Packed house at second Round Table Luncheon

   Diane Gaunt’s tearful acceptance of this month’s Special Olympics Athlete of the Month award warmed hearts in the Ranchero Room Monday for the latest Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table luncheon.

Presenter Chris Casebeer described how Gaunt’s cheers can be heard throughout the building when she rolls a strike in her sport of choice, bowling.

Appropriately, Gaunt’s response could be heard throughout Harry’s.

“No doubt about it!”

Before any awards were handed out, however, there was some dough to dish off. High-Five Golf Tournament director Rich Hanna announced that this summer’s tournament raised a total of $17,000, which was distributed out evenly in the form of $3,400 checks going to Carpinteria, Bishop Diego, Santa Barbara, San Marcos and Dos Pueblos High Schools.

One of the hotter topics of the day was San Marcos’ big win in football on Friday. Alvaro Garcia’s 37-yard kick late in the game gave the Royals a 10-8 decision over visiting Rio Mesa, the team’s first win since 2006.

Linebacker Adrian Stimson was named this week’s Round Table Athlete of the Week. Stimson, a senior captain, recorded 12 tackles and called the shots for the defense in the game. Coach Dare Holdren also introduced tight end Max Cavalier, who caught the Royals’ only passing touchdown of last season and hauled in another on Friday.

Holdren recognized JV coach Bobby Brown, whose squad picked up a win as well on Friday after going winless last year.

Jeff Uyesaka’s Dos Pueblos Chargers, along with every other local football team, lost over the weekend, but coaches of those teams showed grace in congratulating the Royals on the victory.

“Congratulations to you guys,” said Uyesaka. “I wish you many more to come, except for when you play us.”

The Chargers opened the season on the road against a tough opponent in San Luis Obispo, and wound up on the short side of a 27-13 decision. Uyesaka said he was pleased with his team’s effort in avoiding a blowout, and had seniors Brennan Eccles and Tyler McGaughey along with him.

“When they put the pads on, they turn into a pretty tenacious group of kids,” he said.

DP plays Cabrillo up in Lompoc on Friday.

Santa Barbara High also opened up the season against a strong opponent in Oxnard. The Yellowjackets returned seven 3-year starters as seniors this season, and the Dons fell as a result of five turnovers.

SBHS assistant coach Sergio Barbosa congratulated the rival Royals and presented a pair of returning all-leaguers in Ian Echternacht and Lenny Vargas. The Dons are down in Beverly Hills this Friday.

Bishop Diego Athletic Director Dan Peeters took to the podium and discussed the Cardinals’ 31-13 loss at the hands of a much bigger St. Joseph team at La Playa Stadium. The Cardinals did get a rushing touchdown out of luncheon attendee Bruce Garcia, however.

The Carpinteria Warriors are down to about 21 active players, but assistant coach Jeff Moorhouse said “what we lack in quantity we certainly make up for in quality.”

Carpinteria fell to Morro Bay 29-11 Friday, and lost junior Eddie Sanchez in the process. Sanchez was at Harry’s on crutches after tearing his ACL, MCL and meniscus in his knee on the first play of Friday’s game. It was a loss of quantity and quality for the Warriors, who face undefeated Nipomo on the road Friday.

SBCC and Laguna Blanca were both beaten handily last week, but Owls coach Ray Robitaille was able to put his 8-man team’s 50-0 loss to second-ranked Windward into perspective.

He pointed out that at least Laguna didn’t lose by as many points as UCLA did Saturday, when the Bruins were shut out 59-0 by BYU. 

The Owls host Valley Christian of Santa Maria on Saturday.

Craig Moropoulos’ Vaqueros went up against College of the Canyons, a team which Moropoulos called the best he’s seen in 24 years of coaching. SBCC lost 56-6, but the coach was proud of how his players came out strong in the second half. The Vaqueros play at Ventura on Saturday night.

San Marcos girls volleyball coach Roger Kuntz is the former leader of the Royals’ football program, and hopes some of Holdren’s success rubs off.

“Football is contagious, and I hope it spreads to our arena,” said Kuntz.

The Royal spikers were in “the giving spirit” according to their coach this week, giving up a 21-12 lead during a loss to Westlake and giving up 24 points on missed serves in a loss at Saugus. Young sophomores Hannah Warwick and Emma Campbell will continue to anchor the back row as the team heads into this weekend’s Dave Mohs Tournament.

Speaking of young volleyball players, Bishop Diego coach Joe Reiken has a whole heap of ’em. The Cardinals have five freshmen in the starting lineup, and are steadily gaining experience. Reiken brought along two of those freshmen in Nicole Tetherow and Haley Fuller. Lone senior Heather McIntyre was also present for the Cardinals, who play Laguna Blanca on Tuesday night.

The Owls are on the opposite side of the experience spectrum, with nine returners from last year’s CIF-finalist team. First-year coach Jim Alzina’s girls made it to the semifinals of the weekend tourney before losing to defending Division III champ Village Christian. He brought along Jackie Harvey and Jesse Ditmore, who did a Phil Dalhausser impersonation at one point in the loss, recording five consecutive solo blocks.

Carpinteria also competed in the Laguna Blanca tourney, and coach Katie Dolge said that her girls initially had “terrified looks on their face,” but got better and better each game. One player who is rarely terrified is setter and captain Hannah Denitz, whom Dolge described as a “leader on and off the court.” Outside hitter Kelsey Jones was also in attendance.

Dos Pueblos has a young but talented roster of spikers, but assistant Tina Brown also said it has come along with one of the most challenging schedules that the team has ever had. The Chargers are 1-1 after beating Valencia and falling to Harvard-Westlake.

Brown introduced the two senior captains for the Chargers, Caitlin Racich and Laura Penner.

   SBCC Sports Information guru Dave Loveton made a solid case for why people should come out and watch the men’s soccer team this year: The Vaqueros have scored more goals (13) in two games than the Los Angeles Galaxy has in its last 10. The women are also doing well and are off to a 3-0-2 start.

Loveton also mentioned that the women’s golf team is 10-0 so far on the season and that the women’s volleyball quad tournament will be held at the Sports Pavilion over the weekend.

And what would a marathon-like luncheon be without some endurance specialists?

First-year SBCC cross country coach Scott Fickerson has his teams underway, with 23 total runners lacing up despite the new coach not being able to do any recruiting during the offseason. Wesley Korpela was the team’s top male finisher over the weekend at the Ventura College Invitational, while Paige Colijn finished ninth out of 100 in the women’s race.

Leslie Wiggins-Roth doesn’t need to do much recruiting, as 108 Chargers came out to join DPs cross country team this year. She brought along a proportional amount (6) of them, each of whom performed well at the season-opening Morro Bay Invitational over the weekend. Included in the group were four-year senior Raymond Trujillo and senior Kelly Kosmo, the team’s lone representative in COF last year.  

Lawrence Stehmeier’s San Marcos runners are itching to get started on the season, which begins Wednesday at Lompoc. The coach said that they are doing great and that he thinks they’re prepared for Wednesday’s meet at Lompoc and also the upcoming Channel League meet. Included in the Royal contingent were captain Ian Miley, Alex Simes, Jenny Haden and Quetzal Vallejo-Howard.

Angel Silva’s Carpinteria cross country program is rebuilding, but he says the Warriors are having fun and hope to get off to a fast start at the Carpinteria Valley Invitational against Cate and Bishop Diego on Wednesday. Maritza Torres has transitioned her soccer conditioning to the cross country team, and Hillary Robbins has been one of the emotional leaders of the team in the preseason.

   NOTE: The 3rd Annual Classic Car Show will be held on October 4th from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at Santa Barbara City College. The event is free and will include a barbecue lunch, raffles, live music and more. The day will benefit Special Olympics of Santa Barbara. Call 884-1516 to donate, sponsor or volunteer.