The Northern Santa Barbara County Athletic Round Table had this rare moment on Monday: Three Athlete of the Week winners.
On the male side, Jackson Stahl of St. Joseph High boys soccer and Richard Matias of Valley Christian Academy boys basketball shared Athlete of the Week consideration at Giavanni’s Pizzeria in Orcutt.
Stahl scored twice in Friday's 2-1 victory over Orcutt Academy – which lifted the Knights to a 9-9-2 mark for the season. Matias delivered a 39-point outburst against Dunn last Tuesday, which was a 66-62 Lions victory. He followed that by scoring 25 points in the 78-42 romp of Maricopa last Friday.
Giselle Calderon of Orcutt Academy girls basketball was the top choice for Female Athlete of the Week, scoring a combined 55 points in three games last week to give the Spartans momentum for the upcoming CIF Central Section playoffs.
For Stahl, it’s the first time he’s been recognized by the NSBCART. He added his Monday appearance was his first time attending the luncheon.
“It’s the first time I’ve won in all the sports I’ve played, including baseball and water polo,” Stahl said smiling.
But Stahl said the culture has begun to shift on the boys soccer field through the coaching of Alex Spence.
“As a freshman, we were playing games where we weren’t really a team and it was individuals playing. Then my sophomore year we had a hard time getting a coach. But once Spence was announced as head coach and showed his skill playing in England, I could tell we were going to do great,” Stahl said.
Matias wasn’t present to accept his award as he was on a class field trip.
Lastly, Calderon said she’s embraced her role on a vastly improving Spartans girls basketball team – a team that’s won a school-record 19 wins and is enduring a culture change under head coach Tom Robb.
“My coaches have always said that the way that we’ve played has really changed and excelled throughout the years, especially this year,” Calderon said.
Boys soccer head coach Josh Bennett kicked things off by sharing updates on the Spartans’ season, who are currently 9-12-1 overall and 5-9 in the Ocean League.
Brendon Real, Joaquin Lozano and Hayden Mathieu were the Spartans’ representatives who stood up after Bennett introduced them to the crowd.
On the girls basketball side, Robb introduced his players Calderon, Izzy Wasserman and Daenaejah Malicdem.
Dick Barrett spoke about how while it’s been a tough year for some of the Brave sports in the Channel League, some teams have found immediate success against the Santa Barbara region for league bouts.
Particularly girls soccer, girls wrestling and girls basketball during the winter sports season.
Barrett had Mallory Branum of the girls basketball team and Aaliyah Banda of girls wrestling on hand.
Marcelino Gonzalez spoke first for Knights wrestling, introducing his teammates Jakob Hernandez and Richard Gonzalez.
Spence then came next to share how the boys soccer team has shown gradual improvement from the last two seasons – going from nine combined victories the previous two seasons to winning nine games this season.
Stahl and Henry Adam were the boys soccer representatives. Athletic director Tom Mott also sat in on the luncheon.
Athletic director Brian Wallace returned to the Round Table and spoke highly of the girls soccer program – which is 11-8-2 overall but 7-2 and in second place of the current Ocean League standings. The Saints will host Templeton on Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. with the Ocean League title at stake.
His athletes on hand came from boys soccer: Saul Salcido and Gilberto Gomez.
Valley Christian Academy
Head coach of girls basketball Randy Stanford was the keynote speaker for the Lions and discussed his team’s victories in the last week to help seal their CIF Southern Section Division 5A playoff spot.
Heather Knutson and Jenna Mason were in attendance. The Lions will host Los Angeles Price on Thursday in the first round of the playoffs. Stanford says official time for the contest is too be determined.
The CHS table was occupied by wrestlers and athletic director Dan Troup.
Troup raved about the performances he saw in the Channel League Individual Wrestling Finals, which saw Patrick Durham (172-pound class) take first and Kameron Wallace (108), Raymond Guerra (162) plus Jameson Brodeur (197) all claim second in their weight classes. CHS then got strong performances from Ryley Daltorio (122), Tony Boneck (134), Trey Robison (147, Jairo Salazar (182) and Joey Giordano (222) – all of whom earned third place marks. Troup said CHS had 12 automatic qualifiers for the next CIF section meet on Friday.
The boys wrestlers on hand at the Round Table who were honored by Troup were Wallace, Durham, Giordano, Robison, Daltorio and Brodeur.
Miiya Adames was the girls wrestling representative for CHS, who will be heading to Camarillo on Saturday for the CIF Southern Section girls finals.
Women’s basketball head coach Cary Nerelli started by wishing every winter sports team good luck in the upcoming CIF playoffs – calling it “an exciting time of the year.”
Sydney Meneses and Willow Bailey were his players who attended the weekly luncheon.
Not present were Santa Ynez, Righetti and Pioneer Valley.