Weekly Roundup, 8/1: Pajaro Valley hires Cesar Padilla as new coach for girls' soccer team

Pajaro Valley High announced Wednesday that Cesar Padilla is stepping in as the new coach of the girls’ soccer program. (Contributed by Cesar Padilla)

Aptos High alum Nikki Hiltz reaches World Championships in 1,500 meters

Pajaro Valley High announced Wednesday that Cesar Padilla is stepping in as the new coach of the girls’ soccer program.

“It’s kind of nerve wracking but I’m excited about it at the same time,” Padilla said.  

Padilla, 22, will replace Kassie Marquez. The Grizzlies finished sixth in the Pacific Coast Athletic League Cypress Division with an overall record of 0-15-2 and 0-11-2 in league play.  

Padilla said there’s gonna be some pressure to turn around a struggling program as he heads into his first season.

“The pressure’s gonna be on but I’ve dealt with it in the past so I feel like it could be done,” Padilla said.  

Padilla took over the PV United 05 Girls team three years ago and turned the program around after it was close to being shut down. 

“I’ve brought in girls that have never played and worked with them,” he said. “They improved a lot and I can tell that they have been doing good. So I feel like I can do the same to PV.”

Padilla also took over the Pajaro Middle School boys and girls programs in 2016-17.

Padilla graduated from Watsonville High in 2015, where he played on the varsity team during his junior and senior seasons.

Pajaro Valley athletics department posted on its Twitter page (@Grizz_Athletics), “We are extremely excited to watch Cesar grow and build our girls’ soccer program!”

Pajaro Valley has not won a league game since the 2015-16 season when it beat Seaside, 8-0, on February 12, 2016. The Grizzlies have gone 0-29-8 since then.

“(Padilla) was passionate, you can tell that he's passionate about the game of soccer,” said PV athletic director Joe Manfre. “Whenever he talked about it his eyes lit up.” 

Padilla grew up in Watsonville and attended Watsonville High. He currently coaches a PV United girls team. Manfre said Padilla seems excited to start another chapter his career.

“(Padilla) has ties in this city and he’s played soccer here,” Manfre said. “He’s really excited to get out here and working with the girls and build this program where it needs to be.”

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PONY baseball

Santa Cruz Blue makes deep run in Super Regional >> The Santa Cruz Blue Pony League 14U team was one game shy of reaching the NorCal Super Regional championship.

Santa Cruz pushed the game to 10 innings but was edged by Rocklin White, 3-2, on Sunday at Shoreline Athletic Field in Mountain View.

Santa Cruz began the tourney with an 11-3 win against San Francisco Youth Baseball League, followed by a 12-2 win against Rocklin White. 

Santa Cruz then came up short in a 2-1 loss against Campbell on Saturday, which forced them into Sunday’s double elimination game.

Campbell defeated Rocklin White in Sunday’s championship game to advance to the West Zone Tournament.

The Watsonville League team forfeited all its games. Watsonville was scheduled to open last week against Campbell but that game was cancelled along with its losers’ bracket game, which was scheduled on Friday.

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Colt baseball

Santa Cruz Red eliminated in West Zone tourney >> The Santa Cruz Red Colt 16-U team finally got a chance to play Ceres Blaze after a shortage of players prevented them from playing in the NorCal Super Region championship. 

But the end result wasn’t exactly what Santa Cruz was expecting after it was defeated, 6-3, in Saturday’s West Zone double elimination game at P.A.L. Stadium in San Jose.

Santa Cruz began the tournament with a 10-0 loss against Covina, which sent them directly to the losers’ bracket. 

Santa Cruz bounced back with an 8-2 win over Arizona, setting up Saturday’s win-or-go-home match against Ceres Blaze.  

Covina defeated Simi Youth in the championship game to earn a trip to the Colt World Series in Marion, Ill., which starts today. 

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MLB

Torres released by Minnesota >>  Watsonville native and Aptos High alum Carlos Torres was released by the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday. 

The 36-year-old right-handed relief pitcher rejected an assignment to the minors and has now hit the free agency market, as reported on the Major League Rumors website.

Torres was designated for assignment Sunday, a day after the Twins traded for Sergio Romo.

Torres, a veteran who was pitching in Rochester before being called up, did not see any game action with Minnesota during his short time. 

The move opens up the 25-man roster spots for Romo as well as another 40-man spot for the team, which is currently at 37.

Torres has been part of three organizations this season. He started the year with San Diego before signing with Detroit and, last week, Minnesota. 

Torres appeared in four games for the Tigers, posting a 7.50 ERA and 1.67 WHIP over six innings.

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RUNNING

Hiltz reaches World Championships in 1,500 meters >> Nikki Hiltz, a former Aptos High standout, finished third in the women’s 1,500 meters Saturday at the USA Track and Field Outdoor Championships in Des Moines, Iowa.

Hiltz ran a personal-best time of 4 minutes, 3.55 seconds, which was just 37-hundredths off the winning time posted by Nike/Bowerman runner and Iowa native Shelby Houlihan (4:03.18).

“It’s crazy because that’s what I’ve been visualizing all day. I knew who was in my heat and I was like, okay, I’m going to go 1-2 with Shelby (Houlihan),” said Hitlz in a video interview following the qualifying race. “When you really visualize and meditate on it, and then you see it, it’s like when it’s happening you’re almost like I’ve been here before.”

Hiltz, an Adidas runner now based out of San Diego, earned a spot on the USA team at the IAAF World Championships in Doha, Qatar, on Oct. 2-5.

Hiltz also finished 14-hundredths behind New Balance’s Jenny Simpson who placed second. Simpson fell just shy of claiming her fifth 1,500 title in six years.

Oklahoma State’s Sinclaire Johnson, who placed fourth (4:03.72) and also set a personal-best time, will be the first alternate for the world championship team.

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