Boys & Girls Club football teams kick off season; La Colina to honor Sebastian Holzer

Tackle football returns to the Santa Barbara Boys and Girls Club on Saturday as six teams representing the downtown club kick off their seasons at Santa Barbara High’s Peabody Stadium.

Teams in pee wee, bantam, midget and senior divisions will play their season-opening games at the venerable stadium, starting at 8 a.m. The final game is slated for 7:15 p.m.

This is the first time the Boys and Girls Club has fielded tackle football teams since 1970, said Kim Kjar, athletic director of the Downtown Boys and Girls Club. “It’s a new program. We have over 160 kids signed up in our first time out.”

The two senior division teams are affiliated with junior high schools, La Colina and Santa Barbara. The La Colina team also will include kids from La Cumbre and Goleta Valley junior highs for this first season.

“Next year La Cumbre and Goleta Valley will have their own teams,” said. Kjar. “More than half of our kids signed up were junior high kids.”

The La Colina team is honoring Sebastian Holzer, a 13-year-old La Colina student who was a victim of a mass murder in Goleta in August. Sebastian, his younger brother, Vincent, 10, and their grandparents, William and Sheila Holzer, were found dead in the grandparents’ home. Nicolas Holzer, the father of the boys and the son of William and Sheila, was arrested and accused of the murders.

“La Colina has dedicated this season to Sebastian Holzer and his family by wearing “SH” on the back of their helmets,” said Bob Rennick, the father of the team’s quarterback, Ryan, said in an email to Presidio Sports.

Bob Rennick added that his son transferred to La Colina “to be with this team and friends and to be closer to his teammate, and to play in the memory of his elementary school friend and his family.

“Coach Cisco Carreno and La Colina Principal David Ortiz have combined efforts to make this team something incredibly special for the school and the community,” he said.

The La Colina Lions play the Thousand Oaks Titans at 5 p.m. The Santa Barbara Junior High Condors cap the day of football with a 7:15 p.m. game against Moorpark.

The day starts with lower level teams called the Sharks. They are not affiliated with a school.

The teams will play in the Pacific Youth Football League. The organization has over 28 chapters and 100 teams, according to Kjar

“We’re excited here at the Boys and Girls Club to offer this through our club,” he said. “It’s a good way to keep kids involved in the community and keep them busy.”

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