John Dvorak, Co-Founder & Publisher: John graduated from Cate School in 1998, where he played basketball and soccer. He received his degree in print journalism from New York University in 2002, with a minor in Latin American studies. After college, he spent two years in Vail, Colorado before moving to the Hawaiian island of Kauai for two more years. At the age of 26, John returned to Santa Barbara and took a job as a page designer and editor for the Santa Barbara News-Press sports department, where he worked until July of 2008. John and Blake founded Presidio Sports in late 2008, and today John acts as Publisher but still enjoys event photography.
Barry Punzal, Senior Editor: With more than 30 years of experience in sports journalism — including 25 years covering local sports at the Santa Barbara News-Press — Punzal has covered everything from the Olympics to the rise of the UCSB’s men’s soccer program to national powerhouse under Tim Vom Steeg. Punzal was a contributing writer for Presidio Sports before taking on a larger role in August of 2010. Since then, Barry has been responsible for publishing hundreds of local sports articles and videos.
Blake Dorfman, Co-Founder: Blake is a 2002 alumnus of Laguna Blanca School, where he played volleyball and basketball before moving on to the University of Southern California. There he wrote for the sports and opinion pages of The Daily Trojan, while also working nights on the Los Angeles Times prep sports desk and appearing regularly on AM 1540′s The Petros Papadakis Show. Blake received his bachelor’s degree in communication in 2006 with an emphasis in media studies, and accepted a job as a sports reporter for the Santa Barbara News-Press shortly thereafter. While at the News-Press, he covered local athletes at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, and also had a radio program, “Sports Live in the 805,” on AM 1290 KZSB from October 2007 until leaving the company in August of 2008. Blake stepped down from his principal role with Presidio Sports in 2010 to pursue a teaching career.
Lakey Peterson: This teenage surfer from Santa Barbara is taking the world by storm. The 18-year-old was a semifinalist at the U.S. Open of Surfing at the age of 15 and a finalist at 16. At 17, she qualified for the ASP Women’s World Tour and won her first U.S. Open of Surfing title in August, 2012. Lakey wrote about her surfing adventures for PresidioSports.com from 2009 through 2011, giving her fans in her home town a window into her blossoming professional career.
Randy Weiss: Freelance writer Randy Weiss joined the Presidio Sports team in November 2009 – or shortly after making a flip comment about ‘always wanting to be a sports writer.’ His WeissCrax column showcases a fun, creative flair and the lighter side of sports — or sportz, as he calls it. Randy’s work from Presidio Sports has surfaced in Parade Magazine and Runner’s World. He also cranks out many of our Sports Figure of the Month and Volunteer of the Month feature stories. Weiss can usually be found on the pool decks at local water polo matches … in the ocean for Reef & Run and Nite Moves summer series…and at a zillion community and sporting events around town.
Vince Agapito:Vince is a 36-year firefighter who played football and baseball in high school and graduated in 1970. After playing an additional year of baseball at El Camino College, Vince moved up to UCSB where he graduated in 1975. Vince’s two daughters and son played water polo, volleyball, baseball and football at Santa Barbara High School which provided him the opportunity to get started in sports photography. A self-taught photographer, Vince believes a solid understanding of the sports one shoots is critical to anticipating the action and capturing the excitement of athletics.
James Sinclair: James was born and raised in Santa Barbara where he attended Santa Barbara High School and played baseball for four years. James began interning for Presidio Sports in the Winter of 2009 while enrolled at SBCC, where he worked for the Channels as their Photography Editor and Editor in Chief. James, who has also worked with the Santa Barbara Daily Sound and The Independent, is currently continuing his career in the Bay Area.
Frances Chase Dunn: A former NCAA track & field athlete at UC Santa Barbara and hurdles coach at San Marcos High School. Frances covered racing events for Presidio including the Santa Barbara Triathlon and Santa Barbara International Marathon, and wrote a series of running product reviews.
James Crosby: The photo editor of Santa Barbara City College’s The Channels student newspaper, James shoots sports photos for Presidio Sports as a way to develop his portfolio and gain intimate experience as a professional sports photographer.
Paula Ersly: Paula has been writing exceptional sports movie reviews for us during her junior year at UCSB. The bay area native has reviewed hollywood wide-releases such as The Fighter and 127 Hours, while also checking out local screenings of surf films and tackling all of our coverage for the Santa Barbara International Film Festival.
Chic Perkins: Perkins has 28 years of sports journalism under his belt. The first 13 were with the Los Angeles Herald Examiner until it folded in Nov. 1989. There he was the Herald’s motorsports columnist/beat writer for 12 years which included yearly coverage of the Indianapolis 500, Daytona 500, Long Beach Grand Prix and all other significant Southern California motorsports events. Also served as a general assignment writer and covered all major L.A. professional teams — L.A. Dodgers, Angels, Lakers, Clippers, Rams, Raiders. In Jan. 1990, Perkins started a 15-year stint in the sports department of the Santa Barbara News-Press. Highlghts included beat writer of the short-lived Santa Barbara Islanders professional basketball team, four years coverage of L.A. Raiders home games, the 1994 Super Bowl, eight years as beat writer of the UCSB baseball team, as well as general assignment for all prep sports.
Dan Shiells: Dan Shiells spent 25 years as a sports writer for the Santa Barbara News-Press and spent 20 years as the prep editor. He retired from the News-Press in 2004 to pursue a masters degree in history and today teaches history at City College. He continues to write occasionally for various newspapers. Dan came to Santa Barbara in 1969 to attend UCSB and never left, although his wife, a local since 1971, still refers to him as a tourist.
Dave Loveton: A former point guard at Glendale High, Dave was the sports editor of the school paper in high school, junior college (Glendale) and at UCSB. He spent 24 years as a sports writer at the Santa Barbara News-Press (1981-2005) with the highlight coming in 1988 when he covered the Super Bowl, NBA Finals and World Series. Dave has been the Sports Information Specialist at SBCC since 2006, writing stories about 17 Vaquero teams, updating the athletic website and serving as PA announcer. He’s also the Media Relations Director for the L.A. Lightning, a pro basketball team which features a handful of ex-NBA players. The Lightning captured the International Basketball League title in 2009.
Mike Traphagen: Traphagen, a Santa Barbara native, began reporting on local sports as a KEYT-TV intern and Santa Barbara News-Press freelancer in 1993. He earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from San Jose State University in 1998 and accepted his first job out of college as a sports writer for the Sherman (Texas) Herald-Democrat newspaper. In 2000, he began a six-year run as a staff writer in the News-Press sports department. He’s currently a copy editor for Miller-McCune magazine (www.miller-mccune.com).
John Zant: A leader in local sports journalism for the past four decades, Zant has been a fixture in the Santa Barbara sports community as a long-time writer at the Santa Barbara News-Press and more recently for The Santa Barbara Independent (see his weekly columns at The Santa Barbara Independent. In his PresidioSports.com debut on Oct. 3, Zant was on hand to witness more Santa Barbara sports history, as Santa Barbara High quarterback John Uribe set two county records in a 51-21 thrashing of San Luis Obispo. What a return to Friday night football!