Watsonville High's Jovani Guerrero (31) is brought down by Pajaro Valley defensive back Gabriel Sanchez
Watsonville High’s Jovani Guerrero (31) tries to shake loose of Pajaro Valley defensive back Gabriel Sanchez (12).
(John Hefti / Lookout Santa Cruz)
Recreation & Sports

High school sports roundup: Watsonville makes it 7 straight over Pajaro Valley in Belgard Kup

Nathaniel Aguilar tossed a pair of TD passes as Watsonville High shut out Pajaro Valley High 12-0 in their rivalry matchup. Elsewhere, Harbor High posted another football blowout, Scotts Valley defeated Monte Vista Christian in girls tennis and Harbor, Aptos, St. Francis, San Lorenzo Valley and Watsonville notched volleyball victories.

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).

The biggest rivalry game in Santa Cruz County last week was a defensive masterpiece in the Pajaro Valley. For the seventh consecutive time, Watsonville High School walked away with the Belgard Kup, beating Pajaro Valley High School 12-0.

The game was scoreless until Wildcatz quarterback Nathaniel Aguilar hit fellow junior Patrick Miller-Brown for a 15-yard touchdown midway through the second quarter to take a 6-0 lead.

With Pajaro Valley driving early in the fourth quarter, trailing 6-0, the visiting Grizzlies went for it on fourth down and were stopped by Watsonville, which took over at its own 30-yard line. Less than two minutes later, the ‘Catz led 12-0 as Aguilar found senior wide receiver Jovani Guerrero in the end zone for a touchdown strike.

Watsonville’s defense didn’t allow the Grizzlies to score and pitched its first shutout since Sept. 17, 2022. The ‘Catz move to 1-1 while Pajaro Valley is 0-2.

More rivalries continue this week with Scotts Valley High School taking on San Lorenzo Valley High School and Santa Cruz High School battling Soquel High School.

Next up for Watsonville: At Menlo School (2-0) on Saturday.

Next up for Pajaro Valley: Hosts Pacific Grove (2-0) on Saturday.

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


Monte Vista Christian School 57, Santa Clara High School 26
The Mustangs move to 2-0 after a 57-26 victory over Santa Clara on Saturday. On the ground, senior running back Connor Pallott ran the ball for 150 yards, moving the chains on multiple occasions. Junior wide receiver Nico Downie led the way receiving and opened the second half by returning a kickoff for a touchdown. Defensively, senior defensive back Angel Martinez intercepted two passes.

“All around it was a total team effort and win,” said coach Spencer Ferrari-Wood.

Next up for Monte Vista Christian: Hosts Rancho San Juan (1-1) on Friday.

Harbor High School 70, Yerba Buena High School 6
Harbor moves to 2-0 after putting up a school-record 70 points. The Pirates got a big effort from senior running back Ferris Vitali, who had more than 150 yards while hitting the end zone twice on the ground and twice through the air. Senior quarterback James Veiga had two passing scores and two rushing touchdowns, while junior Nico Edler also had a passing touchdown with 188 yards.

David Hernandez and Harbor High are 2-0 and have outscored opponents 110-6.
(John Hefti / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Jeovany Linares, fellow senior Jose Aquirre and junior David Quintanilla each added a rushing touchdown as the Pirates totaled 286 rush yards.

The defense allowed just 49 yards on the day.

Senior defensive lineman David Hernandez led the charge with 2.5 sacks while junior defensive end Darian Regino had 1.5 tackles for loss and two fumble recoveries.

Next up for the Pirates is Saratoga High School, which is coming off a shutout win over Santa Cruz High.

Next up for Harbor: Hosts Saratoga (1-1) on Friday.

Soquel High School 37, Burlingame High School 0
The Knights are 1-1 after shutting out Burlingame 37-0 on Saturday. Sophomore quarterback Sam Whelan threw three touchdown passes, two to junior Jordan McCord and one to senior Justice Grauel-Tebong, the 6-foot-4, 218-pound tight end.

On defense, juniors Gabe Virgallito, D’Rell Hopkins and Ben Palma and sophomore Jake Escalante all had interceptions.

Next up for Soquel: At Santa Cruz (0-2) on Friday.

Archbishop Mitty High School 41, Aptos High School 28
Aptos starts the season 0-2, but not due to weakness. For the second consecutive week, the Mariners took on a very difficult opponent and nearly came out with a victory. The Monarchs of Archbishop Mitty jumped out to a 28-14 lead at the half, but the Mariners fought back, and it was a one-possession game heading into the fourth quarter.

Senior running back Lawrence Ingram IV scored twice for Aptos while classmate Jordan Torres got into the end zone once. Torres added 147 yards on the ground and had an interception on defense. Senior Jasiah McKenzie had a sack.

Next up for Aptos: At Mission College Prep (1-1) on Friday.

San Lorenzo Valley 42, Gunderson High School 7
The Cougars even their record at 1-1 after jumping out to a 35-0 halftime lead against Gunderson. Next up, a rivalry game at undefeated Scotts Valley on Saturday.

Next up for San Lorenzo Valley: At Scotts Valley (2-0) on Saturday.

St. Francis High School 14, Stevenson High School 6
St. Francis moves to 1-1 after a 14-6 victory in a great defensive game over Stevenson on Saturday. The Sharks will now host Greenfield on Saturday. Last year the game was a classic, a 14-10 win on the road.

Next up for St. Francis: Hosts Greenfield (2-0) on Saturday.

Scotts Valley High School 31, Willow Glen High School 23
It was a big day for senior Quinn Turowski, who scored two touchdowns in the Falcons’ eight-point victory over Willow Glen on Saturday. Turowski started the scoring by hauling in a 45-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Lucas Ringel. The signal-caller found Turowski again on a 24-yard touchdown pass before halftime.

Turowski then used his foot to boot a 31-yard field goal in the third quarter. Defensively, he added an interception.

Niko Iles added a 22-yard touchdown run after he ran over three defenders on his way to the end zone. In the fourth quarter, senior Brady Siechen, who also had an interception, put the game away with a 53-yard touchdown rumble.

Next up for Scotts Valley: Hosts San Lorenzo Valley (1-1) on Saturday.

Saratoga High School 69, Santa Cruz High School 0
Next up for Santa Cruz: Hosts Soquel (1-1) on Friday.

Girls tennis

Scotts Valley defeated Monte Vista Christian 7-0 in a nonleague match Thursday. Seniors Stella Cheney and Maya Bensen, junior Erin Szymanski and sophomore Aila Papadopoulos all won singles matches for the Falcons. In doubles, the tandems of Samantha Warner and Sofia Niklaus, Maya Wexler and Montserrat Burgos, and Kendal Wright and Georgia Chetculi were victorious.

“I thought the team played a great match as a whole,” said Scotts Valley coach Scott Goodrich. “Everyone was focused and played really well. Lots of smiles between these two teams and that made it a very fun afternoon of tennis.”

Scotts Valley will open up league play in the Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League on Sept. 19 at 4:30 p.m. against Santa Cruz High School. An SCCAL preview will be in next week’s recap.


The Pirates are 10-5 heading into league play this week against Aptos and Soquel. Harbor won four matches in the past week, with victories over San Mateo High School, Mills High School, Salinas High School and Hollister High School. Seniors Sarah Melvin, Gwen Grigsby and Holly Pendergraft and juniors Isla Johnson, Sabine Kemos, Holly Rejfir and Maren O’Farrell helped lead the way.

The Mariners won 3-0 over Pacific Collegiate School on Wednesday and 3-1 over Terra Nova High School on Saturday to move to 3-1 on the season. In Wednesday’s victory, senior Julia Spinelli had four kills and eight service aces.

Against Terra Nova, senior Peyton Westjohn had 10 kills, junior Claire Willoughby had eight kills, sophomore Rylee Giesen had four service aces and freshman Ella Dueck had 14 kills.

St. Francis
The Sharks had a big win over Kirby High School 3-0 on Thursday as Carley Anderson, Samantha Martinez, Julie Lopez and Delaney Fowler played key roles in the 25-9, 25-13, 25-22 sweep.

San Lorenzo Valley
The Cougars had sweeps over Kirby and Anzar High School. Senior middle Janie Reynolds combined for 17 kills in the pair of 3-0 victories while junior Ari Ballard had six service aces against Anzar.

The Wildcatz are 2-0 after wins over Marina High School and Rancho San Juan High School. Daisy Cornejo and Danicka Hernandez lead the team in kills while fellow junior Calina Cassillas is the leader in assists and blocks. Up next is an undefeated showdown against North Salinas.


St. Francis High School alum Ruben Ibarra hit two home runs in his final three games in August for the Dayton Dragons, the High-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds. Ibarra, a fourth-round draft pick in 2021, now has 15 home runs on the season for the Dragons, who finish the regular season Sunday.

This week in history

Watsonville High School’s Mark Eichhorn made his Major League Baseball debut for the Toronto Blue Jays on Aug. 30, 1982. Eichhorn went on to appear in 563 career games for the Blue Jays, Atlanta Braves, California Angels and Baltimore Orioles. He had a career 3.00 earned run average and won the World Series in 1992 and 1993.

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