Student-athletes represent Bishop Diego girls volleyball, football and cross country at Monday's luncheon. (Diego Sandoval / Noozhawk Photo)

Scott Ryker was named the Special Olympics Athlete of the Month and local high school and college coaches gave updates on their respective squads as the fall sports schedule nears the halfway point for the high school teams.

Scott Ryker poses with his Special Olympics Athlete of the Month award.

Ryker was given the honor because of his participation and performance in bowling.

“Over the past bowling session, Scotty has demonstrated commitment to improve his bowling,” coach Cecilia Murray said. “In recognition of his outstanding dedication, boundless possibility and perseverance, we proudly celebrate Scotty.

“He reminds us that with determination and a joyful spirit, we can overcome any obstacle and inspire others to do the same.”

As for the rest of the luncheon, local high school teams currently in season have found their respective identities and are ready to attack the second half of the season.

On the volleyball court, both Laguna Blanca and Santa Barbara High spoke to the state of their teams with half of the season already under their belts.

“We’re learning how to stay more engaged and more mentally focused,” Laguna Blanca girls volleyball coach Jason Donnelly said. “We’re excited about the second round of league.”

Linnea Mendoza, representing Santa Barbara High volleyball, echoed that sentiment about the Dons squad that currently sits in second place in the Channel League with a record of 7-2.

“We’re definitely finding our stride and our energy as we go into the second half of the season,” Mendoza said.

Laguna Blanca’s football team is also heading towards the midway point of the season and has experienced plenty of success up to this point, holding a 4-0 record.

“We’re off to a tremendous start,” Laguna Blanca athletic director Matt Steinhaus said. “It’s been a really good start and an exciting time for Laguna football.”

San Marcos football, meanwhile, has begun Channel League play 0-4 after facing the three teams that shared last year’s league title in Rio Mesa, Pacifica and Santa Barbara. The Royals also fell to Buena, 11-7, last week.

Despite the losing streak, San Marcos head coach Ralph Molina is optimistic about the second half of the season and his team’s chances at a playoff spot.

“We’re still in a good position where we’re at because we played the big teams up front in league,” Molina said. “I like where we’re at, we’re going to take advantage of this bye week to keep getting better.”

Highlights from last week’s college action were Westmont cross country runner Zola Sokhela being named PacWest Runner of the Week after winning the Master’s Invitational, UCSB Men’s Soccer head coach Tim Vom Steeg earning his 300th win in a rivalry victory over Cal Poly and Santa Barbara City College Women’s Water Polo improving to 11-0 to begin the season.

The student-athletes in attendance, by order of appearance:

San Marcos Girls Tennis: Ava Vasquez, Mya Shenoda

Laguna Blanca Girls Volleyball: Ginger Finney, Danica Rux

Laguna Blanca Football: Mason Segal, Ethan Kerrington

Laguna Blanca Girls Tennis: Caroline Kenny, Danica Damiani, Grace Trautwein

San Marcos Football: Manny Verdugo, Jacob Murillo

Santa Barbara City College Football: Joe Becerra, Ryan Gillum

Santa Barbara Girls Volleyball: Gwen Chenoweth, Stella Borgioli

Bishop Diego Girls Tennis: Anja Faasbind, Rafaela Fay

Bishop Diego Cross Country: Joe Simalan, Loma Merdie

Bishop Diego Girls Volleyball: Wynter Thorne-Thomsen, Sofia Parisotto

Bishop Diego Football: Dominic Herrera, Isaiah Kitt

Carpinteria Cross Country: Nathan Curillo, Mika Mulikin

Carpinteria Girls Volleyball: Alexiana Jaimes, Jenny Valencia

Santa Barbara Football: Kai Mault, Damian Stehno, Bode Fauskee

Dos Pueblos Girls Volleyball: Jayden Jones

Providence Girls Tennis: Amber Petraitis Regan, Aza Elwood

Providence Girls Volleyball: Olivia Leflang, Cate Douglas