Category Archives: santa monica college

Is that you Moses?

The Corsairs stumbled to a dreadful loss against Santa Barbara City College, whose larger team formed a massive intimidating Sea of Red jerseys.

Santa Monica College struggled to break through with passing and running on offense. On defense, they floundered with tackling and coverage.

Virtually, the only player to draw blood was Gunnison Bloodgood, who caught the ball on a slant and saw the midfield open to TD. He kicked it into fifth gear to open scoring for Santa Monica early in the first quarter.

“It was a great play call,” says Bloodgood. “Sam (Vaulton) delivered a great ball. Great blocking up front. It was a great pass.”

Since he divided the Red Sea of Vaqueros red jerseys, we’ll call him Moses.

Unfortunately, Moses only performed one miracle Saturday. Santa Monica did not add points to the scoreboard for the rest of the game, which ended 7-52.

A full 45 of those Vaqueros points came in the first half as Santa Barbara’s quarterback Alex Johnson exploited weak SMC coverage with pass after pass on the money. Why didn’t Santa Barbara double their score in the second half? It appears they just mercifully eased off the gas pedal.

“It was frustrating,” Bloodgood says. “But we have one game left. We’re hoping to bounce back.” Read the rest: Santa Monica College football team falls to Santa Barbara

But the D

But the defense came up big to give Santa Monica College the “W.”

“We probably shouldn’t have won that game,” admitted Coach Kelly Ledwidth.

Corsair QB Sam Vaulton threw three interceptions in the first half of Saturday’s game.

But defensive lineman Tannen Vagle stripped the ball from LA Valley College in the red zone — and Maximillian Palees scooped it up — late in the first half to keep the score 10-7 in SMC’s favor.

Then, after each side scored, Kayden Thomas intercepted a deep pass after LA Valley quarterback kept probing his side of the field, sensing defensive weakness.

“You can keep trying me, but at the end of the day, you’re not going to succeed. I’m a dog at heart,” Kayden remarked. “Perfect coverage. I read it right.”

Santa Monica, which is better than its 3-4 record, stonewalled the Monarch’s bullet-pass and QB-wriggle-run offense to finish ahead 31-28. Success on defense set up the offense to put up enough points with runs and receptions by Josiah Neos, Hassan Biggus, Tariq Brown, among others.

Even QB Vaulton ran for yards when he saw his teammates heavily covered and spied a hole to dart through and gain yards.

Late in the third quarter, Raejion Baker and Tannen made a critical fourth down tackle to halt the Monarch advance and give the ball to SMC on their own 21 yard line. The subsequent drive saw a spectacular diving catch by Gunnison Bloodgood.

Aside from being one of SMC’s most explosive players, Bloodgood looked like Superman…Read the rest: Santa Monica college football

Mechanical Engineer/ football receiver

When he was a tyke, David Redden built legos.

On Saturday, the mechanical engineering major was called upon to build a second-half comeback for Santa Monica College. On a long pass in the fourth quarter, he cut inside of his coverage, clutched the ball and sped for an 80-yard touchdown to tie the score 41-41. SMC had overcome a third quarter deficit of 24-41 to Moorpark College.

“We got out of our style of play in the second quarter, but our guys were so resilient they played tough and came out in that second half and played hard,” said Coach Kelly Ledwidth. “Shoot, I’m proud of our guys. We haven’t ever battled back from something like that to make it a competitive game.”

But a heart-breaking missed pass interference call on the last play of the game on the Corsairs’ drive left the score at a disappointing 41-44. A 19-yard Raiders field goal sealed the victory at Moorpark College.

Santa Monica started brightly, scoring from the first kickoff. But a bad hike — and bad hikes were the order of the day — led to a safety on a punt. The score was 7-2.

But the Corsair defense conceded too much ground in much of the first quarter. Meanwhile the offense sputtered with a pick, a shanked punt and some other issues.

It was fairly even until Santa Monica again did what it has done in every game so far this season: It conceded a TD in the last two minutes of the half. The score was 17-26.

In the second half, Moorpark scored in TD in three plays.

SMC responded with a drive culminating in a TD pass to Hassan Biggus to make it 24-34. Read the rest: Santa Monica College football 2021

Parkinson’s artist

Johnny Huerta now paints with his left hand. Parkinson’s attacked his right.

“Parkinson’s affects different people in different ways,” says Johnny, an artist from Santa Monica. “Mine is rigidity more than anything.”

A graduate from Los Angeles Academy of Figurative Art in Van Nuys, Johnny, 32, did a mural in Casa Blanca restaurant in Venice, but mostly he sells paintings online.

He’s a local who played baseball for Santa Monica High School’s winning 2007 team. He sometimes works as a waiter at his family-owned restaurant Gilbert’s El Indio Mexican restaurant.

He’s right-handed. He noticed soreness three years ago but shrugged it off thinking it was just due to his heavy art workload while working on his bachelor’s degree in art.

Eventually, he realized it was more than simple soreness. “It was not like pain, it was a malfunction. It was scarier than a pain,” he says. “It wasn’t working the way it was supposed to.”

Parkinson’s is rare in younger people. But the brain scan showed dopamine deficiency, an early sign of Parkinson’s. Was his art career doomed?

Johnny didn’t waste time getting down about misfortune. He immediately started working on painting with his left hand. He’s semi-ambidextrous. He paints with his left now, sometimes guiding it with his right.

“You hear how you lose one sense and you gain another. It’s kind of like that. I’ve always done some things left-handed,” he says. “I batted left-handed and threw right-handed. I don’t know why. It was just natural.”

Johnny recently posted a time-lapsed video on Instagram @j_huerta310 of him painting a metaphor for his Parkinson’s. The painting served as a backdrop illustration for a speech he made in August to 500 youth at a church conference in Bakersfield. He told kids to not be held down by different difficulties and trials.

“We all go through fiery trials and tribulations, but they don’t have to define who we are,” Johnny says. “When something negative happens to us, we’re not rejected, we’re not a failure. I liked sports. In sports, there’s always a challenge, always something you have to persevere through. You have to adapt. It tests your faith and builds character.”

Johnny says the impairment won’t lessen the quality of his work.

“Maybe it’ll be less refined,” he says. “But there are beautiful pieces of art that are a lot more loose and there’s beautiful pieces of art that are a lot more refined. But yes, I probably have had to loosen my approach and brushwork, but that doesn’t mean the quality has go down.”

Johnny was so painfully shy in his childhood that teachers wondered if he was abused at home.

“I was always a quiet kid to the point in the elementary school teachers thought something was wrong with me. I was deathly afraid to say something stupid.” Read the rest: Parkinson’s artist

Driving spikes

He drove spikes into Compton’s coffin.

“What turned this game around? To be honest, John Spikes, our captain,” Coach Kelly Ledwidth told Patch. “When he drove that conversion in and then that touchdown in he gave the team all the energy that it needed. They just started playing the way we knew they could. We gave him the ball and he got a hard-effort touchdown and a hard-effort extra point, and it sparked the energy the guys needed.”

Santa Monica downed the Compton Tartars in a decisive 46-18 to begin its league games brightly. After a several disappointing seasons, the Corsairs feel they have the team this year for a winning season, even though they played a sloppy loss to El Camino last Saturday.

“Second half we came and had to change the attitude when we came in and change the tempo,” Spikes said. “I feel like we can go places as long as we set the tempo like that every single time, the sky’s the limit.”

After allowing two touchdowns, Santa Monica’s defensive coach reconfigured their lineup on the field to stymie the Tartans, who had trouble driving the ball but capitalized on a few big plays to score.

At halftime, the Corsairs were losing 17-18, but they were patching holes. Compton didn’t score in the second half.

Receiving the kickoff, Santa Monica passed and ran the ball to the TD. That’s when John Spikes, fullback running back, made the inspirational, bruising 2-point conversion.

“I just had some dog in me,” said Spikes, a student who aims to be a nurse and has overcome personal tragedy and a frustrating ineligibility last season due to a course load snafu.

When the Corsairs kicked off, they stopped Compton’s runback deep. It was Spikes who made the tackle. Of course. Read the rest: Santa Monica College football 2021