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Athletic Round Table: Homecoming Is Like a Big Family Reunion at Carpinteria

Laguna Blanca football Click to view larger
Laguna Blanca football coach Shane Lopes, right,  is proud of how Nils Lenke, an exchange student from Germany, has picked up the game. Lenke plays on the offensive and defensive lines for the Owls. (Barry Punzal / Noozhawk photo)

Family, community and school pride was bursting at Carpinteria High’s homecoming football game last Friday.

“If you go to a homecoming game, you’ve never seen so many tios and tias out there,” said football coach Rick Candaele with a big smile at Monday’s Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table press luncheon. “I’ve never seen so many football boys get hugged and kissed and pinched on the cheek as you see at homecoming.

“It took us about 45 minutes to introduce everybody. Families, relatives, aunts, uncles, grandmas and grandpas, they were lined up from the 10-yard line all the way to the other 10-yard line. 

“It’s a big deal.”

The night ended with a Warriors’ victory over Santa Clara, keeping their playoff hopes alive in the seven-team Citrus Coast League. They finish the regular season on Friday night at second-place Nordhoff with a chance to finish tied for third or fourth.

San Marcos is out of the playoff hunt, but it can spoil the hopes of Santa Ynez in the Channel League finale at Warkentin Stadium.

“They’ll be playing for a playoff spot,” San Marcos coach Jason Fowle said of the Pirates, who are 2-2 and tied with Santa Barbara for third place in the Channel League, one game behind Dos Pueblos (3-1), which plays the Dons on Thursday night at San Marcos.

“We’re going to play for pride in our last game and hopefully go out on a positive note,” said Fowle.

Cate’s 8-man football team is riding high. The Rams are 7-0 and ranked No. 1 in the recent CIF-SS Division 1 poll.

Assistant coach Dave Soto said Saturday’s win against previously unbeaten Hesperia Christian was the 90th in the 13 years of the program.

Cate completes its regular season on Saturday at rival Thacher in Ojai.

In cross country, Westmont coach Russell Smelley marveled how junior Michael Oldach attack his pain at the William Jessup Invitational in Rocklin and “dropped a 4:45 mile followed by a 4:39 mile and broke away from the pack and won pretty substantially” in a personal best on the course.

Smelley put Oldach’s performance in football terms: “He rushed for 8,000 meters this week, more than any football guy.”

Oldach is an Augustinian scholar at Westmont. He carries an average GPA of 4.3 and scored at least 1440 on the SAT.

Here is a rundown of comments from the coaches on the athletes they brought to the press luncheon:

SBCC Football

Coach Craig Moropoulos on defensive lineman Tim Nunez: “He had a couple of big sacks for us on Saturday night; he’s an outstanding young man and an outstanding student.”

On quarterback Frank DeLuca: "This guy when we started in August was our fifth-team quarterback. Because of a lot of injuries and mishaps, he’s had to become the starter. But he’s improved in three weeks like nothing I’ve never seen.”

Dos Pueblos Football

Assistant coach Herb Welch on senior linebacker/fullback, team captain Ian Young: “He’s a great leader on our team. He’s done a great job leading our defense. He doesn’t get a lot of accolades for what he does because of our scheme. He’s down in the middle of the pile a lot of times. No one really sees that he’s making those tackles, and leads our team in solo tackles.”

On junior free safety/running back Conner Lee: “He’s one of the most intense kids I’ve coached and I’ve coached a long time. He’s super intense and is a great leader on the team. I appreciate his effort.”

Cate Football

Assistant coach Dave Soto on senior center Sebastian Richardson: “He’s the anchor of our offensive line and has been doing for four years He’s a huge reason we’ve scored 441 points this, 63 points per game.

On senior quarterback Jack Deardorff: “He’s scored 30 total touchdowns, combined running and throwing. He has 1300 total yards and played only one full game this year — he’s been taken out because of scores and other things like that.”

San Marcos Football

Coach Jason Fowle on junior wide receiver/defensive back Josh Brown: “He’s a very talented young man, plays with a lot of passion and enthusiasm. He’s scored eight touchdowns and has over 700 yards receiving. He got straight A’s in this term.”

On senior linebacker/running back Dane Sterndahl: “He’s been a guy we’ve leaned on all year. He’s got five rushing touchdowns for us. He’s been a mainstay as an outside linebacker. He’s straight A student as well. He aspires to study dentistry.”

Carpinteria Football

Coach Rick Candaele on offensive lineman David Serrano: “He is an offensive lineman and last week our nose guard. He went out there and did a great job.”

On back-up quarterback Will Collins: “He played tight end, split end, outside linebacker and rush end. The first play he ran (against Santa Clara) was a 20-yard counter for a touchdown. About 5-6 plays later he threw a 60-yard touchdown pass and a few plays after that he threw another TD pass. 

“I think he’s going to play a bunch of games (at QB) because he’s real good at that position.”

Laguna Blanca Football

Coach Shane Lopez on lineman and German exchange student Nils Lenke: “He represents one aspect of athletics that we pride ourselves in and appreciate: living outside your comfort zone and doing things that aren’t so natural. He’s been a great player to coach and we appreciate everything brings to our team.”

Westmont Cross Country

Coach Russ Smelley on Michael Oldach: “He’s from Colorado Springs, so I’m always glad for him bringing extra oxygen-carrying red blood cells when he comes back. It has paid off quite well for him.”

San Marcos Cross Country

Coach William Stehmeier on Jacob Snodgress: “We have a really strong group of freshmen this year, and he leads them and keeps them going and focused.”

On sophomore Chase Plourde: “He’s real quiet and just goes out and does his workouts, does the race. Very rarely I ever have to wonder what Chase is going to do. I know what he’s going to do: he’s going to stay in touch and he’ll keep building on the race as it goes.”

On senior sisters Marcela and Marlen Valle: “They always finish at the same part of the race. One week, one will have a PR and the next week the next one will have a PR and pass the other one. They’ve PR’d in 4-5 races this year. They’re having a phenomenal senior year. They’re what you want from a senior athlete.”

Carpinteria Cross Country

Assistant coach Weldon Nomura on juniors Esteban Zapata and Luke Nakasone: “These are blue-collar dogs that aren’t getting the headlines. These guys aren’t the fastest kids on our team, but these are the guys who push our leaders and show rest of the team hard work and running hard pays off, because they’ve come a long way.”

On freshmen Sydney Morente and Kate Cooney: “They’re tiny but they’re mighty. They’re leaders of a pack of freshmen girls that is running super well. The future looks bright for these gals. They’re running super well on the varsity.”

“Kate is the daughter of Athletic Director Pat Cooney and the granddaughter of legendary Lou Panizzon.”

Luncheon Notes

Dave Loveton, the sports information specialist at SBCC, reported that the athletic program is hosting its second "Trunk or Treat" event for families from 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday before the 7:30 p.m., women’s soccer game against Oxnard. The event will be held in the parking lot next to La Playa Stadium.

The SBCC women’s soccer team is 9-2-1 and has five shutouts in its last six games. The men's team is 7-3-2.

The women’s water polo team is 21-2, with both loses coming against Fullerton by the score of 10-8. The Vaqueros are hosting a Halloween Tournament Friday and Saturday at Santa Barbara High.

Westmont women’s soccer assistant Caleb Brown reported the Warriors are No. 12 in the NAIA with an 11-1-2 record.

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