A scuffle breaks out between the Harbor High and Santa Cruz High football teams
A scuffle between the Harbor High and Santa Cruz High squads resulted in Friday’s rivalry game being called at halftime, with the Pirates recording a 40-0 victory.
(John Hefti / Lookout Santa Cruz)
Recreation & Sports

High school sports roundup: Sideline melee mars Harbor’s opening blowout of Santa Cruz

A scuffle that saw a pair of Harbor High School assistant football coaches ejected caused Friday’s rivalry game at Santa Cruz High to be called at halftime, with the Pirates winning 40-0. Elsewhere, Aptos and Soquel dropped their football openers, while Aptos and Harbor have found the winning track early in the girls volleyball season.

Editor’s note: Welcome to Lookout’s high school sports coverage. 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).

It was a historic rivalry in Santa Cruz on Friday, and for the first time in nearly a decade, Harbor High School brought the Conch Shell Trophy home after defeating Santa Cruz High School 40-0 in a game that was called at halftime following a sideline scrap that led to a pair of Harbor assistant coaches getting ejected.

With Harbor up 40-0 late in the first half of the opener for both teams, a late hit occurred out of bounds on a Harbor player. Shoving between the two teams ensued, and one Harbor assistant was ejected for arguing with officials, while another was tossed while separating players.

“Of course, we’re happy to have the win and bring the shell back to Harbor, but we’re also very disappointed at how the game ended last night, it wasn’t a great representation of Harbor and how we operate within the football program,” Harbor head coach James Gaynor Jr. said via email. “This was the opportunity we’ve been waiting and training for all summer, but we also need to be held accountable for our reaction to the no-call, trash talking, etc.

“I/we expect better and we look forward to moving on and learning from this experience. I just hate that our kids’ efforts were overshadowed by nonsense that should’ve been prevented from the beginning and we need to own blame in that as well.”

The contest itself resulted in Harbor winning the rivalry game for the first time since 2014, and the Pirates got on the board quickly and often. Senior running back Jeovany Linares ran for three touchdowns and senior quarterback Ferris Vitali added two more rushing scores.

Defensively, senior cornerback Michael Servin intercepted two Santa Cruz passes and junior corner David Quintanilla added another. Senior defensive tackle David Hernandez had three tackles for loss.

Next up for Harbor: Hosts Yerba Buena High School (1-0) on Saturday.

Next up for Santa Cruz: At Saratoga High School (0-1) on Friday.

Contact me with any questions, comments or information at thomas@lookoutlocal.com.


Los Gatos High School 45, Soquel High School 14
The Knights held firm early on in their opener against one of the top teams in the Central Coast Section and trailed only 24-14 at halftime. Los Gatos pulled away in the second half by scoring three touchdowns. Soquel sophomore quarterback Sam Whelan completed 10 of 19 passes for 104 yards and a touchdown to senior wideout Braylon Noble.

On defense, senior Justice Grauel Tebong had two sacks and sophomore Adrian Lopez-Kaiser had an interception that he took into the end zone for a Knights touchdown.

Next up for Soquel: Hosts Burlingame High School (0-1) on Friday.

Oakdale High School 21, No. 12 Aptos High School 14
Aptos held a 14-0 lead at the half after senior quarterback Matt Hood rushed for a touchdown and threw a touchdown to senior Jasiah McKenzie. Senior Asher Norman had a sack, but it wasn’t enough as Oakdale scored three second-half touchdowns to win 21-14.

Next up for Aptos: At Archbishop Mitty High School (1-0) on Friday.

Monte Vista Christian School 20, Los Altos High School 13
The Mustangs trailed 13-0 heading into the fourth quarter before tying the game in the final play of regulation as junior quarterback Dominic Pierini threw a touchdown pass to junior wide receiver Nico Downie. In overtime, senior running back Connor Pallott scored a rushing touchdown before the Mustangs defense forced a turnover on downs to win the game.

Next up for Monte Vista Christian: Hosts Santa Clara High School (0-1) on Friday.

Monterey High School 35, St. Francis High School 0
Next up for St. Francis: At Stevenson High School (0-0) on Saturday.

Scotts Valley High School 35, Gonzales High School 0
The scoring started fast as the Falcons opened the game with a 68-yard touchdown from junior running back Eli Velez. Soon after, senior wide receiver Quinn Turowski broke the school record with a 96-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Lucas Ringel.

Senior running back Lukas Murphy, junior running back Adam Cain and junior wide receiver Jacob Womack all added touchdowns. The defense was lights-out all night, sacking the opposing quarterback eight times and allowing less than 100 total yards in the shutout.

Next up for Scotts Valley: At Willow Glen High School (0-0) on Friday.

Carmel High School 49, Watsonville High School 20
Next up for Watsonville: Hosts Pajaro Valley High School (0-1) on Friday.

South San Francisco High School 40, San Lorenzo Valley High School 18
Next up for San Lorenzo Valley: Hosts Gunderson High School (0-1) on Saturday.

Ripon Christian School 68, Pajaro Valley High School 0
Next up for Pajaro Valley: At Watsonville High School (0-1) on Friday.

Girls volleyball

Aptos began the season 1-0 after winning 3-0 against River City High School. Against visiting River City, freshman Ella Dueck led the Mariners with 11 kills with two blocks. Senior Peyton Westjohn had eight kills with four digs and a service ace.

Soquel is 1-4 after a tough preseason tournament against some top squads in Northern California. Junior Jesse Dueck leads the Knights with 48 kills. Senior Kayla Rhee-Pizano paces Soquel in both service aces (11) and assists (71).

Harbor has won six of its first eight contests. Isla Johnson has 47 kills and 16 service aces, while fellow junior Sabine Kemos has 28 kills and seven blocks. Senior Molly Pendergraft has 18 kills and junior Maren O’Farrell has 25 assists.

Santa Cruz began the season with a close five-set loss to Salinas High School. Sophomore Natalie Monroe dominated at the net, finishing with 13 kills and three blocks. Senior Antonia Wilson had 27 assists.

San Lorenzo Valley topped St. Francis 3-1 on Thursday, 25-19, 25-20.

Girls water polo

Soquel began the season 1-0 after defeating Arroyo Grande High School 10-8 on Saturday. Seniors Leah Murphy and Kayla Matthies each had four goals. Junior goalkeeper Maddie Barwick recorded seven saves. The Knights’ next game is Sept. 8.

Boys water polo

Santa Cruz defeated Carmel High School 21-5 on Saturday with big afternoons from several players. Senior Eli Hunter, juniors Mathias Cruz and Pak’alani Saxton Vaka and sophomores Nikolaus Kay and Tate Wilson all made contributions on both sides of the pool by scoring and recording blocks or steals. In net, senior goalkeeper Lucas Primovera had six saves.


Junior Kylie Brunelli of Monte Vista Christian won the Monte Vista Christian Invitational with a time of 21 minutes, 46 seconds. A pair of MVC first-year runners, Finley Castro and Layla Wasche, took third and sixth, respectively, while St. Francis junior Yasmin Salis finished fifth in the girls race.

Monte Vista Christian sophomore Conor Gilliam won the boys race with a time of 16:34. His teammates Gavin Beckmen, Mario Gonzalez, Bradley Orlando, Elisha Kieft and Alexander Ursino all finished in the top eight. Junior Philip Kuriakose and sophomore Thomas Lenz were the top finishers for St. Francis.

Pop Warner

Santa Cruz Pop Warner celebrated its history and a new scoreboard Sunday. Prior to the first game of the season, the new scoreboard was unveiled at Harvey West Park in Santa Cruz.

The scoreboard was made possible by monetary donations from the Reggie Stephens Foundation, the Gino Panelli Foundation, the Quilici family, Paul Locatelli, Allegri Electric and BSN Sports.

A few hours later, the 2021 national champions were honored with championship rings in a ceremony.

Since 1967, more than 8,000 players and cheerleaders have come through the Santa Cruz Pop Warner program.

“The only way I got to meet kids from other parts of the county was because I played Pop Warner with them,” said president and coach Ernie Camacho, who has been involved with the SCPW program for over 30 years as a player, coach, vice president and now president. “You’ve got kids from Watsonville playing with kids from the San Lorenzo Valley, Santa Cruz, everywhere. It’s great.”

This week in history

Ahead of their inaugural 1960 season, the Oakland Raiders began to wrap up training camp, held at Santa Cruz High School. Future Pro Football Hall of Famers Tom Flores and Jim Otto were on the squad.

Santa Cruz County alumni

Ashtyn Davis
The New York Jets drafted former Santa Cruz High star Ashtyn Davis in the third round in 2020.
(Via New York Jets)

Former Santa Cruz High football player Ashtyn Davis is preparing for his fourth NFL season with the New York Jets. The former third-round draft choice, a safety, has 101 tackles in his NFL career.

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