The Santa Barbara High football team was well represented on the CIF Southern Section Division 8 football selections, with six players recognized.
Named to the team were seniors Joshua Rosales, Chase Kamin, Johnny Valencia, and Dakota Hill, as well as juniors Deacon Hill and Noach Wood.
Rosales, Valencia, Dakota Hill and Wood helped lead a stout Golden Tornado defense, which shutout Gahr, 44-0, in the opening round and slowed down Palm Desert’s stud running back Simon Gaete to help Santa Barbara advance to the semifinals. Santa Barbara, which went 11-3 and 5-0 in Channel League this season, defeated Palmdale 37-15 and advanced to the CIF-SS Div. 8 championship game, ultimately falling to Sunny Hills by a score of 24-21.
Dakota and Deacon Hill (no relation) were also key contributors for the Santa Barbara offense throughout the playoffs. Deacon completed 60 of his 90 pass attempts for 929 yards, 13 touchdowns and just two interceptions for the playoffs. He added 180 rushing yards and three rushing TDs on 39 carries. Dakota had a tremendous playoff run, catching a team-high 17 passes for 360 yards and seven touchdowns. Perhaps the most memorable score between the Hill boys came against the Aztecs on a 4th down play late in the game to help Santa Barbara escape the desert with a win.
The Lancers also had six players named to the All-CIF team, as well as earning the top three honors. Senior Jun Ahn was named Offensive Player of the Year, junior Carson Irons was named Defensive Player of the Year, and coach Peter Karavedas was named Coach of the Year.
Three Rams earn 8-man honors
The Cate School Rams were also among the teams honored earlier this week by the CIF-SS, with three players earning All-CIF honors.
Senior defensive end and tight end Scott Holmes was recognized, as well as junior skill player William Deardorff and sophomore Mason Oetgen.
Holmes served as a stalwart for Cate and was able to not only make plays but also lead the Rams defense. Due to injuries, Deardorff was forced to play out of position for several games this season, but no matter where he lined up he was able to make an impact. Coaches would often laugh when the junior ran the play as it was drawn up, but he was continually a pain in the side for opposing defenses. Oetgen developed a solid chemistry with sophomore quarterback Will Bouma and the two should only improve with time.