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Posted: Thursday, March 31, 2011 2:09 pm

CHS Softball started their regular season last week and although they came late to the scheduling party, they won their first Central League game of the season over Kearny 10-9. The Islanders enter 2011 as the defending conference champs and added some players from the junior varsity squad which compiled an 18-1 mark a year ago.

However, according to Head Coach Tony Isabella, a proud dues-paying member of the Optimist Club of Coronado (you’re welcome Tony), only four seniors populate the 12-person roster. Representatives from the Class of 2011 include Kayla Englehart, Alanna Pompa, Olivia Nebo and Nicole Aguilar. Junior Jodie Adair also returns to the varsity lineup.

The pitching staff will consist of Lakota Abdalla-Kane, who will get the bulk of the starting assignments, and Lauren Curtis. Hali Danna will play primarily at second base, while the outfield will include Laura Williams, Hollyn Toomey, Brooke Gensler and Lisa-Jean Logan. Since it is still early in the season, defensive assignments are still being finalized.

In Thursday’s game against Kearny, the Islanders swung the bats well. The offensive leaders included Nebo, who was 3-4 with two runs scored and two RBIs. Danna was 3-5 with two runs scored and Englehart was 2-5 with three RBIs. All three players contributed a triple to the offensive effort.

“Defensively, Olivia Nebo started in center field and then was the catcher for the rest of the game,” said Isabella. “She threw out a runner trying to steal in the fifth inning at a crucial moment in the game. Nicole Aguilar played well at first base and Kayla Englehart played a solid shortstop. Lauren Curtis pitched a very good game and had 10 strikeouts. We had a few errors in the outfield that led to some of their runs being scored. We also made some adjustments and were able to put together a solid defense.”

Saturday the Islanders competed in the Hilltop Tournament and came out on the short end of a 6-2 result against Otay Ranch and lost to Scripps Ranch 11-1.

As previously noted, Coronado competes in the Central League for softball, a loop that includes Madison, the Academy of Our Lady of Peace, San Diego, Lincoln, Crawford, Hoover and Kearny. “Our toughest competition is Madison,” Isabella said. “Madison, OLP and Coronado are the top teams this year. Madison only lost two or three seniors from last year’s team. However, I was totally surprised by Kearny.” When CIF post season rolls around, Isabella expects Christian and Madison to be the Islanders toughest competition in Division IV.

Isabella has a deep coaching staff to assist with the team, including Assistant Head Coach Brenda Smith, infield coach Ron Bible, pitching and infield coach Randy Adair and outfield coach Mike Pompa. The junior varsity staff includes Head Coach Jay Kruer, Assistant Head Coach Doug Barker, infield Coach Kay Bland and outfield Coach Hayley Kitzmiller, who also serves as the team’s assistant trainer. Eileen Bible returns as statistician for both teams. “She’s phenomenal,” said Isabella of Bible. As is the case with Islander baseball statistician Bill Seager, being an official statistician can best be described as ‘a labor of love.’

This week Coronado continues their quest for a repeat Central League title with a home game Tuesday against Crawford and a Thursday home tilt against Hoover. The first pitch for both games is 3 p.m.

Islander Baseball Dodges Rainouts and Posts 1-2 Record

Last week’s rainy weather created havoc with the Islander Baseball Team’s game schedule. Monday’s game was moved to Wednesday, Tuesday’s stayed in place and Thursday’s game was played Friday. So let’s attempt to translate all of that.

Last week’s opposition was supplied by members of the Eastern League as Coronado is currently competing in the City Conference Tournament. Tuesday the Islanders lost to St. Augustine 7-0 and according to Head Coach Sam Ceci, Coronado starting pitcher Luke Gillingham pitched well enough to win. The junior left-hander yielded only one earned run in five innings on the mound. Unfortunately, six unearned runs crossed the plate as well. Kyle Teachout pitched a scoreless sixth inning for Coronado.

In the game which was moved from Monday to Wednesday, the Islanders hosted Mira Mesa and a similar fate befell Coronado starter Jake Meloche. In 5.2 innings Meloche yielded two earned runs and one unearned run, as the Islanders fell 3-0. “We played better against Mira Mesa,” said Ceci. “Jake threw well enough to win. We had opportunities to score and didn’t. In both games, the other team threw their ace and shut us down pretty good.” The Islanders had a total of nine base hits in the two games.

The game with Serra, originally scheduled for Thursday was moved to Friday. Coronado rallied for a 7-0 win behind the third member of the all-lefty starting mound corps Austin Denson, who pitched five shutout innings. Teachout and Jack Mikesell pitched an inning each in short relief. Coronado was efficient offensively, scoring seven runs on eight hits. Meloche was 2-2 with two RBIs, while Gillingham was 2-3 with one RBI. Other RBIs came from Garrett Smerdon, Parker Elkins and Teachout. Gillingham and Colin Clark scored twice each.

Ceci welcomed the return of Smerdon, who had missed a couple of weeks, to the club. “Garrett can play the outfield, infield and catch,” said Ceci of the senior athlete. “He picked us up and gave us a little more spirit than we had all week. He hit the ball pretty well and played a good second base. Mikesell crushed another one, this time for a double. But he hit the ball extremely well.”

Mikesell, also a senior, has the only Islander home run thus far this season. If the phrase, ‘Chicks dig the long ball’ is true, then in the current BBCOR bat world, Mikesell would play the Robert Redford role in “The Natural.”

The weather and resulting field issues are important because Coronado was able to get all of their games in last week. This week’s Islander opponents Christian and Scripps Ranch have make-up games this week which could negatively impact their pitching rotation. The Islanders travel to Christian Tuesday and host Scripps Ranch Thursday. Both games start at 3 p.m.

Support the Islander Baseball Team at PETCO Park

Saturday, April 30 at 4 p.m., the Coronado Baseball Team will play Madison High School at PETCO Park. Tickets for the game are $15 each and there is open seating for the contest. As a bonus, you receive a ticket to the San Diego Padres game on May 7 a 5:35 p.m. contest against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Parking in close proximity to the field is priced at $2.

This is a fundraiser for the San Diego Section CIF office and the Islanders are requested to sell 500 tickets to the game. If they can reach that sales level, the Islander program will benefit financially as well. Madison and Coronado are two of the best teams in Division IV and both teams compete in the tough Western League.

For more information regarding tickets for the game, please go to islanderbaseball.com. Baseball Booster Club President Scott Meloche can be reached via e-mail at scottmeloche@aol.com. It’s a great opportunity to support the Islander Baseball program and visit PETCO Park twice for the cost of one lone ticket.

Islander Track and Field Report

CHS Head Track Coach George Green provides an update on his team’s progress over the past 10 days. “Catching up with Track adventures, we had a few kids compete at the Elmer Runge Invitational at Patrick Henry March 19, where Sierra Smith soared over 5 feet, 2 inches in the high jump, Lauren Bartsch topped 8 feet, 6 inches in the pole vault and Aryan Shay dipped under two minutes in the 800 meters . Also, in that meet, Meg Sweeney ran 5:31 in the featured Thom Hunt mile for sixth place, Ashley Engelman survived a 1600 meter/400 meter double and promptly said, ‘I’ll never try THAT again.’ Maddy Danielson had a bad “trip” (play on words) in the invitational heat of the 300 meter hurdles and finished fourth.

A week later at the Mt. Carmel Invite Abigail Callahan also topped 5-2 in the high jump, Sweeney dipped under 5:30 in the 1600 meters and Shay got his first spike wound running the 800 meters, when he tangled with around a dozen other runners on the last curve. He nearly went down and it probably cost him the first place medal.

Sandwiched between these two events was a dual meet with Madison last Wednesday. Ale Bruyere introduced herself to the San Diego Track Community by posting two of the best freshman sprint performances of the season. Her times of 12.7 in the 100 meters and 26.7 in the 200 meters rank her among the Top 3 frosh sprinters in the county.

In terms of individual performances this is the best freshmen girls group we’ve had since I’ve been coaching here. With Smith and Callahan at the top of the city high jump ranks, Bartsch in the pole vault, Bruyere tearing up the track in the sprints, and Maddy Hopson approaching 16 feet in the long jump, the future looks bright for Islander girls’ track. The girls sprint crew is also pretty deep with frosh Kendall Cromartie approaching the 13 second and 28 second 100/200 marks and sophomores Samantha Kirk and Megan Galloway not far back.

When Hopson learns to triple jump, her speed and height will probably produce a top mark in that event as well. The boys also have a freshman star in Logan Lister, whose 37 foot, 11 inch shot put mark ranks him fourth among San Diego Section freshman boys.

The most competitive performances out of last Wednesday’s dual meet were the matchups between league cross country champ Connor Torre from Madison and Shay. Shay let Torre do most of the work for the first 1,200 meters of the 1,600 meter race and then used his 800-meter speed to win going away in 4:33.1 to Torres’ 4:35.5. The 800 event was closer but Shay had it under control all the way, winning in 2:01.3 to Torres’ 2:02.9, which is a nice double.

Ryan Keeney and Will Funk took the third and fourth spots in the 1600 meters, Danielson won both hurdle races, with freshman Danielle Simmons taking second in the 100 hurdles. Meg Sweeney won both the 800 and 1600, Engelman took the 3200, Elise Umansky and Taylor Ramos went 1-2 in the 400, Smith and Brittany Hallawell went 1-2 in the high jump, and Carlos Montes and Jack Gold tied for first in the pole vault.

CHS Swimming Report

Dave Throop, CHS Swim Team head coach, checks in with a report which discusses his teams’ progress last week. “Last week we had a tremendous opportunity when some of the USA National Team swimmers trained at the BBMAC. For the CHS athletes to be in that environment, to see the athletes in the pool and out, as well as having an opportunity to have an impromptu speech from legendary distance swim Coach John Urbanchek was invaluable. He stressed some of the same general principles that have been at the forefront of the CHS Aquatics Staff’s message. Hearing it from someone of his stature and background was a unique experience.

Last Thursday, the Islanders hosted Scripps Ranch in a dual meet. Scripps Ranch High School typically has a couple of outstanding swimmers and that was proof in this event. We are early in the preparation of our racing strategies for each athlete. As I said last week, the dual meet season is what the coaches use to evaluate each athlete and where they may be at the end of the regular dual meet season. We hope all of that will lead to the team’s goal of performing well during the championship portion of our season.

We had some good individual competitions, starting with the 200 freestyle. Van Burgess led for 180 yards of the race, but unfortunately it’s all 200 yards that complete the race and he was touched out in the end by a Scripps athlete. But along the way he swam a season and team best 1:49.96 and in the same race Braydon Hummeldorf swam a very good 1:54.54.

Garrret Sabesky won the 200 individual medley with a time of 2:11.12, which won the event by 1.5 seconds. In the 100 butterfly, Garrett Eyer swam a 59.33 to lead the Islanders and that effort was good enough time for a second place finish. Joe Kusters posted a nice time in the 100 freestyle, swimming a 54.77, which I believe is a season best for him, if not a personal best. Freshman David Carroll swam a 56.39, followed closely by Nick Wiley in a 57.49. The 500 freestyle saw freshman Israel Dedina pace the Islanders with a 5:24.03 followed by teammates Eitan Peled (5:36.29) and Kyle Schaff (5:44.91). Hummeldorf (1:07.29) and Drew Findley (1:10.24) proved the team’s depth in the breaststroke event with their efforts.

The girls also competed against Scripps Ranch, again with the meet used to find roles for each athlete. Shelby Couture led the Islanders in the 200 freestyle with a time of 2:15.07, while Kendall Hoshko (2:24.58) and Rebecca Bayer (2:29.14) performed well. Kendall Martin (2:30.05) held off teammate Gabie Darlak (2:31.61) in the 200 individual medley while Heidi Jonson swam a 2:46.64 in the same event to finish in fifth place.

Katy Gauvin swam a 28.78 in the 50 free, good enough for second place, while Sarah Alfano finished in fifth place with a 36.35. The 100 fly was paced by Cathy White (1:07.23), followed by Morgan Karney (1:10.48) and Madeline Hoshko (1:15.91). Couture (1:02.55) led the charge in the 100 freestyle with Noni Jones (1:04.00) closely following and Kaitlin Seay (1:07.23) chasing them.  White won the backstroke with a 1:07.53 while Madison Willett tied for third place with a time of 1:14.19. Cassie Scott swam a nice race in 1:20.25. Darlak swam a 1:22.80 in the 100 breast, while teammates Jonson (1:25.23) and Jones (1:25.70) finished in fourth and fifth place respectively.

For the upcoming week, we have a dual meet at The Bishop’s School Thursday. We are at a crucial point of our training as we enter April and our focus needs to be staying committed to our individual goals, as well as the team goal of swimming well at the end of the season. The preparation is important and how we handle the next couple weeks of conditioning and training will go a long way toward our success at the end of the season.”

CHS Boys Lacrosse Bests Arapahoe 11-3

Although they have only played three regular season games, the CHS Boys Lacrosse Team has vaulted to the top spot in the Westsidelax.com poll for all California high schools. Their 11-3 victory over Arapahoe (Colorado) High School at home Friday night probably had a lot to do with their rapid rise in the polls.

“They are a very capable team,” said Islander Head Coach Alex Cade of Arapahoe, who played Torrey Pines, La Costa Canyon, Rancho Bernardo and Coronado on consecutive nights. “They took on a hugely daunting task and they are playing some tough competition. We did some things during the game that made them look worse than they are.”

Despite the seemingly lopsided victory, Cade quickly honed in on the fact that the Islanders were 1-6 in their man-up opportunities. “That’s an awful percentage. It should be close to 50 percent and good teams are at 60 percent. That is an improvement we certainly need to make. We had some undisciplined play.”

It was senior attack Alex Bookout’s opportunity Friday night to lead the Islander offense, as he scored four goals and assisted on a fifth. Kyle Runyon scored twice and single goals were scored by Jack Perkins, Sergio Flores, Emmet Gormican, Tyler Smith and Chris Banks. Jacob Lujan and Nicolas Robles were among the Islanders contributing assists.

Cade thought Coronado’s offensive effort was tactically smarter than in their game last week against De La Salle. “All of our attack guys are used to making plays with the ball, but they were playing like we were down a goal in the last minute of play. This time we played within the offense and they created for each other. We learned to have some composure and to play within the system we designed. We had too many turnovers, but it’s still early and that is a good thing to harp on. All three attack men drew double teams. Instead of trying to go through the doubles like we did last week, we bounced off and looked to make the pass. Kyle and Alex took their time, had some patience and ran the offense. That allows the whole team to excel, which was really good to see.”

On the defensive end of the field, Cade lauded Billy Schmitt for his fine play. “Billy had an excellent game and got a game ball. He shut down a very good attack man for Arapahoe, who didn’t score. The defense played as a unit and played strong. Also, our midfielders got the ball up and down the field. Chris Banks had a great game and created a lot of opportunities for us. Sergio Flores played well.”

In a home game earlier in the week, Coronado defeated Scripps Ranch 11-1, with three goals scored by Bobby Ferrar. “The Scripps game gave us a chance to play guys who need to get seasoned for next year,” said Cade. “It’s good to give them some experience. A bunch of guys scored goals for us. It was also good to get the first team players a chance to work on their timing.”

This week Coronado completes the Coronado portion of their schedule as they host Mullen High School Tuesday evening. Thursday evening Columbine High School visits Coronado, with both games starting at 7 p.m. Saturday Coronado travels to Foothill High School for another 7 p.m., contest.

Islander Girls Lacrosse Topples Poway

As their contribution to the successful Girls/Boys Lacrosse doubleheader last Friday night, the Islander Girls Lax Team dominated Poway. The Islanders scored the first seven goals of the game, led 7-1 at the half before cruising to a 13-4 final score. Westsidelax.com promptly installed Coronado as the No. 3 team in the state. “It’s still super early in the season, so I don’t pay too much attention to the rankings,” said Islander Head Coach Jessica Battle.

Kaitlyn Couture, who will take her lacrosse talents to Los Angeles next year and compete for USC, led Coronado with five goals, followed closely by Michaela Guerrera with three goals and two assists. Caroline Carlson scored two goals and added an assist, with Mollie Privett providing the same offensive output and Nikki Kruger scored one goal. Meganne Weissenfels had seven saves in the game to earn the victory.

“It was really a team effort,” said Battle of the victory. “Couture and Guerrera did really well. A freshman who has stepped up is Sarah Andersen, who is a great defender. Cory De Marco and Brianne Clifford played well defensively. Molly Privett had a good game and really everybody played well. Lauren Maack, who is an attack, played a great defensive game and came up with a bunch of interceptions. Everyone played a part in that.”

Tuesday the Islanders hit the road to play at Torrey Pines. “We’re just kind of gearing up,” said Battle of the current season. “We have a big game with Torrey Pines. That’s our CIF Final until further notice. We have to do everything we can to win. We’re excited and I think we are ready. If we play the way we have been playing, we’ll be fine. Scripps Ranch and Torrey Pines will be our toughest competition.”

CHS Boys Golf Defeats La Jolla Country Day

The Islander Boys Golf Team had a nice outing last week, as they defeated La Jolla Country Day 213-215. LJCD was without the services of Anthony Paolucci, one of the top amateur golfers in the nation. However, LJCD still has plenty of talent on the team. The win avenged a 197-223 Coronado loss earlier this season to LJCD at Del Mar Country Club.

“Our top six golfers all had pars on the last hole,” said Coronado Head Coach Randy Coutts. “And La Jolla Country Day had three bogies on the last hole. Our kids went out and made putts when they had to. We won it on the last hole.” Brian Turley was the medalist for Coronado and shot a 39. Andrew Lister carded a round of 40.

Lincoln had to forfeit two matches to Coronado last week as they couldn’t field a complete team. Nick Spear took that opportunity to tune up his game and shot a round of 40. “Nick is shooting better,” said Coutts. “And Tommy Hart is starting to play well. That’s a good sign and provides us a little bit of depth. We should have a good next couple of weeks.”

CHS Boys Volleyball Gains Experience

Games came in bunches last week for the CHS Boys Volleyball Team. First they lost to The Bishop’s School in three games. “They were a really good, solid high school team,” said CHS Head Coach Shawn Patchell about the Knights. “Right now we’re trying to get caught up with serving and with serve-receive reps. Once we get that down, we’ll be able to hang with the more established programs.”

Thursday Lincoln came to Coronado and the Islanders won that match in three straight to go 2-1 in the Central League. “The guys played okay,” Patchell said. “It was a little closer than it should have been. Everybody got to play and contribute, so it was a good outing.”

Then the going got tough, when the Islanders competed in the Beach Cities Tournament and hosted one of the pools at CHS over the weekend. Patchell commented, “We were in over our head a little bit, but it was good to play some good teams. I hope it pays off this week when we’re back in league.”

Senior setter Jake Nicholson and sophomore middle blocker Andrew Orozco have formed a good bond on the court according to Patchell. “Jake is our captain and senior leader and he is doing a nice job of bringing the team along. The best thing from this weekend was that Andrew saw some real good high school middle blockers and learned how to hit against a good block, instead of just in theory. He got progressively better Saturday. Jake and Andrew are finding some good chemistry.”

This week the Islanders host Christian Tuesday and travel to Clairemont Thursday. Both matches are slated to start at 3 p.m.

Post Season Honors and Awards

Since our last column, several post season awards have been handed out to Coronado athletes. At the Girls Basketball Banquet it was announced that junior forward Peri Curtis was named the Central League Player of the Year. Joining Curtis on the Central League First Team was junior Alex Evans. Nicollette Abrantes was named to the Central League Second Team.

Varsity Team honors were presented by Head Coach Toler Goodwin and included: Rookie of the Year – Rachel Brennan; Most Inspirational – Evans; Most Valuable Defensive Player – Meganne Weissenfels; Team MVP – Curtis; and the ISF Award – Samantha Kirk.

JV Head Coach Todd Volstead presented Coaches Awards to Leah Thomas and Rebecca Rich.

In other post season recognition, the San Diego County Basketball Coaches Association named Islander senior guard Justin Heber to the South Team roster for the Boys Senior All-Star Basketball Game to be played Friday, April 22 at Horizon Christian High School. Tip-off for the game will be at 8 p.m.

All-CIF Teams were announced by the San Diego Hall of Champions and four Islander athletes were honored. Senior Tommy Hart made the Boys Soccer All-CIF First Team. Senior Cassie Callahan was named the CIF Soccer Player of the Year, which includes all divisions, for the second straight year. Senior Mallory Mitchell was named to the All-CIF Second Team in soccer. Senior Shelby Couture was named to the First Team on the All-CIF Girls Water Polo Team. Congratulations to all of the award winners.

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