Getting that first league win will have added significance for the Santa Barbara High and San Marcos football teams.
Why, you ask?
Because it will come in the Big Game.
The 54th annual crosstown rivalry is Friday night at San Marcos’ Warkentin Stadium. Santa Barbara enters the game with a 0-2 league mark while San Marcos is 0-3.
Santa Barbara football coach Doug Caines said a bye week enabled some of his injured guys to heal up and rest before the Big Game.
“We’re winless in league and, needless to say, we’re pretty hungry,” said Caines at Monday’s Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table Press Luncheon.
Caines introduced senior wide receiver/defensive back and captain Jonah Iwanaga and strong safety Hector Maya and noted that he’s “excited for these young men to flourish this week.”
San Marcos coach Anthony Linebaugh said mistakes have cost his team from picking up that first league win. He hopes that all changes on Friday.
“We’re looking forward to this week,” he said. “One of our goals was to break through and win a league game. We know it’s going to be very difficult with Santa Barbara as our opponent. We respect them and their program, and we look forward to the matchup on Friday.”
Linebaugh introduced Josh “Bowling Ball” Foley and John Wilson as two players who had good performances against Buena. Foley had eight tackles, including three for losses, and a sack. Wilson also had eight tackles, three for losses, and 2.5 sacks.
Dos Pueblos’ shot at the postseason comes down to next week’s game at Buena.
“It’s pretty simple for next week’s game,” coach Nate Mendoza said. “We win, we’re in the playoffs; we lose, we stay home. We know what’s ahead of us.”
Mendoza introduced Kevin Perdomo and Kurtis Randmaa as “two seniors with highest character and integrity on the team.”
He said both players accepted the switch to different positions: Perdomo from fullback/linebacker to the offensive line and Randmaa from wide receiver to tight end.
“We always appreciate that, especially as a head coach,” said Mendoza of players willing to do what’s best for the team. “If you can have a full roster of those guys, you know you are moving in the right direction.”
SBCC assistant coach Don Willis noted that despite suffering their first loss against L.A. Pierce, the Vaqueros have a lot to look forward to this season.
“The players have to realize we’re 6-1 not 1-6,” he said. “We can still accomplish some pretty special things.”
SBCC returns home on Saturday to face a Santa Monica team that is undefeated in conference.
Willis brought Giovanni Sanders, who threw a touchdown pass and caught a touchdown in the Pierce game, and Sterling Cash, who started out as a quarterback but has played multiple positions for the team.
“He’s just doing things to make us a better team,” said Willis of the player nicknamed “Woody.” He impressed his teammates with a diving touchdown catch in the Pierce game.
“It’s that kind of effort that’s given us the chance we have year; it’s enabled us to be the team that we are,” said Willis.
Bishop Diego Athletic Director Dan Peeters introduced offensive linemen Dave Breuer and Joe Stevenson as two players who have come into their own and have been key to the team’s success.
The Cardinals face another tough battle this Friday as they head to Ojai to play Nordhoff for an automatic CIF playoff berth. Both teams have one loss in league against Oak Park.
“It will be a playoff-type environment in Ojai,” said Peeters, reading a statement from football coach Tom Crawford.
Carpinteria faces a must-win game against Santa Paula on Friday night. The winner keeps its CIF playoff hopes alive. It will be the first home game in four weeks for the Warriors.
It also will be the first game without senior running back Jonathan Esqueda. He suffered serious injuries in an auto accident late Saturday night. He is listed in stable condition at Cottage Hospital.
“Hopefully, the guys come to play with great motivation, focus and energy,” Carpinteria coach Ben Hallock said. “The motivation will be for Jon and being together for him.”
Hallock introduced two players who are integral to the football team: Sergio Pelcastre and Sammy Gutierrez
“There isn’t a single thing that we do in practice that they’re not central in,” Hallock said. “They line up every single play in practice and they give us their best effort every single play. They are a central part in our game preparation. They give us everything. We wouldn’t be a team without them.”
He said Pelcastre not only plays an important role on the football team but he’s also a key member of the Carpinteria band.
“He has a dual role every Friday night for a home game because he’s the featured trumpet player in the band for the Star-Spangled Banner,” Hallock explained. “He stands in his football uniform and blasts away on the Star-Spangled Banner. That’s one of the great things about being in a small school, guys get to do lots of things. Sergio does a great job there.”
San Marcos water polo coach Jeff Ashton was feeling good after guiding his team to the championship at the 40-team San Diego Open over the weekend. It was his first tournament title as San Marcos coach and the first for the players.
Ashton praised the work ethic, attitude and contributions of Austin Ricci and Brenden Ring.
He said the Royals have a couple of crosstown games coming up in Channel League that will determine whether they finish second or fourth. They play Dos Pueblos on Thursday and Santa Barbara next Tuesday.
Chris Parrish made a note that the last time his Dos Pueblos boys water polo team was 5-0 in Channel League was when Kevin Cappon was a senior for the Chargers.
The Chargers take their unblemished league record into games against Buena on Tuesday and San Marcos on Thursday. A win over Buena would clinch a tie for the league title.
On the San Marcos game, Parrish buttered up Ashton and the Royals with heaps of praise.
“They are very, very good,” he said in a deadpanned delivery. “For the first time this season in a league game, I’d say we are the underdog. It will be nice to be able to go to their pool and not have all that stress. They should win that game. They’ve been playing great; they just came off of a big championship in San Diego. The pressure is off of us and it’s kind of on them.”
Parrish’s glowing remarks of the Royals brought laughter from the audience and a smile to the face of Ashton.
Parrish brought his goalie Emil Huebner.
UCSB assistant men’s water polo coach John Abdou introduced Kevin Cappon, who is no stranger to local water polo.
Cappon was a star at Dos Pueblos High and accepted a scholarship to USC in 2011. He transferred to UCSB this year and scored four goals in a game against the Trojans on Sunday.
“I think today is a special day for him because his life comes full circle in front of coach (Jim) Ranta and coach (Chris) Parrish, who coached him when he was younger,” Abdou said. “He’s been a great addition to our team.”
Abdou also brought 6-6 Nick Jordan, who is developing into a standout center. The coach said Jordan has been invited to train with the U.S. senior national team in December.
“We’re really excited about Nick’s future here at UCSB,” said Abdou.
The NAIA third-ranked Westmont women’s soccer team will celebrate its Senior Day on Saturday against sixth-ranked Vanguard. Assistant coach Chantel Cappuccilli noted that the senior class has been instrumental in the team earning its highest ranking in 10 years.
Having enough healthy bodies to keep going was a concern for UCSB women’s soccer coach Paul Stumpf. “We had one young lady in the hospital with an infection and was in ICU and then we lost four starters in one game,” he explained. Add two more that were already out for the season, and last weekend were down seven of 11 starters.”
Stumpf said freshmen Dakota Griggs and Christina Polini have stepped up and played well in the absence of the starters. He said four starters should be back for Saturday’s key game at UC Davis. A UCSB win will put the Gauchos in the Big West Tournament.
SBCC sports information specialist Dave Loveton announced that fans can get in free to Tuesday’s men’s soccer match against Glendale and Saturday’s football game against Santa Monica at La Playa Stadium if they bring two non-perishable food items. The food drive is called “Trick or treat so others can eat.”
He added that Brandie Harris of the first-place women’s soccer team has 21 goals, and the school record is 27. The Vaqueros play at second-place L.A. Pierce on Tuesday.