Local Athletic Trainers
Local school athletic trainers were recognized at the Round Table press luncheon. Those in attendance were, from left: Joseph Farias (SBCC), Cydney Pierce (Laguna Blanca), Kenna Hodeaux (UCSB), Maria Rivera (Westmont), Brian Alvarez (Santa Barbara High) and Hazel Ando (UCSB); seated, from left: Wendy Whitehead (Dos Pueblos) and Susan Houlihan-Davis (SBCC). (Barry Punzal / Noozhawk photo)

Long-time San Marcos track & field coach Marilyn Hantgin called it “a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity we had to watch.”

She was referring to senior Beau Allen’s 7-foot high jump last Saturday at the Ventura Invitational.

Allen became the first prep athlete in Santa Barbara County to clear 7 feet, and he did it on his first attempt after needing three attempts to get over his previous PR of 6-10.

“I just want everyone to understand that this was a remarkable jump by Beau Allen, Hantgin said at Monday’s Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table press luncheon at Harry’s Plaza Cafe.

“Beau has a special talent,” she continued, “not just being athletic and having great body awareness but also the ability to focus and not get bothered by the surroundings. Everyone was cheering and clapping, and he has to stay so focused on what he has to do to perform.

“For everyone that was there, it was really special. I know he’ll continue to keep jumping higher in college, but even this year I know he has a chance to come on top in the State Championships.”

Here is a roundup of what coaches said about the athletes they brought to the luncheon.

Dos Pueblos Tennis

Coach Laura Housinger on Chris Schniepp and Patrik Gupta: “They’re both doubles standouts for our team and are doing really well. They’re very adaptable. They’ve brought a lot of our younger players under their wings. We have 11 freshman on our team of 22 players this year, so they get to be the ones that shape and really help our program grown.”

San Marcos Tennis

Coach Jarrod Bradley on Bryan Shott, who holds a 4.8 GPA: “In the classroom, he gets the job done. He’s always getting his homework done, collaborating well and doing all the things we ask him to do. On the tennis court, very similar. Brian and Alex (Stefanov) play doubles like how it’s supposed to be played: moving their feet, communicating, serving to positions on the court, closing off the net, knowing where to put the ball to win points as opposed to just hammering the ball and hoping it goes in.”

San Marcos Volleyball

Coach Roger Kuntz on Jacob Yinger, Toby Still and Cade McLean: “To make an engine work you gotta have fuel and fire, and this is the fire.”

On Yinger, a sophomore libero: “He’s all over everything, from one end of the court to the other. Jacob is legit, he’s the best libero in the area.”

On Still, a junior outside hitter: “He leads our team in kills and he’s also our primary passer. He’s also one of our best blockers, so far, and he’s a setter by trade.”

On McLean, a sophomore middle: “He had 10 solo blocks against Valencia, a very good team. Last year, he had a patella injury, where he was out all last season. He’s moved into a starting role with our middle hitters and he’s been incredible.”

Santa Barbara High Softball

Coach Brynne Buchanan on Estefana Perez and Pilar Renteria: “Looking over the stats and reviewing our game from last Tuesday, they both dominated the game as my captains. They just really took over and took control, which was awesome.”

Santa Barbara High Baseball

Coach Steve Schuck on Henry Kish: “Henry does the things behind the scenes that I’ve asked him to do. Without him doing that role and that job we wouldn’t be where we are today (4-2 and in first place in league). He works hard, gets great grades.”

On pitcher Carter Park: “I challenged Carter. He wanted to be on varsity and I put him on JV. I got the most amazing text I’ve ever received from a player or parent or a friend the evening I did that. It was basically a player coming to realize that he did need to make change. After Christmas, I said, ‘Son, I’m proud of you. You did it. You’re on varsity.’ He’s a staple in our lineup.”

San Marcos Softball

Coach Jeff Swann on Juliana Madrigal:” In the Santa Barbara game, she got her first opportunity to pitch. She also got her first couple of hits this year. She got the opportunity to finally play a whole game.”

On Maddie Leung: “”Every time she steps in the batter’s box, she bounces just to ground herself. It’s paid off and given her confidence.”

On Cassandra Perez: “She leads us with two home runs (a grand slam against Lompoc, solo homer vs. Santa Barbara).”

Santa Barbara Tennis

Coach Danny Echt on Mason Lender and Taylor Kleine. “These guys know the caliber of Dons tennis. The history is fabulous and they are aware of it. They are using what they have to maintain that legacy. I’m really proud of them. They’re both captains.”

SBCC Softball

Coach Justine Bosio introduced outfielder Shelby Featerston and shortstop/catcher Carson Dunckley.

She noted that her coaching staff is local with Cat Maldonado of Carpinteria and Jasmyn Holmes of Dos Pueblos.

Bishop Diego Baseball

Coach Nick Katzenstein on Jake Koeper: “Jake is a team captain and senior catcher who is our ironman. He basically does all the dirty work behind the plate for every game. That’s tough on a guy. That’s a serious attribute to our team — you keep our pitchers doing the good work that they do. He’s known for his defense but he’s doing some damage with the bat. He’s hitting .333 as switch hitter and leading our team in RBI.”

On Dominic Tuttle. “He works his tail off. This year, as a senior, he’s worked his way into the starting line-up — he’s starting for us in right field. He has never missed a practice his whole time at Bishop Diego. He’s playing solid defense for us.”

San Marcos Baseball

Coach Jacob Pepper on Isaac Villarreal: “A powerful left-handed hitter, he leads our team with two home runs this year, highest on-base percentage, most runs scored, walks and is tied for first in hits. He’s a young man that makes no excuses. If I ask a guy to get something done around the facility, he’ll get it done. He’s a great student as well with 4.0 GPA.”

On Dominic Roderick: “He’s the definition of hard work works. Dom is by far one of the players that makes no excuses, does everything he’s asked to do and more. He’s one of the most coachable kids that I’ve been around. He continues to develop.”

Bishop Diego Softball

Coach MeLinda Matsumoto on freshman Ashlynn Boyd: “My favorite thing about Ashlynn is her hustle and her effort.”

On freshman Jenna Hayes: “Jenna catches, plays first base and now plays shortstop for me. She’s really stepped up to lead those freshmen when they don’t really know what they’re doing. She helps make the team better and leads by example.”

Westmont Baseball

Coach Robert Ruiz on the impact of pitching coach Tony Cougoule: “We have some young guys, and he’s done some incredible things to put them into roles that they might not be ready for. We’re 21 games in and we’ve got the third-best ERA in the country. And that is a huge testament to the work that he’s done and the development that’s happened in the program with those pitchers.”

Carpinteria Tennis

Lucy Carleton, speaking for coach Charles Bryant, on singles player Miles Morgan: “He’s picking where he left off with last year’s success before suffering a knee injury a few matches ago. Our fingers are crossed for a speedy recovery.”

On Kirby Zapata: “He’s had an amazing three-and-a-half years of tennis. He went from a beginner to one of the most consistent and feared doubles players. He and his partner came in second in league last season and now are playing at a higher level and beating several quality teams.”

Luncheon Notes

The Round Table recognized the athletic trainers from the local schools on National Athletic Trainers Day.

“There is an art to it,” said Round Table president Gene Deering, a former soccer player at UCSB. “We’re lucky to have people like this looking out for us. 

“Thank you for everything you guys do.”

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