The Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table’s Press Luncheon once again took place under the outdoor covered patio of the Creekside Restaurant. With a different group of coaches and athletes present than last week, many of the coaches expressed their excitement to be back at the traditional Monday local sports gathering during the school year.
“It feels weird to be back at a function like this,” said Santa Barbara swimming coach Mark Walsh. “For a year you’re not used to being around people, but I’m really excited to be back.”
Santa Barbara Baseball
Coach Steve Schuck presented two of the team’s leaders, senior center fielder Oliver McGibben and junior catcher Vince Gamberdella.
“Oliver’s the quiet leader of the team,” said Schuck. “He has tremendous grades, is a hard worker, and we’re expecting big things from him.”
Schuck introduced Gamberdella as one of the more vocal leaders on the team.
“He’s one of the hardest workers I’ve ever coached, and he likes to coach as well and give his input.”
Combined, Schuck stated the two athletes are the “lifeblood of the team,” and their performance largely dictates how well the team does.
This week is rivalry week for the Dons as they gear up to play San Marcos on Wednesday and Dos Pueblos on Friday.
Santa Barbara Swimming
After finishing an abbreviated two-week water polo season, Walsh and the Santa Barbara swim teams will kick off their season this Thursday against Dos Pueblos.
After picking up a concussion during the water polo season, senior Elise Power is back in the water and competing for the Dons.
“She’s one of our best all-around players, and we’re really excited to have her back,” said Walsh.
Walsh also highlighted the contributions of Isabella Obando, who will be attending Loyola Marymount University in the fall on a water polo scholarship.
Walsh brought male swimmers and water polo players Ryan Drake and Sean O’Brien.
Walsh said athletic Drake could probably catch passes in Santa Barbara’s next football game.
He praised O’Brien’s work ethic, stating that the junior will “push himself even when he doesn’t need to be pushed.”
O’Brien excels in the 50, 100, and 200 freestyle events.
Bishop Diego Softball
Filling in for coach MeLinda Matsumoto, Bishop Diego softball assistant Al Cerda praised the athleticism and versatility of freshman Tessa Johansen, who normally plays first base but has been asked to play shortstop this season.
He also complimented the work ethic of sophomore center fielder Lily Simolon, and spoke highly on both girls’ achievements in the classroom.
Bishop Diego Baseball
While coach Pete Stathopoulos couldn’t attend the event, assistant football coach Steve Robles read Stathopoulos’ remarks for the week.
In particular, Stathopolous was eager to highlight senior Devin Goodwin, “one of the team leaders every day at practice,” and Tyler Dutcher, who “gives 100 percent every day.”
Bishop Diego plays this week against Foothill Tech.
Bishop Diego Football
Coach Robles brought four players to highlight: Marcus Chan, Luke Knightly, Lucas Dutcher and Buddy Melgoza.
Chan, the male Athlete of the Week, starts at running back, in the secondary, and serves as the team’s long and short snapper.
“He’s like a coach on the field, and he continues to get better every day,” said Robles.
After coming back from two serious injuries during his sophomore and junior years, senior Buddy Melgoza has thrived this season. He picked off three passes in last week’s win over Bakersfield Christian and had a 93-yard interception for a touchdown in a season-opening win over St. Bonaventure.
Robles also highlighted the achievements and maturity of Luke Knightly and Lucas Dutcher.
Bishop Diego (4-0) will conclude its five-game spring season on Saturday at Newbury Park.
San Marcos Softball
Coach Jeff Swann introduced his starting battery to the luncheon, senior pitcher Allie Fryklund and sophomore catcher Gigi Gritt.
Fryklund allowed two hits in six innings during her last outing against Rio Mesa.
“She pitched like heck” said Swann.
Fryklund will be attending Arizona Christian in the fall with an athletic scholarship.
Swann played off of Gritt’s last name, stating that “her last name is Gritt, and she shows a lot of that.”
After catching eight innings during the first game of a doubleheader Saturday, Gritt came out and threw seven innings in the second game.
“I’m super proud of you for that effort that you put in,” Swann told Gritt.
After a tough doubleheader loss to Rio Mesa, Swann said the team will look to get back on track this week.
Dos Pueblos Girls Lacrosse
Sophomore Avery Ball, the Athlete of the Week, is having an exceptional season for Dos Pueblos. Despite being only a sophomore, Ball leads the team with 19 goals, more than triple than the team’s second-leading scorer.
“She’s incredibly consistent and knows how to get the ball to the girls in the circle,” said coach Jess Delgadillo.
The team is currently ranked 15th in all divisions. Dos Pueblos will take on Newbury Park on Saturday.
San Marcos Football
After a tough loss to Santa Ynez last week, coach Jason Fowle expressed the need for improvement within his team.
“In retrospect, against a team like Santa Ynez, we say thank you for showing us where we come up short,” said Fowle. “We know we gotta get better.”
Fowle introduced George Tracewell and Korey Becker.
Fowle cited Tracewell as the inspirational leader of the team, and praised his toughness in returning from a separated shoulder.
Fowle called Becker a “roll-up-your-sleeves and get-the-job-done kind of guy.” He said the team’s starting center asked to play defense against Santa Ynez to help the team.
San Marcos will end the season this week with a matchup against Dos Pueblos.
San Marcos Swimming & Diving
Coach Chuckie Roth highlighted a group of athletes who have had to overcome “so many obstacles” along the way.
Roth first introduced senior Malia Yim, who is a first-year diver.
“She’s going to be one of the best female divers we’ve had in years,” he said. “She’s a really well-disciplined athlete.”
Kaylene King is the student body president and swim team captain who Roth claimed “had a profound impact” on him as a coach and as a person.
He said King and Yim organized runs, ran a marathon “and just inspired a lot of teammates to get out and do something they’ve never done before.”
Finally, Roth praised the work ethic of Dorienne Larbig, a four-year varsity swimmer.
“She really made a big impact on the other girls with her approach and discipline to swimming,” he said.
The Royals open the swim season Wednesday against Westlake.