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Athletic Round Table: Carpinteria Dedicates Regional Soccer Title to Teammate Marco Villarreal

Carpinteria soccer player Jose Jimenez shows off his undershirt with the words, “Marco We Love You,” after scoring the go-ahead goal in the CIF State Regional Final. The Warriors dedicated the game to Marco Villarreal, a teammate who has been in the hospital since Jan. 2 after being seriously injured in a car accident. Click to view larger
Carpinteria soccer player Jose Jimenez shows off his undershirt with the words, “Marco We Love You,” after scoring the go-ahead goal in the CIF State Regional Final. The Warriors dedicated the game to Marco Villarreal, a teammate who has been in the hospital since Jan. 2 after being seriously injured in a car accident. (JC Corliss / Noozhawk file photo)

There was extra motivation for the Carpinteria High boys soccer team when it stepped on the wet, slippery pitch to play Rubidoux for the CIF State Regional Division 5 championship on Saturday at Carpinteria Valley Memorial Stadium.

The Warriors not only wanted to complete the “CIF Double” of winning section and regional titles,  they wanted to do it for teammate Marco Villarreal. He’s been in the hospital recovering from serious injuries suffered in an automobile accident on Jan. 2.

The players wore wrist bands and undershirts with the words “We Love Marco.”

“Something that’s been constant has been our team fighting for each other,” assistant coach Ryan Warner said at Monday’s Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table press luncheon at Harry’s Plaza Cafe. “One of our dear players has been fighting for his life in a coma since January. (His teammates have) come around him and played for him, prayed for him and cared for his family any way they can. So they step on the field with more than just a drive to win a championship in their hearts."

The Warriors also have dealt with the Thomas Fire in December and the mudslides in January.

"It’s been a meaningful season for us, and I know it’s something the seniors and everyone else will never forget," Warner said. "We’re still fighting for (Marco). We won that for him.”

Luis Garcia and Jose Jimenez were two big reasons why the Warriors won the section and regional titles. They combined on the eventual game-winning goal after Rubidoux rallied to tie the score at 2-2 in the 71st minute. Garcia took the ball down the left side, turned the corner and laid a pass off for Jimenez for the finish.

“There’s really not anything special on our field that happens without them touching the ball,” Warner said. “They are creative, and smart, and they’re such a joy to watch play together.”

SOFTBALL

Dos Pueblos

Assistant coach Jasmine Holmes said she is looking for big things from captains Nova Sinskul and Briana Castro.

Sinskul a senior shortstop who’s committed to Loyola of Chicago, “is a real rock in our infield,” said Holmes.

Castro, a sophomore, returns as the starting catcher. She’s off to a hot start, going 7 for 9 with two RBI and is 3 for 3 throwing out baserunners attempting to steal.

San Marcos

Coach Jeff Swann said his team saw better pitching against Alemany at the Manlet Tournament in Simi Valley “and we still hit the ball well, although we didn’t come back with a win.”

San Marcos suffered a 7-4 defeat.

He noted that Alemany’s outfielders played deeper to catch the long balls hit by the Royals.

“We were hitting 220-foot outs,” Swann said.

The coach introduced junior catcher Megan Cunnison and said she made a good adjustment against Alemany and started hitting line drives. 

He said Aliyah Huerta-Leipner hit some “220-foot home-run outs.”

“She’s swinging the bat like crazy,” he said of the Boston University signee. “She has three home runs, a triple and a couple of doubles.”

In just six games, the Royals have hit 10 homers.

Swann said “it’s going to be a dicey week” for getting in games because of the weather.

Carpinteria

The skill set and instincts of Isabel Studt, the Athlete of the Week, and Kayana Diaz make the Warriors a solid team, said athletic director Pat Cooney, speaking for coach Henry Gonzalez.

Carpinteria (2-0) has five games on its schedule this week.

UCSB

Freshman pitcher Emily Schuttish pitched her first complete game and earned her first collegiate win against Monmouth at the Fresno State Tournament.

Freshman Sammy Fabian continues to lead the Gaucho in hitting with a .485 average.

LACROSSE

Santa Barbara High Girls

Coach Elayne Blessing said captains Mia Barton and Sabrina Loza are leaders on and off the field and both good students. Loza is the team’s leading scorer.

San Marcos Boys

Coach Rick Lehman has high exceptions for the Royals, who made the playoffs for the first time last year and reached the Division 2 final.

“From that success, we’ve been asked to play a lot of top-ranked teams,” said Lehman.

The Royals started the season with a tough loss against Oaks Christian. More recently, they’ve defeated Santa Monica and Oak Park. Oak Park is ranked ninth in the latest poll.

Josh Blanchard and Trey Tank are two offensive threats for the Royals.

“Josh is lighting it up with goals and Trey does the intangibles all over the field that don’t make the stats,” Lehman said.

He said the Royals have their sights on winning a title.

“We’re ranked in the top 20. We’re looking to go all the way this year.”

COLLEGE BASEBALL

UCSB

Assistant coach Matt Harvey said the young Gauchos are still finding their way.

“We’re in a bit of a rough patch early in the season,” he said. "We're pretty young and trying to work through some of that stuff, defensively and offensively, as well as on the mound. When you're young in all three of those things, it's hard to compete."

The Gauchos are scheduled to play Dartmouth on Wednesday and host Sacramento State in a three-game weekend series, starting Friday.

SBCC

Coach Jeff Walker cracked that moving last Saturday’s game against Cuesta to Friday because of the weather “was probably the best decision I made all week.”

The Vaqueros won in what Walker described as “Arena Baseball.” The final score was 14-11.

Pitcher/infielder Jake Holton leads the Vaqueros with a .417 batting average. On the mound, he  has an ERA of 2.89, with five saves and 15 strikeouts in 9.1 innings.

Shane Hersh is batting .392 and has 10 stolen bases and Matt Lautz is hitting .372 with 22 RBI.

BOYS TENNIS

Dos Pueblos

Liz Frech said the early season has been about rescheduling matches and squeegeeing courts to get in matches.

The Chargers’ Tuesday showdown with San Marcos was postponed because of rain.

The Chargers are led by senior captains and twin brothers Christian and Ryan Hodosy. They are undefeated in three matches. 

“They’re good-natured gentle giants and, for the most part, they are quiet until they go into a match, where they fire up their strokes as well as shout words across the courts to encourage all of their teammates,” said Frech.

The brothers also play basketball, which has helped in their footwork on the tennis court.

Frech added that the DP tennis facility has been improved, thanks to a lot of hard labor from parents, players and supporters.

Carpinteria

Coach Charles Bryant said the team’s success will be founded in the great attitudes of junior Myles Morgan and senior Tony Ochoa.

TRACK & FIELD

San Marcos

Coach Marilyn Hantgin announced she is in her 20th year of coaching the Royals.

Hantgin introduced three members of her boys’ team: David Dinklage, Jaydn Mata and Nicolas Murillo-Perez. 

Dinklage is coming off a good cross country season. He ran well in the distance medley relay and 4x800 relay at the Ventura Invitational and Don Green Invite in Moorpark. 

“He’s really coming into his own,” Hantgin said.

Mata does the triple, long and high jump. “He’s probably one of the best high jumpers in the league. I look for him to score a lot of points,” said Hantgin.

Murillo-Perez leads the sprint group and also does the long jump. Hantgin said he’s a key to the Royals winning the league championship.

Santa Barbara

Assistant coach Moki Nicario introduced top sprinter Janelle Knight of the girls team and Devon Cetti, one of the top throwers in the state. He’s ranked sixth in the shot put and 24th in the discus.

PREP BASEBALL

Bishop Diego

Senior David Gladish is a standout in right fielder and junior Jake Koeper handles the catching duties for the Cardinals, said coach Nick Katzenstein.

He noted that Koeper is the team’s only catcher. “He’s doing it all, doing bullpen and catching every inning. He’s really playing solid baseball behind the dish,” said Katzenstein.

The Cardinals are off to a 1-4 start. They’re scheduled to play Dunn on Wednesday at home and on Friday at Dunn.

Santa Barbara

Coach Donny Warrecker was pleased how his club finished up last week. The Dons beat Valencia and St. Francis to finish 3-2 in the tough Easton Tournament and beat Buena in the Channel League opener.

Sophomore catcher Anthony Firestone was swinging a hot bat, going 6 for 10. He’s batting .500 for the season.

On Firestone, Warrecker said he “wholeheartedly expects him to be a Division 1 baseball player some day."

Third baseman Scott Feldman went 5 for 11 last week at the plate and got the pitching win against Valencia. 

“I’m happy for his success on varsity, it’s well deserved,” said Warrecker.

Zach Jensen had just two hits last week, but they were game winners against St. Francis and Buena. He hit a two-run double to beat St. Francis and slugged a three-run homer to erase a 2-1 deficit against Buena. 

“He gets the Captain Clutch Award for the past week,” said Warrecker.

Weather and field conditions permitting, the Dons host Dos Pueblos on Friday and Newbury Park on Saturday.

 

Noozhawk sports editor Barry Punzal can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk Sports on Twitter: @NoozhawkSports. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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