It�s the beginning of the winter season for Santa Barbara athletics, and with everyone looking to improve on last year�s performance, this season should prove to be as exciting as ever. But there are a few fall season teams still competing in the CIF playoffs.
One player who has proven himself, not only on the field, but in the classroom as well is the Santa Barbara Athletic Roundtable Scholarship Athlete of the Month, Dos Pueblos soccer defender John Riggs. Riggs was an all-league selection last year as a junior and hopes to earn the honors this year as well. He manages to hold a 4.7 GPA with all advanced placement classes from DP, SBCC and UCSB, and even finds time to participate in Mock Trial.
Santa Barbara High School
Though the girls water polo team is short on players at all three levels, head coach Mark Walsh is excited to see how his team will fare in the tough Channel League this upcoming season.
�We graduated six out of our top seven girls from last year,� said Walsh. �We have some big Speedos to fill.�
Walsh is confident his players will be competitive, especially his senior leaders Thea Sandrich, Ashley Schu and Emily Martin.
San Marcos High School
After a full year of playing without a home court, the boys basketball team finally has a place to play with the completion of the gym. With a new floor and new lighting, head coach Jarrod Bradley is confident his team will start out on the right foot inside the Thunderhut.
Bradley introduced three seniors to the Roundtable. Point guard Trevor Hopkins is the returning points and assists leader. He also introduced Scott Moll and shooting ace Brian Pearson.
Dos Pueblos High School
Head basketball coach Joe Zamora came to the Roundtable to give a preview of the new ‘07-‘08 season. Zamora is anxious to see how fourth-year varsity player Sean Park will handle the pressure of being a first team all-league player last year. Another returning player is senior Ryan Beall, a versatile 6-foot-4-inch point guard that can also play power forward.
DP has one more week of practice and scrimmaging left before they have their opener in Simi Valley.
The girls water polo team kicks off its season on Tuesday with its first match in the new aquatic center, against Los Alamitos.
Head coach Danelle Little will have all but three returning players from last year�s team, which should make for an easy transition into the �08 season. Little has high hopes for players like Michelle Armstrong, Angelia Bottiani, Helen Zukin and Katie Washburn, all of whom she brought along to the Roundtable.
Bishop Diego High School
The Bishop Diego Cardinals defense completed their second straight shutout last Friday, beating Mary Star of the Sea 36-0. It was the team�s first CIF playoff game and one of its most impressive wins of the season, picking the right time to get hot.
Head coach Tom Crawford praised his senior leaders running back Aaron Skinner, quarterback Christian Winnewisser and linebacker David Renick. Winnewisser threw more than 200 yards and three scores while Renick tallied two interceptions on the night.
The 9-2 Cardinals travel to Temple City this Friday as they advance to the quarterfinals of the CIF playoffs.
Carpinteria High School
John Ward knows his job is so much easier with guys like 6-foot-9-inch Ryan Gosselin, and the first ever basketball recruit from Carp High to sign with a D-I school, Jacob Ranger, who has committed to UC Davis. With his big leaders, he has set a goal for his team to win a Tri-Valley League title, a feat they fell one place short of last year.