The Round Table is back.
After an extended, three-week holiday vacation, the Northern Santa Barbara County Athletic Round Table reconvened Monday afternoon at Giavanni’s Pizza in Orcutt.
As is their custom, the Round Table saves its best for last.
The final order of business was the recognition of the half dozen athletes who earned Round Table Athlete of the Week honors over the last three weeks.
St. Joseph High School players swept the most recent awards with basketball players Jenna Patel and JoJo Walker earning their places in the Round Table spotlight for their performances on the court last week.
Patel scored 17 points in a 62-45 win over Paso Robles Tuesday night and 19 in a 65-42 win over Pioneer Valley Friday night. The Knights are 2-0 in the PAC 8 League and have won four straight.
“Getting this award is definitely an honor for me,” said Patel. “This is the first time I’ve ever won anything like this. I couldn’t have done it without my teammates.”
Patel sees her game as part work and part play.
“We’re trying to uphold the tradition of excellence that our team has always had,” said Patel. “But when I’m on the court, it’s a lot of fun. When I get out there I just let it go and just play.”
Walker scored 24 points in a 63-52 win over Paso Robles Tuesday night and dropped in 45 in an 83-62 win over Pioneer Valley Friday night. He went 16-for-27 from the field, seven-for-11 on 3-pointers and made six of his seven free throws.
“It just feels good to know that all the hard work is paying off,” said Walker who has already committed to play for the University of Portland. “As a team, we’re working very hard. We’re trying to go back-to-back and win another CIF championship.”
Walkers’ Knights are the defending CIF Southern Section Division 5AA champions.
“We’ve just got to continue working hard and we know it’s going to pay off,” said Walker.
For the week leading up to New Year’s, Hancock men’s basketball player Erik Kinnebrew and Cabrillo girls basketball player Erin Jenkins were named Athletes of the Week.
And for the week leading up to Christmas, Santa Maria boys soccer player Jorge Carmona and Lompoc girls basketball player Chavon Garrett were the Athletes of the Week.
The not-quite-retired and always entertaining former Athletic Director Dick Barrett brought twins Chavon and Cyenna Garrett from the girls basketball team and Juan Montelongo from boys soccer.
“There are fewer schools here this week since some aren’t back yet from their holiday break,” said Barrett. “That means more pizza for the rest of us.”
Barrett spoke briefly about the Braves wrestling team.
“We beat Cabrillo is a dual meet last week. We’re a young team and hope to keep building,” said Barrett. “We’re playing Santa Maria this week. That’s always a tough match for us.”
He said the boys soccer team will be playing in a tournament at Santa Ynez High this weekend.
“We also came in second at the annual Cats and Hounds boys soccer tournament. We lost 6-5 to Santa Maria in a really good game,” said Barrett. “Juan had two goals for us in the Santa Maria game.
Barrett then mentioned Tuesday’s big basketball doubleheader with Cabrillo coming over to play a girls game at 5 p.m. followed by the boys game at 6:30 – two games which will be webcast live at santamariatimes.com.
“Our girls and Cabrillo’s girls are stride-for-stride with each other. It should be a great doubleheader.”
Barrett closed by telling everyone why they should be rooting for Green Bay in the NFL playoffs.
“Ed Rogers was All-League in football at Lompoc High back in the 1970’s so we should all root for the Packers,” Barrett Said. “Ed is Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rogers’ dad.”
St. Joseph Athletic Director and boys basketball coach Tom Mott led the Knights’ contingent.
Walker was the only boys basketball player on hand.
“JoJo was the MVP of two holiday tournament that we played in – one in Las Vegas and the other in Arizona,” said Mott. “We have three PAC 8 games this week, Monday at Arroyo Grande, then two homes games – Wednesday against Atascadero and Friday against Righetti and the girls play a reverse schedule of those teams.”
Mott then introduced two of the players from the girls team, Patel and Maddie Miller.
“The girls have won their last four and they’re 2-0 in league,” said Mott. “Maddie is doing a great job as a perimeter defender and Jenna has been great at small forward.”
Boys soccer coach Al Garcia brought Nick Cash and Nathan Halsell.
“The boys are doing a great job,” said Garcia. “We’re struggling a little bit but these boys are real fighters.
And from the wrestling team, coach Armando Gonzalez introduced Noah Lossing and Logan Herman.
Athletic department secretary Debbie Wegemer was also on hand.
Wrestling coach Kevin Ilac brought a half dozen of his young Panthers.
Ilac introduced Cristian Cardenas, Erick Reynardo and Arnulfo Alvarez from his boys squad and Carolina Molina, Malina Bowban and Maya Velasquez from the girls.
“The boys are off to a good start. We are 10-4 overall and opened league play with a win against Paso Robles last week,” said Ilac. “We graduated 14 seniors so we’re rebuilding. We’re wrestling against Paso Robles and Arroyo Grande Tuesday and it should be a good test for us.
“Our girls are ranked No. 4 in the Sou8thern Section. As individuals, May is ranked fourth and both Carolina and Malina are ranked fifth in the section.”
Girls basketball coach Randy Stanford brought two of his players – Lauren Tittes and Mayley DeBernardi.
“They’re both sophomores and have become real team leaders,” said Stanford. “We just came back after Christmas break and are heading to Shandon Tuesday for a Coast Valley League game.”
Men’s basketball coach Tyson Aye brought his top assistants – his wife Stefanie and daughter Avery.
Aye also brought players Kinnebrew and Dominic Jackson-Anasson.
“We won our Holiday Classic last week and went 2-1 at the Cuesta Classic so overall we went 5-1 in the last week,” said Aye. “Erik was the All-Tournament MVP at our tournament and made the All-Tournament team at Cuesta. We have a doubleheader Saturday at home against Ventura as we begin Western State Conference play so come on out and root for our Bulldogs.”
The men’s and women’s doubleheader tips off at 3 p.m. Saturday at the Joe White Memorial Gym.
Women’s Basketball coach Cary Nerelli brought Syenna Ramirez and Taylor Lee-Hammer from his squad.
“We are 11-5 overall and won the championship at the Cuesta tournament and came in second at the Monterey tournament. We are a team in every sense of the word. We’re averaging 17 assists a game and Syenna and Taylor are a big part of our success,” said Nerelli. “It is really great to see what’s going on at the high school level in our local area. I know both coach Aye and I love to recruit our local players.”
Athletic Director Kim Ensing was also at the luncheon.
Righetti, Santa Maria, Orcutt Academy, Cabrillo and Santa Ynez High Schools were not at Monday’s luncheon.
The Round Table will take next week off in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day before resuming weekly luncheons on Jan. 23.