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High School, College Athletes of Year Named at Round Table’s Evening With The Athletes

Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table president Cara Gamberdella hands the High School Football Co-Athlete of the Year award to Kellen Roberts and Marcellous Gossett. Click to view larger
Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table president Cara Gamberdella hands the High School Football Co-Athlete of the Year award to Kellen Roberts and Marcellous Gossett. (JC Corliss / Noozhawk photo)

The athletes of the year in local high school and college sports were honored Wednesday night at the Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table’s Evening with the Athletes at the Victoria Street Theater.

The winners were selected by a panel of local sports media members.

Coaches of the year for high school and college sports were also honored. The high school coach recognized was Chuckie Roth of San Marcos. He guided the girls water polo and swim teams to Channel League championships and the postseason in CIF Division 1.

Chuckie Roth of San Marcos was named the High School Coach of the Year. Click to view larger
Chuckie Roth of San Marcos was named the High School Coach of the Year.
Patti Cook of Westmont was the College Coach of the Year. Click to view larger
Patti Cook of Westmont was the College Coach of the Year.

The Royals' water polo team won a very competitive Channel League with an 8-0 record and advanced to the CIF-Southern Section Division 1 Final Four. They defeated Mater Dei in the semifinals and lost to undefeated Laguna Beach, 6-2 in the championship game. The Royals held Laguna Beach to one goal in the second half and the six goals was its lowest total of the season.

In swimming, San Marcos went unbeaten in Channel League dual meets, won the league championship meet and captured the Meet of Champions at Mt. SAC. The team placed eighth at the CIF Division 1 Championships.

Patti Cook of the Westmont women’s volleyball team was named the College Coach of the Year. She guided the Warriors to 32 straight victories, a GSAC championship and a quarterfinal berth at the NAIA National Tournament. The team finished 34-2, by far the best record in program history.

In a show of dominance, the Warriors dropped only one set among 49 in 16 conference matches.

Dos Pueblos led the local high schools with 12 athletes of the year, San Marcos picked up seven, Santa Barbara High won four and Bishop Diego, Laguna Blanca and Cate had one apiece.

UCSB won 12 athlete of the year awards, Westmont and SBCC each picked up five.

Award sponsor, Marc Gamberdella, top, left, joins Scholar-Athlete Award winners, top row, Austin Bohnett (Bishop Diego), Summer Christensen (Cate), Kelly Collins (Westmont); bottom row, left, Liana Tacconelli (Santa Barbara High) and Addison Seale (SBCC). Click to view larger
Award sponsor, Marc Gamberdella, top, left, joins Scholar-Athlete Award winners, top row, Austin Bohnett (Bishop Diego), Summer Christensen (Cate), Kelly Collins (Westmont); bottom row, left, Liana Tacconelli (Santa Barbara High) and Addison Seale (SBCC). (JC Corliss / Noozhawk photo)

Other award winners on the night included Jessica Simon, recipient of Special Olympics Mayor's Trophy for Athlete of the Year; Braden Curtis, San Marcos senior golfer, winner of the Russ Morrison Memorial Golf Scholarship; Thomas Jimenez, senior multi-sport athlete at Dos Pueblos, winner of the Athletic Round Table Founder's Award Scholarship, and Karen Schultz, an accomplished Masters swimmer, was named the Open Athlete of the Year.

Liana Tacconelli, a senior volleyball player at Santa Barbara High, was the first recipient of the Larry Crandell Memorial Scholarship. Crandell was an original board member and a president of the Athletic Round Table. He emceed many of the organization's events and a was major fundraiser. He passed away in August at age 93.

Here is the list of athletes of the 2016-17 school year:



Football – Cedric Cooper, SBCC: Was the leading rusher and MVP on a Vaquero team that earned a postseason bowl berth this year.

Women’s Cross Country –  Emily Williams, Westmont: The All-Golden State Athletic Conference runner  took 67th place out of 334 runner at NAIA Nationals

Men’s Cross Country –Adam Avila, UCSB: Placed 19th at West Regional; named All West Region.

Women’s Golf – Carolin Chang, SBCC: Repeat State Community College Individual Champion, led Vaqueros to a state runner-up finish and a 99-1 record.

Men’s Soccer – Kevin Feucht, UCSB: The Gauchos' playmaker, leading goal scorer, led team to Big West North Title. He had 10 goals and a conference best 22 points; was named the Big West Midfielder of the Year.

Women’s Soccer – Brooke Lillywhite, Westmont: Named the GSAC Player of Year; she scored 20 goals in 18 games.

Women’s Volleyball – Libby Dahlberg, Westmont: A powerful middle block who recorded 338 kills and had 62 digs; was named first-team NAIA All-American

Men’s Water Polo – Reed Cotterill, UCSB: The leading goal scorer for the Gauchos with 44 goals; named second-team All-American.

Women’s Water Polo – Halie Johnson, SBCC: The former San Marcos star scored 87 goals, had 41 assists and 70 steals for the State runners-up


Football: Kellen Roberts and Marcellous Gossett, Dos Pueblos: Roberts quarterbacked the Chargers no-huddle, spread offense, passing for a school-record 3,193 yards and 27 TDS.  Gossett was a defensive monster, recording 17.5 sacks, leading them to share of the Channel League title and the program's first playoff win since 2001.

Boys Cross Country – Hunter Clark, Dos Pueblos: Repeat Channel League and Santa Barbara County champion, advanced to CIF Finals. He’s going to Cal Poly.

Girls Cross Country – Erica Schroeder, San Marcos: Finished second in the Southern Section and qualified for her first CIF State Meet in cross country, where she placed ninth, helping the Royals to a sixth-place team finish in the Division 2 race. She signed with University of Washington.

Girls Golf –  Sienna Scibird, Bishop Diego: Tri-Valley League champion and MVP; CIF Regionals qualifier. She’s headed to Cal Poly.

Girls Tennis — Mikala Triplett and Katie Yang, Dos Pueblos: The doubles team won the Channel League title and advanced to CIF quarterfinals.

Girls Volleyball — Kelly Bickett, Laguna Blanca: The junior was an outstanding setter and team leader for the Owls, leading the team to the CIF semifinals and the state tournament.

Boys Water Polo — Sawyer Rhodes, Santa Barbara High: The Dons’ all-time goal scorer with 370. He poured in 147 goals his senior year, leading the team to a Channel League title. Rhodes is headed to Stanford.



Boys Soccer — Celso Lagunas, Santa Barbara High: The leading goal scorer and assist man for the undefeated Channel League champions.

Girls Soccer — Kiara Pickett, Dos Pueblos: After playing in the Under-17 World Cup for Team USA, the speedy forward was nearly unstoppable for the Chargers. She’s headed to Stanford.

Boys Basketball — Diego Riker, Dos Pueblos: A dead-eye 3-point shooter for the Channel League-champion Chargers. He shot 48 percent from the 3-point line, was an 81 percent free throw shooter, averaged 13.2 points per game.

Girls Basketball — Camila Casanueva, Dos Pueblos: The senior point guard led the Chargers in scoring, assists and steals, propeling them to a 20-win season. She’s headed to Brandeis University.

Wrestling— Ryan Fidel, Dos Pueblos: Captured his third straight Channel League indivdual title and helped the Chargers win their third straight team title. Headed to Colorado School of Mines.

Girls Water Polo — Paige Hauschild, San Marcos: Did it all for Royals in their incredible season, unbeaten in Channel league, CIF Division 1 finalist. Team leader in scoring, assists and steals. She’s going to USC.


Women’s swimming — Heaven Quintana, UCSB: She won four Mountain Pacific Sports Federation titles in her first collegiate season.

Men’s Swimming — Billy Mullis, UCSB: Earned All-MPSF first-team honors in the 800 free relay, 200 IM (second fastest time in conference), 100 back (fastest time in conference) and was second-team in 200 medley relay and 400 medley relay.

Men’s Basketball — Cory Blau, Westmont: One of top 3-point and free-throw shooters in the NAIA; a two-time All-American, only the fifth Westmont player to receive the honor twice in a career

Women’s Basketball: Aysia Shellmire, Westmont: She averaged nearly 15 points per game, shooting 53 percent from the floor. She was named first team All-American for the second time, only the third Westmont player to accomplish the feat.



Baseball — Darby Naughton, Dos Pueblos: Mr. Reliable; a four-year standout on the mound  for the Chargers, leading them to three league titles and four CIF playoff appearances. Opponents batted a mere .191 against him.

Boys Golf — Bennett Reichard, San Marcos: Repeated as the Channel League individual champion with an 8-under par 136 at Soule Park and advanced to CIF Competition; led the Royals to a share of league title.

Boys Lacrosse — Justin Lehman, San Marcos: Leading scorer and assist man for the Royals, who made the postseason for the first time in program history and reached the final of the Division 2 playoffs.

Girls Lacrosse —Brie Walker, Cate: The leading scorer for the Rams, who went 14-0 in the regular season and reached the North Division semifinals.

Boys Swimming —Teodor Velikov, Dos Pueblos: Finished second in the 200 freestyle and fifth in the 100 fly in All-American times at the CIF Division 1 finals. He led the Chargers to a share of the Channel League title with a huge championship meet, winning the 100 and 200 freestyle and swimming on two first-place relay teams. He's head to UCSB.

Girls Swimming — Cassie Barkhorn, Dos Pueblos: Swam on two relay teams and the 500 freestyle at the CIF Finals. She repeated as Channel League champion in the 500 freestyle and finished second in the in 200 IM. She's headed to Boise State.

Softball—Hailee Rios, San Marcos—The pitching and power-hitting sensation for the Royals led them to sweep of Dos Pueblos this season and a second-place finish in the Channel League. She’s bound for Fresno State.

Boys Tennis—Kento Perera, San Marcos: The four-time Channel League singles champion, the first player to accomplish the feat since Tim Trigueiro from 1982-85. He's headed to Stanford

Girls Track & Field—Allie Jones, San Marcos: The junior was an ironwoman for the Royals; finished third in the heptathlon at Arcadia Invitational; won league, county titles in 100 hurdles, 200 meters, 4x100 and 4x400 relays. 

Boys Track & Field—Kiasa Salgado, Santa Barbara High: A three-time Channel League and County champion in the grueling 300 hurdles. Headed to UC San Diego.    

Boys Volleyball—Will Rottman, Santa Barbara High: Powerhouse sophomore outside hitter was the leader in kills for a Dons team that went undefeated in league won a match in the Division 1 playoffs


Baseball — John Jensen, SBCC: The SBHS alum was the leading hitter for the WSC North champs with a .338 average and was named MVP of the conference.

Diving—Gina Jacobson, SBCC: She won a state championship on the 1-meter board and set state record in points; finished third place on 3-meter board.

Men’s Golf—Zach Smith, UCSB: He helped the Gauchos win the Big West Championship and a NCAA berth; was team's leader in stroke average at 71.85 per round and had six top-10 finishes, including four in a row.

Softball—Sierra Altmeyer, UCSB: She ranks among the program's best all-time single-season marks in runs and home runs. In Big West play, she was first in the conference in on base percentage and walks, second in runs, third in slugging percentage, and fourth in home runs.

Men’s Tennis—Morgan Mays, UCSB:  The No. 1 singles and doubles player led the Gauchos to Big West title and NCAA Tournament berth. He  won the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s Regional Arthur Ashe Leadership and Sportsmanship Award.

Women’s Tennis—Palina Dubavets, UCSB: The No. 1 player led Gauchos to Big West title and NCAA berth. She is a first-team All-Big West player for the second year in a row.

Men’s volleyball—Jacob Delson, UCSB: The senior outside hitter led team with 356 kills, with a hitting percentage of .271; was second on team in digs with 136. Had 34 kills in a match this season, most by a Gaucho since 2010

Men’s Track & Field—Kordell Hampton, UCSB: The sophomore is the school record holder in the discus. Silver medalist at the Big West Championships

Women’s Track & Field — Tori Usgaard, UCSB: The Big West heptathlon silver medalist and one of the top heptathletes in the NCAA.

Jessica Simon celebrates after being awarded the Mayor’s Trophy for being the Special Olympics Athlete of the Year. Click to view larger
Jessica Simon celebrates after being awarded the Mayor’s Trophy for being the Special Olympics Athlete of the Year. (JC Corliss / Noozhawk photo)
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