St. Joseph's Richardson and Lompoc's Esquivel named Athletes of the Week

·3 min read

Jan. 25—The first Northern Santa Barbara County Athletic Round Table of the 2022 was held Monday in Orcutt.

St. Joseph soccer standout Cole Richardson was named the Male Athlete of the Week while Lompoc wrestler Yoanna Esquivel was honored as the Female Athlete of the Week during the luncheon held at Giavanni's Pizza.

Richardson had a hat trick in a 9-0 win over Orcutt Academy last week. He also scored once in a critical shootout win over Atascadero, compiling four goals and two assists in two matches.

Esquivel is unbeaten on the season and has one tournament title under her belt in her senior season. She helped the Braves clinch the Channel League co-championship with Santa Barbara.

Esquivel isn't one of those wrestlers who picked up the sport in high school. She's wrestled all four years she's been at LHS, being on the team when they last won a league title in her freshman year. Esquivel wrestles at 160 pounds.

"I've been around the sport since I was 8," Esquivel said. "Last time we were league champs was when I was a freshman. I'm really proud of this team. I had no idea I'd be Athlete of the Week, I didn't even know I was coming to the Round Table today."

Esquivel says the goal is now to make it to the CIF Southern Section Masters Tournament and one step further.

"I want to make it to State," Esquivel said.

The St. Joseph boys soccer team had won three straight games heading into Tuesday's big game against Mission Prep. The Knights beat Atascadero on Jan. 19 by a score of 2-2 after winning the shootout 8-7. Richardson had a goal and an assist in the game and teammate Ezekiel Datuin, who also attended Monday's Round Table, had a goal.

"I was a little surprised," about being named Athlete of the Week, Richardson said. "I've never been here before. As a team, we had a pretty good week."

"We've been working hard for the four years I've been here and we keep getting better. This is our year."

The Knights are 3-1 on the season. They play at Mission Prep (6-4, 3-2), at Templeton (8-6-2, 5-1) and at Nipomo (0-12-1, 0-5) this week.

"We just need to play one game at a time and keep winning," Richardson said.

Lompoc

Athletic director Claudia Terrones brought a strong group of student-athletes, including basketball players Deville Dickerson and Jacob Manzo and girls soccer players Angelina Verduzco and Sarah Gavilanes.

Pioneer Valley

Marcus Guzman represented the Panthers' group of student athletes, which included soccer players Isabella Diaz and Alexandria Aldama and basketball players Tiel Ruiz and Frankie Hin.

St. Joseph

Boys soccer coach Alex Spence spoke for the Knights and introduced Richardson and Datuin.

"Ezekiel is one of those players that you know exactly what you're going to get from him," Spence said. "He does everything to the best of his ability. He had three goals this past week. He and Cole are guys that you coaches will appreciate. They are great leaders and strong examples of the type of players we want on our team."

Santa Maria

Athletic director Dan Ellington brought some starters from the Saints' girls soccer team: Paola Diaz, Mia Santana, Lizbeth Velazquez and Yvette Abundiz.

Santa Ynez

Lisa Boyer, a water polo coach at Santa Ynez, brought three girls water polo players: Sydney Gills, Lily Mazza and Hannah Allen, two boys basketball players: Diego Torres and Jackson Olleburger and soccer standouts Neta Ofiaeli and Amelia Villa.

Valley Christian Academy

Boys basketball coach Christopher Maples brought two stars who helped the Lions beat Santa Maria in a non-league game last week, Seth Walker and Jacob Sanders, who each scored 20 points in the win over the Saints.

Orcutt Academy, Cabrillo, Hancock and Righetti did not attend Monday's Round Table. The next luncheon is scheduled for Monday, Jan. 31 at Giavanni's Pizza in Orcutt.