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JT Stone Encourages Fans to Check out Dos Pueblos-Santa Barbara High Football Clash

Athletic Round Table luncheon features football, cross country, girls tennis

Dos Pueblos football coach Nate Mendoza, far left, is joined by offensive linemen, from left of Mendoza: Sunny Graybill, Samuel McGolpin and Francisco Guilllermo. Click to view larger
Dos Pueblos football coach Nate Mendoza, far left, is joined by offensive linemen, from left of Mendoza: Sunny Graybill, Samuel McGolpin and Francisco Guilllermo. (Barry Punzal / Noozhawk photo)

JT Stone remembers the days when fans packed the stadiums to see the crosstown high school football games in Santa Barbara.

The Santa Barbara High football coach said at Monday’s Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table press luncheon that Saturday night’s game between his Dons and Dos Pueblos is a community event and the community should check it out at La Playa Stadium.

“We excited this community gets to see a (great) football game,” he said. “We’re trying to bring football back to our community and to have a game like this… if you’re around, you need to come see this, you need to be a part of this football game.”

The game pits two teams that are 2-0 in the Channel League and ranked in the top 10 of their respective divisions in the CIF-Southern Section: DP is No. 3 in Division 10 and Santa Barbara is sixth in Division 9. The winner of the game will clinch a tie for the league title.

Said Stone: “It’s the only game in town, check it out.”

Stone introduced three key players from his squad: senior middle linebacker Henry Hepp, junior center Andrew Perez and junior running back/defensive end Jeremiah Phillips.

Henry Hepp is have a banner football season for Santa Barbara High. Click to view larger
Henry Hepp is have a banner football season for Santa Barbara High.

On Hepp: “He is a competitor,” Stone said. “You can’t take him off the field. He’s given so much to the Santa Barbara High football program. He’s a true hard-nosed football player, a team player, and we are blessed to have him on our team.”

He said Perez quit football for awhile and returned with renewed focus. “We’re fortunate to have him back on the offensive line. He’s playing some good football.”

Stone said Phillips is a special kid. “When he realizes it, he’s going to be something great. He’s turned into a very good defensive end for us. He’s definitely a force to be reckoned with.”

The Dons (5-3) have won three in a row and allowed just three touchdowns.

Dos Pueblos

Coach Nate Mendoza is excited about playing Santa Barbara. His Chargers (7-1) have won seven in a row.

“It’s going to be fun,” he said. “Santa Barbara has a nice winning streak itself and is playing good football.”

Mendoza introduced offensive linemen Sonny Graybill (left guard), Francisco Guillermo (right guard) and center Samuel McGolpin.

“They hold the middle for us,” said Mendoza. 

Graybill replaced an injured Angel Flores (6-6, 315) and has played well. 

“Sonny is literally half his size, but he doesn’t play that way. I say that because he’s been outstanding for us. He plays with a lot of heart and tenacity,” said Mendoza.

The coach said Guillermo is an example of a player who stuck with it after not seeing much playing time as a junior last year.

“He’s started for us since Game 1.”

McGolpin worked hard to become the starting center. “He fights hard in there,” said Mendoza.

The Chargers forced four turnovers in their win last Friday at Buena, raising their season total to 35.

“The defense continues to do well and the run game controls the clock for us,” said Mendoza of the team’s recipe for success.

Laguna Blanca

Coach Shane Lopes raved about the play and improvement of first-year football players Sam Stegall and Oscar Houglet.

The had good games in the Owls’ 78-12 win over Milken Community in their homecoming game last Friday.

“Last week, they earned their stripes as football players,” he said. “Those moments are highlights for me as a coach than most of this touchdowns that were scored.”

Laguna Blanca, which has a bye this week, went 5-2 playing a freelance regular-season schedule. The Owls will learn Friday if they receive an at-large bid to the CIF-SS Division 2 playoffs for 8-man football.  The pairings will be announced Saturday.

SBCC

After his team suffered its third straight loss (17-3 against Antelope Valley), coach Craig Moropoulos said he focused on one thing in his postgame speech.

“Not the loss, but the fact there are losers that win games and there are winners that lose games,” he said. “I would much rather have a bunch of guys that are winners that happen to lose a game than the opposite. 

“That’s what we have, young guys that are winners. We’re going to keep bustin’ it and keep getting after it. It’s much better to be a winner in life than what’s on the scoreboard.”

The Vaqueros play at Citrus on Saturday.

Carpinteria

Jacob Mata and Brady Sturdivan played important roles for Carpinteria in its 29-14 win over Malibu in their Frontier League opener. 

Coach Rick Candaele said Mata’ down-field blocking and Sturdivan’s long touchdown reception in the fourth quarter sparked the comeback win. The Warrior scored 22 points in the quarter.

“We’ve won three in a row and we’re really pleased about that,” Candaele said “We’re 5-3 and pretty happy about that too.

"Our goal is to win a league championship and we’re a third of the way there.”

Bishop Diego

Assistant coach Steve Robles said seniors Dylan Streett and Will Goodwin are great to have out on the field. The pair are three-sport athletes who make a difference on both sides of the ball.

The Cardinals are 8-0 and ranked No. 1 in Division 6 of the CIF-SS.

Speaking for head coach Tom Crawford, Robles said "the team needs improvement on the small things to get us to that next level.”

Bishop travels to an improved Nordhoff team in Ojai on Friday.

TENNIS

Dos Pueblos 

Coach Liz Frech guided the Chargers to a share of the Channel League team with a team of mostly freshmen and sophomores. 

“We just wanted to do well, and our team was competing against older and more experienced teams,” she said. “Nonetheless, we were happy to share the league title with San Marcos. I’ve had four co-league champions since 2014 and each of these teams have many things in common. But exceeding expectations and sure determination stand out. We fought as a team and progressed as a team.”

Sophomore Mikala Triplett is 50-3 on the season in singles and the doubles team of Hannah Kleidermacher and Danya Belkin notched a combined win total 76 matches. 

“Their chemistry and tenacity on the court was amazing,” said Frech.

Santa Barbara

Assistant coach Danny Echt said the Dons earned a CIF playoff berth by finishing third behind co-champs DP and San Marcos.

He called Claire Stotts an "incredibly eager and fiery player." She and Laura Dragone upset two higher seeded teams to win the Channel League doubles title.

Brooke Morison also was a valuable player in doubles. He said the senior co-captain is "extremely coachable."

Laguna Blanca

The Owls have won nine in a row and are headed to the CIF playoffs for the first time in Rob Cowell’s four years as coach.

“We’re looking forward to our first playoff experience and see how far we get,” he said.

Cowell introduced sophomore No. 1 singles player Katherine Monroy and Lily Holbrook, the anchor for the No. 3 doubles team.

CROSS COUNTRY

San Marcos

The Royals are coming off team victories at the Mt. SAC Invitational.

Senior Kaela Cleary won the Division 2 girls race, leading the Royals to the team title. 

Coach Lawrence Stehmeier is excited to see how far Cleary can lead the girls team in the postseason.

“I look forward to see how far we can go,” he said.” We’re hoping to make it to state, that’s their goal.”

Stehmeier said senior Mya Adornetto has been dealing with some breathing issues but continues to run well.

“To see her to put in the effort that she does into the race and finish is amazing to see,” he said.

Stehmeier also introduced boys team captain Serge Aldapa. 

Dos Pueblos

Coach Micks Purnell said the girls team needs one win at the final Channel League meet to earn a CIF Prelims berth, while the boys have their work cut out of them to make it as a team. He noted that Joseph Pearlman and Nathaniel Getachew have a shot of qualifying as individuals.

Purnell introduced Pearlman, a sophomore, and senior Sara Said of the girls team.

He said Saib came to DP this season from Japan and had never run competitively until this year.

“She’s not only a good runner, she does everything the coach asks,” said Purnell.

Saib, who wants to attend college in the U.S., recently scored 790 out of 800 on the math portion of the SAT, according to Purnell.

Laguna Blanca

The Owls are in good shape to qualify their girls team for the CIF Prelims while the boys need to finish ahead of Besant Hill in next week’s Condor League finals to have a shot.

Coach David Silverander brought No. 1 runner Aura Carleton of the girls’ team and four-year veteran Clay Rodgers of the boys’ squad.

SOCCER 

SBCC

The men’s and women’s teams are both undefeated. The women are 12-0-1 and ranked No. 1 win the state and No. 3 in the nation. They’ve posted five straight shutouts and nine in their last 10 matches.

The Vaquero men are 10-0-3 and ninth in the state and seventh in the national poll.

SBCC is hosting a Halloween event at Friday’s men’s match against Hancock at La Playa Stadium. From 6:30 p.m. to 8:30, the athletic department is staging a “Trunk or Treat” party in the parking lot across from the stadium.

Cars will be decorated and kids 13-under can do their trick or treating by going from car to car.

Westmont

The women’s soccer team is in a tie for second place with The Master’s and the teams face each other in the regular-season finale on Saturday. A Westmont win gives it second outright and a bye for the first round of the GSAC Tournament.

The men’s soccer team clinched a first-round by in the tournament, which it is hosting Nov. 9-10.

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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