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Noozhawk Forges Sports Section Partnership with Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table

The new year has brought about a change in Santa Barbara-area sports journalism.

Noozhawk is filling the void left by the closure of the online sports website, Presidio Sports.

As of Monday, Noozhawk will be handling the coverage of area high school and college sports and the activities of the Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table.

Cara Gamberdella, SBART’s board president, said at Monday’s Round Table media luncheon that she was happy to see Noozhawk pick up the ball for Presidio Sports, which covered the sports community for the last seven years.

“The closure of Presidio Sports leaves a hole in our local sports journalism and left the Round Table with a need for our honors and events to have continued coverage,” she said before a packed Ranchero Room crowd at Harry’s Plaza Café.

“We are very excited to announce that Noozhawk has stepped in to start filling that void and a new partnership with the Round Table.”

It should be a smooth transition as Barry Punzal, the editor at Presidio Sports, has been hired for the same position at Noozhawk.

“Our luncheons and events will not miss a beat, and we are thrilled to continue working with Barry and look forward to our new relationship with Noozhawk,” Gamberdella said.

She expressed her sadness over the closure of Presidio Sports.

“On behalf of the Round Table, I extend a very heartfelt thank you — and will miss you — to Presidio  Sports,” she said.

John Dvorak, left, and Barry Punzal have been the guiding force behind Presidio Sports, the website that this week ceased operations covering Santa Barbara’s sports community. Punzal will continue the effort as Noozhawk’s sports editor. Click to view larger
John Dvorak, left, and Barry Punzal have been the guiding force behind Presidio Sports, the website that this week ceased operations covering Santa Barbara’s sports community. Punzal will continue the effort as Noozhawk’s sports editor. (Tom Bolton / Noozhawk photo)

John Dvorak, the co-founder and publisher of Presidio Sports, thanked the Round Table and the sports community for their support during the seven-year history of the online site.

“It’s been a incredible run covering sports in the community on a daily basis; we published over 22,000 articles in that time,” he said. “If you played sports, were a coach or a fan over the last seven years, thank you for everything.”

He acknowledged former Round Table president Barry Taugher as being a key adviser in developing the business, and Randy Weiss of Union Bank for his contributions and support.

Dvorak said he was glad to see Noozhawk step up to fill the void.

“I’m really, really excited and happy to see Noozhawk is taking over and stepping up to make sure the sports community gets the coverage it deserves,” he said.

Bill Macfadyen, Noozhawk’s founder and publisher, said he and his business partners, Kim Clark and Tom Bolton, are looking forward to adding a sports section to their fast-growing website, but are saddened by the demise of a fellow online-only operation.

“Noozhawk is grateful to have this opportunity to succeed and build on the legacy established by John Dvorak and his team at Presidio Sports,” he said. “As pioneers ourselves, we know how arduous that journey was, and I understand better than most how difficult it is for John to make that last call.”

Macfadyen credited Presidio Sports with making a positive difference in the lives of thousands of student-athletes over the years. 

 “Presidio Sports’ contribution to the local sports scene has been profound, but even more important, with John’s vision and leadership, it covered our community with integrity, passion and respect,” he told the luncheon guests. “Theirs is an example you have my word that we will follow.”

Articles on are still accessible and can continue to be downloaded from the site.

Coaches and athletic directors can email the results of their athletic events and any announcements to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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

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