SBHS pays tribute to soccer legend Guzman

Santa Barbara won its first CIF State Regional boys soccer championship this year, adding to the school’s collection of six Southern Section titles.

Alfonso Guzman didn’t play on any of those championship teams, but he’s had an impact on all of them.

He’s the Godfather of Nosotros, Santa Barbara’s traditional soccer rallying cry for team unity.

Guzman helped lay the foundation for Santa Barbara’s powerhouse program.

Last week he was honored as one of the four new members of Santa Barbara High’s Walk of Fame, a honor roll of distinguished alumni.

Soccer always has been Guzman’s passion, but the sport was foreign to the administration at Santa Barbara High when he was student there in the early 70s.

In his sophomore and junior years, he urged the adminstation to start a soccer team but was turned down both times.

They finally agreed to do it during his senior year.

The rest is history. The program is recognized as one of the best in the CIF.

“His senior year they gave in, and SBHS Nosotos soccer is born,” said Rudy Ybarra, a star player in the mid-70s who played on two CIF championship teams, returned after a pro career and coached the Dons to a title in 1999. He is the first Dons soccer player honored on the Walk of Fame.

Led by Guzman, Santa Barbara played as an independent team in 1972 and won enough games to qualify for the CIF playoffs. It lost in the first round to eventual finalist Cathedral.

After graduating from Santa Barbara, Guzman attended Westmont, where he enjoyed an outstanding career, earning All-American honors three straight years. He’s the school’s fifth all-time leading goal scorer with 53.

He played professionally with the Santa Barbara Condors and the Sacramento franchise of the old American Soccer League.

“Alfonso was a midfielder who had an outstanding left foot and was a great scorer,” said Ybarra. “His soccer insight was top level, as he was a complete team player who always led by example.”

Guzman, who works in the school’s athletic department, continually gives back to the program he helped start by sharing his soccer insight with Dons players.

It’s all about nosotros.

 

 

Comments

  1. Fonzi is a great guy, he deserves this recognition.

  2. Alfonso Guzman: I will always remember his beautiful soccer skills. — And Russ Carr: What a tremendous coach! Thank you both!

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