SBCC football
SBCC coach Craig Moropoulos is joined by Isaac Lopez and Lucas Olgiati at Monday’s Round Table Athletic Luncheon. (Barry Punzal / Noozhawk photo)

After falling short in three close games, the fourth one got away from the San Marcos football team last Friday.

Coach Jason Fowle felt it “was the first game all season we didn’t show improvement,” he said of the 41-20 loss to Nordhoff during Monday’s Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table press luncheon at Harry’s Plaza Cafe. “We’re disappointed because we certainly expected to play better against Nordhoff than we did, especially since we’ve been so close in the previous weeks.”

The Royals lost their first three games by a total of 14 points.

“There’s no magic words to fix anything, we just got to keep working,” said Fowle.

SBCC football coach Craig Moropoulos, said coming back to the Athletic Round Table press luncheon lifted his spirits after his team suffered a 35-13 loss against San Bernardino Valley College last Saturday in its home opener.

“The Round Table is always good at bringing you out of the doldrums,” he said. “Coming here and seeing a lot of familiar people who are always upbeat, they bring you out of the doldrums when you lose a game.”

Moropoulos said it was important to put the loss behind them and move forward.

Santa Barbara High football coach JT Stone shared that sentiment after his team turned the ball over six times in a 28-13 loss at St. Bonaventure last Friday.

“We have totally forgotten about that game, but at the same time we have to learn from our mistakes because we have a great football team we’re playing this Friday at Pacifica High School,” Stone said. “They’re the fastest team that I’ve seen in a long time. We’re going to try to match them.

“We’re up for the task. We’re going to take our mistakes from the St Bonnie game and improve there and make sure we’re improved Friday.”

Dos Pueblos coach Doug Caines has been impressed how his team turned things around after losing 49-0 against Pacifica. The Chargers have since won two in a row, beating Ventura and Buena.

“We got better from that game believe or not,” he said. “It’s been nice to be on a roll two weeks after that. We’re learning how to win, and learning how to win our way.”

Dos Pueblos has a bye this week.

Carpinteria will become the first local team to start league play on Friday, hosting Fillmore in the Citrus Coast League opener. 

The other teams in the seven-team league are Santa Paula, Santa Clara, Malibu, Nordhoff and Hueneme.

“Our league is a mystery,” said Carpinteria coach Rick Candaele, who admitted he just learned the name of the league. “It’s going to be really competitive. Fillmore is a fine team, so it’s really hard to tell how that’s going to work out.”

Here’s a recap of what the coaches said about the athletes they brought to the luncheon.

SBCC Football

Moropoulos on Dos Pueblos alum, safety Isaac Lopez: “You DP guys, if you know ‘Lefty,’ you know he says very few words, but when he speaks it’s from the heart. I appreciate that. 

“He’s an excellent teammate and team member.”

On sophomore Lucas Olgiati’s perfomance in the San Bernardino Valley game: “He had a pick-6 to start the scoring for us and just does a great job on defense for us. He had to punt for us and that was not something he was ready to do. But he did a great job for us, averaged about 37 yards a punt.  He had a fantastic game. He’s a leader and a captain for us.”

Santa Barbara High Football

Stone on sophomore running back/linebacker Justin Perez: “Justin has been a tremendous workhorse for the football program. You have your kids you hand your hat on, he’s definitely one of the kids I hang my hat on. We lean on him a lot and we’re going to lean on him again this Friday.”

On junior Dakota Hill: “He’s a tremendous football player who has a tremendous skill set. He’s a top-of-the-line corner and plays a little bit of wideout. We hope he continues to grow with the program and grow within his own self. The sky’s the limit for him.”

San Marcos Football

Fowle on senior Tommy Schaefer: “Tommy is a charismatic young man. He’s performed well for us at a high level. We’re certainly going to continue to lean on him and feed off his ability to create big plays.”

On senior linebacker Jafet Gomez: “Jafet has been our leading tackler at middle linebacker every game and his performance has been especially gritty due to the fact he’s been battling an injury.  He’s got a mindset that he’s going to be out there all game long on defense and every special team. He’s a gritty player and we’re lucky to have him.”

Carpinteria High Football

Candaele on  junior running back/strong safety Jacob Macias: “Jacob is baller. I never take him off the field, but he gets cramps and he has to come off every game. Jacob can play and he’s not going to get off the field, either.”

On senior wide receiver/defensive back Brady Sturdivan: “He plays taller than he looks. He’s about 6-2 and plays like he’s 6-6. Right after the (Viewpoint) game, one of our boosters came up to me afterward and said: ‘Why you don’t you throw to Brady more?’ I thought we did. He said, ‘No. If he’s going catch three, why don’t you throw five times to him, so he’ll catch five.’

“We’re considering that.”

Bishop Diego Football

Athletic Director Mike Cano said receiver Isaia Morones, had six receptions for 157 yards, including a 76-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Jake Engel in the Cardinals’ 41-28 win over Nipomo.

“We got a little bit of a glimpse of how we could play in the first half against Nipomo. We scored 34 points,” said Cano. “We just got to put that all together for four quarters.”

Bishop (2-2) plays at Golden Valley (1-3) on Friday in a rematch of last year’s CIF-SS Division 6 championship game.

Dos Pueblos Football

Caines on senior kicker Jesse Mollkoy, who’s made seven field goals: “Our field is under renovation. He hasn’t kicked through an upright on our campus since 300 days ago. It’s a real testament to his ability to go out to some other local high schools and work on his craft.

Jesse Mollkoy

Jesse Mollkoy has kicked seven field goal in four games.

“We finally got a portable upright so he can practice with us. Kudos to him and his hard work. We’re just excited to have a weapon like that on offense.”

On senior linebacker/tight end Nico Martinez: “He’s an old-school type of football player that doesn’t show up on the stat sheet. He’s here today because of his commitment to what I think is not in vogue, which is: ‘I’m gong to line up with my hand in the dirt right next to the linemen and we’re gone to battle in the trenches.

“It’s impressive to watch him make a commitment to the style of football we’re playing and get after it.”

On senior quarterback David Leon: “He’s really quarterbacked the offense to perfection, quite honestly. It’s been awesome to watch David command that offense and keep those guys accountable and working hard in practice.”

On senior running back Eric Lopez: “We’re a shade under 900 yards (as a team) and Eric doesn’t have all of those yards. In a different offense, he’d be the premiere running back, but Eric has had to share the load with four other running backs. And it takes a lot of ego-less players to step up and be in a team and share the reps. 

“It’s really awesome to watch these young men be humble and understand what family means and doing what’s best for the team. That’s DP football this year.”

San Marcos Girls Golf

Coach Sarah Ashton on four-year player Allison Seoane: “Allison is an excellent example of the kind of kid you want to coach.  Give her a direction, she does it; she’s already halfway through doing it by the time you finish your sentence. She’s super responsible, an excellent student. Just a wonderful kid to have leading on the team.”

Bishop Diego Girls Golf

Coach Mike Cano on junior co-captain Grace Hay: “She is our leader of the team. Her work ethic on the golf course is amazing. She has a .9 handicap and drives the ball over 260 yards. She also holds 4.5 grade point average.” 

Santa Barbara High Girls Golf

Coach Ryan Throop on sophomore Lizzie Goss: “She’s a very good player. She has really improved in her game. Her dad, Dave, was a Division 1 golfer, so Lizzie gets a lot of advice from home.”

On sophomore Melia Haller: “Melia was our MVP last year. She’s consistently our low golfer. She consistently works hard. When the season ends, she doesn’t pack her bag in the closet. She continues to play junior golf, goes out to the course with her dad and brother —just an example of hard work and really enjoying the game.”

The pair have helped the Dons to their best start in 10 years. 

San Marcos Boys Water Polo

Coach Peera Sukavivatanachai on freshman goalie Ben Webber who just turned 14 on Friday: “In the Santa Barbara Invitational, he recorded 15 saves against San Clemente, five of which were one-on-nobody blocks, including a penalty block.”

On senior Kellen Radtkey: He’s our primary 2-meter defender, and he’s just a great all-around athlete: very fast, very agile.”

Carpinteria Boys Water Polo

Coach Stephen Kim on senior Solomon Nahooikaika: “He’s my most all-around athlete, really amazing. He’s got a great sports IQ. A coach’s dream, really.”

On Ali Hamadi: “He’s taken on more at the offensive end. He scored 18 goals over the week at the Conejo Tournament D2. We were successful to win it, so that is amazing in our program.”

On Luke Nahooikaika: “An all-around athlete, really savvy with the game. He actually took on more of the defense.

“These three are a deadly combination. As a coach, I am blessed to have these three athletes here.”

Santa Barbara High Boys Water Polo

Coach Mark Walsh on Dylan Fogg: “He looks like Jeff Spicoli (from the movie Fast Times at Ridgemont High), but he shoots the ball like no one you’ve ever seen. He has a whip for an arm, he’s got a great shot. He’s really turned into a great starter for us his year. I knew he had a great shot but what I’m really impressed with is his passing.”

On Chase Raisin: “He played a lot for us a sophomore and this year he’s one of our best players. He’s still figuring out how important he is to our team . He plays with a lot of passion, energy and desire. He’s as competitive a kid you’ll find in the pool.  Sometimes it gets the best of him and sometimes it works out well for us.

“He’s trying to find that fine line of how it works so he can be the best player for us as he can be.”

UCSB Men’s Water Polo

The Gauchos (7-1-1) host UC San Diego and top-ranked UCLA in a Thursday day-night doubleheader. 

The UC San Diego is at noon and the match against the Bruins of UCLA is at 7 p.m.

“Love to see the local high school programs get out and support us at least at the 7 p.m. game,” coach Wolf Wigo said. “It will be a great match. UCLA is the No. 1 team in the country, so you get to see top local players as well as the best players in the country.”

The Gauchos are 1-1 against top-10 teams, losing a close game to Cal and beating Long Beach State.

“We got a great team this year, with only 1 senior on the travel squad,” Wigo said. “We’re looking to compete against the best teams, and next year is even going to be stronger for us.”

Cottage Concussion Clinic

Jenn Wobig of Cottage Hospital announced that the Cottage Children’s Medical Center and the Cottage Concussion Clinic is holding an informational event called “Concussion Discussion” on Wednesday, Sept. 12 at the Page Youth Center from 6 p.m. to 7:30.

The event is free.

“It’s really what parents and coaches need to know about concussions,” said Wobig.

Online registration is recommended. Go to cottagehealth.org/concussion-discussion.

Noozhawk sports editor Barry Punzal can be reached at bpunzal@noozhawk.com. Follow Noozhawk Sports on Twitter: @NoozhawkSports. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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Barry Punzal, Sports Editor

— Noozhawk sports editor Barry Punzal can be reached at bpunzal@noozhawk.com. Follow Noozhawk Sports on Twitter: @NoozhawkSports. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.