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Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table

Athletic Round Table Luncheon: Ventura Game is Bigger One for Santa Barbara

Christopher “Tick” Jellison of Santa Barbara received the Gary Blades Memorial Big Game MVP Award from award sponsor Chris Rabe, right. At left, holding the Blades perpetual trophy, is Round Table president-elect Gene Deering. Click to view larger
Christopher “Tick” Jellison of Santa Barbara received the Gary Blades Memorial Big Game MVP Award from award sponsor Chris Rabe, right. At left, holding the Blades perpetual trophy, is Round Table president-elect Gene Deering.  (Barry Punzal / Noozhawk photo)

The Big Game has come and gone, but Santa Barbara High’s football team has an even bigger game to look forward to on Friday night.

Ventura comes to Peabody Stadium, and the Dons have been waiting for this opportunity since Oct. 8 of last year, when they thought Ruben Velez scored the winning touchdown in the final seconds of the game only to have the officials rule he didn’t cross the plane of the goal-line. Ventura then stopped the Dons on two running plays at the 1 and escaped with 28-24 victory.

“Last year we had Ventura, so we’ve had this on our calendar for a long, long time,” Santa Barbara coach JT Stone said at Monday’s Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table press luncheon.

Stone is feeling good about his team after its 55-7 win over San Marcos in last Friday night’s Big Game before a capacity crowd at Peabody Stadium. The performance of Chris “Tick” Jellison in his return to the line-up brightened his spirits. Jellison scored five touchdowns and was named the winner of the Gary Blades Memorial Big Game MVP Trophy.

“I feel our football program is where we want to be with getting Tick back, and we definitely look forward to this game,” Stone said. “We’re going to leave everything out there. We’re going to try to finish up and win league and get to the playoffs. That’s where our focus is at right now, but we’ve got to get through Ventura. It’s going to be a very good football game.”

San Marcos: Coach Jason Fowle said his Royals “got beat physically,” by the Dons.

He gave an injury update on Jacob Villarreal and Mike Lynk, two players who were taken to the hospital with concussions, saying both players were back with the team on Saturday for game films.

“We’re happy they’re back. They’ll be undergoing the standard concussion protocol,” Fowle said. He also noted that three other players went out of the game with concussions.

“Our bye week comes at a perfect time, to say the least,” he said.

Fowle introduced senior Martin Garcia and junior David Kesablyan. He said Garcia is representative of several student athletes at San Marcos. “He has responsibilities with a job, football, academics and with family.”

Garcia caught his first four passes of the season in the Big Game.

The coach said Kesablyan, a versatile junior offensive lineman, “is pound for pound the toughest guy on the team. He’s mentally and physically tough.”

Carpinteria: Coach Ben Hallock praised the hard work of seniors Hugo Reyes and Fernando Ortega before telling the emotional story of Santa Paula’s courageous quarterback Keshaun Mata.

Mata led the Cardinal to a 38-7 win over the Warriors on Friday night. It was their first win over Carpinteria since 2000 and only the third win since 1990.

Hallock said Mata plays with a prosthetic lower right leg after losing the leg to cancer. He’s had cancer treatments his entire young life and on Monday he was to undergo surgery.

“If you’re a praying person, include Keshaun and his parents in your players,” said an emotional Hallock. “Hopefully, he’s going to be fine.”

Carpinteria will host Trinity Classical of Santa Clarita in a non-league game on Friday.

SOCCER

UCSB Men: Assistant coach Jeremy Clark said the Gauchos have turned things around since their loss against UCLA, going unbeaten in their last four matches.

UCSB enters Big West North Division play this week, hosting Sacramento State on Wednesday and traveling to Cal Poly on Saturday.

TENNIS

Dos Pueblos: The Chargers close out Channel League play this week with matches against Santa Barbara at home and at Buena. They are tied for first place with San Marcos at 5-1.

Santa Barbara High tennis coach Sally Becker, second from left, is joined by the core of her team, Claire Stotts, left, Eva Kershner and Brooke Morison. Click to view larger
Santa Barbara High tennis coach Sally Becker, second from left, is joined by the core of her team, Claire Stotts, left, Eva Kershner and Brooke Morison. (Barry Punzal / Noozhawk photo)

Coach Liz Frech complimented the sportsmanship and compassion of doubles partners senior captain Rose Hillebrandt and junior Hannah Kleidermacher.

“They lead by example and are supportive of their teammates,” she said of the pair. “They’re both solid in the classroom, and I’m honored to have them on the team.”

Santa Barbara: Dons coach Sally Becker said that because the season is only nine weeks “it’s very challenging for a coach and student and athlete to accomplish everything in that very, very short time.”

She introduced the core of the team, sophomore Claire Stotts and juniors Brooke Morison and Eva Kershner.

The Dons have a busy week, playing at Dos Pueblos on Tuesday, at Valencia on Wednesday, hosting Ventura on Thursday and Mira Costa on Saturday. She said if they beat Ventura they’ll tie for third place in Channel League.

CROSS COUNTRY

San Marcos: Coach Lawrence Stehmeier said three runners he wanted to bring declined because they were going to miss classes on Thursday for the Channel League meet at Lake Casitas.

He was able to bring senior Logan Briner, the No. 1 runner on the boys team.

“He said, ‘Coach, you’re the math teacher. I’m going,’” Stehmeier said.

The coach noted that Briner, a senior captain, “is having a great season.”

Dos Pueblos: Assistant coach Micks Purnell said the Chargers were looking forward to Thursday's Channel League Meet No. 2 at Lake Casitas. He noted the team ran the hilly course at the recent Twilight Invitational.

Westmont: Coach Russell Smelley announced that long-time track and field assistant coach Jason Oatis is retiring after a 27-year tenure.

“He’s one of the great individuals in this community,” Smelley said. “Jason has been a loyal friend and successful coach and deserves significant credit for helping to grow the track and field program to its current level of success. I will miss the affability of his presence and the positive influence he provided for team members.”

Smelley said Oatis coached more than 30 NAIA All-Americans at Westmont.

The Westmont coach introduced two team leaders on his cross country teams: Kevin Ashley and Kelly Collins. He said Ashley leads with his spirit and attitude. Collins had to change her leadership role from being one of the front-runners for the women’s team after suffering a hip injury.

“It took a lot of work attitude-wise and desire want to change,” said Smelley. “I’m impressed with her change and growth and it’s made a difference with the team.”

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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