First-year Carpinteria football coach Mario Robinson learned right away what the school’s motto “Warrior Spirit Never Dies” is all about.
The day after his team had four first-quarter turnovers converted into touchdowns and lost three starters to season-ending injuries in a 42-0 defeat against Santa Ynez, the coach was overwhelmed by the spirit his players brought to their postgame meeting on Saturday
“The guys got together for Saturday practice and they said: ‘Whatever you need, wherever position you want us to play, we’ll switch,’’ Robinson told the crowd at Monday’s Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table press luncheon at Harry’s Plaza Cafe.
The Warriors lost three starters to a broken fibula, torn anterior cruciate ligament and a broken ankle in the first quarter of that Week 1 loss.
“Before I said anything to them, they were willing to step up and make changes,” he said. “That’s a sign of them. They’re a close family in the community, great kids. We’ve asked them to switch positions.”
The changes paid off big time in the next game, a 57-6 win over Beverly Hills last Friday night.
Will Collins, the starting quarterback in Week 1, switched to running back and rushed for 157 yards and four touchdowns. Jacob Mata moved from tight end to Z receiver and caught three passes, including a touchdown. Diego Hernandez switched from Z receiver to slot and caught a touchdown pass and returned a kickoff for a score.
“They’re all great athletes, and our entire team is awesome,” said Robinson. “The players are very coachable. All we ask of them is play hard and just give us everything they have.”
The Warriors (1-1) play host to at 3-0 St. Genevieve team on Friday.
Another first-year coach, Ruth McGolpin of the Westmont women’s volleyball team, is finding that she’s suited for the job after being an assistant coach. Her team is 10-2 and 2-0 in the Golden State Athletic Conference.
“The two things that scared me most about being a head coach was not winning and having to dress up for games,” she said. “Thankfully, I’m successful on both, and looking forward to a great season.”
The Warriors face rival Master’s University on Saturday at 7 p.m. at Murchison Gym.
First-year Westmont women’s soccer coach Jenny Jaggard has her team off to a great start. The Warriors are 5-1.
She attributes to the success to her captains: Maddi Berthoud, Gabi Haw, Brooke Porter and Kira Nemeth.
The Warriors are off this week before heading to Georgia to face NAIA No. 1 William Carey and perennial power Mobile, Ala.
Kat Niksto is in her rookie year as head coach of SBCC women’s volleyball. She has 10 players on the roster but hasn’t had a full squad available yet for a match.
“We’re a small team, with only one returning player,” she said.
UCSB women’s volleyball coach Nicole Lantagne Welch is pumped about her team. The Gauchos are off to a 5-1 start.
“We’re really excited about our team and everything is starting to come together,” she said. “We have an interesting mix of returning experience and young talent. That’s a fun thing to be working with. We have three freshmen in our regular lineup who are contributing a lot.”
Veterans Lindsey Ruddins and Rowan Ennis paced the Gauchos to a 3-0 record at the Virginia Commonwealth Tournament.
For Ennis, it was a homecoming, and she celebrated with 32 kills, a .365 hitting percentage and nine blocks ion the three matches.
Ruddins, a two-time All-American, led the way with 59 kills, nine blocks and 34 digs. She was named to the all-tournament team.
The Gauchos make their home debut Friday and Saturday in the Thunderdome Classic. They open Friday at 6 p.m. against University of San Diego, a NCAA Sweet 16 team last year. On Saturday, they play LaSalle and Harvard.
“We hope to get the community out and behind us,” said Welch. “This team is a special group and we’re excited to see where we go from here.”
Here is a recap of what the coaches said about the athletes they brought to the press luncheon:
Coach Craig Moropoulous on center Sage Sobrado: “Football coaches know how important the center is, he’s the quarterback of the offensive live. He did a fantastic job (in season-opening win over Compton). He was by far the best offensive lineman on the field all day long.”
On defensive back Dallas Redick, a Santa Barbara High alum: “A high-character guy. Very proud of him because he does everything we ask. He had two interceptions and was an outstanding player on defense.”
San Marcos Football
Coach Jason Fowle on senior Jack Huffman: “Jack is a very passionate individual, especially about the sport of football. He loves it and it shows everyday in everything he does. He’s an excellent student. He’s a tight end and also anchors our defense at middle linebacker.”
On junior Isaiah Jones: “Isaiah has come on strong for us as a receiver. We’re going to ask him to step up and play defense for us against Nordhoff because we got a couple of injuries.”
Dos Pueblos Football
Coach Doug Caines on Conner Gleissner: Our battle cry this year is ‘Embrace the Chase.’ You can sit and you can blame, complain, defend what happens. Or, you can embrace the chase. Conner is just a testament to that. He is not a voted captain but he is obviously a captain of this football team. He is a textbook case of a quality character guy who leads by example regardless of his title.”
On Baylor Huyck: “He is a captain voted by his peers and just another amazing character guy who is playing both ways and on special teams. He is setting the tone and the example of what it takes to be a gladiator.”
Santa Barbara High Football
Coach J.T, Stone on junior defensive tackle Noach Wood: ” If you look at our film and you look how guys scheme against us, Noach Wood is playing lights out right now. He’s also a captain on our football team and is a 4.0 student. He does everything we ask him to do as a leader.”
On junior running back Ty Montgomery: A big utility player for us, so he doesn’t leave the field. He had an exceptional game (against Channel Islands). Kicking the ball, he put it in the end zone a couple of times; we asked him to play running back; he’s running, he’s catching, he’s playing linebacker, he did a lot. This kid is doing exactly what I asked him to do.”
Bishop Diego Football
Dillan Bennett, speaking for coach Tom Crawford on linebacker Harrison Crowley: “Harrison is one of the hardest workers on our team in the weight room and on the field. He is undersized for the positions we have him playing but he gives us everything he has and starts and plays extensively at the fullback position. Given his work ethic, coachability and team-first mentality, he has served as a captain this year and is a great model for our other players.”
On linebacker JJ Fuller: “JJ is not the biggest inside linebacker, but he has a high football IQ and uses that to make plays. His commitment to being a team player is evident in the fact that he moved from the fullback position to guard to help provide more depth in view of injuries we’ve been dealing with.”
Dos Pueblos Girls Tennis
Coach Laura Housinger on Danya Belkin: “She was on the top doubles team last year and was a CIF player for us.”
On Annie Field: “She was a singles player and is switching to doubles and is enjoying the challenge so far. (Annie and Danya) both have positive energy and great leadership.”
Carpinteria Girls Tennis
Mario Robinson, speaking for coach Charles Bryant on Sydney Endow: “Sydney is a four-year varsity singles player and has played No. 1 or 2 all four years. She’s a crafty lefty. At her best, when she’s dictating the points from the baseline, she can hold her own against some of the top players in the area. You can usually count on her to get 2-3 points for us in dual matches.”
On Jeanette Carrillo: “She’s three-year starter and has to be one of the most improved players we’ve had here in awhile. She’s an aggressive net player who loves to approach.”
San Marcos Girls Volleyball
Co-Coach Tina Brown on senior Bella Johnson: “She’s one of our right-side crushers. A lefty, so she brings a little different look. She does her job very efficiently in the front row and is great for us.”
On senior middle Brynn Sofro: “She’s done an incredible job. She was on fire against San Luis Obispo. She had 11 kills out of 15 attacks. She starting to push people around a little bit (on the block), which we like. She’s like the catalyst for our offense right now. And she passes.”
On senior libero Grace Matthews: “She’s been the catalyst for this program. She digs everything … nothing drops. She’ll run in the stands, knock people over. She’s taking this seriously; she’s the one pushing everybody at all times.”
Bishop Diego Girls Volleyball
Coach Dillan Bennett on Sydney Naour: “Sydney played a great match (in 5-set win over Villanova Prep), very consistent for us. She was playing smart volleyball on the right side as an opposite. She made a couple of key digs at the end of the match to keep us alive and eventually turned the corner for us.”
On Julia Gregson: “She played out of position. She’s normally our starting libero but she had to play outside hitter (against Villanova Prep). She led the team in point scoring with 14 points. (Julia and Sydney) have done a great job helping me shape the program and the culture to how I’d like to see it at Bishop Diego.”
Carpinteria Girls Volleyball
Mario Robinson, speaking for coach Dino Garcia on senior middle Eva Gropper: “One of our captains. She is great at bringing the team together under pressured moments. Eva always gives her team 100 percent and does an excellent job defending the net. Her hitting power is consistent.”
On libero Emily Montoya: “She provides solid communication on and off the court. Her fearless attitude is always present no matter who she is defending against. She is a great example of ‘Warrior Spirit Never Dies.’”
SBCC Women’s Volleyball
Coach Kit Niksto on Bishop Diego alum Lauren Holsted: We call her ‘Lo’ because we have two Laurens on the team. Lo has been solid and consistent from day 1 as I knew she would be.”
On Lauren Wold: “She is one of our two setters and the only healthy setter on our roster, so she has been busting her butt running a 5-1 (offense) in our last three matches. She is one of those girls who will put her head down and do whatever you ask.”