Dons, Royals set up alumni soccer matches at Peabody Stadium

Two years ago, fans packed Santa Barbara High’s Peabody Stadium for an alumni football game between the Dons and San Marcos during Memorial Day weekend

Alums from the crosstown rivals will go at again but this time they’ll be playing fútbol.

A triple-header of soccer matches between the Royals and Dons is set for Saturday, May 26 at Peabody Stadium, it was officially announced on Monday at the Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table press luncheon. The day will start with a men’s over-35 contest at 2 p.m., followed by an open division women’s game at 4 and an open men’s match at 6 p.m.

Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for youth, and the proceeds will benefit the soccer and athletic programs at both schools.

“As you saw two years back, the football game brought in a lot of money to the athletic departments. It was a great event,” said Rudy Ybarra, who won CIF titles as a player and a coach at Santa Barbara. “(The soccer alumni event) is going to be a beautiful event again, I guarantee you. The stadium is ready to go. There’s no better place to play than Peabody Stadium. It’s natural grass.”

Ybarra added that he’s looking forward to the opportunity to play in a game with his three sons: Marco, Junior and J.P. “That’s real important to me.”

The day also will include food and music.

Ken Newendorp, a star at San Marcos in the mid-1990s, said the rosters for the open men’s and 35-over men’s games and the Santa Barbara women’s team are filling up. But there is a shortage of San Marcos women players.

“I don’t know if they’re afraid, or what,” Newendorp quipped. “Come on, girls.”

Melissa Zannon, a Santa Barbara soccer alum, tried to stir up the interest of San Marcos players, saying: “I put a challenge to San Marcos alumni women out there. In my four years, we lost to them only once. We want to continue that streak of beating them.”

She noted that sign-up information can be found on each school’s Web site.

“It will be a great fundraising event,” said Zannon.

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