Pixel Tracker

Thursday, February 21 , 2019, 10:42 pm | Fair 46º

 
 
 
 
Sports: A Noozhawk Partnership with Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table, The Lab, and American Riviera Bank

For Young Vaqueros, Football Schedule ‘As Tough As They Get’

The SBCC team opens its season tonight against county rival Hancock.

Youth certainly will be served Friday when the Santa Barbara City College football team opens its 2008 season against county rival Hancock. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. at La Playa Stadium.

There are 73 freshmen on the 97-man roster for the Vaqueros, who are coming off a 4-6 campaign.

“We’re very inexperienced,” second-year coach Craig Moropoulos said. “You don’t know what to expect. We have some experience at quarterback and some on defense, but we are an untested product. We have to utilize our athletic ability, which we didn’t have a lot of last year.”

SBCC, which returns only six of 22 starters, will be tested immediately with its first three games against teams ranked in the top 20 in Southern California. After Friday’s contest against No. 18 Hancock, the Vaqueros will travel to No. 3 Canyons and No. 9 Ventura.

“That’s as tough as they get,” said Moropoulos, a former QB at Santa Barbara High and SBCC who is entering his 24th season as a coach. “We have to go to Canyons for the third year in a row. It’s gonna be tough but it’s a great way to get better.”

The Vaqueros will play in the new Southern California Football Association this year. They’ll play a seven-game schedule in the American Pacific Conference, starting with a home game against Antelope Valley on Sept. 27.

Conner Rehage, a sophomore from Dos Pueblos High, sprained his ankle in the first scrimmage but is expected to start at quarterback. His backup is Austin Civita, a transfer from Canyons. Rehage passed for 745 yards last year with six touchdowns and 10 interceptions.

Sophomore Bryant Hilliard of Chesapeake, Va., will start at tailback with Tristan Carter at fullback. Carter prepped at Tucker High, one of the best high schools in Georgia, according to Moropoulos. “He’s been a great surprise,” the Vaqueros’ coach said. “He’s one of the best fullbacks we’ve had since I’ve been here.”

The receiving corps has lots of potential, but only one player, tight end Sean Hutchinson, has caught a pass in college and his total is two. Wide receiver Ravonte Wilkerson, a 6-3 freshman who played QB at Washington High in Los Angeles, has shined in training camp. In the intersquad scrimmage, he returned a punt 70 yards for a touchdown and a caught a 58-yard TD pass. Oscar Loza also is expected to start at wideout in the Vaqueros’ spread offense.

SBCC boosted its numbers in the offensive line, from a meager five last year to 15. “But that’s where all our inexperience is,” Moropoulos said. “We don’t have any returning starters.”

Juan Gutierrez (6-3, 280) and Matt Kristie (6-3, 265) are expected to start at tackle with David Fuentes (6-3, 320) and Mark Morelos (6-0, 270) of Santa Barbara High at guard. The center spot will be filled by either Jonathan Nissing (6-0, 235) or Mako Malepeai (5-10, 210).

The Vaqueros need to improve their turnover ratio. They were a minus-8 last season and they fumbled 24 times, losing 13.

The defense did an about-face in 2007, going from the bottom of the WSC to No. 7 in the 16-team conference.

Nathan Goldie, the second-leading tackler last year with 81, returns at linebacker, along with Ken Dorset and Logan Hurn. Clint Nix (6-2, 250) is the lone returner in the defensive line. He’ll be joined by freshmen Osvaldo Donato (5-10, 265), Pati Alama-Amisone (6-0, 300) and Ayikwei Kimathi (6-3, 250).

Nate Bailey, who missed most of last year with a knee injury, and freshman Aeryus Holloway will start at cornerback. Matt Racowski is the strong safety with Nick Vought at free safety.

Jeremy Ybarra, a sophomore from Santa Barbara High, is back at kicker after converting 23-24 PAT kicks and 12-17 field goals to earn first-team all-conference honors. The punting duties will be handled by ex-Bishop Diego High star Eli Orosco or Riley St. Clair.

Hancock is coming off a 6-4 season and has dominated the Vaqueros in recent years.

“Offensively, they’re the same — big and physical,” Moropoulos said. “On defense, they’ve changed their front to a 3-5-3. They’re a good football team and they’re going to be a heck of a challenge, especially in the first game of the season.”

All of SBCC’s games can be heard on AM 1290 radio (KZSB) and on the Internet with John Martony calling the action. For scores, stories and stats, visit SBCC’s Web site at www.sbcc.edu/athletics or the SCFA Web site at www.scfafootball.com.

Dave Loveton is Santa Barbara City College‘s sports informations specialist.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Email
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership
×

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >