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Southwest Raiders playing team game to early season roller hockey success Phillip Brents | Fri, Jan 13 2012 01:56 PM

Every team in the CIF-Metro Conference/South Bay League will play the other four times this season. That works out to 16 league games for the league’s five members. It’s a lengthy league schedule but one that obviously builds rivalries, and intense ones at that, in what stands as one of the most competitive seasons — from top to bottom — in league history.

As the second round of league play gets under way, the Southwest Raiders, drum roll, find themselves in first place in the standings with a perfect 7-0 record.

The Raiders captured first round bragging rights with a 6-2 victory over the Mar Vista Mariners, last year’s league champion.

Mar Vista improved to 5-1 in league play, 5-2 overall, after Tuesday’s 10-1 victory against Chula Vista.

For Southwest, it’s been a welcome climb up the standings from the very bottom. The Raiders finished 2-18 last season after a school record 9-11 showing (7-8 in league play) in 2009-10.

Southwest improved to 7-0 in league match-ups (7-2 overall) following a 7-2 win against Castle Park on Tuesday. It obviously marks the best start in school history.

Head coach Jerry Nestlerode said the recipe to the team’s success has been simple: teamwork.

“We have a lot of seniors, a lot of experience,” the Raiders bench boss said. “It’s a team that’s learning to buy into the system. We’re playing and thinking as a team and seeing the results. We’re trying at Southwest to play a team which takes all the players’ individual skills and gets them working together. In the first five games, the kids have played where everyone is reading from the same page. It’s fun to watch.”

There are 17 players currently on the Southwest roster. The team’s senior class includes 12 players. Senior standouts include defenders Martin Whitfield, C.J. Baiza and David Castellow, forwards Steven Regaliza and Angel Alamillo and goaltender Sean Garcia.

Nestlerode credited the play of Garcia as central to the first-round victory over Mar Vista.

“The play of our goaltender was a real key for us, especially in the first period when Mar Vista really put a lot of pressure on us,” Nestlerode said. “Strong goaltending and playing our team system of supporting each other on the rink really was the difference for us.”

Whitfield finished the game with two goals and two assists to pace the Raiders while sophomore center Angel Rocha collected a goal and assist.

Whitfield leads the team with 21 goals and 30 points while Rocha has made an impact with 12 goals and 17 points.
Both scored twice while teammate David Castellow notched a hat trick in Tuesday’s contest.

With nine more league games for Southwest — and 10 more for Mar Vista — it’s too early to determine a champion, though every league victory from now on will certainly go a long way in cementing this season as the Raiders’ most successful in school history.

“It’ll be interesting to see what happens,” Nestlerode said.




CIF-METRO CONFERENCE
STATISTICAL LEADERS

(Through Jan. 10)

•Eric Wright (Poway) 29 goals, 18 assists — 47 points
•David Anderson (Castle Park) 37 goals, 7 assists — 44 points
•George Godinez (Hilltop) 32 goals, 10 assists — 42 points
•Cole Beatie (Otay Ranch) 30 goals, 8 assists — 38 points
Jon Gauthier (Scripps Ranch) 31 •goals, 6 assists — 37 points
•Hunter Calef (Mar Vista) 29 goals, 8 assists — 37 points
•Nick Sciabarra (Cathedral Catholic) 29 goals, 8 assists — 37 points
•Troy Grahl (Del Norte) 21 goals, 14 assists — 35 points
•Reed Kinsey (Poway) 23 goals, 11 assists — 34 points

Mesa League Standings
        League/Overall

School         W-L     W-L
Hilltop         1-0     4-4
Otay Ranch     1-0    3-5
Eastlake        0-1    2-5
Bonita Vista    0-1    1-4

South Bay League Standings
        League/Overall

School         W-L     W-L
Southwest    7-0    7-2
Mar Vista        5-1    5-2
Chula Vista    2-5    2-7
Castle Park    2-6    3-8
Sweetwater     1-5    3-6

Central League Standings
        League/Overall

School         W-L     W-L
West Hills    3-0    6-2
Cathedral Catholic    2-1    6-3
LJ Country Day    1-2    2-6
St. Augustine    0-3    3-4

North County League Standings
        League/Overall

School         W-L     W-L
Westview        5-0    9-0
Poway        5-1    9-1
Scripps Ranch    3-3    5-3
Rancho Bernardo    1-4    4-5
Del Norte     0-6    2-7

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