For an avid sports fan, there is no better time of the year than October. There’s playoff baseball, football in full swing, and now, thanks to the NBA moving up its regular season by two weeks, even meaningful basketball before Halloween. Keeping up with all your favorite teams has never been so time-consuming.
The Los Angeles sports scene experienced a 100-year flood of excitement last week when the Dodgers clinched a World Series berth by virtue of a 5-1 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers in Game 7 of the NLCS and LeBron James made his Staples Center debut against the Houston Rockets.
Both the Dodgers and the Lakers have given their fans hope that they can recapture the mystique of yesteryear.
GAMBERDELLA INJURED: Santa Barbara High three-year starting quarterback Frankie Gamberdella suffered a broken collarbone in a game against Cabrillo of Lompoc last Thursday and will be out for the remainder of the season.
Gamberdella is the Dons’ leading passer and rusher and has also made an impact on defense from the safety position. The 6ʹ3ʺ sophomore Deacon Hill will take over as the full-time starter at quarterback after making several relief appearances this season. Gamberdella is one of the premier athletes in the area. He also played varsity baseball and basketball last season.
HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL PLAYOFF PICTURE: The top three finishers in the six-team Channel League receive automatic playoff berths. Lompoc (7-2 overall, 4-0 Channel League) has clinched first place. Dos Pueblos (6-3 overall, 3-1 Channel League) punched their ticket to the playoffs after clinching at least a share of second place with a 35-28 victory over Santa Ynez last week. Santa Barbara (5-4 overall, 2-2 Channel League) can clinch a spot in the playoffs with a victory over Dos Pueblos in the final game of the regular season tonight at Warkentin Stadium.
If Santa Barbara defeats Dos Pueblos and Santa Ynez defeats San Marcos in the final week of the regular season, there will be a three-way tie for second place in the Channel League, but Dos Pueblos and Santa Barbara will receive the two automatic playoff berths due to a predetermined tiebreaker that took place at the beginning of the season.
Bishop Diego (3-6 overall, 0-3 Camino League) and Carpinteria (5-4 overall, 2-3 Citrus Coast League) need victories to improve their chances of receiving at-large berths into the playoffs. Bishop Diego will travel to Thousand Oaks for their regular season finale. Carpinteria will travel to Nordhoff. Both games will kick off Friday at 7 p.m.
EIGHT-MAN FOOTBALL: The Cate school eight-man football team improved to 7-0 on the season with a 55-12 victory over previously unbeaten Hesperia Christian last Saturday. The Rams are ranked No. 1 in the state eight-man rankings according to Maxpreps.
Senior captain quarterback Jack Deardorff ran for three touchdowns against Valley Christian and passed for another.
“We’ve got a good group of very talented athletes this year. They work hard, they like each other, and they listen to what we have to say,” said Cate coach Ben Soto. “We hope the best is yet to come.”
HOME SWEET HARDER: On the soccer front, the Gauchos improved to 8-0 at Harder Stadium this season with a 3-0 victory over Cal State Northridge last Saturday. UCSB (9-6-1, 3-2-1 BWC) is currently in third place in the Big West two points back of second-place UC Riverside and three points behind first-place UC Irvine. The top two teams in the Big West receive a first round bye in the Big West tournament and will host a semifinal match. A pivotal match at home against Cal Poly on Saturday, at 5 p.m., will go a long way toward deciding the Gauchos’ fate.
Looming in the distance is the 2018 College Cup, which will be at Harder Stadium this season. The national semifinals will be on Friday, December 7, and the National Championship game is on Sunday, December 9.
GIRLS’ VOLLEYBALL PLAYOFFS: The Santa Barbara High girls’ volleyball team bowed out of the CIF-SS Division 4 playoffs with a 25-14, 23-25, 25-14, 25-22 loss to Pasadena Poly in a second-round match last Saturday. The Dons won three consecutive elimination games, including an upset of Moorpark, the Champions of the Coastal Canyon League, in the previous round.
“Practice is one thing, but we need to come out in the game and give it all you’ve got and throw your body to the floor, and the girls did it,” said Santa Barbara coach Ariana Garner. “During the Channel League, we didn’t really believe, and once we beat Santa Ynez in three (sets) and La Reina, we started to believe finally and once we did the play followed.”
Dos Pueblos also advanced to the second round in Division 3 after defeating former Channel League rival Buena in the first round 25-14, 19-25, 25-19, 25-19. Village Christian eliminated the Chargers in straight sets in the second round.