A Who-to-Watch list for the fall prep sports season

Blake Parrish of Dos Pueblo is one of the top junior players in the country. He recently played for the U.S. men's cadet team and won a silver medal at the Junior Pan American Games.

Blake Parrish of Dos Pueblo is one of the top junior players in the country. He recently played for the U.S. men’s cadet team that won a silver medal at the Junior Pan American Games in Argentina.

The high school fall sports teams have started their quests to capture league championships, earn postseason berths and vie for CIF section and state titles.

In every sport, there are those special athletes that can push a team to play at a higher level and make a run at a championship.

Presidio Sports has put together a Who-to-Watch list of the athletes who have what it takes to lead their teams to greater heights.

GIRLS VOLLEYBALL


Anika Wilson is one of several returning starters from a San Marcos team that won the Channel League title last year.

Anika Wilson is one of several returning starters from a San Marcos team that won the Channel League title last year.

San Marcos coach Erica Menzel has a special group of players who made headlines last season by sparking the Royals to their first Channel League title since 2002. Returning for their senior years are setter and all-Channel League first-team pick Andie O?Donnell, opposite Katie Kim, outside hitter Anastasia Kunz, middle Carly Yarnell and libero Clare Holehouse. Junior Anika Wilson, who earned an AAA rating on the beach this summer, moves from libero to outside hitter. Sophomore Chloe Allen made an impact as a freshman, and coach Erica Downing is excited about ninth grader Gabi Peoples. ?She is the best freshman in Santa Barbara County,? Downing said. Dos Pueblos has a couple of impact juniors in 6-foot McKenna Goss and 5-10 Natalie Klapp. ?I?m excited about her potential,? coach Todd Garrett said of Klapp. On Goss, he said, ?She?s a very coachable kid and a delight to have on any team.? Second-team all-league outside hitter Tessa Dewell leads a trio of seniors for Santa Barbara. The others are libero Bailey Roach and middle Lucie Simmons. ?They set the tone for us,? said coach John Gannon. The Dons also have a talented setter in Lexi Rottman. Laguna Blanca and Providence are small schools, but each program has potent players. At Laguna, senior setter Clara Madsen and senior opposite/middle Grace Woolf are coming off All-CIF junior campaigns. Both are four-year varsity players. Olivia Barroca has been leading Providence since she was freshman. As a senior, Barroca is moving from outside hitter to libero. ?She is just tapping into her volleyball and leadership potential ? she has an exciting future ahead of her,? said Coach Laura Newton. Another player with a bright future is junior Ozie LeSage.

GIRLS TENNIS


Kelsie Bryant led Carpinteria to a CIF championship last fall.

Kelsie Bryant led Carpinteria to a CIF championship last fall.

Carpinteria?s Kelsie Bryant and Mattea Kilstofte of Santa Barbara, a pair of juniors, are the top tennis players in the area. Bryant led Carpinteria led her team to the CIF championship last year and had a streak of 65 straight wins. ?I think Kelsie is unique in that she is an ?all-court’ player,? said her father and coach Charles Bryant. ?She has incredibly fast reflexes and ‘great hands’ at the net and loves to play doubles.? But in singles she is comfortable playing pushers or players who drive the ball.? She can hit as hard as anyone or just work on caressing the ball around the court.? Kilstofte has been a Channel League finalist the last two years. ?she is definitely one of the top athletes in her sport in our area,? coach Greg Tebbe said. Kilstofte is ranked 42nd in the USTA Southern California 16s rankings. ?Kelsie and Mattea play a lot of (USTA) doubles together and have a great time on the court with each other,? Charles Bryant said. ?Besides the fact that they are a very tough team, both are vegetarians so they are known as the veg-heads.? Renee Handley is the top singles player at San Marcos. She helped the Royals win a division title at the California Classic. 

GIRLS GOLF


Former Channel League champion Isabella Doub returns to Santa Barbara for her senior year after spending her junior year attending golf school in Florida. ?She wants to be a teaching professional and will go to golf school for college,? said Dons coach Ryan Throop. The Dons have a foreign exchange student, Eleonora DiCarlo of Milan, Italy, who is a strong player and will share the No. 2 team spot with junior Claudia Fanaro, last year?s fourth-place finisher in the Channel League finals. Melissa Jewkes returns for her senior year at San Marcos.

BOYS WATER POLO


Water polo in this area continually produces strong players. Dos Pueblos has a gem in junior Blake Parrish. He recently returned from the Junior Pan Am Games in Argentina, where he played for Team USA and earned a silver medal. San Marcos has a solid, experienced team that will be in the thick of the Channel League race. The Royals, ranked No. 10 in the CIF-SS Division 2 preseason poll, are led by seniors Shane Hauschild and Spencer Kemp. The 6-5 Hauschild, also a volleyball star, has a wicked shot. Kemp spearheads the defense. Junior Kameron Bebb is a strong utility player and freshmen Miles Cole and Spencer Wood are expected to make an immediate impact. Santa Barbara, a CIF finalist last year, has two strong returning drivers in Skyler Matthews and Tyler Heffernan.

CROSS COUNTRY


Addi Zerrenner of Dos Pueblos is the defending Channel League champion

Addi Zerrenner of Dos Pueblos is the defending Channel League champion

San Marcos returns its top two runners from last season, seniors Eric Salas and Ryan Sorenson. They led the Royals to the CIF Finals. ?Both are seniors who have been working hard for this season,? coach Lawrence Stehmeier said. ?Both are realizing the importance of balance in training. As a coaching staff, we are excited to see what they can do.” On the girls side, San Marcos returns its top three runners, Adilene Aldapa, Jewel Fisher and Juliana Logan. Dos Pueblos has its two top girls returning, senior and defending league champion Addi Zerrenner and junior Elaine McClure. The boys have experience with seniors Cole Smith, Andrew McGuan, Tyler Bradford and John Greening have run at the section and state finals.?The Santa Barbara girls have five returning runners who ran at CIF as freshman, led by Miranda Bartell and Bailey Wolf. Bradley Apodaca leads an experienced boys team. Gustavo Bello is coming off a strong track season and Tanner Munizich is a consistent performer, says coach Olivia Perdices.

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