High school sports roundup: Scotts Valley, Soquel to CCS football … – Lookout Santa Cruz

Editor’s note: Welcome to Lookout’s high school sports coverage. Our coverage is made possible by our members. Please become a member here today. Thomas Frey, an alum of Cabrillo College who has covered high school sports locally, will lead our coverage. His column — rounding up the week and looking forward to the next — will run each Monday. He’ll also profile an athlete of the month. We welcome your input — email thomas@lookoutlocal.com and news@lookoutlocal.com (with high school sports in the subject line).

Central Coast Section playoffs begin this Friday in football and a pair of Santa Cruz County squads will have games. Soquel High School earned the second seed in Division II and the Knights will host No. 7 Carmel High School (10-0) in the first round. Soquel is 8-2 after finishing the regular season with big wins over Hollister High School, Palma High School and Aptos High School.

At 9-1 overall, Scotts Valley High School took the No. 6 seed in Division III and will travel to No. 3 Aragon High School in San Mateo. Aragon went 8-2 this season and won six consecutive games between Sept. 8 and Oct. 19.

If Soquel and Scotts Valley win Friday, the next game would come on either Nov. 17 or 18 in the second round of the CCS playoffs. The Knights would face the winner of Saturday’s game between No. 3 seed Sacred Heart Prep (6-4) and visiting sixth seed Monterey High School (7-3), while the Falcons would meet the winner of No. 2 Capuchino High School (9-1) and visiting Alisal High School (9-1), the No. 7 seed.

Soquel High School 26, Aptos High School 14

The Knights finished their season with an 8-2 record after taking down Aptos on the road Friday night. After Aptos took a 7-0 lead in the first quarter, Soquel, led by sophomore quarterback Sam Whelan and senior wide receiver Jordan McCord III scored 26 consecutive points to take a 26-7 lead.

This was the final game in the legendary career of Aptos head coach Randy Blankenship. For more than four decades, Blankenship has coached all around the state, his wing-T offense wreaking havoc on opposing defenses for years. The Mariners finished the season 2-8.

Monte Vista Christian School 41, St. Francis High School 35

Monte Vista Christian won its sixth game of the season in the first year under coach Spencer Ferrari-Wood. The six victories is the most for the school since 2019 when the Mustangs won seven games.

“It was a crazy first game of the season and a crazy last game and a lot of craziness in between” Ferrari-Wood said. “I’m just so proud of our guys and the way we finished the season. I told them back in the spring when I arrived that we want to be playing our best football heading into November and we have absolutely been doing that.”

Junior quarterback Dom Pierini finished with 388 yards and four touchdowns, including the game-winner to junior wide receiver Nico Downie as time expired for Monte Vista Christian (604). Downie finished with 15 catches for 222 yards and two touchdowns. Senior Connor Pallott had a rushing touchdown to begin the game, and a receiving touchdown to tie up the game with 3 minutes, 24 seconds to play in the fourth quarter. Senior Angel Martinez also had a receiving touchdown and junior Gunner Sorensen picked up a fumble and returned it for a touchdown.

Junior Javier Fonseca did it all for St. Francis (3-7), scrambling for three touchdowns and passing for two scores, both to senior wide receiver Pedro Ibarra; Fonseca also added an interception on defense.

Scotts Valley High School over Santa Cruz High School

Scotts Valley running back Eli Velez (25) tries to shake free of Soquel Linebacker Adrian Lopez-Kais (30).

Scotts Valley running back Eli Velez (25) tries to shake free of Soquel linebacker Adrian Lopez-Kais (30) during the teams’ September meeting.

(John P. Hefti / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Scotts Valley won after Santa Cruz High School forfeited its game. The Cardinals finish the season 0-10. Scotts Valley finished the regular season 9-1 and will look for its 10th win on Friday at Aragon in the CCS Division III playoffs. The most recent time the Falcons won double-digit games was in 2008.

Watsonville High School 15, North Monterey County 13

Watsonville picked up its fourth win of the season, finishing 4-6 under coach Marcus Northcutt.

Stevenson High School 42, Harbor High School 6

Harbor finished the season 5-5.

Marina High School 36, Pajaro Valley High School 20

Pajaro Valley had its second-highest-scoring game of the season and finished 1-9 after a tough schedule.


Harbor High School made its first trip to the Central Coast Section finals since 2012 and won its first title since 1994 after defeating Notre Dame High School of Belmont on Saturday in the Division IV championship. It was quite the road for the Pirates, who went undefeated in the Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League before defeating Soquel High School and Burlingame High School to reach the championship.

Against Soquel, junior Maren O’Farrell had a double-double with 10 kills and 17 assists while junior Isla Johnson had 17 kills, eight digs and three aces.

With a trip to the finals on the line, O’Farrell had another big game against Burlingame, racking up a triple-double with 13 kills, 14 digs and 32 assists. She was also key on the serve, hitting for five aces. Many of those assists were to Johnson, who had 20 kills, and junior Sabine Kemos, who had 12 kills.

Next up for Harbor is the NorCal state playoffs this week. The Pirates are the No. 1 seed in the California Interscholastic Federation state girls volleyball championships beginning Tuesday, and the Pirates will host No. 16-seed Acalanes High School of Lafayette at 6 p.m. Acalanes went 18-12 this season. A win would mean that Harbor would play again Thursday.

Santa Cruz High School saw its season end Thursday at the hands of Sacred Heart Prep in San Francisco in the section semifinals. Sophomore Natalie Monroe had nine kills and senior Lily Pederson had five kills.

The Cardinals reached the semifinals after taking down Notre Dame High School of San Jose on Tuesday in a five-set thriller. Santa Cruz senior Antonia Wilson put up video game numbers by tallying up 41 assists in the win. Monroe and Pederson combined for 24 kills.

Boys water polo

Santa Cruz High School beat Pacific Grove High School 20-7 in the first round of the Division I Central Coast Section playoffs on Saturday. Senior goalkeeper Lucas Primovera had seven saves. Juniors Mattias Cruz and Pakalani Saxton-Vaka combined for 10 goals, eight steals and three assists. Sophomore Hayden Johnson had seven goals, four steals and one assist.

The win sets up a Santa Cruz County Coast Athletic League rematch against Soquel High School on Wednesday at Gunn High School in Palo Alto. The winner of this Soquel-Santa Cruz matchup will advance to the CCS finals, which will take place on Saturday at Hollister High School

Soquel defeated Carmel High School 15-7 in the first round. Senior Malloy Wiens led the Knights with six goals and sophomore Stryder Stelck had two goals and a pair of assists.

Girls water polo

Soquel High School defeated St. Ignatius College Prep of San Francisco in the first round of the Open Division Central Coast Section playoffs on Saturday by a score of 14-9. The Knights will now take on Leland High School on Wednesday at Sacred Heart Prep in Atherton on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.

Soquel freshman Elizabeth Penny led the Knights with six goals while senior Leah Murphy had four and fellow senior Kayla Matthies found the back of the net twice.

Santa Cruz High School advanced to the second round of the playoffs in Division II after beating Castilleja High School of Palo Alto 11-6 on Saturday. Senior Zoe Ann Watson had five goals and three assists. Junior Amalia Terrazes and sophomore Violet Rubin each scored two goals. Next up for the Cardinals is Stevenson High School at Palo Alto High School on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.


Peyton Dueck, an Aptos High School alum, is keeping the volleyball alive for UCLA. After recording 15 digs against national No. 15 Arizona State on Friday and 10 digs against the University of Arizona on Sunday, Dueck now has 272 digs for the Bruins. The defensive specialist started the season with at least 10 digs in the first six games of the season, including 22 against Pepperdine in September.

This week in history

On Nov. 5, 1955, Watsonville High School alum Kenny Sears made his NBA debut and helped the New York Knicks defeat the Rochester Royals. In an eight-year career with the Knicks and San Francisco Warriors, Sears played in 529 career games, averaging 13.9 points and 7.8 rebounds.

Sears is the highest-drafted NBA player out of Santa Cruz County, having been taken fifth overall in the 1955 NBA draft.

On Nov. 7, 1958, Sears scored a career-high 41 points against the Detroit Pistons at the historic Detroit Olympia. The Olympia hosted four NHL All-Star games as home to the Detroit Red Wings from 1927-79 as well as a 1964 Beatles concert.

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