Athletes of Week: Bennett, Schroeder make impact with speed

Erica Schroeder, San Marcos cross country.

Erica Schroeder of San Marcos won the county cross country title.

AV Bennett, Bishop Diego football.

AV Bennett led Bishop Diego to a victory over rival Carpinteria.

AV Bennett of Bishop Diego and Erica Schroeder of San Marcos are both fast on their feet.

Their speed helped their respective teams earn big victories. Bennett returned a punt 52 yards for a touchdown and ran a counter sweep 67 yards for a score, leading Bishop Diego to a 35-6 victory over Carpinteria, clinching a tie for the Tri-Valley League football title.

Schroeder won the individual varsity girls title at the Santa Barbara County Cross Country Championships in a personal record time, and the Royals captured the girls team title by a wide margin.

For their efforts, Schroeder and Bennett were honored as Athletes of the Week at Monday’s Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table press luncheon.

The county title was Schroeder’s sixth meet victory of the season. She also took top honors at the Mt. SAC, Dos Pueblos Invitational, Bell-Jeff, Ojai and Lompoc invitationals. This week, she goes for a Channel League title at Camino Real Park in Ventura.

Bennett broke the game open against Carpinteria with his punt return. It was his third return for a touchdown in the last five games for Bishop.

The male athletes who were honorable choices for the award this week include Adam Gross (Santa Barbara High water polo), Derek Shoemaker (UCSB water polo), Nick DePuy (UCSB soccer), Alexander Cuevas (SBCC football), Kyril Van Schendel (Cate cross country) and Bryan Guijarro (UCSB cross country).

The female honorees were Yuka Perera (San Marcos tennis), Alexa Nestlerode (Westmont volleyball) and Amanda Ball (UCSB soccer).