Quick Take:

In this week’s high school sports roundup, the Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League boys water polo title could be on the line when Santa Cruz High visits Soquel High on Thursday. Plus a full slate of football action, volleyball going down to the wire, Aptos High closing in on an SCCAL tennis title, a local soccer star commits to Duke and more.

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).

Santa Cruz High School and Soquel High School boys water polo will meet Thursday in a heavyweight Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League matchup at 6:30 p.m. at Soquel.

A SCCAL title is essentially on the line as Santa Cruz sits at 5-0 in league play and Soquel is 3-1. When the teams met Sept. 26 for the first time this season, it came down to the wire as Santa Cruz hopped out of the pool with a 12-10 victory.

Santa Cruz High's Hayden Johnson winds up for a shot against Soquel High
Santa Cruz High’s Hayden Johnson winds up for a shot against Soquel High in the teams’ first meeting, a 12-10 Cardinals victory Sept. 26. Credit: Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz is led by sophomore Hayden Johnson, who has 57 goals, 22 assists and 48 steals. Junior Pakalani Vaka-Saxton is also a heavyweight, with 44 goals, 16 assists and 31 steals. Seven of those goals came the previous time the Knights and Cardinals met. In net is senior goaltender Lucas Primovera, who is credited with 68 saves this season.

For Soquel, seniors Malloy Wiens and Hayes Pizzica are the leading goal-scorers. Wiens has a season high of 10 goals scored in a game, and the duo combined for four of the Knights’ 10 goals in the September meeting with Santa Cruz.


Salinas High School 45, Aptos High School 26

The Mariners trailed by one possession at halftime against the league leader, before Salinas scored 10 unanswered points to end the ballgame. Sophomore DeSean Gomez went over 100 rushing yards for the first time in his career and had a touchdown. Gomez was one of four Mariners to score a rushing touchdown, as seniors Jordan Torres, Matt Hood and Lawrence Ingram IV all reached the end zone as well.

Next up for Aptos: Hosts Palma High (2-4) on Saturday.

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Harbor High School 13, Marina High School 12

Harbor moved to 4-3 and won its first league game since 2014. Jeovany Linares and Ferris Vitali combined to rush for more than 200 yards, with a touchdown for Linares, and fellow senior Osvaldo Villa drilled two field goals, one in the second quarter and the second in the third. Junior defensive back Alberto Pegueros added an interception for the Pirates, who had the ball for more than 30 of the 48 minutes.

“No matter how we did it, we got it done together,” said Harbor coach James Gaynor Jr. “Our guys stayed focused on the next play and stuck together, which I’m proud of. Osvaldo Villa came up big for us on the line and kicking the ball, he was the MVP of homecoming.”

Next up for Harbor: Hosts Pajaro Valley High (1-5) on Friday, Oct. 20.

Soquel High School 37, Everett Alvarez High School 6

Soquel moves to 5-2 overall and 2-1 in the Pacific Coast Athletic League Gabilan Division after winning on the road. Sophomore quarterback Sam Whelan continued his great season by throwing for a touchdown and rushing for a score. It’s the fourth time this season Whelan has scored with his arm and his legs.

It was a big rushing day for the Knights, who piled up 200 yards with touchdowns from Whelan, seniors Cruz Ferris and Braylon Noble and junior Tyreis Lundy. Junior Hudson Hogan caught Whelan’s touchdown pass.

Next up for Soquel: Hosts Hollister High (2-4) on Friday.

Scotts Valley High School 32, Watsonville High School 0

Scotts Valley (5-1) pitched a shutout for the second consecutive week and hasn’t allowed a touchdown since Sept. 14. The win moves the Falcons to 2-0 in the Pacific Coast League Mission North Division. Junior Lucas Ringel had 98 passing yards, 68 of which were to senior wide receiver Quinn Turowski.

Next up for Scotts Valley: Hosts Monte Vista Christian School (3-3) on Friday.

Next up for Watsonville (2-4): Hosts Seaside High School (4-1) on Friday.

St. Francis High School 39, Santa Cruz High School 0

St. Francis (3-4) won its first Pacific Coast League Mission North Division game of the year at home Saturday. The victory came a little more than a year after the Sharks’ previous shutout, a 48-0 win over North Monterey County High School on Oct. 1, 2022.

Next up for St. Francis: At Watsonville High School (2-4) on Saturday, Oct. 21.

Next up for Santa Cruz (0-5): Hosts North Monterey County High School (3-4) on Friday.

Gonzales High School 52, Pajaro Valley High School 15

Next up for Pajaro Valley (1-5): Hosts Stevenson (3-2) on Saturday.

Greenfield High School 41, San Lorenzo Valley High School 7

Next up for San Lorenzo Valley (2-5): Hosts Gonzales (4-3) on Saturday.

Bye week: Monte Vista Christian School

Next up for Monte Vista Christian (3-3): At Scotts Valley (5-1) on Friday.


Harbor High School (8-0) and Santa Cruz High School (8-1) are in a battle to finish out the Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League season.

Harbor is undefeated and took down Soquel High School in a close five-set battle Tuesday, then beat San Lorenzo Valley High School in a sweep Thursday. Harbor junior Isla Johnson led the way with 20 kills against Soquel while senior Gwen Grigsby had 28 digs. Against San Lorenzo Valley, seniors Anika Dawson and Dakotah Johnson each had 5 kills and junior Callahan Stone had 7 assists and the match-ending ace.

Santa Cruz High School beat Scotts Valley High School on Tuesday in a five-set thriller. Sophomore Natalie Monroe had 15 kills and senior Daisy Manako added 10 kills. Senior Antonia Wilson and junior Kelaiah Wynn dominated at the net, combining for 10 blocks. Wilson also had 39 assists. On Thursday, the Cardinals went on the road to face Aptos High School, winning in four sets. Monroe had 15 kills and seniors Lily Pederson and Ava Lord each had 6 kills. For the Mariners, senior Peyton Westjohn, sophomores Kenzie Smith and Rylee Giesen and first-year player Ella Dueck each had 6 kills.

Mount Madonna School won its second league match of the season in a sweep over San Lorenzo Valley on Tuesday. Cy Harris led the Hawks with 18 kills and Lagi Hunnicutt had 33 assists. Ari Ballard had 8 kills for San Lorenzo Valley.

In the Pacific Coast Athletic League Mission Division, Watsonville High School (6-2) is battling Monterey High School (5-2) and Stevenson High School (6-1) for a league title. Juniors Daisy Cornejo and Danika Hernandez have combined for nearly 200 kills this season and senior Valeria Garcia has 179 assists.


With a perfect 5-0 record, Aptos High School has a 1½-game advantage in the Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League. The Mariners beat Soquel High School 5-2 on Tuesday and then topped San Lorenzo Valley High School 6-1 on Thursday. For the Mariners senior Tiana Smith, juniors Aviana Andrews and Gamble Kellermyer and sophomores Coral Collins, Isabella Calderon, Natalia Calderon and Neci Hoeptner all won matches.

Scotts Valley High School and Santa Cruz High School each sit with a 3-2 record after the two schools played last week. Santa Cruz edged the Falcons 4-3 and had wins from Plina Dorinkova, Lou Ellis, Ali Pierson, Arielle Ferrell and Kira McGlashan. For Scotts Valley senior Samantha Warner, junior Sofia Niklaus, sophomore Riya Kuriakose and first-year player Montserrat Burgos were victors.

Scotts Valley will take on Aptos on Tuesday at 4 p.m.

Girls water polo

Soquel High School is now 5-0 in the Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League after a league victory over Aptos 13-4 on Tuesday. Aptos has a 3-2 record in league.

Soquel seniors Leah Murphy and Summer Stelck combined to score 7 goals in a game the Knights led 7-1 at halftime. For Aptos, seniors Fiona Carey and Grace Martin, junior Scarlet Gleitsman-Miller and sophomore Madi Knudsen all found the back of the net.

The Mariners won the next day, taking down Harbor High School 11-2. Carey scored 5 goals while Knudsen and junior Adelaide Friedley each had a pair. The Pirates’ goals were scored by juniors Abigail Higgins and Serena Manildi.

Harbor won Tuesday 19-7 over San Lorenzo Valley High School in a match where Higgins and Manildi each scored four times. They weren’t the only ones to score four as senior Scout Bauman and sophomore Kate Brandon joined them. Seventeen of the Pirates’ goals featured an assist and Brandon led the team with 7.


Senior Ashyln Boothby of Scotts Valley High School and Evie Marheineke of Archbishop Mitty High School ran in the championship race at the Clovis Invitational on Saturday. Boothby took sixth, while Santa Cruz local Marheineke finished 26th in the 5,000-meter race.

College commitment

Santa Cruz High School junior Jocelyn Travers committed to Duke University to continue her soccer career. As a sophomore last season, Travers had 20 goals as the Cardinals made a run to the Central Coast Section playoffs.


Qwentin Brown, who rushed for more than 10 yards per carry at Santa Cruz High School from 2019-21, saw his first collegiate action for Brown University in the Ivy League. In a 42-20 victory over Central Connecticut State on Sept. 30, the health and human biology major had six carries for 21 yards.

This week in history

On Oct. 15, 2000, Reggie Stephens of the New York Giants intercepted Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman in a 19-14 victory over the Dallas Cowboys. Stephens, who went to Santa Cruz High School, had three interceptions that season as the Giants won the NFC Championship and played in Super Bowl XXXV.

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Follow Thomas Frey on: Twitter. Thomas comes to Lookout with eight years of high school sports reporting in California under his belt.Covering sports in Santa Cruz County has been a dream of his since...