The San Luis Obispo High School boys soccer team shocked the prep soccer world Saturday.
Behind two goals from junior Branden Dolezal, SLO High defeated Livingston, one of the top teams in the nation, by a score of 2-1 at the De La Salle Showcase. Livingston came into the game ranked No. 1 in California and No. 11 in the nation, according to MaxPreps.com.
The Tigers got a goal in each half from Dolezal, the reigning County Player of the Year, on assists from sophomore Kellen Barry and senior Eddie Smith. Dolezal also scored twice on Friday in a 3-1 win over Montgomery (Santa Rosa), a team ranked No. 29 in the state.
“It does the world for our confidence,” SLO High head coach James Boscaro said. “We played in the showcase so we can see what it’s like to play against the top teams in the state. Now we know that not only can we play with those teams, we can beat them.”
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Dolezal now has eight goals and three assists on the season and SLO High (6-0) is off to an undefeated start. The Tigers are expected to be among the top teams in Division 2 when polls are released by the CIF-Southern Section on Jan. 8.
“He is bigger, faster and more technical than he was last season,” Boscaro said of Dolezal. “We have such a good supporting cast that it doesn’t have to be the ‘Branden Dolezal Show,’ but it can if it has to be.”
SLO High will face another difficult test on the road Wednesday against Santa Maria (4-2-1), a team that advanced to the Final Four of the CIF-Southern Section Division II playoffs last season and made a run in the state tournament.
▪ The Paso Robles boys soccer team is also undefeated (6-0-5) and was ranked No. 3 in the latest CIF-Southern Section Division 3 poll.
Big game from big man Kyler Warren
Atascadero High School senior Kyler Warren had one of the best games of his high school career last week in a win over Kingsburg. The 6-foot-8, 260-pound forward scored 40 points, grabbed 21 rebounds, dished out six assists and had four blocked shots at the Tulare Holiday Classic Tournament.
But the Greyhounds went 1-3 in the tournament and now sit at 3-5 on the season. Atascadero will host its own Christmas Tournament and open with a game against Templeton next Wednesday.
Prep Basketball roundup
▪ Senior Will Compton scored 25 points and sophomore Carson Leedom scored 24 as SLO High beat Nipomo 86-57 to move to 7-2 on the season.
▪ Mission Prep (4-1) suffered its first loss of the season against UCLA-commit David Singleton III and Bishop Montgomery (Torrance), the defending state champions, but bounced back Saturday with a win over West Ranch at the Mission Prep Christmas Classic. Mission Prep senior Kyle Colvin scored 33 in the win and is averaging 26 points per game this season.
▪ Due to a scheduling conflict, the Paso Robles girls basketball team opened its PAC 8 season early last Tuesday — and it started with a bang. The Bearcats (5-3, 1-0 PAC 8) ended SLO High’s seven-game winning streak with a 39-37 win behind 20 points from junior Kim Buchanan. Paso Robles gets a break and will play Arroyo Grande on Jan. 1, when the rest of league play gets underway.
Atascadero girls water polo gets monumental win
The Atascadero girls water polo team beat Righetti, always one of the top teams in the PAC 8, for the first time in 7 years last Tuesday with a 9-7 win.
Evy Cooper scored three goals, Abby Wright scored twice and goalie Tina Bell had 16 saves, 4 steals and a goal (her 8th of the season). Atascadero followed it up with a 10-4 win over Morro Bay and sits at 9-2 (2-0 PAC 8) on the season.
Mission Prep needs boys volleyball coach
Mission College Prep is looking for a boys varsity volleyball coach. Anyone interested should contact athletic director Vic Ecklund at 805-543-2131.
AG names softball coach
Arroyo Grande High School named Jose Ramirez as its new head softball coach.
“It has been a long time coming, but very worth the wait as we feel that we have a quality group of coaches to lead our JV and V programs into the future,” Arroyo Grande athletic director Stephen Field.
Ramirez takes over for John Welch, who led the Eagles to a 19-8 (10-4 PAC 8) record and second-place league finish.