Who-to-Watch List for Spring Sports

Stamatia Scarvelis of Dos Pueblos is the No. 1 high school girls shot putter in the nation.

Stamatia Scarvelis of Dos Pueblos is the No. 1 high school girls shot putter in the nation.

The spring sports season is here, and a couple of Dos Pueblos student-athletes top the list of Ones to Watch for the next three months.

Stamatia Scarvelis and Alex Valente are national leaders in their respective events.

Scarvelis, a senior who has signed with UCLA, has the best high school shot put mark in the country at 53 feet, 8.25 inches, which she threw to win the Simplot Indoor Games last month.

She enters her last year of high school with a goal of winning a third straight CIF State Meet title. The last athlete to three-peat was Fullerton’s Natalie Kaaiawahia (a four-time winner) in the 1980s. Scarvelis won last year’s title with a throw 50-7.75. She went 51-11 in the prelims. A month later, she threw 52-1.75 to win the USA Track and Field junior championship.

Alex Valente

Alex Valente

Valente set a national age-group (15-16) record in the 100 butterfly at a USA Swimming Sectional meet last month, clocking 46.99. He also went 1:46.37 in the 200 fly, the second fastest mark all-time in his age group behind the great Michael Phelps.

Valente, a junior, is aiming to win a CIF title in the 100 fly. His main competition figures to come from his USA Swimming teammate Kyle Gornay of Redlands.

Here is a sport-by-sport look at some of the athletes to watch this spring.

TRACK

Dos Pueblos has plenty of point producers this season. Cole Smith, who finished fifth at the CIF State Cross Country Championships leads a solid corps of distance runners on the boy side. Arizona-bound Addi Zerrenner looks to finish her senior year with a trip to the State Meet in the distance events.

The Chargers are strong in the field events, too. Besides Scarvelis, Sydney Eilbacher figures to contend for a CIF State Meet berth in the girls pole vault. She missed qualifying by two inches last year. Niema Poindexter returns after just missing out on qualifying for state in the triple jump. Jon Dickinson looks to have big year in the boys shot put.

At San Marcos, Adilene Aldapa looks to carry over her success from cross country season — she finished 20th in her division at the State Meet. She’ll run the 1600 and 3200. The Royals are also strong in the distance events on the boys side with Ryan Sorensen, Eric Salas, Joe Logan, Walker Odell and Nic Swider. They led the cross country team to the State Finals.

Santa Barbara High has a couple of multi-event standouts in senior Kelli Martindale and sophomore Natasha Feshbach.

Nicole Pepper and Gaby Fantone of Carpinteria both return with CIF experience in the hurdles. Gabi Montes De Oca was a CIF qualifier in the triple jump last year as was Sierra Gracia in the pole vault. On the boys side, Peter Ramos should be one of the top discus throwers in the tough Tri-Valley League, and Jimmy Graves is back after qualifying for CIF in the pole vault as a freshman.

Cate School’s Joel Serugo is a CIF contender in the 200, long jump and triple jump. As a freshman, he finished third in the Division 4 triple jump and won the frosh/soph county championship in the 100, 200, long jump and triple jump.

SWIMMING

Blake Parrish and Walker Bell give Dos Pueblos plenty of point-scoring power. Parrish was fourth at CIF last year in the 100 breaststroke, while Walker won the Channel League 200 IM title. They also were part of a 200 medley relay team that took third in CIF. Talented newcomer Federico Sarboraria joins the relay squad.

Santa Barbara will be led by a couple of sophomores, Ben Brewer and Alex Roderick.

San Marcos has an accomplished swimmer in UCSB-bound Dasha Depew. She does the 200 and 500 freestyle and was part of the 200 free relay team that made CIF finals and set a school record last year. Sophomore Olivia Smith made the CIF Finals in the 50 free. A newcomer who figures to make a big splash is Amanda Hayes.

Senior Spencer Kemp and sophomore George Kuesis lead the Royal boys.

GOLF

Senior Ryan Stoll and junior Brandon Crane lead defending Channel League champion Santa Barbara. Both golfers qualified for CIF last season.

BASEBALL

Defending Channel League champion Dos Pueblos will rely on senior lefty pitcher Josh Tedeschi and hard-hitting senior outfielder Daniel Buratto. Luke Coffey leads a talented junior class.

Senior lefthander Gabe Grandcolas returns for his third season on the varsity at Santa Barbara High. The Dons also have experience behind the plate in catcher Skyler Sabado. Senior outfielder Ian True is expected to supply power in the lineup.

New San Marcos coach Jacob Pepper is looking to senior Wesley Ghan-Gibson to swing a big bat for the Royals.

Carpinteria has a quartet of solid seniors in Duncan Gordon (CF, P), Mo Sanchez (2B, P), Kevin Stein (C) and Connor Kelsey (C, 1B).

Scott Mandrell, Nolan Tooley, Aidan Williams, Cole Atelian  and R.J. Cordeiro lead the way at Bishop Diego.

Cate returns power-hitting catcher Zach Ell. He is coming off a year in which he hit .475, with seven homers, 48 RBIs and 28 runs in just 18 games. Carlos Fairbanks, who plays a variety of positions, is back after hitting over. 400 last year.

BOYS TENNIS

Morgan Hale leads perennial power Santa Barbara High as the No. 1 singles player. Hale and the Dons will face some tough challenges in Channel League as San Marcos and Dos Pueblos have strong lineups.

Dos Pueblos has a solid player in junior Patrick Corpuz and freshman Kento Perera is tearing it up at San Marcos.

In doubles, Mason Casady and Joshua Wang of DP went 42-5 last season. San Marcos has a strong duo in senors Owen Lincoln and Travis Smelley.

Another singles player to watch is Ben Furukawa of Laguna Blanca. He led the Rams to their first Condor League title and CIF playoff appearance in nine years.

SOFTBALL

Junior pitchers Veronika Gulvin and Lani Evans give Dos Pueblos a potent 1-2 punch on the mound. Gulvin has committed to UCSB.

The Chargers will be bolstered by the return of third baseman Kai Uyesaka, who missed her sophomore season due to Tommy John surgery. She batted .350 as a freshman. Monica Salas is the senior leader and the team’s most powerful hitter.

San Marcos’ Stephanie Swann returns for her fourth year on the varsity. She is the team’s leading hitter and can play anywhere on the field.

BOYS VOLLEYBALL

San Marcos is loaded with returning players, led by All-CIF outside hitter and Channel League MVP Shane Hauschild. Joining him are outside hitter Baker Johnson and setter Christian Widmer, both all-league first-team picks last season. The Royals advanced to the CIF semifinals in 2013.

Santa Barbara graduated nine players off last season’s CIF runner-up squad, but the Dons still have firepower with returnees Tristan Fauntleroy and Quinn Denkensohn.

At Dos Pueblos, first-year coach Ehren Hug has a four-year varsity player in Niko Plesons. The athletic Plesons moves from libero to outside hitter this season.

Hug said another player to watch is sophomore lefty Eli Wopat, whose sisters, Carly and Sam, and brother, Jackson, were stars at DP.

Bishop Diego is looking to Nick Busch, Grant Sexton and Chandler Swift to lead it in the tough Tri-Valley League.

Check out a game to see these and other athletes compete this season.

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