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.
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