For the second consecutive week, every area team filled the back of Giavanni’s Pizzeria in Orcutt for the Northern Santa Barbara County Athletic Round Table.
This week’s top athletes were a school record-breaker on the football field and a No. 1 girls tennis player from a team that’s currently undefeated in Los Padres League play: Dustin Gregg of Santa Ynez and Sierra Hohimer of Cabrillo.
Gregg, who tossed a school record six touchdown passes in the 41-7 romp of Templeton last Friday, gave thanks to his fellow Pirates at Monday's luncheon.
“It’s pretty exciting, but I got to give it up for the players around me. Our receivers made plays on the ball and our linemen gave me enough time to throw,” Gregg said.
Hohimer, who won five of her individual matches last week to keep CHS unbeaten in LPL play, was surprised about winning the weekly award.
“I wasn’t expecting this. It’s a great honor to be awarded this. I’m really happy. I try to put in the hard work and effort and I don’t expect stuff like this. But I’m really happy,” Hohimer said.
Other highlights from the luncheon.
Spartans girls golf was the first team to take the podium at the round table, with head coach Jim McManus introducing his two players Kari Lundberg and Taylor Heath.
“This is the first time I’ve been here (at the round table) with our girls,” McManus said. “With our program, we went into the season with a lot of excitement because we have four of our girls back from last year – which always bodes well for our program because we have six starters and having four back bodes well for our program, including these two.”
He hailed Heath as one of his most improved golfers, saying “It’s unbelievable how Taylor has improved over the summer. She came into the year ready to play and is our No. 5 golfer now.”
He ended his speech by calling Lundberg one of the leaders of the team. Next up was athletic director Chad McKenzie, who spoke about the Spartans’ first loss of the football season last Friday against Faith Baptist.
“We had a tough one,” McKenzie said. “They played a flawless game, no mistakes. But we made mistakes: Turnovers, missed opportunities, things like that. Hopefully, though, we’ll get a chance to see them again in the playoffs.”
He brought out two Spartans Harrison Picek and Max Daniels.
Jim Fosdick was first on the microphone for the Knights and brought two of his starters from girls golf: Jacquelyn Mengel and Mackenzie Taylor.
Jim Chvala came next to rave about his three senior wide receivers who attended the luncheon: Nate Guzman, Joe Miller and Mike Ramirez.
“All of their stats are nice stats, but with these young men – regardless if it’s a 3-yard catch or a 10-yard catch – once they get the ball in their hands they can turn it into an exciting play. They’re explosive,” Chvala told the attendees. “All three players have developed into leaders because of their efforts and actions.”
Valley Christian Academy
Pete Fortier was one of three representatives from the Lions, as the athletic director introduced his defensive ends Andrew Sparlin and Conner Anderson, the latter making the switch to the defensive line.
He also spoke about the Lions’ next game against a quality 8-man team from the Central Section: Kings Christian of Lemoore.
“We look forward to Kings Christian. Should be a tough game but will be a good game for us,” Fortier said.
Head football coach A.J. Pateras was next to take center stage and continued to reiterate his optimism about the future of Conquistadore football.
“I don’t think scores are reflecting how good we’re getting,” said Pateras, whose team is still searching for its first win of the season after dropping to 0-5 last Friday. “They’re excited about where we’re going as a program. We’re not discouraged at all about our program. Our numbers are high and we have more equipment than we’ve had before. If you see us in practice or in the weight room, you would swear we don’t look 0-5 at all.”
He introduced two of his linemen Ruben Ponce and Brenton Staunton, plus had running back Tito Miza on hand.
Girls volleyball had three seniors on hand at the round table: Tyler Vail, Pricilla Perez and Fernada Garcia. Volleyball, like CHS football, has also endured a new regime and rebuilding culture under first-year head coach Rhiannon Turnquist.
Girls tennis head coach David Riley was the last CHS representative to speak to the crowd, as he spoke about the Conqs’ victory over Santa Ynez last Tuesday.
“We had a huge win against Santa Ynez. The winner of the last set was to win it. Our girls we’re able to win it. It shows you how tight it was,” Riley said, who had his No. 1 ace Hohimer with him along with her parents.
“Sierra is a phenomenal player and best of all, she’s a fantastic human being,” Riley said.
Athletic director Greg Lanthier re-mentioned how hard it’s been to teach the game of girls golf at PVHS, but did share this positive sign at the round table.
“Their scores have gotten better in every match they’ve had,” said Lanthier, who had Panther golfers Mitzy Zacarias and Aaliyah Peniado with him.
He also had two Panther players who were largely responsible for helping PVHS win the thrilling 32-28 showdown over Santa Maria on Friday in the Main Street Classic: Lineman Jose Ramirez and running back Emmanuel Alcantar.
“It was a great event. Lots of spirit and drama – was happy to be a part of it,” Lanthier said.
Athletic director Brian Wallace stood up next to share his excitement about the Main Street Classic from last Friday.
“It was a great game if you were there. It was very well-played,” Wallace said.
He brought out lineman Jesus Zul and wide receiver/linebacker Jonathan Ramos.
Dick Barrett wanted to shine a light on one of the Braves’ assistant football coaches for providing an assist in Friday’s 42-0 shutout of Righetti: Offensive line coach Matt Sims.
“I have to give a shout-out to our offensive line coach Sims,” Barrett said. “We basically have one offensive lineman returning from last year and we had two starters who were out for our last game, but he continues to put out a real good product on the line.”
Barrett also mentioned the honor Toa Taua had last week, getting on Sports Illustrated’s “Faces in the Crowd” segment – which features a top prep athlete and his/her accomplishment in their respective sporting event.
Barrett had volleyball players Logan Blanco and Bella Robles and quarterback Xavier Nix with him.
Not only did head football coach Josh McClurg introduced volleyball players Lauren Fieldhouse and Gillian Wilkes first, but shared to the round table Wilkes’ hidden talent.
“Gillian is a hell of a trap shooter. And yes, we do trap shoot and hunt at Santa Ynez,” McClurg said.
He then spoke about his team’s rout of Templeton, and how THS has one of the more daunting stadiums on the Central Coast.
“I believe it’s haunted,” McClurg joked. “It’s an arena football stadium. Thank God we won so people aren’t yelling at me too much.”
His quartet of football players on hand were Gregg, A.J. Reynoso, Vinny Vacca and Nathan Crandall. McClurg ended his speech by sharing his enthusiasm for the Pirates’ next game against Santa Maria this Friday.
“They’re a high-powered offensive team. It should be a good game for us,” McClurg said.
Warriors football head coach Ed Herrmann showed his sense of humor when he got on the microphone next, explaining what happened at Huyck Stadium last Friday.
“The football gods are alive and well…and they live in Lompoc,” Herrmann said, drawing several laughs. “They are who we thought they were.”
He also bantered on how he tried to convince LHS head coach Andrew Jones and some of his players to skip the game.
“I offered coach Jones and his guys a couple of round trips to Hawaii and none of his players took me up on that,” Herrmann said, drawing more laughs.
Then, the fifth-year head coach took on a more serious tone – explaining how hard his guys did play against Lee Central Coast News’ top ranked team.
“I was proud of the way our team played and responded. But we had a few mistakes and we got antsy. Against a team like that, you can’t do that and they jump on your mistakes,” Herrmann said.
Football players Andrew Martinez, Jurrell Reed and Ricky Turcott were with Herrmann at the round table.
Last were the Bulldogs, as AHC offensive coordinator Seth Damron spoke on behalf of the team.
“We came away happy with the way we played offensively. Defensively, I thought we underachieved a little bit. So hopefully we can get back on track on both sides of the ball,” Damron said regarding Hancock’s 50-35 road win over Santa Ana from last Saturday.
His player representatives were Taupule Asotau, Anthony Miller and Isaac Bausley. Damron ended the speech by encouraging community support this Saturday at AHC.
“We would love for you guys to come out to our home game against San Bernardino Valley this Saturday,” Damron said.