A Who-to-Watch list for local high school spring sports

Spring sports athletes are ready to spring into action on the diamond, in the pool, on the track, on the fairways and greens, on the tennis court and on the volleyball court.

This area has a rich tradition of producing outstanding individual performers from spring sports who have earned scholarships to compete at the next level as well as teams that have won CIF Southern Section and State titles. Just last spring, Stamatia Scarvelis of Dos Pueblos won a state championship in the girls shot put as a sophomore. Three springs ago, Santa Barbara High?s boys golf team captured the school?s first state title.

To get you ready for the season, Presidio Sports has put together Who-to-Watch list of athletes that have what it takes to lead their team to a championship, win an individual title and compete at the next level.

BASEBALL


Sophmore relief pitcher Gabe Speier came in to shut down Pioneer Valley and picked up the win for DP.

Gabe Speier is projected to be one of DP’s top pitchers.

The area has seen several players move on to the college and professional game over the years. This season, Santa Barbara High has a couple of college commits in slick-fielding and hard-hitting shortstop Johnny Brontsema (UC Irvine) and athletic third baseman/pitcher Jeff Paschke (USC). Brontsema hit .379 as a junior. Michael Day is another big bat for the Dons. At Dos Pueblos, the Chargers are excited to have left-hander Gabe Speier back on the mound. The UCSB commit is stronger after taking last season off from pitching. Dylan Rohde is a big bat in the DP lineup and shortstop Ben York provides leadership and solid defense. At San Marcos, junior David Foster takes over in center field for Joe Prince, who decided to go out for track. Isaac Rodriguez is a standout at shortstop. Carpinteria could challenge for the Frontier League with seniors like shortstop/pitcher Marcus Hutchinson, a 3-year starter; infielder Derrick Moore and outfielder/pitcher Max Damron. Promoted to the Tri-Valley League, Bishop Diego returns several players off a Frontier League championship squad, led by MVP Aidan Williams. Other experienced standouts includepitcher/outfielder Jack Gregson, infielder Scott Mandrell, infielder Nolan Tooley and catcher John Salda.

BOYS GOLF


Santa Barbara returns three players off last year?s team that won the Channel League and a CIF Divisional title. James Morton and Jonathan Collins are seniors and Ryan Stoll is a junior.

BOYS VOLLEYBALL


San Marcos sophomore Shane Hauschild makes a dig for the Royals on Saturday.

San Marcos player Shane Hauschild makes a dig for the Royals.

Santa Barbara has a hammer up front in 6-4 Tristan Fauntleroy. The junior possesses a 32-inch vertical jump and a wicked arm swing. UCLA, NYU and Princeton have shown interest in him, according to coach Chad Arneson. The Dons also have a standout in the back row in libero Carl Mendoza. San Marcos has experience and athleticism at the net with Baker Johnson and Shane Hauschild. When he fully recovers from a broken leg, 6-5 Jackson Wopat figures to be a force at the net for a tall and experienced (11 seniors) Dos Pueblos squad. Wopat, who is being recruited by Hawaii. Other impact players include 6-5 middle Jordan Foster, 6-2 outside Andrew Kenyon and 6-3 setter Josh Lemons.

BOYS TENNIS


San Marcos Petar Jivkov

San Marcos Petar Jivkov

Petar Jivkov of San Marcos returns after finishing as the Channel League singles runner-up as a junior. He’s joined by another strong player, Luca Ferrari. Graham Maassen leads powerhouse Santa Barbara High at No. 1 singles. He joins a solid group of seniors: Mitchell Kuhn, Avery Chernin, and Austin Trevillian. Caleb Franzen and Patrick Corpuz return for DP.

SOFTBALL


Chargers catcher Haley Peterson

Chargers catcher Haley Peterson

Seniors Chloe Madill and Haley Peterson, both four-year players, hope to get Dos Pueblos back to the CIF championship. Madill was an all-CIF and all-league first-team selection last year. The shortstop holds a 4.8 GPA and is committed to attend Dartmouth. Peterson carries a 4.3 GPA and is headed to Cal Poly. She?s two-time first-team all-Channel League catcher. Another standout is sophomore Veronica Gulvin. She was first-team all-league as a freshman and threw a no-hitter last year. She?s given UCSB a verbal commitment. UCSB-bound Kristen Berlo of San Marcos is one of the top pitchers in CIF. She struck out 277 batters in 151 innings and posted a 1.25 ERA. Carpinteria seniors Cat Maldonado and Erin Saito hope to guide the Warriors to a CIF Final; they reached the semifinals last year. Both players were members for the CIF championship girls tennis team.

SWIMMING


Alex Valente, of Santa Barbara Aquatics Club, is one of the top swimmers in the country in the 100-meter butterfly among 15 year olds.

Alex Valente is one of the top swimmers in the country in the 100-meter butterfly in his age group.

Dos Pueblos has a talented boys squad, led by sophomore Alex Valente, who last season placed third in the 100 butterfly at the CIF Finals and set a national age-group record in the event (50.74). Other standouts include Walker Bell and Grant Schroeder. DP also has a top-notch diver in Lester Wright, who’s committed to UCSB. Tarry Burkhardt of Santa Barbara is strong in 50 freestyle and 100 breaststroke. DP?s Janelle Nguyen, who?s signed with UNLV, is one of the top girls swimmers in the area. She was a CIF Division 1 finalist in the 500 freestyle. Santa Barbara?s Kelsey O?Brien, signed with UCLA for water polo, excels in the 50 and 100 freestyle. From San Marcos, junior Dasha Depew returns as the Channel League?s 200 freestyle champion. A bright newcomer is Olivia Smith

TRACK AND FIELD


Addi Zerrenner makes her final push to the finish line at the end of her record-breaking race in the 3200 meters.

Addi Zerrenner is the defending Santa Barbara County champion in the 1600 and 3200 meters.

Dos Pueblos has plenty of star power with returning state shot put champion Stamatia Scarvelis, state cross country champion and Oregon-bound Bryan Fernandez and state track meet placer Addi Zerrenner. Other standouts include distance runner Max Davis and Niema Poindexter, who excels in the long and triple jump. Jill Fisher of San Marcos figures to contend for Channel League titles in the sprints. Other Royal standouts on the girls team include Charlotte Garrett, a high jumper and quartermiler; Anastasia Kunz in the 300 hurdles and Kaitlyn Kuehn in the 800 and 1600. From the boys team, the agile Michael Orosco-Moore is a thrower and long jumper; Kyle Tran leads the sprint group; Joe Prince is solid in the long jump and Matt Turk figures to contend for the pole vault title. At Carpinteria, Bryson Frazer, a transfer from Visalia, gives the Warriors a boost in the 400 meters and 300 hurdles. Kyle Millhollin will be joining Frazer on the 4×400 team. He ran 52 seconds last season in his first year of high school track. Santa Barbara has two athletes who will be all over the place at meets this spring. Kelli Martindale and Gavin Koehn are both multi-event competitors. Martindale plans to compete as a heptathlete at the next level, and Koehn has already done three decathlons, including last year?s Arcadia Invitational. Another standout for the Dons is Colin Fasth, the defending county champion in the 200 meters.

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