Press Luncheon: Playoff picture coming into focus

Special award winners on Monday were Athletes of the Week Jade Sinskul, left, Mason Picerni, middle, and Scholar-Athlete of the Year Albert Hughes, right.

Special award winners on Monday were Athletes of the Week Jade Sinskul, left, Mason Picerni, middle, and Scholar-Athlete of the Year Albert Hughes, right. (Presidio Sports Photos)


The end of the school year may be drawing near but the spring sports season is just heating up. There are league championships to be won this week, conference championships in the balance, and, of course, playoffs.

Dos Pueblos’ swimming team is coming off of setting records at the Mt. SAC Invitational in its last meet. This week its the Channel League Championships.

“So all the athletes are geared up for that and focusing on that, and then hopefully the ones who get CIF times will be going to the CIF meet in Riverside next week,” said Chargers assistant coach Jim Ranta.

From Dos Pueblos’ swim team were seniors Walker Bell, Reagan Eickert, Carina Schipper and Blake Parrish.

“Wish all of our seniors good luck in their endeavors next year,” Ranta.

Ranta was one of two coaches who couldn’t help but make Star Wars references on May 4. With a new movie due out later this year, the fan frenzy has already begun.

“May the 4th be with you,” Ranta said.

Carpinteria baseball coach and athletic director Pat Cooney injected another Star Wars moment, referring to volleyball players Mason Picerni and Andrew Hipple as Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker.

Whatever their alliance, the Warriors’ volleyball team clinched their first league championship since 2001 last week. Picerni’s performance in the clincher earned him Athlete of the Week honors.

Cooney’s baseball team isn’t fighting for a league championship but did put together a solid run in league play of late. Two big pieces were with him, David Martinez and Malcolm Gordon.

Sticking with baseball, Dos Pueblos was represented by seniors Drake Hawn, John Wetzel and Jessie Speier. The Chargers are seeking their third straight league championship and are currently sitting in second place.

The Chargers have a home and away series with San Marcos on Tuesday and Friday.

“It’s kind of a crazy tight race there but we’ll see what happens,” said Dos Pueblos head coach Nick Katzenstein.

The volleyball teams from San Marcos and Dos Pueblos delivered reports. The two rivals tied in the Channel League Standings but the Royals won the coin flip and will enter the CIF playoffs with the higher seed.

Davis Schell and Braeden Lisea joined San Marcos head coach Jon Newton.

In DP’s corner was head coach Ehren Hug and players Eli Wopat and Mark Raphael. The Chargers beat the Royals in four sets last week in their final head-to-head of the season.

“In the last two weeks we’ve really turned a corner,” Hug said.

UCSB track & field athlete Albert Hughes was recognized as Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Hughes is one of several Gauchos seeking a conference championship in the near future.

“We have six athletes who are ranked first in the Big West in seven different events, so we have some big-time individual firepower,” said Gauchos associate head coach Cody Fleming.

Westmont’s track & field team, tennis teams and baseball team are all waiting for their national NAIA tournaments. The baseball team just let a GSAC Tournament title slip through its fingers on Saturday but is a near shoe-in for an at-large berth.

“We finished second in the tournament, which is a fairly decent finish, but not the one we were looking for,” said Warriors Sports Information Director Ron Smith.