“Big Game” excitement already starting

It wasn’t a pleasant weekend for some of our local football teams.

Top-ranked Nordhoff handed San Marcos a 70-14 loss, Dos Pueblos was beaten at Canyon 36-3, Pacifica dispatched Santa Barbara 45-10 and Laguna Blanca’s previously unbeaten 8-man squad lost 56-0 in a halftime mercy-rule decision at Santa Clarita Christian.

“They were a really, really good team,” said Owls coach Ray Robitaille at Monday’s Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table press luncheon. “They had eight coaches, the headsets — it was really an unbalanced matchup for us.”

Despite the drubbings, the coaches found some positive points to rally around.

“We were hoping to sustain some kind of offensive drive and we did. We also wanted to get a few stops on defense, which we did. More importantly, we wanted to get out of the game without any injuries, and we did,” said Robitaille.

“The past is the past. It’s gone, and we start Channel League this week,” said Santa Barbara coach Jaime Melgoza.

“Our team did not give up and we played hard,” said Dos Pueblos athletic director Dan Feldhaus. “We battled as best we could.”

And then there was San Marcos coach Jeff Hesselmeyer, who’s been good for a one-liner at every luncheon this year.

“Last Friday we played a very forgettable game against, uhhhh… I forgot,” he said.

The Royals and Dons won’t forget anything about this Friday, when they’ll square off for “The Big Game” at Peabody Stadium. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m.

“I played in that game over 30 years ago, and I can still remember certain plays out of that game. It meant a lot to me,” said SBCC coach Craig Moropoulos, a Santa Barbara High alum.

Moropoulos’ current Vaquero quarterback, John Uribe threw five touchdown passes on Saturday in a win over Santa Monica College. As a Dons quarterback two years ago, Uribe threw for over 500 yards and six touchdowns in “The Big Game.”

DONE WITH DANCING: San Marcos cross country coach Lawrence Stehmeier is grateful that the school’s homecoming festivities are over.

“We’ve had a lot of practices interrupted with ‘Hey coach, can I ask so-and-so to the dance,'” said Stehmeier. “I’ve had cars driving onto the track with sign in the windows and people jumping out of bushes and stuff, but it’s been fun.”

Jack Gregson, Bishop Diego Football

THINK PINK: As part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Carpinteria High football team had a “Think Pink” theme at Friday’s 27-20 home win over Grace Brethren. Fans wore pink in the stands and there were various efforts to raise money for the cause.

Warriors coach Ben Hallock thanked parents Shane Craddock and Lorena Estrada for helping organize the event, and also thanked all those who were at Memorial Stadium on Sunday afternoon for John Ward’s memorial service. Ward, the athletic director at Carpinteria High, passed away two weeks ago from colon cancer.

“It was a great event, and I think everyone left feeling conforted,” said Hallock.

ROASTING RUNNERS: “I have to make a major announcement — I have found conclusive evidence that global warming is real. It’s early morning meets in L.A.,” said Westmont cross country coach Russell Smelley.

The Warriors have taken 5 a.m. bus trips to run in sweltering Los Angeles heat the last three weeks and have competed well. The women are currently ranked 25th in the NAIA while the men’s team continues to inch closer to the top 25.


Josh Bartley, Dos Pueblos — The award’s namesake was on hand to see it given to Bartley, a junior running back and track star at Dos Pueblos. Barley, who won Athlete of the Week honors two weeks ago, was described as a quiet leader to his teammates who always sets a good example. He carries a GOA over 3.25.

Jordan Lund, San Marcos Tennis

“We’re very proud of Josh. He’s not only a great athlete; he’s a great kid,” said Feldhaus.

Bartley thanked his parents, Henry and Della, who were in attendance along with his godmother Martha.


Jordan Lund, San Marcos Tennis — The Royals won a nail-biter over crosstown rival DP last week, and Lund won the decisive set in dramatic fashion. Trailing 1-5, she rallied all the back to win six straight games and take the set. Along the way, she faced three match points, one while in a 15-40 hole and another from an ad-out situation.

Jack Gregson, Bishop Diego Football —The Cardinals have been plagued with injuries this year, but that led to an incredible varsity debut for Gregson. In his first game, he scored five touchdowns — four rushing and the other on an 86-yard reception — in the Cardinals’ 50-18 win over St. Genevieve.


  1. Props to Carpinteria High for supporting breast cancer awareness!