After a week off, the Northern Santa Barbara County Athletic Round Table reconvened on Monday to honor its first set of spring athletes for 2019 at Giavanni’s Pizzeria in Orcutt.
Santa Ynez softball pitcher Armani Garcia won her third-ever Female Athlete of the Week nod after notching these two highlights: Striking out 17 batters in the 4-1 victory over Santa Maria last Monday and then guiding the Pirates to the 9-8 home win over Lompoc on Friday – the Pirates’ first softball win over the Braves since 2012.
Chris Cervantes of Santa Maria High track and field earned the Male Athlete of the Week nod – turning in first-place marks in the 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs last Wednesday in the Santa Maria City Meet that brought out every city high school except Righetti.
Garcia won the top weekly female honor last year. Now a junior, she says she believes she’s improved as a pitcher.
“I’ve been pitching since I was 8. Since then, I’ve been pushed to do my best and just work as hard as I can,” Garcia said. “I feel like I’ve improved more since my freshman year.”
Cervantes also accelerated to a second-place finish in the 600 meter and third in the 1,200 at the Saturday Rincon Meet held at Carpinteria High. The Saint said he was honored to be recognized by the Round Table.
“It feels great. It’s kind of a surprise. I didn’t expect to win,” Cervantes said.
Athletic director Jeff Monteiro took the microphone first and recapped how some of the Panther winter teams fared – including the girls basketball team’s run to the CIF Central Section playoffs.
The focus then shifted over to the PVHS spring athletes who were present inside Giavanni’s: Diego Lopez (boys volleyball), Ebba Tefera (boys volleyball), Dillin Noriega (boys golf), Avery Francisco (track and field, long distance running), Charlotte Ionata (track and field, throws) and Amaya Yebra (softball).
New softball head coach – but Righetti High coaching veteran – Brian Toomoka brought out three athletes from his sport: Samantha Lopez, Raelyn McCormick and MacKenzie Kestler.
Junior varsity boys volleyball head coach Lincoln White then spoke on behalf of the Warriors. Andrew White, his son, was the lone boys volleyball representative at the luncheon.
Softball was well represented for the Pirates.
Maggie Usher was on the microphone for the softball team, introducing her teammates Garcia, Sabrina Harridge, Yesenia Vega, Michaela Baker and Lauren Swing. Head coach Benny Garcia and assistant Crystal Garcia also sat with the Pirates at the Round Table.
Valley Christian Academy
The theme stayed at softball following Santa Ynez – as Lions head softball coach Stephanie Cortner came next to the stage.
Cortner introduced returners Mayley DeBernardi and Savannah Trenkle to the Round Table.
Athletic director Brian Wallace first began to share his praise of the Saints winter sports programs that stretched their seasons to the playoffs – programs like girls and boys soccer plus girls basketball.
Wallace had an all-track and field trio at the luncheon, as the A.D had Cervantes, Jovita Armenta and Robert Baisch as the Saints’ representatives.
Jim Fosdick was one of two spring season head coaches speaking on behalf of the Knights. The boys golf coach introduced Caleb Rodriguez to the crowd.
Next up was track and field head coach Al Garcia, who had the trio of Braidyn Cossa, Darien Langley and Joseph Domingues. Athletic director Tom Mott also sat with the Knights.
The Spartans first had softball head coach John Valencia speaking first – as the first-year head coach brought out Giselle Calderon, Danica Black and Sophia Balas, all of whom are freshmen on the varsity roster.
Next up was athletic director Chad McKenzie, who spoke in good praise about the attitude of the boys volleyball team despite the struggle McKenzie said he had with trying to find a head coach for this season. But McKenzie said the guys, particularly boys volleyball honoree Kyle Zafiris, have had a positive mindset.
McKenzie wrapped things up by shining a light on track and field representatives Josiah Debruno, Max Daniels and Karli Lundberg.
Dick Barrett once again took over the speaking duties for all things Brave athletics.
The Lompoc Unified board member had a trio of spring sport athletes on hand: Elijah Evans – a two-sport athlete in track and field and swimming – and softball players Mariah Villalobos and Hannah Larsh.
Louie Quintana returned to the Round Table, sharing the Bulldogs’ early start to the season with three meets already in the books.
Kevin Lopez, Mireya Lopez and Letarian Brandon were the AHC track and field honorees.
Not present was Cabrillo High School.
Orcutt Academy 7, Righetti 2
The Orcutt Academy Spartans improved to 3-0 on the season with a 7-2 victory over the Righetti Warriors in a non-league boys tennis match on the Alan Hancock Courts.
In singles, Matthew Lopez, Kenyon Childs, Kyle Quinlan, William Jin and Nathan Calhoun all posted straight set victories.
The Warriors got off to a strong start when No. 1 singles player Noah Ortiz defeated the Spartans’ No. 1 Troy Fulton 7-5, 6-3.
Then the Spartans grabbed the momentum when Lopez topped Ryan McGinty 6-1, 6-4, Childs went the distance before edging Ryan Shepperd 6-2, 2-6, 10-4, Quinlan swept Nick Brewer 6-0, 6-0, Jin also posted 6-0, 6-0 sets against Nathan Martin and Calhoun made it three-in a row with a 6-0, 6-0 win over Max Rhyne.
In doubles, Lopez and Childs defeated Ortiz and McGinty 8-3, Quinlan and Chris Gilbertson edged Shepperd and Brewer 8-5.
Righetti’s tandem of Mark Vieja and Mario Gonzales defeated Orcutt Academy’s Rafe Reylea and Skyler Grimnes 8-6.
Orcutt Academy has a bust week with four matches on the schedule through Saturday. The Spartans face Mission Prep Tuesday at the Hancock Courts, travel to Morro Bay on Thursday and then are off to Santa Monica Crossroads on Friday before heading to the First Serve Tournament Saturday in Huntington Beach.
San Luis Obispo 16, Santa Ynez 2
The San Luis Obispo Tigers went a perfect 6-0 in the first round and kept on rolling to a non-league victory at Santa Ynez High School.
The match used the CIF Southern Section format where each player faces the No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 seeds from the opposing team.
Santa Ynez’s No. 1 double team, Ryan Rennick and Eric Mailes, picked up one of the Pirates points with a 6-1 set win over the SLO No. 3 team of Addie Hubbley and Carson Krueckel.
Santa Ynez’s No. 3 singles player, Andreas Jackson, picked up the Pirates’ other point with a 6-3 set over SLO’s Greg Thoms.
Santa Ynez is back on its home court Tuesday for a Channel League match against Dos Pueblos.