Keith Quigley is steeped in Barons roller hockey history. He’s coached the Bonita Vista High School team since its inception in the late 1990s, guiding the Barons to two Kiwanis Cup tournament titles when roller hockey became an official recognized sport in the Metro Conference.
In fact, Quigley had the chance to coach in the very first CIF-sanctioned game in November 2000 when the Barons skated to a 4-4 tie with Eastlake at Chula Vista RollerSkateLand.
This is Quigley’s 16th season at Bonita Vista’s helm and 14th in Metro play. He’s watched the sport grow to include the top roller hockey teams in San Diego and gain immeasurable value as the only CIF-sanctioned high school roller hockey league in the state, and very possibly the nation.
As with any high school sport, roller hockey is no different in being cyclic, with turnover due to graduation breaking up dynastic teams. The Barons have gone through such a cycle — perhaps one too long for Quigley’s tastes.
But the Barons are back, and that’s a good thing — not just for the BVHS program itself but for all the teams in the Metro Conference.
Higher participation numbers equates to more competition, and that’s something the conference’s complement of South County teams has been lacking in recent years.
“I’m actually excited about this team and its potential this season,” the veteran BVHS coach said. “Finally we’re heading in the right direction.”
The Barons defeated Chula Vista, 11-0, in a non-league game Tuesday evening at the Sweetwater district-owned rink at Castle Park High School to improve to 3-2 on the season. On Monday, Bonita Vista evened its record after skating past Sweetwater, 11-2, in another non-league match-up.
Bonita Vista recorded its first win of the 2013-14 campaign by topping Castle Park, 6-1, on Dec. 6, also in non-league play.
The Barons dropped a tight 8-6 Mesa League decision to Otay Ranch on Dec. 11. It was the most competitive contest between the two teams in years. In fact, the game was not settled until the final minute when the Mustangs popped in an insurance goal to negate a furious comeback by Quigley’s bunch.
The turnaround in the BVHS program begins with the line-up — 16 players are currently on the roster. That’s almost triple the number during the Barons’ leanest years.
“This is one of the largest teams we’ve had in years,” said Quigley, who was named the 2012-13 Mesa League Coach of the Year. “There’s more interest about the sport now on campus, and more interest obviously from the new players.”
The Barons program has been propped up by what Quigley refers to as a “steady core of returning players.”
Those players have embraced the sport, made it their own, and proved to be the team’s best recruiting tool.
“They posted fliers around the school and talked to their friends and classmates about how unique and fast-paced the sport of roller hockey is,” the BVHS coach explained.
And the Barons are rolling again.
Core players include Jon O’Brien, Miranda Peters, Giancarlo Dongo, Thomas Giltner, Hawk Anderson, Avori Schenck and twins Sheina and Michelle Dunnells.
The Dunnells are back for a third season. Stephany and Makaelah Gibson are sisters.
Roller hockey is classified as a coed sport in the district and the Barons’ lineup is about evenly divided between male and female players.
Among the newcomers this season is Alex Tran. He is the younger brother of former BVHS goaltender Nicole Tran.
Again, things go in cycles.
O’Brien collected four goals and an assist in Tuesday’s game. He had five goals and an assist in the win over Castle Park and racked up six goals in the loss to Otay Ranch.
In five games this season, O’Brien leads the Barons with 20 goals and two assists to rank among the conference leaders.
Anderson, meanwhile, has starred at the other end of the court by stopping shots — and lots of them. His performance in the game against Otay Ranch was the stuff of legend.
“Amazing, unbelievable,” Quigley noted. “He is stepping up and becoming a really strong goalie even though he’s fairly new to the position. I couldn’t believe some of the saves he was making. It looked like the puck was sure to be going in the net and here comes Hawk diving across the crease to make the save.
“What I like most about Hawk, though, is his focus and determination. He always gives his best and does everything he can do to help this team win. He’s got a great team-first attitude.”
Quigley also heaped accolades on Dongo, the school’s varsity lacrosse goalie.
“I would love to have a few more Giancarlo’s on my team,” Quigley said. “His middle name should be ‘hustle.’ He’s one of the hardest working player’s that I’ve ever coached in any sport and he, too, also has such a positive attitude.”
As a point of reference, Otay Ranch defeated Bonita Vista by scores of 19-2, 15-0 and 15-1 in the teams’ three league contests last season.
In the teams’ opener of their scheduled three league games this season, the Barons served notice they were not going to be push-overs by jumping out to a quick 2-0 lead.
Bonita Vista rallied from a 7-3 deficit to make it a one-goal game in the final minutes. It seemed just like old times for Quigley.
“The Bonita-Otay game was well played,” the BVHS coach assessed. “Both teams played hard and really got after it. My team really wanted it. We definitely left it all out on the rink. A few more shots on goal here or there definitely could have made a difference in the outcome.
“Being that it was such a good game, I think we’re all glad that we’ll be playing each other a few times this season.”
In a non-league game played Monday at the Castle Park High School rink:
St. Augustine 10, Southwest 2
The Saints picked up their first win of the season by overcoming an early 1-0 Raider lead. Southwest's Angel Rocha gave the host team a quick lead but the visitors responded by reeling off the next eight goals to take a commanding 8-1 lead in the third period. The Saints led 4-1 at the end of the first period and 6-1 at the end of two periods. Nick Camarata scored the opening two St. Augustine goals and teammates Phil Park and Nick Heid added goals to get the visitors going. Park scored again in the second period to extend the Saints lead to 5-1 and Nat Pascual chipped in with a goal to make the score 6-1. Goals by Charlie Tomlin and Marc Dhryvetter extended the scoring for St. Augustine. Rocha scored his second goal of the game to make the score 8-2 but the Saints scored twice more before the end of the game as Heid and Tomlin each picked up their second goals. It was the first loss of the season for the defending South Bay League champion Raiders.
In non-league games played Wednesday at the Castle Park High School rink:
Hilltop 12, Sweetwater 3
Sebastian Ross scored the first two goals for Hilltop and three of the first six for the Lancers, who extended a tight 2-1 first period edge to a more comfortable 8-3 lead heading into the final period. Ross finished the game with five goals and one assist while Phillip Fune scored twice for Hilltop while adding one assist. Pablo Corona picked up two goals while Andrew Tesner had one goal and one assist. Ulises Mireles scored twice for the Red Devils while Mario Licudine tallied the other Sweetwater goal.
Rancho Bernardo 13, Otay Ranch 0
The Mustangs challenged but couldn't get enough quality shots on the Broncos net to stay in contention. Rancho Bernardo, last year's Kiwanis Cup runner-up championship team, built a 5-0 first period advantage and tacked on four more goals in the second period to lead 9-0. CIF Player of the Year Spencer Ridout collected three goals and two assists while Asher McCormick racked up four goal, Alex Pelletier contributed two goals and three assists, Nate Kallen collected one goal and two assists, Bailey Ridout had a goal and assist, Jungwoo Kim scored once and Ryan Wilson picked up one assist. Cameron Richards earned the shutout victory. It was the first loss of the season for Otay Ranch.
Week 3 Game Log
Monday, Dec. 16
Castle Park High School
Bonita Vista 11, Sweetwater 2â€¨
St. Augustine 8, Southwest 2
RSportz Arena/El Cajon
West Hills 1, Del Norte 0 (forfeit)
Escondido Sports Centerâ€¨
Westview 7, Cathedral Catholic 4â€¨
Rancho Bernardo 9, La Jolla Country Day 0â€¨â€¨
Tuesday, Dec. 17â€¨
Castle Park High School
Bonita Vista 11, Chula Vista 0â€¨
Southwest vs. Sweetwater, ppd.
Wednesday, Dec. 18
Castle Park High School
Hilltop 12, Sweetwater 3â€¨
Rancho Bernardo 12, Otay Ranch 0â€¨
Escondido Sports Center
Westviewâ€¨ 8, Scripps Ranch 2
Poway defeated Del Norte, score unavailable
La Jolla Country Day vs. West Hills, ppd.â€¨
Cathedral Catholicâ€¨â€¨ 6, St. Augustine 2
Thursday, Dec. 19
Castle Park High School
Bonita Vista vs. Hilltopâ€¨, ppd. rain
Eastlake vs. Otay Ranchâ€¨, ppd. rain
Friday, Dec. 20â€¨
Castle Park High School
Castle Park 7, Chula Vista 0
Mar Vista 8, Sweetwater 2
Southwest 3, Hilltop 2
(Through Dec. 20)â€¨
South Bay League
Southwest Raiders 3-0, 4-1
Mar Vista Mariners 3-1, 3-3
Castle Park Trojans 2-2, 2-4
Sweetwater Red Devils 1-2, 1-4
Chula Vista Spartans 0-4, 0-6
Eastlake Titans 2-0, 4-1
Otay Ranch Mustangs 2-0, 3-1
Hilltop Lancers 0-2, 3-3
Bonita Vista Barons 0-2, 3-2
Cathedral Catholic Dons 2-0, 2-1
West Hills Wolf Pack 1-0, 3-1â€¨
La Jolla Country Day Torreys 1-1, 2-2
St. Augustine Saints 0-3, 1-4
North County League
Westview Wolverines 4-0, 5-0
Poway Titans 3-1, 4-1
Rancho Bernardo Broncos 2-2, 4-2
Scripps Ranch Falcons 1-3, 1-4â€¨
Del Norte Nighthawks 0-4, 0-5
CIF-Metro Conference Scoring Leaders
(Through Dec. 20)
Sweetwater District Teams
•Aaron Mayer (Eastlake) 24 goals, 12 assists, 36 points
•Jon O’Brien (Bonita Vista) 21 goals, 1 assist, 22 points
•Michael Mechling (Eastlake) 10 goals, 11 assists, 21 points
•Angel Rocha (Southwest) 15 goals, 3 assists, 18 points
•Nacho Mireles (Castle Park) 11 goals, 3 assists, 14 points
•Eloy Rodriguez (Mar Vista) 13 goals, 0 assists, 13 points
•Sebastian Ross (Hilltop) 9 goals, 4 assists, 13 points
•Devyn Taras (Otay Ranch) 8 goals, 5 assists, 13 points
•Ulises Mireles (Sweetwater( 9 goals, 1 assist, 10 points
•Phillip Fuñe (Hilltop) 8 goals, 2 assists, 10 points
•Carlos Barrios (Otay Ranch) 7 goals, 3 assists, 10 points
•Andrew Tesner (Hilltop) 7 goals, 3 assists, 10 points
1. Westview Wolverines
2. Cathedral Catholic Donsâ€¨
3. Poway Titans
4. Rancho Bernardo Broncosâ€¨
5. West Hills Wolf Pack
6. La Jolla Country Day Torreysâ€¨
7. Eastlake Titans
8. St. Augustine Saintsâ€¨
9. Scripps Ranch Falconsâ€¨
10. Otay Ranch Mustangsâ€¨
11. Southwest Raidersâ€¨
12. Hilltop Lancersâ€¨
13. Mar Vista Marinersâ€¨
14. Bonita Vista Barons
15. Castle Park Trojans
16. Sweetwater Red Devilsâ€¨
17. Chula Vista Spartans
Not ranked: Del Norte Nighthawks