Bishop Diego Athletic Director and assistant football coach Aaron Skinner said the Cardinals “learned a lot of lessons” from Saturday’s heartbreaking 38-34 loss to Fresno-Central on Saturday at La Playa Stadium.
Central, a perennial powerhouse in the CIF-Central Section, rallied from 17 points down in the final quarter and scored the winning touchdown on pass with 2.7 seconds left.
“We’re going to be a better team from that loss,” Skinner said. “We know from looking at the film that we were the better team. We just didn’t finish. That’s a good lesson for us to learn. That’s why we scheduled teams like Central, because we have a really tough league.
“That game will pay off for us at some point this year. We have no doubt about that.”
Skinner introduced quarterback AJ Vele and safety/running back Isaac Burquez.
The left-handed Vele showed his full capability against Central.
“I know we don’t throw the ball as much as Santa Barbara does, but this game we needed him to make some big plays and he did. He went 9 for 14 for 146 yards and two touchdowns, just a really efficient game. In critical downs, he ran the ball very well and got key first downs.
“So we got a glimpse into what he can do for our offense.”
Burquez has stepped into a key leadership role in the secondary.
“He just does a great job,” said Skinner. “He’s the third running back in a rotation of really good backs that we have.
“These two guys are key components to our team.”
The Cardinals (3-1) travel to Downey to play a talented St. Pius/St. Matthias team on Friday night.
Santa Barbara High
Abel Renteria led an explosive offense in a 47-7 rout at Oxnard for the Dons’ first Channel League win.
“He’s our general,” said coach J.T. Stone. “He’s been with me for a long time, so my expectations of him are pretty high. And he deals with me every day.
“He’s only a junior, but the sky’s the limit for him. We have a lot of work to do, but he’s a gamer. He moves the chains for us.”
Stone introduced middle linebacker Mikey Cabral, who is listed at 5-foot-10, 175 pounds.
“We don’t have the biggest and baddest kids, but this kid is short and he’s bad. And, he can hit, he’s tough and he loves to play football,” said Stone.
He called Benicio Holland Garcia “the hardest working kid that I’ve ever been around in coaching, ever.
“This kid, I would hire him in a second just off his work ethic. He is just a workhorse. His goal is to be a fireman, and I will tell you right now he will do that, 100 percent. He is why you coach.”
The Dons (3-1, 1-1 in league) return to Peabody Stadium to play Ventura, which is 3-1 and 2-0.
“Ventura has been a thorn in our butt. They play us well,” said Stone. “Our guys know what’s at stake, and we’re gong to be ready.”
Senior defensive end/tight end Johnny Frohling and free safety/linebacker/receiver Owen Lauderdale represented the Royals.
Lauderdale is the team’s leading tackler, averaging 12 per game.
“He plays with one speed — all out on every play,” said Athletic Director Abe Jahadhmy, speaking for coach Ralph Molina.
Frohling “has become a force on defense and is catching the ball more and becoming a vital part of our offense,” said Jahadhmy.
The Royals (2-2, 0-2) host Buena on Friday night.
Juan Carlos Conteras found a home at the center position, coach AJ Pateras said. “JC is starting to become a leader. He holds himself to a pretty high standard, and you can see it in how he practices.”
Pateras said Brody Fredrickson is leader on and off the field.
“He’s been really vital to developing some of our younger juniors for the expectations of going forward when he’s not there.
“I want to highlight both (Contreras and Fredrickson) because they are starting to really control the tempo of what’s expected of the players on our team.”
The Chargers (2-2, 0-2) host a tough Pacifica team on Friday night.
Coach Mario Robinson brought quarterback/linebacker Talon Trumble, two-way lineman Israel Samaguey and defensive back/wide receiver Sebastian Hernandez, who were instrumental in the Warriors coming from behind to beat Channel Islands, 16-13, to end a 14-game losing streak two weeks ago.
Carpinteria (1-2) had a bye last week.
Samaguey, the anchor on both lines, has recovered two fumbles this season.
Hernandez held Channel Islands’ best receiver without a reception. He has three interceptions on the season. On offense, he caught a 25-yard touchdown pass from Trumble.
Trumble enjoys running the ball and dishing out hits. On the drive for the winning score, he led the Warriors 75 yards, all gained on the ground.
“It was a great win for Carp,” said Robinson. “We’re looking forward to keeping that momentum going against Brentwood at home this Friday night.”
Coach Craig Moropoulos praised quarterback Trent Luera and defensive lineman Jordan Tagaloa for their leadership and getting the job done in a 45-7 win at Orange Coast.
The win came after a demoralizing season-opening loss against county rival Allan Hancock.
Moropoulos said Luera and Tagaloa don’t talk much, but “whenever they do it’s always something pivotal, it’s always something smart and always something correct.”
The 1-1 Vaqueros are back on the road Saturday at West L.A.
Coach Dwayne Hauschild said senior middle Brooke Hoadley found her groove in the middle of a five-set win over Oxnard. She was coming off a bout of COVID-19.
“Her service game was fantastic, her blocking has come along, and we’re starting to see the Brooke pre-COVID that we were hoping to see. And it’s only going to go up from there.”
Hauschild said senior libero and defensive specialist Lily Blankenhorn plays like that Labrador dog trying to get a ball that’s rolled under the couch.
“She’s relentlessly going for it. You got to calm her down,” he cracked. “She’s everywhere on the court at all times trying to keep the play alive.”
He noted that sophomore outside hitter Elena Thomas deserved to be the Athlete of the Week conversation after a big 22-kill performance against Oxnard and a strong weekend at the San Luis Obispo Tournament.
“She didn’t really even understand the need for ice, but after this weekend we’re like, ‘You’re starting to ice that shoulder every day’ because she’s banging away for us all the time.”
The Royals (4-1 in league) are at Buena on Tuesday and host rival Dos Pueblos on Thursday.
“Get your tickets early because I guarantee it’ll be a packed house,” said Hauschild.
Coach Megan O’Carroll introduced senior opposite Makeila Cervantes and libero Malia Brofferio.
O’Carroll said Cervantes “is an absolute force on the opposite side. She’s very, very effective for us and has a very heavy arm.”
The coach said her team captain will be playing next season at Pomona Pitzer.
Brofferio has played several positions and gives 100 percent at each one. She’s been especially effective as a defensive specialist and libero.
“She has the ‘it’ factor that you want to have on the court. It’s really fun to always know that I can throw Malia in wherever we need her and she’s going to work super hard.”
Dos Pueblos (8-3, 4-1 in league) are at Oxnard on Tuesday.
Santa Barbara High
Setter/opposite Gracie Meinzer and middle Augustine Wooten have been key to the Dons going 4-1 in Channel League.
Coach Kristin Hempy said Meinzer’s leadership and experience have been a blessing.
“She plays all the way around and is just a versatile player. She’s really a huge part of our team both on offense and defense.”
Wooten has stepped up to become a solid middle blocker/attacker.
“I feel like the last couple of matches, between her and our other middle (Nicole Schuetz), we’re getting like 15-20 kills a match, which is pretty big coming out of the middle at the high school level. Her numbers have really risen in the last couple of matches.”
The Dons (4-1 in league) play at Ventura on Tuesday and are at Rio Mesa on Thursday.
After some tweaks to the lineup, the Cardinals are playing better. They rallied to beat La Reina in five sets in their Tri-Valley League opener last week.
Sophomore Eliana Urzua and senior Emma Coglizer return from last season’s CIF championship team. They are team captains.
“I’m very proud of the effort they’ve made to lead our team thus far,” said Skinner, reading notes from coach Dillan Bennett.
Both players have been put in multiple positions this season. Coglizer is primarily a libero and Urzua an outside hitter. Bennett added the role of setter to Urzua’s duties
A CIF player of the year and a MVP at the AAU Junior Nationals over the summer, she “is one of the best, if not the best, hitter in our community,” said Bennett. “To be a selfless leader and recognize that we needed stability in the setting position, she made the decision that was best for the team and accepted that new role. And she executed it as if she’d been playing the position for years.”
The Cardinals (4-8, 1-0) travel to Grace Brethren in Thursday.
Coach Jonny Sapp said the Royals are eyeing an outright Channel League title this year after sharing the crown in 2021.
San Marcos started league playoff on a good note, beating rival Santa Barbara. The Royals play Dos Pueblos in a couple of weeks.
“I feel like we have a little bit of an edge, but I know you guys have some talent on that team as well. But, we’re undefeated at the moment and we’re hoping to stay undefeated and hoping to win Channel League.”
Sapp has the same starting lineup that lost in the Division 2 quarterfinals last season and some talented newcomers.
“Unfortunately, we moved up to Division 1, which is a little bit stronger. But we’re hoping for a Cinderella story and we’re going to make a big push for it.”
Natasha Gill is a four-year player. She was a league singles finalist as a freshman and won the title the last two years.
“She’s a very reliable player, a really good team captain and she’s super easy to teach and coach.
Kate Selby “is our up-and-coming star,” he said of the freshman multi-sport athlete. “She would be right now our No. 2 singles, but I have her No. 1 doubles to kind of even out the team.”
Coach Pete Kirkwood has a squad of 17 players to work with, led by senior Samantha Kenney and talented freshman Haley Hubbs.
“It’s like a whole different experience. I’ve never had to worry about substituting before,” he said. “Athletic Director (Aaron) Skinner has generously offered to get us a JV team started.”
First-year coach Rob Schiff said senior Olivia Simon is off to a 9-0 start and sophomore Ellie Triplett is 8-1
“They’re just great examples of what we ask our athletes to do: Compete as hard as you can from first point to the last, and be a great teammate,’ said Schiff.
The Chargers play at Oxnard on Tuesday and host Santa Barbara on Thursday.
Coach Ruth McGolpin said her ears were still ringing after she left Murchison Gym following the Warriors’ four-set win over The Master’s before a packed crowd.
“In my four years as head coach and years there, I’ve never seen the place that crowded,” she said. “Literally, when I left in my car going home, my ears were ringing like I was at a rock concert.”
McGolpin introduced senior setter Keelyn Kistler, who last week was named Golden State Athletic Conference Setter of the Week.
Athletic Director LaDeane Hansten gave the women’s volleyball report. She said the team was missing half its players due to COVID-19 protocols and went 2-5.
“We have everyone back now and have been practicing with new dedication to have a fresh start as a team,” she reported for coach Kat Niksto.
The Gauchos (1-6) will play their first home matches Friday and Saturday night against Georgetown at the Thunderdome.
High school students with their school ID can attend both matches for free.
Coach Micks Purnell said former Santa Ynez coach and Cal Poly runner David Jackson will coach the boys team at DP and he’ll guide the girls squad.
He noted that the DP program has 80 kids this season.
Purnell brought seniors and team captains Tyler Jamieson, Orlando Ye, Ella Gleason and Phoebe Wolfe Lyons. He said they have been great in supporting and mentoring the new crop of freshman runners.
After last week’s Moorpark Invitational, Purnell said the varsity lineups will include freshmen.
“We’re going to have freshmen in the top seven, even scoring,” he said. “So, having people support/mentor who are seniors are basically making it possible for those (new) people to do their best.”
The Cardinals have 16 runners out for the team, Skinner reported. “We’re just really excited about the future of the program.”
He introduced boys team captain Thomas Spieler and sophomore Parker Andelman of the girls team. Andelman, who also plays soccer and competes on the track & field team, set a school record in cross country last season.
The Cardinals host Santa Ynez and Providence in a meet at Chase Palm Park on Wednesday.
Coach Noe Gomez introduced seniors Belen Herrera and Hugo Alvarado as team leaders.
He said Alvarado “is one of the most committed students that’ve ever had on the cross country team.”
Herrera “is an absolute wonderful example of what it takes to be a devoted team member and is always committed to improving.”
Assistant coach Moki Nacario introduced Mackenna Show and Ridley DeSoto. The helped the Dons to a top-15 finish at the Moorpark Invitational