SBART Luncheon: First win brings out high-fives in Carpinteria

Santa Barbara High football coach JT Stone is joined by players Tick Jellison, left, and Emmett Rees at Monday's Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table press luncheon

Santa Barbara High football coach JT Stone is joined by players Tick Jellison, left, and Emmett Rees at Monday’s Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table press luncheon.

A walk through downtown Carpinteria wasn’t a perilous journey for Warriors assistant football coach Rick Candaele last Saturday.

After a 0-5 start, Carpinteria broke into the win column with a 42-14 decision over Santa Paula on Friday night, which made things nicer in town.

“The sun was a little brighter in Carpinteria,” Candaele cracked at Monday’s Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table press luncheon at Harry’s Plaza Café. “The beach was a little bit warmer and I could walk through town and people didn’t elbow me.”

Carpinterians love their Warriors.

The play of “grinders” Mikey Sanchez and Jordy Pimentel helped the Warriors earn their first win.

It was better late than never.

“The first win of the season is something you’d rather hear in September,” Candaele said. “But our guys have a little grit. We bolstered our roster a little bit, so some of the guys think we’re 1-0.”

Santa Barbara: For coach JT Stone, it was all about looking forward after last Friday’s tough 28-24 loss at Ventura in the Channel League opener.

The Dons thought they scored the go-ahead touchdown with 18 seconds to go, but an official ruled their player didn’t cross the goal line.

“I’m sure you guys read the paper,” he said. “I’m not going to go backwards. There has to be winners and losers, and unfortunately we came up on the short end of the stick, but our boys did well. My boys played a very, very hard football game; I’m very proud of our play. It was like a heavyweight championship fight. It came down to the last play of the football game. The one thing we’re walking away from the game is we do not want to leave any game in anybody else’s hand from here on out. We’re going to move on from that.”

Stone introduced offensive lineman Emmett Rees, who has made a transition from linebacker to starting job. He also brought receiver Chris “Tick” Jellison. “He’s our engine on offense,” Stone said. “He’s an exciting football player.”

The Dons play host to Dos Pueblos on Friday night.

“It’s a big game for the community,” said Stone. “We expect DP to come out hungry. Our guys are hungry as well, and the league is still open for anyone to win.”

Dos Pueblos: Freshman coach Don Lee said he was making his first luncheon appearance since he played for legendary DP coach Scott O’Leary 30 years ago.

On last Friday’s varsity loss at Buena, Lee said the Chargers came out flat to start the game against a fired-up Bulldogs team and paid the price.

He introduced junior wide receiver/defensive end Marcellous Gossett and running back-wide receiver and free safety Blake Erwin, both key players for the Chargers.

SBCC: The Vaqueros return to action after a bye week and host L.A. Valley in a battle of 2-0 teams in the American Pacific League on Saturday at 1 p.m.


San Marcos: The Royals (4-0 in league)  have a big match at Ventura (3-1) on Tuesday.

Freshman coach Marilyn Hantgin said the varsity team should be proud of Thursday’s five-set win against a tenacious Dos Pueblos squad. “Some times you don’t always go out and play your best volleyball, but these girls just grinded it out and figured out how to win in the end,” she said.

The back-row play of Cassidy Drury-Pullen and Taryn Stevens was key to the win over DP, Hantgin noted. Both players made several big defensive plays and served tough down the stretch.

SBCC: Assistant coach Lisa Gera said the team’s tough schedule paid off in wins over third-ranked Canyons and No. 1 Pierce.

“We’ve been tested many times and have shown perseverance and tenacity,” she said. “Experience of playing tough matches in preseason helped us.”

Freshman middle Isabella Thompson and libero Tristen Thompson (no relation) have played well for the fourth-ranked Vaqueros. Gera said Tristen Thompson, the team’s captain, comes from a family of five sisters who play volleyball. Her elder sister, Katie, played at UCSB.

Westmont: Coach Patti Cook said 6-3 freshman middle Libby Dahlberg “has my exceeded my expectations for her. She’s set the bar high for herself.”

Dahlberg leads the team in blocks (58), is third highest in kills with 156 and ranks fourth in the GSAC in hitting percentage (.358).

“She plays with a lot of length and a lot of smarts. She earned her starting position and kept,” said Cook.


UCSB: Assistant coach Fifi Baiden said the Gauchos are ranked 15th in the country after wins over UC Riverside and Cal State Fullerton.

This week, UCSB (9-3-1. 4-0-0 Big West) hits the road for matches at Sacramento State on Wednesday and Cal Poly on Saturday.

Baiden introduced freshman forward Jonah Adomakoh of England. He scored his first collegiate goal two weeks ago against San Diego.

SBCC: Women’s team goalie Alex Camarillo has recorded five shutouts and has a 0.78 goals-against average.

Westmont men: Wilton Quintero converted his sixth penalty kick of the season to lift Westmont to a 1-0 overtime win over The Master’s last Saturday. He is 6 for 6 and holds the individual season record. The previous high was three. The team season record is eight.

The Warriors play host to Vanguard on Saturday.

The San Marcos golfing twin sisters of ALEX, left, and Alex Pitchford and coach Sarah Ashton.

The San Marcos golfing twin sisters of Alex, left, and Lauren Pitchford and coach Sarah Ashton.

Westmont women: The eighth-ranked Warriors host No. 1 and undefeated Lindsay Wilson, Ky., on Wednesday. The teams have met six times, with the Warriors holding a 5-1 advantage. One of their meetings was the 2003 NAIA National Championship, which Westmont won in seven overtimes at SBCC’s La Playa Stadium.


San Marcos: Coach Sarah Ashton brought one of the team’s set of twins, Alex and Lauren Pitchford.

“They are really intense on the golf course, really great competitors and great athletes,” Ashton said.

At recent match at Birnam Wood, Alex Pitchford earned medalist honors with a 42.

“It’s a really narrow course with really fancy houses, so it’s very costly either for your score or your pocketbook,” Ashton cracked. “Alex did an excellent job and was the match medalist. “Alex hits the driver a long way; she won the long-drive contest at the Nick Johnson Memorial Tournament at Sandpiper.”

Lauren’s strength his her iron play. “She is very consistent and scores really well. In almost every match, she’s been in the top 2-3 girls,” said Ashton.

The Royals (12-2, 6-1) play league-leading Dos Pueblos in the regular-season finale on Thursday at La Cumbre Country Club. The league individual tournament is Monday and Tuesday at Soule Park.

SBCC: Carolin Chang was named WSC Athlete of the Week. She has a 72.1 stroke average with three tournament wins and three runner-up finishes.

Carpinteria: Coach Steve Benzin’s Warriors are 8-1 and continue to get better.

“We continue every week to have a career best round,” he said.

Carina Lopez has lowered her best score five times this season and Juliet Parsons has shot three career-best rounds.