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Prep, College Athletes of the Year Named at Round Table Night of Athletes at Lobero

Amber Melgoza receives the High School Girls Basketball Player of the Year Award from Round Table president Cara Gamberdella as Boys Basketball Player of Year Bolden Brace looks on.
Amber Melgoza receives the High School Girls Basketball Player of the Year Award from Round Table president Cara Gamberdella as Boys Basketball Player of Year Bolden Brace looks on. (Felipe Garcia photo)

The CIF-champion Santa Barbara High boys basketball team reaped the rewards at the Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table's Night of Athletes on Wednesday at the Lobero Theater.

PHOTO GALLERY OF THE EVENT

Santa Barbara High boys basketball coach and High School Coach of the Year Dave Bregante, and his son, Joseph, an assistant coach, brought the CIF Championship plaque to the Night of Athletes at the Lobero Theater. Click to view larger
Santa Barbara High boys basketball coach and High School Coach of the Year Dave Bregante, and his son, Joseph, an assistant coach, brought the CIF Championship plaque to the Night of Athletes at the Lobero Theater. (Felipe Garcia photo)

Dave Bregante was named Coach of the Year and senior forward Bolden Brace was honored as the High School Boys Basketball Player of the Year.

Baseball coaches Robert Ruiz of Westmont and UCSB's Andrew Checketts shared the College Coach of the Year honor. Ruiz guided Westmont to the GSAC regular season and tournament and a berth in the NAIA National Tournament Opening Round, which it is hosting for the first time. The Warriors have won a school-record 42 wins this season, beating last year's mark of 41.

Checketts' Gauchos have won 33 games this season and are in contention for a NCAA Regional berth. They won 40 games last season and hosted a regional tournament for the first time in program history.

Just like with the high school awards, the College Baseball Players of the Year were from the same schools as the coaches of the year. Pitchers Daniel Butler of Westmont and Shane Bieber of UCSB shared the honor.

Ben Watts receives the Special Olympics Mayor’s Trophy from Jerry Siegel. Click to view larger
Ben Watts receives the Special Olympics Mayor’s Trophy from Jerry Siegel. (Felipe Garcia photo)

Carpinteria's Ben Watts was honored as the recipient of the Special Olympics Mayor's Trophy.

Three scholarships were presented: AV Bennett of Bishop Diego was awarded the Gina Ruskauff Memorial Scholarship; Santa Barbara High basketball player Austin Hancey won the Round Table Founders Scholarship and Elizabeth Esquivel of Carpinteria received Russ Morrison Memorial Golf Scholarship.

Presidio Sports co-founder John Dvorak and editor-writer Barry Punzal received recognition from the Round Table and were presented a Special Achievement Award.

Here is list of the athletes of the year by season:

FALL

College Football: Elijah Cunningham, SBCC: No. 1 kick returner in the state with a hefty 40.8-yard average. He returned two kicks for touchdowns, including a school-record 100-yarder in the season opener at San Bernardino Valley. He also played wide receiver, catching 13 passes for 175 yards and one touchdown; named to All-State Team, JC All-American

College Men’s Soccer: Nick DePuy, UCSB: The second-leading goal scorer in the country with 15 goals; led Gauchos to Big West regular season title and the second round of the NCAA tournament.

College Women’s Soccer: Kelsey Steck, Westmont: Scored 23 goals and led the Warriors to the GSAC Championship and the NAIA National Tournament; named NAIA All-American.

College Men’s Water Polo: Derek Shoemaker, UCSB: The team’s leading scorer with 47 goals, 15 assists for 62 points; second on the team in steals with 28 and posted 17 field blocks.

College Men’s Cross Country: Bryan Guijarro, UCSB: Repeat champion in Big West, finished 11th at NCAA West Regionals and qualified for nationals

Chloe Allen, the High School Girls Volleyball Co-Player of the Year, is joined by her dad, Ken. Click to view larger
Chloe Allen, the High School Girls Volleyball Co-Player of the Year, is joined by her dad, Ken. (Felipe Garcia photo)

College Women’s Cross Country: Tori Tsolis, UCSB: She placed fifth at the Big West Finals, beating her previous best time by 58 seconds and qualified for regionals.

College Women’s Volleyball: Katelynn Womack, SBCC: The WSC Player of Year and All-State honoree led to team to WSC North title and berth in So Cal Regional Final.

College Women’s Water polo: Kendra Carr, SBCC: The team’s leading goal scorer led the Vaqueros to the WSC title.

College Women’s golf: Carolin Chang, SBCC: Won the individual state title and led Vaqueros to team title.

High School Football: AV Bennett and Matt Shotwell, Bishop Diego: The offensive and defensive leaders for the 12-1 Cardinals. Their stellar play led Bishop Diego to TVL title and the CIF Division 3 semifinals. AV Bennett is bound for UCLA and Shotwell is headed to Cal Poly.

High School Girls Volleyball: Co-winners: Phoebe Madsen, Laguna Blanca; Chloe Allen, San Marcos: The offensive leaders on their respective league-championship teams. The UCSB-bound Allen led Royals to CIF Division 1A quarterfinals. Madsen was the heart and soul of Laguna’s team that won CIF-SS 4AA title and finished as State Division 4 runner-up. Madsen is going to Claremont-Mckenna College.

High School Boys Cross Country: Hunter Clark, Dos Pueblos: The junior rinished the year strong, winning last two league meets and qualified for CIF State Meet, where he finished 14th

High School Girls Cross Country: Erica Schroeder, San Marcos: The Channel League and Santa Barbara County champion just missed qualifying for state meet.

High School Girls Golf: Bella Vigna, Dos Pueblos: She repeated as Channel League individual champion and led the Chargers to their 17th straight league title

High School Boys Water Polo: Sawyer Rhodes, Santa Barbara and George Kuesis, San Marcos: They led their respective teams to a share of the Channel League title and the CIF quarterfinals.

High School Girls Tennis: Yuka Perera, San Marcos: As a freshman, she won Channel League singles title and led the Royals to their first league championship in several years.

WINTER

College Men’s Basketball: Michael Bryson, UCSB. He led the Gauchos in scoring and became the program’s all-time three-point shooter. He averaged 18 points, shot 48 percent, 38 percent on 3-pointers. First-team All Big West; became eighth Gaucho to score more than 1500 points in a career.

College Women’s Basketball: Krissy Karr, Westmont: She was the GSAC Player of the Year and a NAIA first-team All-American. She averaged 13.3 points, 4.7 assists 1.5 steals; led the GSAC in assists and made 3-pointers with 76.

The Santa Barbara High boys basketball team was one of three teams to win CIF Championships during the 2015-16 school year. Click to view larger
The Santa Barbara High boys basketball team was one of three teams to win CIF Championships during the 2015-16 school year. (Felipe Garcia photo)

College Men’s Swimming: Billy Mullis, UCSB: He had MPSF top-8 finishes in 200 back (3rd), 200 free (6th), 100 back (8th); swam on fourth-place 200 medley relay, third-place 800 free relay, third-place 400 medley and fourth-place 400 free relay, helping the Gauchos finish second. This year he set a record in the 200 back.

College Women’s Swimming: Lauren Vosseler, UCSB: She was the MPSF champion in50 free (22.71), was second in 100 free (49.73), anchored  800 free relay to second; anchored first-place 200 free relay, and her split of 22.09 was the fastest of the meet; finished second in 200 free (1:48.08); anchore fourth-place 400 medley relay and anchored the first-place 400 free relay.

High School Girls Basketball: Amber Melgoza, Santa Barbara: The program’s all-time leading scorer with over 2,700 points. She averaged 26 points, 9 rebounds in leading Dons to share of Channel League title. She averaged 30 points in the elite 16-team CIF Open Division, leading. the team to an upset of Mater Dei. She's going to Washington

High School Boys Basketball: Bolden Brace, Santa Barbara: He did it all for the Dons, leading them to CIF Division 2A title, the school’s first boys title since 1991. Brace averaged 20.6 points, 6 rebounds and 7 assists; he was named the CIF 2A Player of the Year and the Channel League MVP. He's headed to Northeastern in Boston.

Eli Wopat (center), the High School Boys Volleyball Player of the Year, is joined by Round Table board members (at left), Mike Warren and Joe Howell, his older brother Jackson (right), board members Dick Mires and Larry Vranish and his older sister Carly. Click to view larger
Eli Wopat (center), the High School Boys Volleyball Player of the Year, is joined by Round Table board members (at left), Mike Warren and Joe Howell, his older brother Jackson (right), board members Dick Mires and Larry Vranish and his older sister Carly. (Felipe Garcia photo)

High School Girls Water Polo: Paige Hauschild, San Marcos: Her all-around play led the Royals to the Channel League title and the CIF Division 1 semifinals.

High School Boys Soccer: Brandon Sanchez, Santa Barbara: The Dons’ fabulous playmaking midfielder was huge in the CIF Division 1 playoffs, scoring a game-winning OT goal at Santa Margarita and a hat trick against No. 1 Paramount  en route to the CIF Division 1 final. He's signed with Loyola Marymount.

High School Girls Soccer: Danielle Anderson, San Marcos; Alea Hyatt, Santa Barbara. These two were difference makers for their respective teams. Both are powerful players at different ends of the field. Anderson led a defense that posted 14 shutouts. Hyatt was an offensive force for the Dons. Hyatt signed with North Carolina. Anderson, a junior, has committed to Cal Poly.

High School Wrestling: Ryan Fidel, Dos Pueblos; He won his second straight Channel League title and sparked a young Charger squad to the team title. Fidel finished third at the CIF Divisional Championships and advanced to CIF Masters Meet.

SPRING

College Baseball: Daniel Butler, Westmont; Shane Bieber, UCSB: Butler threw a no-hitter and has won 12 games this season. Shane Bieber is one of the top pitchers in the country for the 20th-ranked Gauchos; he has a 9-3 record.

College Softball: Kristen Clark, UCSB:  Clark put together one of the best hitting seasons ever by a Gaucho with a .402 batting average and 70 hits. Both numbers rank third in UCSB lore.

College Women’s Water Polo: Samantha Murphy, UCSB. She scored hat tricks in all three games of the Big West Tournament, leading Gauchos to the championship. She scored game-winning goal in the seccond sudden death OT period to upset UC Irvine in semifinals. The Gauchos played in the NCAA Tournament for the first time and finished seventh.

College Men’s Track: Shyan Vaziri, UCSB: The Big West champion in the 800 meters and silver medalist in the 1600. He set school record in the 1500m of 3:42.23 ranks No. 20 in the NCAA and No. 9 in the NCAA West Region. Vaziri ran a 1:48.70 in the 800 at the Oxy Invite, the fifth fastest time in UCSB history and the fastest time in the Big West.

College Women’s Track: Becky Collier, Westmont: A nine-time NAIA All-American in her college career, she advanced to NAIA Outdoor Nationals in high jump with a mark of 5-8.75

College Men’s Volleyball: Jonah Seif, UCSB; An All-MPSF first team selection for 3 straight years, a first for a Gaucho; and a 3-time All-American: His setting and overall play led  Gauchos on a late-season run that reached the MPSF semifinals.

College Men’s Golf: Brandon Bauman, UCSB: He became only the third Gaucho to win the Big West individual championship; was named Big West Golfer of the Year.

College Men’s Tennis: Nathan Eshmade, UCSB: Led the Gauchos to the Big West Tournament title and NCAA berth. Has a winning record at No. 1 singles and doubles. He and partner Miles Seeman are 17-5 in doubles

College Women’s Tennis: Palina Dubavets, UCSB: She went 8-1 against conference opponents this spring to contribute to her 16-5 dual match record. She helped UCSB win the Big West title and a NCAA Tournament match. She and her doubles partner, Stefani Stojic, are 24-6 overall and 14-4 in dual matches, all at No. 1. They are ranked 22nd nationally and will be playing in the NCAA Individual tournament.

Prep Baseball: Kevin Gowdy, Santa Barbara: The lanky right-hander is mowing down hitters, averaging 12 strikeouts a game. He has 93 strikeouts and only five walks, and a 1.24 ERA. He signed UCLA and expects to be a high draft pick in the upcoming Major League Baseball Draft.

Prep Softball: Jade Sinskul, Dos Pueblos: The heart and soul of the Channel League-champion and CIF fourth-ranked Chargers.

Boys Volleyball: Eli Wopat, Dos Pueblos: The Stanford-bound Wopat averaged 18 kills to lead Chargers to a share of Channel League title

Boys Track: Tyson Miller, San Marcos: He repeated as the Channel League 400-meter champion and won the 200; was a consistent performer all season.

Justin Lehman (back row, left), the Boys Lacrosse Player of the Year from San Marcos, is joined by his family. Click to view larger
Justin Lehman (back row, left), the Boys Lacrosse Player of the Year from San Marcos, is joined by his family. (Felipe Garcia photo)

Girls Track: Erica Schroeder, San Marcos; She repeated as Channel League champ in the 800 and added the 1600 title this year. She is the defending state champion in the 800.

Boys Swimming: Sean Apsey, San Marcos: The Channel League 500 freestyle champ; placed fourth in 100 breast and was on second-place 4x400 relay team. He was on school-record 4x400 free team that helped San Marcos win combined title at Meet of Champions; finished second in 500 free at Meet of Champions

Girls Swimming: Olivia Smith, San Marcos: She won league titles in the 200 free and 100 butterfly, swam on winning 200 medley relay and anchored champion 400 free relay.

Boys Lacrosse: Justin Lehman, San Marcos, The averaged 4-5 points per game over a 16-game schedule

Girls Lacrosse: Jessica Liou, Cate: She led Cate to an 12-2 and a playoff berth. She made 231 saves, averaging 16.5 per game. She’s won 35 games in her career, ranking her in the top-five all-time at Cate. “She is not only an amazing goalie but she is also a great leader, captain, and defender, said coach Amy Venditta. 

Boys Golf: Bennett Reichard, San Marcos: The junior peaked at the right time of the season. He shot a 1-under 71 to lead the Royals to their second straight CIF-SS Central Division team championship. Earlier, he fired a 3-under 69 in the final round of Channel League Individual Tournament to win the title; Other high marks for the season: shot a 1-under 70 in win over Dos Pueblos that gave Royals 8-0 league record; fired a 68 in a league win over Buena and 64 against Ventura.

Boys Tennis: Kento Perera, San Marcos: Dominated everyone in and out of league. Won his third straight Channel League title and went 26-0 in the regular season.

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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