San Marcos coach Jason Fowle finally gets his chance to talk about a football victory

Carpinteria football coach Rick Candaele brought two key members of his offensive line, Jose Alvarado, left, and Justise “Tugs” Whittenton.

San Marcos football coach Jason Fowle must have felt like comedian Rodney Dangerfield two weeks ago.

“I tell you I get no respect…”

At Monday’s Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table press luncheon at Harry’s Plaza Cafe, Fowle finally got the chance to talk about a Royals victory.

“I’ve been here 11 times and talked about a loss 11 times,” Fowle, a second-year coach, said as he began his presentation. “We won a game against Morro Bay two weeks ago and Round Table is cancelled. I didn’t get a chance to brag about that.”

His comments drew lots of laughs.

Unfortunately for Fowle, the Monday after the Royals snapped a 17-game losing streak was Labor Day and there was no school or Round Table press luncheon.

He talked about the great atmosphere at Warkentin Stadium that night.

“It was great to see the spirit of the crowd; the student body able to celebrate a victory,” he said.

The game turned out to be bittersweet for the team, as quarterback Jacob Villarreal suffered a fractured left elbow. He had surgery and his recovery time is 4-6 weeks, said Fowle. “There’s a chance he might be available for the last couple of games.”

The Royals (1-2) were routed at powerful Lompoc last week, but Fowle found positives in the game. Senior receiver Paul Ingram made the first touchdown reception of his career and sophomore quarterback Ben Partee threw his first varsity TD pass.

“I can’t say enough about his grit and leadership and his want-to (attitude),” Fowle said of Partee. “With a lot of people, it wasn’t a real popular decision to pull him up for the Lompoc game. Within the coaching staff, it was easy. We all knew what we had in Benny.

“We pulled him up and he did a great job. We’re excited to see Benny improve this week and what he can do for the future.”

Junior running back Tommy Schaeffer also played well against Lompoc. He gained 81 yards and threw a touchdown pass.

“One my favorite things about Tommy is, regardless of the score, you can tell he was having fun out there. That’s where we are as a program. We want to go out and work for each other and have fun.”

The Royals return home Friday and play Hueneme.

Santa Barbara: The Dons (2-1) play host to powerful Lompoc (3-0) on Saturday night at La Playa Stadium, and coach JT Stone said three times the “goal is to show up mentally.

“We know what they’re all about, we know who they are, everybody does,” Stone continued. “But we’re hoping if we show up mentally and ready to play football, we can make it competitive and either win this game or walk out with our heads high. We’re definitely going to work on competing at a high level, respect our opponent and come out ready to go.”

Stone introduced middle linebacker Henry Hepp, quarterback Frankie Gamberdella (the Athlete of the Week) and cited the play of outside linebacker Ben Carrena.

Hepp is a three-year starter for the football team after starting out as a water polo player.

“I was able to get him out of the pool to play football. He’s been everything I’ve asked him to be, and he’s having a phenomenal year,” Stone said.

He had 16 tackles in the 47-0 win over Channel Islands.

Gamberdella threw five touchdown passes in the victory, his second straight game with five scoring strikes.

Stone said the biggest difference in Gamberdella this year is his game experience.

“He was able to play as a sophomore. He made mistakes but he stepped in and did everything I said to do as a sophomore. You talk about growth, 13 touchdowns and zero interceptions. (The interceptions) were an issue for us last year.

“He’s working hard in becoming a quarterback, if he wants to continue to play (at the next level). He competes like no other. He’s such a competitive kid that some times it drives me nuts. But I love it.”

Bishop Diego: Adrian Guillen is a stabilizing force on the offensive line for the Cardinals, and Evan McKeegan is multipurpose player who is like a coach on the field, said assistant coach Steve Robles.

The Cardinals (3-0) did a good job minimizing mistakes in the 45-3 win at Nipomo, Robles noted.

They next face a strong St. Joseph team on Friday in Santa Maria.

“We didn’t handle them very well in the trenches last year, so that’s our sense of focus this week in practice,” said Robles.

Dos Pueblos: The two players coach Nate Mendoza brought both suffered broken hands. Dillon Roberts, who broke his hand in the season opener, played with a cast in the 24-0 win at Righetti and made two one-handed interceptions and forced a fumble.

“It was quite a game for Dillon,” said Mendoza

Will Yamasaki, the team’s senior captain, middle linebacker and backup quarterback, suffered his broken hand against Righetti and is getting a cast this week.

The Chargers (2-1) have forced 19 turnovers in 19 games.

“We’re going to continue to get after it on defense and take care of the ball better on offense,” said Mendoza.

DP plays at Camarillo on Friday.

Carpinteria: Coach Rick Candaele brought starting linemen Jose Alvarado and Justise “Tugs” Whittenton. They both excelled in last Friday’s 27-10 win over Morro Bay.

Candaele said Alvarado never left the field in the game.

The 5-foot-3, 265-pound Whittenton has done everything his coach has asked.

Said Candaele: “Last year, I told Tugs: ‘I want you to get stronger,’ so he got in the weight room. ‘I want you to get quicker,’ so he worked on agility. ‘I want you to get taller,’ so he grew a mohawk.”

The coach gave a shout-out to assistants Van Latham and Henry Gonzalez.

“They coach our guys all day,” he said.

The Warriors play their first road game on Friday at Nordhoff.

“It’s good to go on the road,” Candaele said. “When you go on the road, you find out: can you get a little tougher and can you come together a little more? The next two games are on the road. Hopefully, that will happen.”

SBCC: Coach Craig Moropoulos was pleased to see his team rebound from its season-opening loss against Ventura two weeks ago with a 56-7 win at West L.A. last Saturday.

“Credit to the team, we just focused on flushing that (loss), getting rid of it,  moving on and focus on next game,” said Moropoulos. “We did that.”

He said freshman quarterback Jerry Hickson did a good job at “running the offense, managing the game and being very efficient.” He threw four TD passes.

Moropoulos also praised SBCC’s version of the “Nigerian Nightmare,” sophomore running back Manny Nwosu from Dos Pueblos.

“I don’t know how many tackles he broke, but he had a fantastic game.”

Santa Barbara High water polo coach Mark Walsh introduced seniors and returning starters Evan Blix, left, and Jacob Castillo.


UCSB: Coach Wolf Wigo said the No. 6-ranked Gauchos played a close game with No. 1 Cal at the Triton Invitational in San Diego and finished up third in the tournament.

“That gives us a lot of confidence in the season that we can play with anyone in the country,” said Wigo.

The Gauchos got in some intense work before going to the Inland Empire Tournament. They did the Nick Johnson Hike with Johnson’s father, Berkeley “Augie” Johnson, and did a couple of swim workouts before playing and winning two games in Redlands.

“It was a really hard hike. I think we took a different route this time, and it was straight up,” Wigo said.

At the top of the hike is a plaque that stands as a tribute to Johnson, a Santa Barbara High and UCSB water polo player who died in 2014 from an accidental drowning while training at the Santa Barbara High pool.

Wigo said the Nick Johnson Golf Tournament is on Saturday, and the UCSB alumni water polo game is on Sunday at Campus Pool.

Before those events, the Gauchos play at UCLA on Friday night.

Dos Pueblos: Senior defender Jason Teng and junior goalkeeper Angus Goodner helped the Chargers go 3-2 at the Santa Barbara Invitational last week.

They finished the tournament on a good note, beating Santa Barbara and Damien.

Santa Barbara: Seniors Jacob Castillo and Evan Blix have taken on bigger roles for the Dons this season, said coach Mark Walsh.

“They’ve gone from role players to running everything for us,” he said.

The Dons went 1-4 against some tough competition in their tournament, but Walsh said “it was a good experience for our guys.”

San Marcos: Coach Jeff Ashton was impressed with the work rate of senior Collin Bosse in the Santa Barbara Invitational.

Trevor Ricci, the team’s only returning starter, is taking on a more prominent role in the pool.

“This year, he’s getting the best defender,” said Ashton.

He called Bosse and Ricci leaders in and out of the water.”

The Royals went 1-4 in the Santa Barbara tournament, but made a good impression with opponents.

“I had three coaches tell me how impressed they were with how hard our kids fought all game. That really meant a lot to me,” said Ashton.

He noted that he’s been throwing out all the cliches in his conversations with his team.

“I’ve been a cliche machine in the locker room. You talk about ‘keep chopping wood; don’t worry about the scoreboard; improve every day.’

“Any coaches have any more cliches, you can email me.”


SBCC: The Vaquero men’s team is 3-0 and ranked third in the state while the 3-0-1 women’s team is 11th in a national poll

Sports information specialist Dave Loveton said that the men’s team has 13 players from nine countries — England, Australia, Germany, Ghana, Sweden, Brazil, France, Norway and Switzerland.

“We also have seven local players, including three from Santa Barbara High,” he said.


Laguna Blanca: Coach Jason Donnelly took his veteran team out of its comfort zone by playing in a big tournament in Orange County, the Dave Mohs Memorial Tournament.

“We were the smallest school by a few 100 and were the smallest in size of our team by a lot,” Donnelly said. “And, you know what? Our kids just don’t care. They’re ultra competitive, they understand the big picture and they’re willing to do what they need to do to try and get better every day.”

The Owls took fifth place in Division 2 of the tournament.

“We lost (in the quarterfinals), but we competed. We went on the road to get some experience and we got it,” Donnelly said.

He introduced USC beach volleyball commit Laurel Kujan (the Athlete of the Week), Sophia Fay and Kelly Bickett.

Of Kujan, he said: “She’s doing things athletically that are giving teams fits right now. I appreciate her focus when her future is in the sand.”

He said Fay is one of the smartest kids on the team and has a high volleyball IQ as well. Her solid passing “allows us to do what we want to do.”

Bickett is getting the opportunity to do some hitting on the front line this year.

“She was a first-team All-CIF setter as junior. We’re letting her hit for three rotations,’ said Donnelly. “She’s 5-6 and plays like she’s 5-10.

“I love to coach her because she’s smart, she’s tough, she’s competitive as could be, and she challenges me to be a better coach every day.”

The Owls play host to San Marcos on Thursday at 5 p.m.

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