SBART Luncheon: Deafness doesn’t stop Carpinteria’s Tavira

Carpinteria coach Ben Hallock says deaf cornerback Guillermo "Memo" Tavira plays with great tenacity.

Carpinteria coach Ben Hallock says deaf cornerback Guillermo “Memo” Tavira plays with great tenacity and fearlessness.

High school football players come in all shapes and sizes.

Carpinteria coach Ben Hallock introduced 5-foot-4 junior cornerback Guillermo “Memo” Tavira during Monday’s Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table press luncheon and touted the player’s tenacity and fearlessness on the gridiron.

Hallock then explained something unique about Tavira.

“Not only is size a challenge, Guillermo is also deaf,” Hallock said.

That hasn’t stopped Tavira from making plays on the field. He breaks up pass plays and makes tackles.

“He’s got a great, great motor, he can just go and go; he’s a tiger, he is fearless and there is no quit in him at all,” Hallock said. “He’s had to line up against some very tall receivers and he’s made some great plays just by being a tenacious defender and putting himself position to make great plays.”

The Warriors missed Tavira the last two games as he was sidelined with a sprained ankle, He’ll be back on the field for the crosstown game against Bishop Diego on Thursday night at Carpinteria.

“We’re glad to have him back this week,” Hallock said.

The coaches and players communicate with Tavira through an American Sign Language interpreter. Mila Gaffney is with him during the day at school. Katie Mast can be seen on the Warriors’ sideline during football games.

“It’s been a great process, and several of his teammates have also been able to work out ways to communicate with Memo really well,” said Hallock.

A clipboard and cellphone texting have been great tools to communicate with Tavira.

Hallock said one of the challenges Tavira has on the field is knowing when a play stops because he can’t hear the whistle. “He’s got to exercise his judgment and decide when it’s appropriate to continue on and hit somebody and when it’s time to back off.”

Hallock added that Tavira also is a fine student.

“There’s just no quit in him anywhere; he goes hard. He’s fearless when it comes to tackling. He takes on anybody.”

San Marcos: Friday night’s win over Dos Pueblos not only ended a long Channel League losing streak for the Royals, “It was a great step forward in our program,” coach Anthony Linebaugh said.

Linebaugh said Nathan Coffey, the Athlete of the Week, is an athlete who works tirelessly on his game. “It’s nice to see someone who works really hard receive some accolades,” he said.

He also brought linebacker Sam Charest and lineman Adrian Sanchez. On Charest, Linebaugh said he earned his opportunity to play and start and has a great passion for the game.

The coach said Sanchez, nicknamed “The Rock,” is a blue-collar blue player who works diligently. He strengthened the offensive line when he agreed to play the right tackle position. He plays noseguard on defense.

The Royals (3-5, 1-1) play host to Buena in key league game on Halloween night.

Santa Barbara High: Coach JT Stone said the 35-22 loss at Buena was “hard to swallow.” The Dons (4-5, 1-2) fumbled seven times in the game, including three times at the 1-yard line.

“The kids fought hard, but when you shoot yourself in the foot it’s tough,” said Stone, whose team has a bye this week before playing San Marcos in the Big Game next Friday.

Stone said the return of wide receiver Blake Kelly is a big boost for the Dons heading into the regular-season finale against the Royals. He’s hoping there will be more football after that.

“Hopefully, it’s not our last week; you never know how playoffs work,” he said. “We’re looking at every formula possible.”

Dos Pueblos: Coach Nate Mendoza said San Marcos came out with more energy than his team and the result was a 27-10 loss at Warkentin Stadium.

Mendoza introduced Kevin Rodriguez, a starter on the defensive line who also helps out as a trainer, and two-way starter Allan Pacheco, a dedicated player and a team leader.

The Chargers (1-8, 0-3) finish the season Friday at first-place Ventura.

Laguna Blanca: Coach Shane Lopes hopes his 8-man squad can still land a CIF playoff spot. The Owls are 1-2 in the Condor League after a wild 58-52 loss to Cate. They play host to top-ranked Thacher on Saturday in the regular-season finale.

Lopes introduced junior Philip Fauntleroy and Aidan O’Donnell. Fauntleroy is the kicker and the fastest guy on the team. He often is the first player to get down field on a kickoff. O’Donnell is a freshman and “earned” the starting middle linebacker position for the Owls.


SBCC: Saturday’s 29-14 win over L.A. Pierce was especially gratifying for coach Craig Moropoulos. Pierce had won the last seven meetings.

“It was a rewarding win for me because of the history with Pierce and just the fact when you’re a roll, I always tell our guys you got a target on your back and they always want to beat you,” Moropoulos said. “To this point, (my players) always rose up, and Saturday they did that.”

SBCC has won six straight games.

Jacob Girgle and Brandon Edwards were impact players in the win over Pierce. Girgle, a free safety, had eight tackles and an interception. Edwards had a “phenomenal day” throwing the ball. “It was so smooth and easy I didn’t realize what he did,” said Moropoulos of the freshman quarterback. He completed 24 of 36 passes for 339 yards and three touchdowns, with no interceptions.

The Vaqueros (6-1, 4-0) play at Antelope Valley on Saturday.


Santa Barbara High: The Dons have lost close games against San Marcos, Dos Pueblos and Righetti in the last couple of weeks.

“We’ve competitively played tough but we just haven’t been able to get over the hump and get a win,” said coach Mark Walsh. “The kids have showed lot of heart.”

Sophomores Adam Gross and Sawyer Rhodes have elevated their games to make the Dons competitive.

Santa Barbara is battling for the No. 3 CIF playoff spot in the Channel League


Westmont women: Assistant coach Chantel Cappuccilli reported that if the Warriors win Tuesday at William Jessup they’ll capture the GSAC regular season title.

Westmont men’s soccer: Sports Information Director Ron Smith said the Warriors are tied for fourth place in the GSAC and need a win over William Jessup on Wednesday and help from other teams to get a home game for the first round of the GSAC Tournament.

SBCC women: Sports Information Specialist Dave Loveton said the Vaqueros are the highest scoring team in the WSC, outscoring opponents 25-5. SBCC (8-3-4, 4-0-3 WSC) host L.A. Pierce on Friday afternoon in a showdown for first place.


SBCC: The Vaqueros are riding a five-game win streak and are over the .500 mark (11-10) for the first time this season. They play their final home game on Wednesday at San Marcos High against Citrus. SBCC is in second place in the WSC with a 4-1 record.