Kirsten Moore was at Monday’s Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table press luncheon to talk about her Westmont women’s basketball team claiming the program’s first National Championship.
None of the players could make the trip, so Moore introduced a new one.
Sydney Hedges, the CIF Player of the Year for Providence Hall’s championship girls basketball team, announced for the first time that she will be attending Westmont for the next step in her playing career.
“I’m just really excited to say that I get to continue to live in this awesome community of Santa Barbara, just now as a Westmont Warrior,” Hedges said.
Hedges’ announcement was the encore performance to Moore’s talk, which encompassed her team’s incredible season. It ended a month ago with an NAIA Championship trophy and a Hollywood ending to an emotional journey.
The story is so powerful that it was told on the front page of the L.A. Times by columnist Bill Plaschke.
“I know that it’s because of the community support that you gave me personally but also you gave our entire program, you played a big role in us winning,” Moore said.
The Warriors won five games in six days while in Kentucky to secure the national title.
“Our girls were at their best when the best was needed,” Moore said of the championship run.
Monday’s special award winners were Athletes of the Week Joshua Yaro and Emma Redick, plus Scholar-Athlete of the Year Alison Hensley.
Coaches reports covered baseball and high school swimming.
New SBCC women’s swimming coach Chuckie Roth brought three athletes from his San Marcos High School team, which had just beaten Ventura for the first time in his 10 years coaching the Royals.
Part of that win were Megan Riley and Halie Johnson. Roth also mentioned Riley Heiduk, a team leader who can never make the luncheon because she’s so committed to chemistry class.
Dos Pueblos boys coach Chris Parrish is trying to avoid one of those first-win-against-a-team-in-a-long-time situations. His Chargers have never lost a Channel League dual meet but will have their hands full at Ventura this Friday.
Key to keeping the unbeaten streak intact are Blake Parrish and Scott Mahan.
Dos Pueblos’ girls team, coached by Kevin Kuga, is also undefeated. Katie Evans, Hailey Goodner and Madison Faulkner have been important contributors to the cause.
Royals boys coach Jeff Ashton took 15 swimmers to the Mt. SAC Invitational and was thrilled to see all 15 post personal bests. Jason Rosen and Chuck Sweeney drew praise from their coach.
“Their work ethic inspires the whole team,” Ashton said.
Carpinteria Athletic Director Pat Cooney, who is also the baseball coach, reported on the Warriors’ swimming team before moving on to his guys. The girls swimming team has moved up a division in CIF this year after two consecutive league championships. Maddie Brooks, Hope Grant & Co. still expect to have a presence in CIF competition.
The baseball team is trying to gain control of a roller-coaster like ride. Four of the Warriors’ seven wins have come in walk-off situations and Cooney worried that the parents were finding the dramatic finishes too stressful.
“So we’re looking to minimize those peaks and valleys,” Cooney said.
With Cooney were pitcher Max Damron and catcher Kevin Stein.
George Rempe introduced three players from Santa Barbara High, which is in second place in Channel League play. Tanner Guerra, Tristan Bloomer and Bowen Fredericks are
The first-place team, Dos Pueblos, was represented by players Josh Tedeschi, Daniel Buratto and head coach Nick Katzenstein. Tedeschi and Buratto are two juniors that have pitched well on a senior-heavy team.
San Marcos, which has two games left with Ventura, Buena and Santa Barbara, hopes to play spoiler down the stretch. Junior Hunter French and senior Brian Sandford will be a big part of that.
Bishop Diego’s baseball players at the luncheon, John Salda and Jack Gregson, have been playing together their whole lives and have led the Cardinals to a 4-2 record in Tri-Valley League play so far during their senior seasons.
The college baseball programs had news to share. The Gauchos feel good about winning two-of-three from Long Beach State over the weekend. Even though SBCC slipped out of first place since last week, it was a positive report as Zach Zehner has verbally committed to play at Cal Poly and Steven Reveles to Nebraska. Westmont stayed alive for a berth in the GSAC Tournament with a double-header sweep on Saturday.