’s Web site: www.sbart.org.
The Santa Barbara public high schools and City College were on spring break last week, but some of their teams in action, racking up victories.
The Dos Pueblos baseball team returned from Arizona on Sunday after winning the Chris Moon Memorial Classic in Tucson.
“I definitely questioned what I was getting myself into being in charge of 20 high school kids in a hotel for five nights,” DP coach Nate Mendoza said about the trip. “I was definitely nervous about that.”
But his Chargers made him proud, as they beat five teams in the desert heat to win the championship.
“It was an amazing experience for the kids,” he said. “It’s one of my proudest moments as a coach, to see the players celebrate on the field. The parents were extremely excited and we had this huge trophy we took home.”
The title win extended DP’s winning streak to 10 games.
Mendoza said the Tucson-Sabino HIgh team they played in the championship game had a lot of big guys and looked more like a JC football team.
“We looked undermatched, but we went out there and competed.”
Michael Spiritosanto hit a towering three-run homer in the fifth inning to tie the game.
“It cleared the fence by 50 feet,” Mendoza said. “The question was whether it was going to stay fair or foul. Their fans will tell you it was foul. I would tell you it was fair any day.”
Mendoza went on to praise pitcher Colin Cole, who started the championship game allowed three runs on six hits and struck out seven against a Sabino team that averaged more than 13 runs a game.
“He showed no fear, no fear at all,” said Mendoza of his sophomore, who also earned a save in the tournament against host Tucson High and contributed on offense with five hits, including a triple, double, four runs scored and four RBIs.
“And, he hadn’t hit for us all season at the varsity level,” said the coach.
Mendoza also praised catcher Kyle Richardson, who not only did a great job handling the pitchers, but batted .545 in the tournament with a homer, three doubles, four RBIs and seven runs scored.
“We’ve had great pitching success, and what people seem to forget — and it’s easy to forget — is the success comes from Kyle. The way he receives balls back there is amazing.”
Richardson’s competitive drive and work ethic also impressed Mendoza.
After catching both games of a doubleheader on Thursday, Mendoza said he wanted give Richardson a break the next day and just use him as a designated hitter.
“He said, ‘So coach, you’re telling me that I’m not going to catch,’ “ Mendoza related of the conversation he had with Richardson.
Richardson’s response, Mendoza said, “ ‘Coach, I’m catching.’ “
SBCC Softball: Behind the pitching of “The Hurricane,” Kailey Snyder, the Vaqueros are enjoying their best start (19-2) in the 14 years of the program, said coach Paula Congleton.
Snyder has been dominating. In 100 innings, she’s struck out 155 with an 0.81 ERA overall and a 0.21 average in conference. At the plate, she leads the team with a .475 average and three home runs.
Congleton also praised first baseman Jasmyne Holmes (DP grad), who made spectacular diving catch that she turned into a double play to save a win over Pasadena last Saturday.
“We’re tight-knit group and that seems to be working for us,” said Congleton, who has only 12 player on her team. “For being a small team, we have great team dynamics and a lot of team unity.
“It also doesn’t hurt we’re batting .320.”
UCSB Tennis: Women’s coach Pete Kirkwood effectively used some scare tactics to get his No. 1 doubles team out of a recent slump.
Natalia Lozano and Jordan Dockendorf, the Gauchos’ top team, were struggling after starting the year 5-0. They were 1-7 after a lackluster performance at SMU in Texas.
“I told our assistant coach Charlotte Scatliffe to tell Natalie and Jordan that (the next match) was going to be their last chance. If they didn’t win against UTEP, we were splitting them up,” said KIrkwood, who added he was really serious about it.
“I told Charlotte we’re not really going to do that, but I wanted to see how they reacted.”
The duo responded by beating UTEP, taking down the No. 48-ranked team in the country from St. Mary’s the following day in Santa Barbara and beating Portland over the weekend.
“Our No. 1 doubles is back on solid footing,” he said.
Kirkwood noted that the Gauchos (11-7, 4-1 in Big West) have adopted a “tornado-hurricane philosophy” this season.
“We were a tornado, nobody knew we were coming. All of sudden we’d come and zap you, beat you and be out of there before you know what hit,” Kirkwood explained. “Those days are over. Now we’re the hurricane, everybody knows we’re coming, everyone is preapring for us, everybody is getting ready for us. It’s tougher to do damage, but we kinda like it that way. We’re glad to be hurricane and we hope to stay the hurricane.”
Other luncheon highlights:
The Round Table paid tribute to the high school and college athletic trainers.
UCSB baseball associate head coach Tom Myers said the Gauchos open Big West play against Cal Poly at home this weekend.
Former SBCC head coach Teddy Warrecker is an assistant for the Mustangs, and former Santa Barbara High star Mason Radeke is their Friday starting pitcher.
Myers said the Gauchos have the right stuff to challenge for the conference title.
“It’s a new season,” Myers said. “We’ve had ups and downs up to this point. If we play catch, throw quality strikes, have some fortunate htting along the way, I think the Big West Conference might see us at the top at the end of year.”
Dos Pueblos tennis coach Liz Frech said her doubles team of Jake Roberts and Caleb Franzen received an invitation to play in the prestigious Ojai Valley Tournament later this month.
San Marcos swim coach Chuckie Roth reported that the Royals’ girls water polo and swim teams won Academic CIF championships.
Trevor Thorpe, the Laguna Blanca boys tennis coach, said his team surpassed its win total (3) of last year. The Owls are 4-2, and Ian Carradine is 12-0 playing with different doubles partners in four matches. In his last win, he finished the match with a partially dislocated shoulder.
Westmont baseball coach Robert Ruiz said the 15-18 Warriors have won two games more than last year.
“We’re making strides,” he said.
UCSB swim coach introduced junior swimmer Katie Reeves, who is one of the student-athlete leaders working to get a referendum passed that will fund improvement projects for intercollegiate athletic facilities on campus.
Wilson then acknowledged a former student-athlete leader, San Marcos’ Roth, who helped get the referendum passed eight years ago.
“The benefit of that was the ICA (Intercollegiate Athletics) building on campus,” Wilson said. “I’m proud and indebted to him for what he’s done at UCSB.”
Athletes of the Week: SBCC’s Snyder won three games and posted a save last week and set a school record with a 15-strikeout performance the week before. In a 10-0 win over L.A. Pierce, she struck out 12, allowed two hits and hit a run-scoring triple. She pitched a doubleheader sweep over Hancock and hit a home run and a double. She notched her first save on Saturday against El Camino and came back to fan 11 in a win over Pasadena.
Spiritosanto had monster week, leading the Dos Pueblos baseball team to the championship at the Chris Moon Memorial Tournament in Tucson, Ariz. The senior batted .667, going 12-for-18 in five games. He hit two home runs, including a game-tying three-run blast in the championship game against Tucson-Sabino High. He had five doubles, one triple, seven runs scored, 12 RBIs and an on-base percentage of .700.