Dos Pueblos Head Coach Doug Caines talks to his team during a time-out. | Credit: Paul Wellman

The 2019-20 prep sports season is upon us as the fall sports — football, girls’ volleyball, boys’ water polo, girls’ tennis, girls’ golf, and cross country — are officially underway. The questions that have lingered all summer will soon be answered.

The time for talking and projecting has ended. Scores will be settled, pride will be swallowed, and bragging rights will be won. May the spirit of competition motivate all to put forth their very best.

DYNAMIC DUO:  San Marcos High quarterback Ben Partee and wide receiver Josh Brown have a special connection on the field. The tandem eviscerated the Santa Paula secondary as Brown finished with 10 catches for 175 yards and three touchdowns in a 36-14 victory. Brown was named the Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table Athlete of the Week.

“Don’t let the surfer-boy demeanor and laid-back attitude fool you — he’s a very hard worker,” said San Marcos coach Jason Fowle at Monday’s SBART luncheon. “He and Ben worked tirelessly over the summer to perfect their timing. We’re going to have to find more ways to manufacture touches for him in every game.”

The Royals won their season opener in football for the first time since 2013. Could a breakthrough season be in the cards?

BIG MAN ON CAMPUS:  The contributions of Dos Pueblos wide receiver/defensive back Baylor Huyck were overshadowed by the 19-0 season opening loss to Rio Mesa. The 6’5″ senior hauled in five passes for 83 yards and brought down a crucial interception in the end zone that prevented a Rio Mesa touchdown early in the game.

Huyck appeared to get Dos Pueblos on the board early in the second quarter, but his touchdown catch and run was called back due to a block-in-the-back penalty.

“I’ve just been working so when I get the opportunity, I know what I’m doing and I know I’m going to catch the ball,” Huyck said about the improvements he made in the off-season. “I have confidence in us. We’ll get back on it.”

Huyck was also a key contributor on the Dos Pueblos basketball team last season where he was named to the All-Channel League First Team. If the season opener against Rio Mesa is any indication, Huyck is on track for a special senior season.

BIG SHOES TO FILL:  2018 Channel League MVP Ellie Gamberdella suffered a knee injury last spring that will keep her out for the entire 2019 indoor volleyball season. Gamberdella is committed to Stanford for beach volleyball and led San Marcos to the Channel League title last season as the team’s setter.

In Gamberdella’s absence, sophomore Ava Cole got the start in a season opening sweep of Buena on August 20 as well as a five-set loss to Arroyo Grande on August 22. Allie Fryklund also saw time at setter against Arroyo Grande and performed admirably.

“To have really young ‘quarterbacks’ running your team is certainly challenging, but I thought Ava did a great job,” said San Marcos coach Dwayne Hauschild. “She is making smart decisions and she is getting the ball for the most part where we need it to go, but there is room for growth for all of these kids.”

DONS DOMINATE BUENA:  The much-anticipated Santa Barbara High airshow conducted by quarterback Deacon Hill and a host of speedy receivers finally came to fruition in a 51-14 season opening victory over Buena. Hill passed for 277 yards and four touchdowns.

“That’s our philosophy: We are trying to score points,” said Santa Barbara High coach J.T. Stone. “I am trying to get these kids to understand if we’re trying to go a long way, we have to develop a mentality, and Deacon is the start of that.”

Next up for Santa Barbara is a showdown at former Channel League rival Ventura on Friday beginning at 7 p.m.

OWLS SOAR:  The Laguna Blanca girls’ volleyball team avenged a loss to Windward on Friday by defeating them in Saturday’s semifinal and went on to defeat Cate in the final 25-19 to win the first annual Cardinal Classic girls’ volleyball tournament.

Macy Christal led the Owls with 25 kills in nine games and was named Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table Girls Athlete of the Week.


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