High School Athletic News: Ben Pearson Honored as League Most Valuable Player

Ben Pearson named Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League (SCCAL) Most Valuable Player (MVP), June 18, 2022: Santa Cruz Sentinel, All-SCCAL Boys Volleyball, “Mount Madonna’s Ben Pearson named MVP,” by Jim Seimas.

Mount Madonna School’s boys volleyball team took third place in the Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League this season, but there was little question that the Hawks boasted the top individual talent. Senior Ben Pearson, a four-year starter for the Hawks, was named Most Valuable Player.

The 6-foot-2 outside hitter averaged more than 30 kills a match for the Hawks (15-15, 5-7), and recorded a school record and league record 54 kills in a five-set loss to league champion Santa Cruz (38-4, 11-1). The previous mark of 52 was set by Mount Madonna’s Tobias Aguirre in 1994 against Harbor.

“He was nothing short of spectacular this year,” said PK McDonald, the Hawks coach. “He gave us a chance and as key to us being competitive.”

He helped the Hawks qualify for the Central Coast Section Division II playoffs and reach the quarterfinals, where they lost to No. 1 seed Sacred Heart Cathedral 25-21, 25-19, 25-20.

Pearson will play for NCAA Division I UC Santa Barbara next season. The Hawks’ salutatorian, he’ll major in astrophysics.

Given the Hawks’ youth, it didn’t take long for opponents to realize Pearson was the focal point of the attack.

“The secret was out pretty fast,” McDonald said. “He had to change his repertoire to stay effective. He did a good job off the block or taking what the defense gave him.”

As a child, Pearson worked on his attack after his parents set up a net in their Santa Cruz backyard. It wasn’t long before he destroyed everything in sight. It was more of the same on indoor courts in league play, where players took the place of patio furniture.

“He absolutely soared,” McDonald said. “And every hit was with unrelenting power, using his whole body. His swing is really special to watch.”

Read more

 

Senior Athletes Honored – Track and Field and Boys Volleyball, April 28, 2022:

“Grace Timan and Alyssa Manzur have both been dedicated athletes on our team since starting their first season on the team their freshman year,” said track and field coach Sara Soboviak. “Grace currently holds our school record in 300m hurdles and has consistently improved her sprint times and long jump every season. She is a valued member of our team not only for her energy and enthusiasm, but for her leadership. Alyssa has grown to be a confident thrower for our team over the years. She is always ready to put in the work and is a wonderful example of a coachable athlete. She listens to direction, makes adjustments and shows improvement consistently. Coach Jameelah Johnson and I are so appreciative of their presence on the team throughout the years.”

 

“Addy Catterall-Pendleton, Ben Pearson and Jimmy Bregman have done a wonderful job this year of embodying the principles of teamwork, trust, dedication and selflessness that have always been a foundation of success for Mount Madonna teams,” said High School Athletics Director PK McDonald, who coaches the team. “After a two-year break from competition it was wonderful to see these seniors compete again! I will forever be grateful for the leadership that they have shown this year; each made a huge contribution to Mount Madonna School volleyball. We look forward to seeing these young men go out and make the world a better place.”

 

 

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Santa Cruz Sentinel Local Roundup, Boys Volleyball, April 27, 2022:Mount Madonna Boys Volleyall Rallies Past Soquel,” by Jim Seimas. Photos by Shmuel Thaler.

Ben Pearson had 36 kills and 14 aces, and Mount Madonna School’s boys volleyball team rallied for a 23-25, 30-28, 25-20, 25-23 win over Soquel on the Knights’ Senior Night on Tuesday.

Cisco Rothman-Salado had 11 digs and Addy Catterall-Pendleton had 40 assists for the Hawks (12-14, 4-7). Read more

 

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Santa Cruz Sentinel, Track and Field News, April 15, 2022: See the Local Round Up, Girls Track and Field and Boys Track and Field sections.

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Track and Field, March 25, 2022: Yesterday, the Hawks soared as they met the Scotts Valley High School Falcons at Santa Cruz High School! Among the notable results:

~ Sophomore Bea Miller took first place in the varsity girls 100-meter dash (13.32) and second place in the 200-meter dash

~ Junior Mariah Cohen took first place in the varsity girls shot put (27-2)

~ Junior Sky Weir won the boys varsity triple jump competition (37-2)

Read the Santa Cruz Sentinel article by Jim Seimas. *Please note, the Sentinel article incorrectly stated that freshman Mordecai Coleman took first place in the discus; in fact, Coleman did not participate in yesterday’s meet. 

GO HAWKS!

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Track and Field, March 18, 2022: Last Saturday, the Hawks track and field team competed in their first invitational and meet of the season at the 49th Wildcat Relays at Watsonville High School. Athletes came out strong for the first meet and looked great, sporting their new singlets that were generously donated to the school by Rosa Segura, Head of Finance, at Mount Madonna School. We are extremely grateful for the donation and are loving our sleek new look! The Hawks dominated in the girls varsity long jump division at the meet, taking first place overall as a team, with sophomore Bea Miller leading the pack in long jump. The combined scores of Miller, junior Zoey Ocampo-Sobkoviak and sophomore Ona Musoll-Buendía in long jump secured the first place team position. Miller set a new school record with her jump of 16’01”! Additional top finishers at the meet were Musoll-Buendia taking fourth place overall in triple jump and setting a new school record with a jump of 32’04” and junior Sky Weir placing third, as well, in triple jump and a new school record, with a jump of 40’05”. 

“This was our first event of the season and all of our athletes showed that all the conditioning and training early in the season has put them in a competitive position,’ commented Coach Sara Sobkoviak. “Now we just need to fine tune our technique and build our endurance”. 

“Before the meet, Sara said ‘we’re going to front load them’,” said Coach Jameelah Johnson. “She was talking about our varsity girls 4 x 100 relay team. This last month Sara Sobkoviak has front loaded this small and mighty track and field team with conditioning. Conditioning is one thing that has held us together during this last track meet. With not much time on the track, our student athletes demonstrated how strong and talented they are. With the push from Sara, the team was able to really stand out individually and collectively. This season has just begun, and most of our team has already broken their record for the season, so the future is very promising. I can’t wait to see how well everyone on the team continues to show up.”

Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League Opener

On March 17 at Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League (SCCAL) opening meet at Soquel High, the Hawks were poised and filled with nervous excitement to compete in their first league meet of the season against San Lorenzo Valley, Harbor, Scotts Valley and Soquel. Junior Sky Weir was the top thrower of the day in the shot put, securing a new personal record with a throw of 37’10.50″. Junior Mariah Cohen placed second in shot put with a throw of 25’10”. Both Weir and sophomore Ona Musoll-Buendia were the top jumpers overall in varsity triple jump. The varsity girls 4 x 100 relay team ran a composed relay and are on their way to taking the school record, just missing it by five-tenths of second! The relay team consists of senior Grace Timan, junior Zoey Ocampo-Sobkoviak, sophomore Bea Miller and freshman Emi Lord. One of the highlights of the meet was Miller, who took fifth place overall and first in her heat for the varsity 100-meter sprint, setting a new school record time of 13.72! 
“I am really proud of our team and the hard work they are putting into this season,” said Coach Sara Sobkoviak. Bella Cambell and Alyssa Manzur are already setting personal records in throwing and I am looking forward to seeing Cooper Padilla, Mordecai Coleman and newcomer Ethan Lee find their groove on the team and in competitions. Coach Jameelah [Johnson] and I are also extremely grateful for our parent helper and coach Debbie Dutra (Emi Lord, ninth), who has really helped our long and triple jumpers feel more confident on the track.”

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Boys Volleyball, March 15, 2022: In front of a huge and boisterous crowd, the Hawks withstood a strong start from the Aptos Mariners. After dropping the first set, freshmen Cisco Rothman-Salado and Tej D’Costa Hemp began handling Aptos’ serves and got into a serving rhythm and the Hawks bounced back in game two. In game three, the Hawks found themselves down 18-22, but with some clutch serving from sophomore Peter Shoemaker, mounted a late charge to steal the important third set.

The fourth set was neck and neck, with both teams battling to keep it close. Aptos was able to get a late lead, with their strongest hitters rotating to the front row, and senior Ben Pearson was able to close out the match with a perfectly placed serve in the back right corner. With the win, the Hawks improve to third in league standing.
Pearson had 32 kills, passed 2.66, two aces and three blocks. Senior Jimmy Bregman added seven kills. Final scores: 17-25, 25-18, 27-25,  25-23.
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Boys Volleyball, March 11, 2022: Earlier this week, the Hawks met the Soquel Knights in a tough, five-game match won by the Hawks.

“It was a great performance by the whole team in an absolute classic battle between Mount Madonna and Soquel High School,” said Coach PK McDonald, Mount Madonna’s high school athletics director. “With this match, the Hawks improve to 4-3 on the season and 1-1 in Santa Cruz Coast Athletics League play.”

Senior outside Ben Pearson had 31 kills, seven aces, nine digs and three blocks. Freshman outside Cisco Rothman-Salado added 10 kills and seven digs, and senior setter Jimmy Bregman had 45 assists.

 

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Girls Volleyball, December 18, 2021: The Santa Cruz Sentinel announced the 2021 honorary ALL-SCCAL roster. Congratulations to Bella Cambell, Second Team, and to Zoey Ocampo-Sobkoviak and Grace Timan, Honorable Mentions!

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Cross Country, October 28, 2021: A new trail! Last week, the Hawks’ final regular-season Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League meet was held on a beautiful trail on the University of California, Santa Cruz campus. Junior Sam Kaplan finished 10th, while classmate Jacob Sirk-Traugh finished 13th of a 30 runners.

“They represented Mount Madonna School well,” commented Coach Nick Cabassa. “I am so proud of the team and the success that they’ve had this season.”

 

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Cross Country, September 10, 2021: “Junior Sam Kaplan and I had a blast,” commented Coach Nick Cabassa referring to the meet held September 9. “He was in great spirits and the only MMS runner competing. He received a lot of respect from other runners after the race because he did so well. With yesterday’s race, Sam is now the record holder for Mount Madonna at the Pinto Lake course (2.93 miles in 18:46), narrowly surpassing his brother Noah (’19), who in 2017, set a record of 18:52 on this course!”