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Fall Sports Update
Girls Volleyball:
  • San Marcos' Attack Hobbled by Injury in Loss to Arroyo Grande: With its top attacking player hobbled by an injured pinkie toe, the San Marcos girls volleyball team went through several line-up adjustments in its home match against Arroyo Grande.Jenna MacFarlane, a potent attacker on the left side for the Royals, played with the injured toe but it was in the role of passer in the back row.In her place on the left side, the Royals got good production from Sierra Palladino."Obviously, missing Jenna was huge for us," San Marcos coach Tina Brown said. "Sierra Palladino did her job and filled Jenna's job pretty well. But what it did was take Sierra out of another position of someone who can score points for us. Sierra was our big point scorer. She had a great night."Palladino had nine goals, while Kendall Williams was the team leader with 10. Brynn Sofro added seven kills and three blocks in the middle.San Marcos got strong performances from libero Grace Mathews and setter Taylor Hantgin. Mathews kept several rallies alive with her digging. She was credited with 13 digs."Grace Matthews was unbelievable," Brown raved. "She dug so many balls tonight. We were trying to channel everything to her and she did her part. It was pretty incredible, and she wasn't feeling good. For her to come in sick and show up like that, what a competitor."Hantgin provided a spark with her setting and defense. She had 18 assists and seven digs."I have to give Taylor Hantgin great credit for being a spark plug for us and coming in and running a great offense," Brown said.
  • Jenna MacFarlane's 22 Kills Pace San Marcos to First Volleyball Win:  Jenna MacFarlane was the go-to player for the San Marcos girls volleyball team at Oxnard.The senior outside hitter blasted 22 kills to carry the Royals to their first victory of the season, a 29-27, 25-16, 25-10 sweep of the Yellowjackets."After a tight first game, we settled into playing a solid game of defense," San Marcos coach Tina Brown said. "We got really great passing from Kendall Williams, Grace Mathews and AJ Huerta-Leipner."Sierra Palladino added nine kills to the attack and Leila Parker and Williams each had four. Setter Ellie Gamberdella dished out 39 assists.
  • Kendall Williams Sparks San Marcos Volleyball in Sweep of Moorpark:  Kendall Williams got San Marcos off to a great start in its girl volleyball home opener, and the Royals swept Moorpark, 25-12, 25-23, 25-22. in a non-league match at the Thunderhut on Thursday.
    Williams' a tough serve had Moorpark scrambling on offense. She also passed well and put away eight kills.
    "She was solid all night," said San Marcos coach Tina Brown.
    Jenna MacFarlane led the Royals' attack with 12 kills in 24 attempts. Brynn Sofro added eight kills and had four blocks.
    Brown mixed up her lineups and was impressed by the hustle of setter Taylor Hantgin.
Girls Golf:  
  • San Marcos Girls Golf Beats Santa Ynez in a Tiebreaker: Allison Seoane's 57 broke a tie and gave San Marcos a win over Santa Ynez in a girls golf match at the Alisal River Course. The teams were tied at 263, and the tiebreaker was each team's No. 6 score. Seoane's 57 beat the 60 of Morgan Blunt of Santa Ynez. Alex Manion of San Marcos was the match medalist with a 48.
  Bella Wygant: 54
  Allison Seoane: 57 (tie-breaker)
  Alex Manion: 48 (medalist)
  Nina Huffman: 54
  Sofia Tasca: 51
  Jackie Moreno: 56
  • Alex Manion Leads San Marcos Girls Golf to First Win: San Marcos broke into the win column on the golf course with a 278-286 non-league decision over Cabrillo on Tuesday at Santa Barbara Golf Club.
    Alex Manion earned medalist honors with a 45.
    "The team was very excited with our first win of the season today," coach Sarah Ashton said. "We are seeing a lot of improvement across the board as the girls get used to playing competitive matches several times a week."
    Alex Manion - 45 (medalist)
    Sofia Tasca - 56
    Jackie Moreno - 58
    Bronwen Smith - 59
    Nina Huffman - 60
  • San Marcos Golfers Fall to San Luis Obispo:  San Marcos lost a non-league girls golf match against San Luis Obispo at Sandpiper Golf Course on Thursday.Isabel Carpenter shot a 6-over par 42 to earn medalist honors. Sophomore Alex Manion was the low scorer for San Marcos with a 42.The Royals (0-2-1) will look for their first win against Cabrillo.
   Alex Manion (sophomore) - 48
   Sofia Tasca - 56
   Jacqueline Moreno - 60
   Bella Wygant - 61
   Bronwen Smith - 61
Cross Country:
  • San Marcos Cross Country Teams Run Away With Lompoc Invite Titles: Jason Peterson and Kaela Cleary led dominating performances by the San Marcos boys and girls cross country teams in season-opening victories at the Lompoc Invitational on Wednesday at River Park.Peterson, who advanced to the CIF State Track & Field Championships last spring in the 800 meters, ran the flat 3-mile course in 16 minutes, 1 second, pulling away from Santa Maria's Cesar Ayuso (16:12). San Marcos' David Dinklage (16:20) was third and Ty Burre (16:28) came in fourth.Cleary, who was part of San Marcos' team that advanced to the CIF State Cross Country Championships last season, ran 19:29, finishing ahead of teammate Madison Funk (19:42).The Royals girls took the top six spots and finished with a perfect 15 points. Pioneer Valley was second with 50 and Santa Maria finished third with 80. Lompoc did not have enough runners to score.Mya Adornetto (20:13), Kate Allison (20:31), Lyla Krock (20:52) and Kendra Dayton (21:11) rounded out the top six for San Marcos.The Royals boys scored 23 points to beat Santa Maria (43), Pioneer Valley (68) and Lompoc (109). 
Boys Water Polo: 
  • San Marcos Edges Arroyo Grande in Water Polo Opener: Five players scored goals for San Marcos in a 9-8 boys water polo victory over Arroyo Grande on Thursday at the Royals' pool.Kellen Radtkey led the Royals with four goals, Liam McCarthy had two and James Oriskovich, Trevor Ricci and Sam Fuller tallied one apiece.Jack Phreaner played a solid game in goal, making eight saves."We have a lot of kinks to work out, but there were some big positives today," San Marcos coach Jeff Ashton saiod. "We got into some foul trouble early and lost a couple of key players. The other boys did a great job of keeping their composure and playing through it."Ashton noted that Collin Bosse drew two big ejections that helped in the win.  
Girls Tennis:  
  • San Marcos Girls Tennis Wins 4th Straight Match: The San Marcos girls tennis team improved to 4-0 with a 14-4 victory at Orcutt Academy.Yuka Perera went 2-0 in singles and Fiona Kinsella and Ava Castanha each went 2-1.The Royals doubles teams lost only two sets all day.
  • San Marcos Beats San Luis Obispo in Girls Tennis Opener: Yuka Perera didn't lose a game in sweeping her three sets, and San Marcos opened its girls tennis season under new head coach Andrea Rifkin with a 10-8 non-league victory over San Luis Obispo on Monday.Newcomer Fiona Kinsella played some long, hard-fought points and went 2-1 in her San Marcos debut.In doubles, the No. 1 team of Kelly Coulson and Samantha De'Alba won three sets and the No. 2 team of Savana Mata and Maura Mannix went 2-1 in their debut together.
  • San Marcos Girls Tennis Slips Past Valencia:  The San Marcos doubles teams of Kelly Coulson/Samantha De'Alba and Maura Mannix/Savana Mata each swept their sets, sparking the Royals to a 10-8 girls tennis victory over a tough Valencia team on Wednesday.
    Yuka Perera went 2-1 in singles and eked out a tight 6-4 win against Valencia's No. 2 player.
    Ava Castanha scored a key 6-3 win in the first round at No. 3 singles.
  • San Marcos Girls Tennis Romps Past Rocklin:
    San Marcos won its third straight match to start the season, beating Rocklin High of northern California, 17-1
    "We got strong singles play and the doubles teams lost only one set," said coach Andrea Rifkin.
  • San Marcos Tastes Victory for First Time Since 2015:
Luis Mesino is spectacular, scoring three touchdowns in a 35-19 win over Morro Bay to end 17-game losing streak
The San Marcos football finally savored the sweet taste of victory.
Mr. Excitement Luis Mesino caught two touchdown passes, returned a kickoff 85 yards for a score and intercepted a pass to lead the charge for the Royals in a 35-19 non-league win over Morro Bay at Warkentin Stadium.
The victory ended a 17-game losing streak and showed that the Royals are for real.
San Marcos students rushed the field after the game to celebrate the win. It was also the first victory for head coach Jason Fowle, who is in his second year. Fowle tried to talk to his team after the game, but seeing the elated students on the field, he let his players join in the fun.
The speech could wait till Monday. It was a special moment for the players.
"The players deserve all the credit," said Fowle. "They worked their butts off all year long, all off season, all week. After a tough loss (against Santa Ynez in the opener), they stayed positive. They did everything we asked them to do; we were hard on them, we were aggressive with them, but positive with them and they responded in every way."
On winning his first game as a varsity coach, Fowle said: "Honestly, it feels not a lot different when we played hard and played well in the past and lost. This time we came out and we won. And it's nice to get a win for this program and get the monkey for our back."
Mesino electrified the crowd on the first play from scrimmage, hauling in 45-yard pass from quarterback Jacob Villarreal with one hand. Four runs by Tommy Schaeffer put the ball at the 7 and Villarreal finished the opening drive with a 7-yard TD strike to Mesino on a broken play. Villarreal fumbled the snap, picked the ball up and rolled right before finding Messino in the end zone. Steven Corona kicked the first of his five PATs.
The Royals struck again in the first quarter after Mesino picked off Morro Bay quarterback Nico Calanchini at the San Marcos 35 and returned the ball to the 44. Calanchini was filling in for starter Adrian Moriarty, who was banged up in the Pirates' season-opening loss to Righetti.
San Marcos was penalized 15 yards after the interception and started its series on the 29. The ball was in the end zone on the first play, as Villarreal threw a bomb to a sprinting Mesino, who made a superb fingertip catch and outran the cornerback for a 71-yard score and a 14-0 lead with 2:44 left in the quarter.
"We knew that was gong to be our first play," said Villarreal.
"The kid's an enigma. That's what I say about him," Fowle said of Mesino. "He's quite an athlete."
Mesino finished the game with four catches for 124 yards and two scores. Villarreal was an efficient 11 of 16 for 197 yards and four touchdowns. He got good protection from his offensive line as he was sacked just once on a scramble.
"I'm really excited to keep going forward with them," said Villarreal of his line.
Mesino and Villarreal said it felt good to finally end a game on the winning side.
"It's great. As you can tell, everyone is excited and we can't wait to get the next one," said Villarreal.
Said Mesino "It's just exciting. It's been almost two years since we won a game here at San Marcos and for these boys it's really exciting for them and us as a program."
Without its top passer, Morro Bay relied on big running back Myles Minnis. The 6-foot, 220-pounder ran 41 yards on a delayed handoff to put the Pirates on the board at 11:50 of the second quarter. They failed on a pass for a two-point conversion, leaving the score 14-6.
Mr. Excitement then made his presence felt again. Mesino fumbled the ensuing kickoff and then took off on a thrilling 85-yard return for a touchdown. He made a terrific juke 10 yards into the return and bolted up the right sideline for his second kickoff return for a score in two games. Corona's PAT made it 21-6 at the 11:33 mark."That's what throws (the defenders) off," Mesino said of the fumble "If it's short ,I just let it roll for a few seconds so we can set up the wall and I just run." The San Marcos defense came up with another turnover, as Tristan Wallace picked off a pass at the Royals' 23.
San Marcos cashed in the turnover with a 7-yard touchdown pass from Villarreal to running back Tommy Schaeffer for a 28-6 advantage. The big play on the drive was Schaeffer's 26-yard gain on a screen pass on third and 8. Morro Bay was blitzing on the play, but the Royals' offensive line did a superb job picking it up.
Villarreal threw his fourth TD pass in the third quarter, a 5-yarder to Andrew Aragon for a 35-6 lead. The score was set up by a recovery of a Morro Bay fumble on the second-half kickoff.
Besides Villarreal's passing, the Royals got solid running from Schaeffer. He powered his way to 109 yards on 18 carries.
"It worked out that he got bulk of the carries," Fowle said. "Tommy is definitely a special player and he's only junior. We expect big things from him in the rest of his tenure at San Marcos."
Minnis had two touchdown runs of 12 yards in the fourth quarter for Morro Bay (0-2). He finished with 123 yards on 12 carries.
Fowle said it was nice to see his players rewarded for their hard work.
"I feel like we have played hard as a program every game," he said. "There's a small difference between winning and losing - and it's in how the outside world treats you. They don't have anything to prove to anybody, except each other."
  • Jason Fowle has settled in as head football coach at San Marcos High and it's made a difference in the way the Royals have been preparing for the 2017 season.There's a positive attitude, a good work ethic and a commitment to do your best.
    "It's been a good offseason," said senior running back Steven Corona (5-foot-7, 200 pounds), who is noticeably bigger and stronger from the offseason weight-lifting workouts. "I see a culture shift. Everyone wants to work and work hard to succeed. Everyone is on the same page. We want to prove to everyone that we're not the same program as last year. We're much improved."
    The Royals went 0-10 in 2016 after Fowle was named head coach in June of that year. 
    Now having a full year to work with the team, Fowle likes the progress he's seen from the players.
    "Last year, I came in on a short time, everything was on the run," he said. "In the offseason, from the very get-go, we asked (the players) to make a commitment to do the best they can do every day, committing to the weight room, the classroom and setting goals. It wasn't an easy thing to do for these kids after a tough season. I give them credit. They made the commitment early on and they decided it was an important thing to build this program.
    "It started with building this year's team," he added. "That is something we've emphasized quite often: You got to build a team before you can build a program. That's what we're working on."
    "I feel like we're improving," he said. "During the offseason, everyone was working hard. We've got a lot of guys back from last year and most of our defense is back. On offense, our main guys are back. We have a different mindset. We're putting in the work to improve as a team. One of the keys is our team bonding. We're closer, we're like brothers."
    "We're confident we're headed in the right direction and that message has shown through," he said. "It starts with hard work. In January, we wanted to get the taste (of last season) out of our mouth and we wanted to get working toward the future. (The players) slowly started to see the progress and achieve some of their goals and build confidence again. That's part of that culture, focusing on daily, incremental improvements. We're not trying to bite off the whole season in one chunk. I think that's very important as well."
    San Marcos has experienced players on both sides of the ball. The offense is led by senior quarterback Jacob Villarreal. He has a strong arm and is a good scrambler.
    "Jacob is an important player," said Fowle. "We're not asking him to do everything for us. We just want him to do his job, like everybody else. He has to be a game manager, a leader, a general out there on the field."
    Corona runs hard and is a good blocker. "He's a guy we can mix and match with a guy like Tommy Schaeffer, a junior who got a lot of playing time toward the end of the year," Fowle said. "He's got some big-play ability. He's also versatile, he can go in the slot and run routes out of the backfield."
    Mark Herrera and Dane Sterndahl are also be in the mix at running back. 
    "We're hoping to mix it up and not have one guy carry the load," said Fowle.
    Luis Mesino returns at wide receiver. "He's a skilled, talented, explosive athlete," said Fowle.
    Paul Ingram (6-6, 200) moves from tight end to wide receiver and Andrew Aragon (5-11, 175) takes the tight end job. 
    Kesablyan is the leader on the offensive line. At 6-4, 260 pounds, tackle Miguel Alaniz brings size and experience to the line. Javier Castillo (5-10, 176) returns at guard. Fowle calls him "pound for pound one of the strongest guys on the team."
    On defense, Aragon, transfer Jafet Gomez, Tony Sanabia and Herrera are key members on the line. Kesablyan leads the linebacking corps in the middle, with Sterndahl and Cris Velasquez playing on the outside.
    In the secondary Fowle has experienced players in Mesino and Emmanuel Acevedo and newcomer junior Tristan Wallace. A cornerback spot remains up for grabs. 
    Aragon will handle the punting chores. He was a second team all-Channel League selection last year. Corona and Aragon can both kick field goals and extra points. Fowle said the players have put in the work and are looking forward to the season. The Royals opened Friday, Aug. 25 at Santa Ynez.
    "We're in good place right now. We've put so much into this," the coach said. "(The players) built so much trust in one another. We're learning from our success and failures and moving forward day by day and week by week. We definitely have a better foundation."
SBART Player of the Week

Luis Mesino