Hard work paying off for local teams

The vibe was undeniably positive at Harry’s Plaza Cafe on Monday, where a handful of coaches, student-athletes and community members gathered for the weekly Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table press luncheon.

Many of the teams are gearing up for the postseason, a reward for successful seasons to date. For the Santa Barbara, Carpinteria and SBCC football teams, this week’s games will put their hard work to the test. For Laguna Blanca’s 8-man football team, the Owls finished their season with a victory in a game that Andrew Vignolo intercepted six passes and scored two touchdowns.

“There are a lot of positives we can take from this season,” said first year head coach Shane Lopes.

Even though the Owls lost more games than they won, Laguna won the respect of many by playing seven freshman while dealing with injuries to key players. Joining Lopes were players Brian Miguel and Justin Palmer.

Vaqueros football coach Craig Moropoulos was in a good mood even though his team has lost three straight. SBCC is still in the hunt for the postseason as the Vaqueros won their first two APC games.

“It’s a two-game season now,” Moropoulos said.

Moropoulos congratulated Tom Crawford and Bishop Diego’s football team, voiced his support for Lopes, chided Round Table board member Chris Casebeer for wearing a San Francisco Giants t-shirt, and endorsed Athlete of the Week Shawn Ramos and the Dons.

He also brought SBCC player Kevin Denis who had 95 yards and two touchdowns in Saturday’s loss to Santa Monica.

Carpinteria’s boys water polo team has already punched its ticket into CIF.

“We have a saying on our team ‘it’s a culmination of work that gets you to success,’” said Warriors coach Bryan Swarm, whose team qualified for CIF for the first time since 2007.

A group of seniors that were at the luncheon – Dylan Hathaway, Cole Gill and Ben O’Hara – are big parts of the Warriors’ resurgence in the pool.

Another Warrior, senior Erin Saito, was awarded the Scholar-Athlete of the Year award for Carpinteria High School.

Doug Caines spoke on the Santa Barbara High football team between a win over Ventura on Friday night and an upcoming clash at Dos Pueblos this Friday. The Dons are 2-1 in Channel League play and Dos Pueblos is 3-0.

“We are very excited at the level that we’re playing at right now but we’re also not done with getting better at execution because if we can come out and execute, we think we can be pretty scary,” Caines said.

The report from San Marcos’ boys water polo team was bright. The Royals can clinch an automatic CIF berth this week and finished 5th at a tournament over the weekend in San Diego. The future is bright too, with JV players Colin Gleason and Ben Hauschild making their first appearances at an SBART luncheon.

The team with the most to be happy about could be Bishop Diego’s football team. Athletic Director Dan Peeters reported for head coach Tom Crawford. Players Christian Pearson and Joe Stevenson accompanied Peeters.

The Cardinals football team remains undefeated after handing Northwest Division No. 1 Nordhoff its first loss of the season in Saturday’s clash at La Playa Stadium.

STUDENT-ATHLETES PRESENT

Shawn Ramos, Santa Barbara High Football
Danny Gonzalez, Santa Barbara High Football
Christian Pearson, Bishop Diego Football
Joe Stevenson, Bishop Diego Football
Erin Saito, Carpinteria High Tennis
Kevin Denis, SBCC Football
Cole Gill, Carpinteria Water Polo
Ben O’Hara, Carpinteria Water Polo
Dylan Hathaway, Carpinteria Water Polo
David Olvera, Carpinteria Football
Marcus Hutchinson, Carpinteria Football
Colin Gleason, San Marcos Water Polo
Ben Hauschild, San Marcos Water Polo
Brian Miguel, Laguna Blanca Football
Justin Palmer, Laguna Blanca Football

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