Coaches wondering what all the rain is about

Male Athlete of the Week: Bishop Diego's Cody Yokubaitis

The rainy weather brought out mixed emotions at Monday’s Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table Press Luncheon. For the baseball coaches, the wet conditions can lead to scheduling headaches and practice deprivation. But for Bishop Diego boys volleyball head coach Jason Donnelly, the rain was a welcome sight.

“For those of you complaning about the weather and the rain,” Donnelly said. “I just moved back from New Jersey and if you ever want to experience some weather, go spend a couple of winters in the Northeast. I got word that it snowed there this morning, so while rain confuses us in Santa Barbara – sometimes we don’t really know what to do with it – I moved back because I couldn’t stand living in the snow.”

For Donnelly, it was a reminder of how thankful he was to be back in Santa Barbara after living in New Jersey for two years while coaching at Rutgers University. Donnelly brought players Johnny Brand and James Fazio to the luncheon.

Of course, Donnelly is a volleyball coach, so the rain isn’t affecting the play of his team like those out in the elements.

“The problem with the rain is, the pitchers can bullpen in the gym and the infielders even can roll balls to each other, but hitters, we don’t have an enclosed hitting area so we can’t hit,” explained Santa Barbara High’s assistant baseball coach George Rempe. “And as a wise old coach once said, hitting is like shaving, if you don’t do it everyday, you look like a bum.”

Rempe brought Pepe Gil and Nick Below to the luncheon. Below picked up a victory from the pitcher’s mound for the Dons last week while Gil is a slugger in the middle of the Dons’ lineup.

The Ranchero Room at Harry’s was baseball heavy, with every coach unsure of what the week will bring as far as postponements and practice schedules. Rain is expected on at least a couple of days during the week.

Remarkably, few events were postponed over the weekend because Saturday was for the most part dry during the day. Good thing for UCSB’s Matt Vedo, who came one out away from recording the Gauchos’ first no-hitter in 31 years. Vedo and Sean Williams, who were named Big West Players of the Week on Monday, led the Gauchos to a double-header sweep of Nevada before Sunday’s game was rained out. Both were at the luncheon with UCSB head coach Bob Brontsema.

On a weekend seemingly dominated by rain, Pat Cooney’s Carpinteria’s Warriors had their Friday game with Cabrillo postponed but not for what you think. The game was in fact “irrigated-out” as the Conquistadores field was flooded by a broken pipe.

More water could be in the way of the Warriors’schedule this week, which seems ominous given their opponent.

“This week we’re scheduled to play the Sharks of Malibu. They might have an advantage over us,” Cooney said, making his own crack at a rainy weather joke.”

Cooney likes his chances with the guys he brought to Harry’s, Tommy Arellano and Marcus Hutchinson. Arellano is batting .800 through six games and Hutchinson, a sophomore, is maturing quickly.

SBCC was forced to postpone its 18th Annual Golf Classic that was scheduled for Monday because of the heavy rain. The event, held at La Cumbre Country Club, has been rescheduled for April 25th. The event will honor Morrie Jurkowitz, a long-time supporter of the college in both leadership and philanthropic roles. This year’s classic is a four-person scramble with many contests, special gifts and prizes and a silent auction and raffle. The biggest contest is a putt for $50,000.

Female Athlete of the Week: Elisabeth Bransgard

There was also news concerning the Round Table’s High-Five Golf Classic, scheduled for next Wednesday at Sandpiper Golf Club. Several openings just became available, click here for more info. Proceeds benefit local high school athletic departments.

Three San Marcos teams were present with a gathering of several Royals student-athletes. Tony Vannetti brought Will Proctor and JP Aguilar, Jeff Swann brought Kristen Berlo, Jocelyn Flattery and Maria Perez, and Roger Kuntz featured Jackson Kunz and Neil Holliday.

All three Royals teams face crosstown matchups with rival Santa Barbara this week, making for a pivitol week leading up to spring break.


Bishop Diego’s Cody Yokubaitis tossed a beauty of a game for the Cardinals in their Frontier League opener on Friday. The senior threw a complete-game one-hitter while striking out 10 batters against only one walk to lead the Cardinals to a 5-1 victory over Santa Clara. Yokubaitis was on hand to accept the award with teammate Sam Kwock and head coach and father Dan Yokubaitis.

SBCC track & field athlete Elisabeth Bransgard won three events for the Vaqueros at the first WSC Meet of the season, leading her team to a victory over five other schools. Bransgard won the hammer throw, discus and javelin, while placing third in the shotput. Bransgard’s discus and hammer throws are second all-time at SBCC. The freshman from Sweden attended with SBCC’s head track coach Scott Fickerson.

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