SBART Luncheon: Schools get on the stick with lacrosse

Santa Barbara High lacrosse players Sophia DiFilippo and Sophie Tate. (Presidio Sports photos)

Santa Barbara High lacrosse players Sophia DiFilippo and Sophie Tate. (Presidio Sports photos)

High school lacrosse made its first visit to the Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table press luncheon on Monday, and coaches Jeannette Biava of Santa Barbara and Maddie Garcia of San Marcos were fired up.

Biava got things rolling three years ago after arriving from the East Coast. She started a club program, put a team together and took it all over southern California to get recognition and game experience.

“Three short years later we now have three full teams of 20 to 25 girls,” she said. “The sport has taken off. Santa Barbara lacrosse has exploded and I think it’s going great places.”

Garcia agreed. “To be part of a first-year CIF program has been absolutely amazing. The girls have been phenomenal,” she said.

Garcia introduced team leaders Ali Bliss and Summer Bosse, the two most experienced players on the squad. She said Bliss scored nine goals in a game. Bosse is an aggressive player and a natural leader.

San Marcos lacrosse players Summer Bosse, left, and Ali Bliss, right.

San Marcos lacrosse players Summer Bosse, left, and Ali Bliss, right.

Biava brought her Sophies: Sophia DiFilippo and Sophie Tate. She said Tate is the team’s leading attacker and a vocal player. DiFilippo runs the midfielder and wins most of the draws. “That has been a key play to a lot of our wins,” said the coach.


Santa Barbara: The Dons are coming off three straight losses and face a tough week with a non-league game against CIF-ranked Oxnard on Tuesday, a Channel League game at Buena on Friday and the Anaheim Lions Tournament on Saturday

Longtime assistant coach George Rempe introduced three standout junior players: John Jensen, Carter Soto and Kevin Gowdy. “They are the real cornerstones of whatever success we have this year,” said Rempe.

Gowdy, a 6-4 right-handed pitcher, has been offered a scholarship to UCLA, Rempe said. Jensen is a slugging third baseman/pitcher and Carter is a tough second baseman that brings a football mentality to the game.

Dos Pueblos: The Chargers are 3-7 playing against some tough competition. Six of their games being decided by one run.

“I’m proud of the guys for hanging in there,” said coach Nick Katzenstein.

Katzenstein introduced Luke Coffey, Eli Roberts and Elijah Slikker, who instrumental in DP’s 2-1 win over Lompoc last Saturday.

Carpinteria: Coach Pat Cooney introduced a pair of two-sport athletes who make a difference on his team: Jorge Arroyo and Cesar Hernandez. The Warriors play Villanova home and away this week.


SBCC Women: Coach Chuckie Roth said recent swims by Katerine Warren and Rachelle Visser has him excited about the rest of the season. Warren swam the fastest 1000 freestyle in a recent meet and Visser did a practice 400 individual medley that would rank her in the top five in the state.

The Royals host their only home meet at San Marcos High on Saturday.


San Marcos: The Royals will challenge themselves with a meet against Troy and Ayala in Orange County on Friday.

“It will be a great test to see how good we really are. Ayala was the No. 4 team in Division 2 last year,” said Roth.

The coach introduced swimming newcomer Luisa Morena, whom he feels has a bright future in the program. “I have a vision looking forward two years down the road,” he said. “If we have a chance to win the league swimming your senior year, it’s because of people like you. She’s just a constant sense of motivation for many girls in the program.”

Brittany Prentice, one of San Marcos’ top water polo players, found her niche in the 100 fly, Roth said. “She has a great opportunity to swim that down the road in CIF prelims, finals and in league finals.”

Dos Pueblos: Retired coach Jim Ranta introduced the “depth kids” of the squad, the swimmers who don’t always win races but consistently rack up points in meets: butterflyer Jazer Moreno, sprinter John Stivers, freestyler Britni Tisdale and versatile freshman Ryann Neushul. Another key member is Amanda Boschke, one of 12 divers on the DP squad.

Santa Barbara High: Coach Mark Walsh said he was happy with the competitiveness of his teams against Dos Pueblos in a recent meet.

He said Alex Szymczak and Kristina Garcia from the girls team are both very competitive. Szymczak rallied in the final 10 feet to win the 500 free in a meet. “She hates to lose,” Walsh said.

On Garcia, who also is a standout water polo player: “She is a phenomenal swimmer with good technique and stroke. She always wants to go faster. She’s dead-set on improving.”

Walsh brought the leaders of the boys team, Ben Brewer and Cuyler Gabriel. Walsh expects Brewer to qualify for CIF in the 500 free after just missing out last year as a sophomore. Gabriel, a senior, swims the 100 fly and backstroke. “He leads by example,” said Walsh, who noted that Gabriel trains with the Santa Barbara Swim Club, but has made a point to attend more practices at the high school to help and motivate the team.

Walsh added that Gabriel and Brewer competed in a triathlon at Lake Lopez over the weekend and Gabriel took first place.

Sierra Garibay and Noah Reed are the leaders for the Warriors, said coach Matt Organista.

Matt Organista said Reed came back from a hurt shoulder and an ear infection and swam one of his best times of his career.


Dos Pueblos: Coach Liz Frech said the Chargers are in a rebuilding, but “I’m liking the progress of our team.”

The team’s improved play came through in a comeback win over San Marcos.

“I’m so proud of them to do what needed to be done,” she said

The senior-freshman doubles combination of Quinn Hensley and Vincent Villano have been key to DP’s success. The Chargers are 6-3.


SBCC women: The Vaqueros have showdown with Glendale this week. Both teams are 8-1 in the WSC. SBCC is seeking its first conference title since 2001.


Westmont: Athletic Director Dave Odell reported that the men’s and women’s teams making the national semifinals at the NAIA Tournament marks only the fourth time teams from the same school have accomplished that feat in tournament history.

“It’s pretty exciting to be part of history,” he said.

He credited the play of freshmen Jerry Karczewski and Sean Harmon for the men and Lauren McCoy on the women’s team for making a big difference.


Westmont:Coach Robert Ruiz said he learned last week that his club was leading the nation in fielding percentage. Then his team went out and made five errors in its next game.

The Warriors are 25-8 and ranked 13th in the NAIA, their highest ranking in program history.

Ace pitcher Russell Harmening tied the program’s career wins record last week with his 24th victory. Harmening is only a junior.

UCSB: Coach Andrew Checketts reported the Gauchos (16-6) play their first night game of the season on Tuesday at Loyola Marymount before opening Big West play at home over the weekend against Long Beach State.

SBCC:The Vaqueros play a big two-game series with Oxnard this week, Tuesday at Oxnard and Thursday at Pershing Park. Oxnard leads SBCC by one game in the WSC North standings.

Sean Berry leads a solid SBCC pitching staff with a 1.37 ERA. Jimmy Hill (.361) and Matt Henderson (.360) are the top hitters.