The Northern Santa Barbara County Athletic Round Table honored an entire team as Male Athletes of the Week on Monday: A first during this sports season.
Members of the Santa Maria High boys cross country team were present to accept their award at Giavanni’s Pizzeria – following the Saints’ historic first league championship in the sport. The Saints accomplished the historic feat on Nov. 1 in the Los Padres League Finals in Morro Bay.
Cesar Ayuso spoke on behalf of the Saints, as all seven members stood center stage to accept their honor.
“It feels really good. They’re the reason why we’re here and we’ve been together since our sophomore year. We’ve grown as a family,” Ayuso said. “To finally be honored, it’s great.”
Saints athletic director Brian Wallace also expressed his praise toward his cross country runners.
“A lot of good things are happening at Santa Maria High School,” Wallace said.
The Female Athlete of the Week winner also came from the cross country trail, as Hancock College’s Brianna Magana received the honor after qualifying for the state championships last Friday.
“Thank you, coach (Louie) Quintana, for helping me get through this season,” Magana said after she accepted her award.
Not only did Wallace shine a light on his cross country team, but also brought out Blake Truhitte – whose big plays at quarterback against Nipomo helped seal the Saints’ first league football title since 1988 last Friday.
“Blake has had a great season – breaking many records at our school,” Wallace said.
Girls tennis head coach David Riley raved about the play of his team against, what he called, was a well-coached Chaminade squad, as the Eagles defeated Cabrillo 13-5 last Wednesday. He also said how he was in awe of the tennis facility CHS had to play on – which was played atop of a six-story parking lot, Riley said.
He brought out Paris Wynne and Karly Atkin from the Conquistadores, whom Riley said improved over the course of the year.
Valley Christian Academy
Lions athletic director Pete Fortier spoke about his football team jumping out to a big lead and not letting up in their CIF Southern Section Division 2 playoff opener victory over Calvary Baptist.
Fortier introduced Adam Aldana and Matt Holihan to the Round Table then spoke about the Lions going on a long trek this week: A five-hour bus drive to Hesperia to take on Hesperia Christian.
St. Joseph's athletic secretary Debbie Wegemer spoke on behalf of the football team – which clinched a playoff spot in an emotional 20-14 home win over Santa Ynez.
She introduced the players who were integral in that victory: Zach Morris, Tim Miller, Alex Ontiveros and Justin Wong.
Former football head coach Dick Barrett beamed about his boys cross country runners who were on hand: Miguel Morales, Edgar Ortiz and Greg Wuitchick. He also had reigning LPL girls golf champion Kendal Martin at the weekly luncheon.
Barrett then dove into the upcoming playoff matchup the Braves have on the football field against Camarillo this Friday at Huyck Stadium – reminding the crowd that the Scorpions aren’t a team to be taken lightly.
“We’re in Division 3, so we’re up with the big boys,” Barrett said. “They (Camarillo) almost beat Oaks Christian. They almost beat Westlake – that’s who we get to play. It’s not going to be that easy going against them. But I know head coach Andrew Jones and those guys have done a great job with preparing for the playoffs.”
Cross country coach Quintana spoke on behalf of his team and their accomplishments leading up to the end of the season. He then highlighted Magana and all of her accomplishments.
Magana then thanked her coach and called him “the best coach I’ve had” after accepting her female Athlete of the Week nod.
Righetti, Pioneer Valley, Orcutt Academy and Santa Ynez were not present at the Monday event.