SBART Luncheon: Roach takes care of kids, business on the court

There?s a perk that comes with coaching a high school girls volleyball team.

For a coach with young children, you have a roster of babysitters.

Santa Barbara High?s John Gannon has a good one in Bailey Roach. The outstanding libero is his No. 1 choice when he needs someone to watch is 4- and 2-year old kids.

Dos Pueblos' Tyler Welch was named Male Athlete of the Week. Click on image to read more about the Athletes of the Week

Dos Pueblos’ Tyler Welch was named Male Athlete of the Week. Click on image to read more about the Athletes of the Week

?As a volleyball coach with young children, I have my go-to babysitters,? Gannon said at Monday?s Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table press luncheon at Harry?s Plaza Cafe. ?And, Bailey has been my go-to babysitter the last two years. With 15 girls to choose from, Bailey is No. 1 in my Rolodex.?

Roach also has been Gannon?s No. 1 defensive player for the last three years.

?She?s a leader on the court,? he said. ?She has great communication with the girls is great on defense and service receive.?

Gannon also has another Rottman on his team. Alexis Rottman is the third sister to play for the Dons, following Emily and Dani.

?She sets the tone for us,? Gannon said. ?She?s smiling and enjoying the game, and the team has taken on the characteristic of being focused but also realizing that you play sports for the enjoyment and the camaraderie of the team and playing together. That?s what she brings.

?She also brings a lot of experience, and she?s one of the best setters in town.?


Providence assistant volleyball coach Dale Colburn noted that this year?s team ?is the most talented team we?ve ever had in school history.?? He added that of the 30 girls at the school, 20 are playing volleyball.

The leader on the varsity is senior libero Olivia Barroca, who was on the team as an eighth grader, before Providence became eligible for CIF competition.

The girls look to her because she?s been around a long time,? said Colburn.

Marilyn Hantgin, filling in for San Marcos varsity coach Erica Downing, said junior Anika Wilson moved from libero to outside hitter to utilize her all-around skills. ?She?s pretty much the backbone of the team,? Hantgin said.

Sophomore Chloe Allen is a hammer on the outside for the Royals. ?You don?t want to be on the other side of the court if you don?t have to be,? said Hantgin.

Bishop Diego split a couple of crosstown matches, losing against Laguna Blanca two weeks ago and beating Carpinteria last week.

?It?s always fun to be part of a small-school rivalry, and our girls tend to step up their level whenever Carp comes to town,? he said.

Over the weekend, Colleen Duley and Hanna Brand led the Cardinals to the title at the Santa Paula Tournament. Donnelly was pleased with the team’s improved play.

?It was a tribute to our kids trying to figure things out,? he said.

Laguna Blanca coach Jim Alzina pumped up his team?s Tuesday home match against Nordhoff, a battle of Division 4-A top-10 ? Laguna is No. 3 and Nordhoff is No. 7.

?The first 1,000 people are free at the Owls Nest,? he quipped.

The Owls have an experienced team, led by All-CIF player Grace Woolf and senior captain Chloe Richman.

Westmont volleyball coach Patti Cook reported that her team?s 12-0 start is the best in school history.

?If you learn from your losses, than we?re not very smart,? she joked. ?We?re winning too much,? but I wouldn?t change that for the world.?

She cited DP alum Ciena Colburn and Madison Serrano has two keys to the team?s success.

Cook also gave props to her assistant, retired UCSB men?s coach Ken Preston.?Preston had a stint coaching the Westmont women?s program a few years ago.

?I find it kind of funny he is my assistant coach,? said Cook.


Carpinteria football coach Ben Hallock said there were 185 snaps in last Friday night?s 45-31 win over Nipomo. The first quarter had a game-full of plays. There were five scores in 12 minutes.

?My granddaughter was there and was over with the cheerleader,? Hallock said. ?I turned around to get a peak to see what she was doing and all the cheerleaders were bent over, huffing and puffing because they were running back and forth from the end zone to the sidelines (after Carpinteria touchdowns).?

The coach, who brought 6-3, 315-pound lineman Oscar Mejia and running backs Peter Ramos and Jonathan Esqueda, noted a key to the win was the ?hidden yardage? that comes from the kicking game. ?We beat them by 470 yards, which is a tremendous amount,? he said.

The Warriors play host to Santa Ynez on Friday in one of the oldest rivalries in the county. The series goes back to the 1930s.

San Marcos coach Anthony Linebaugh pointed to the leadership of receiver Austin ?Coop? Pugh and quarterback Wes Ghan-Gibson as a key to the Royals? success. He also recognized assistant coaches Bob Brown, Moe Claydon and Brian Gibson

?It?s nice to be on the winning side,? DP coach Nate Mendoza told the luncheon crowd of the feeling after the Chargers? 31-21 win over Cabrillo last Thursday. ?Friday going to school was much better.?

Mendoza praised Richard Reyes and Barrett Burnes, who came through when called on to take the place of a starter.

Reyes played center and Burnes took over the quarterbacking duties.

?These two guys are the classic case of staying with it and not getting frustrated because you?re playing behind a guy; not getting frustrated because you don?t get as many reps as the starters do. So, both guys have high character, high work ethic, got their chance on Thursday,? Mendoza said.

Doug Caines and the Santa Barbara Dons learned that the football players are bigger up in Atascadero, where they lost 35-7.

?There?s something in the corn and the water up there that seems to be a little different than our kids are used to,? he said.

Caines noted that seniors Cheroke Cunningham and Josh Kass have something to prove after injuries cut short their junior season.

?They?re senior captains and they embody everything a Don is,? said Caines.

Shane Lopes, the coach at Laguna Blanca, said he has ?more football players? on his 8-man team and its made a big difference. The Owls (1-1) open Condor League play Saturday at Villanova in Ojai.

SBCC coach Craig Moropoulos didn?t mind if his nose got a little sunburned on Saturday. The Vaqueros played their home opener at 1 p.m.. and he was delighted.

?Playing Saturday afternoon is what I wanted for a long time,? he said. ?Playing at 1 o?clock is what college football is all about.?

SBCC beat East L.A. 47-10. Twin brothers Zack and Jacob Arnell put their stamp on the win. Jacob, the older brother by one minute, caught two touchdown passes, while Zack intercepted two passes, returning one for a touchdown.

?They?re twins, but they?re so different,? Moropoulos said of the Arnells. ?The one common denominator is they?re so competitive.?


San Marcos coach Lawrence Stehmeier has so many runners on the boys team, that he gave his top five the day off when the Royals competed at a five-team event in Lompoc. The team placed fourth and five of the seven guys ran PRs.

?I gave them the idea I?m looking for a sixth and seventh runner,? Stehmeier said. ?I gave them the idea what its like to run varsity and to fight for that position.?

Ben Ghitterman and McAlister Metcalf in the running for those varsity spots.

On the girls side, Stehmeier cited Kelly Robertson and team captain Jewel Fisher, who was just elected as a homecoming princess.

The Royals race in the first Channel League meet Wednesday at Dos Pueblos.

Dos Pueblos girls coach Leslie Wiggins Roth was impressed with freshmen Natalie McClure and Christina Rice, who helped the Chargers finish fourth at the Seaside Invitational last Friday.

?They brought a ton of motivation and a real sense of opportunity that they?re here to do something great,? Roth said. ?They have maturity beyond their years, which is amazing because both are freshman.?

Micks Purnell takes over the DP boys team from retired Len Miller. He has an experienced team led by Andrew McGuan and Cole Smith. He noted the team had the lowest combined time of any team at the Seaside Invitational.

?Leslie and I are blessed to inherit such a great boys team,? he said.

Laguna Blanca cross country coach David Silverander noted that runner Cooper Farrell took first in his age group in the long course event at the Santa Barbara Triathlon.

The Westmont College cross country teams are running well, but head coach Russell Smelley hasn?t seen them. He just returned from South Africa, where he was invited to speak at the International Council of Coaching Excellence, which included coaches from several sports from Europe and Africa.

?The reason I could go is because I have a great assistant, Lindsey Connolly, a Carpinteria grad and a Westmont grad,? Smelley said.

At the conference, Smelley talked about coaching philosophy and how coaches should have their philosophy written down, so people know what you?re talking about.

Smelley has been coaching for 35 years.

?I believe if I?m doing my job right and have a good assistant, I don?t have to be there,? he said. ?I hope (the student-athletes) don?t think that today when I go to practice.”


David Kremer has been participating in Special Olympics sports for 15 years. He plays softball, basketball and soccer. He recently helped his softball team win some games at a tournament on Sunday.

When he isn?t on the field or court, he volunteers his time at a homeless shelter.

?The man?s got a great conscious; he?s a great athlete and a great human being,? said Aaron Brown, sponsor of the award.

?David is a very dedicated athlete,? said Kelsey Moss, coach of the softball team. ?He?s an amazing athlete, has a great attitude, and I?m very happy he was nominated for this award.?