Sports of Santa Cruz County (Images of America)

By Geoffrey Dunn

Its inviting weather, attractive rugged mountains, and inviting shores have constantly made Santa Cruz County a haven for athletic actions. a large choice of carrying endeavors, a few past the norm, have referred to as Santa Cruz domestic over the a long time. within the nineteenth century, Santa Cruz served as a springboard for contemporary browsing. It used to be an early bastion for geared up baseball, too, starting within the 1860s, and it used to be domestic to a sequence groups as early because the 1870s. different colourful athletic actions happened the following (including fireplace hose groups, long-distance strolling, and bicycling), in addition to extra conventional American activities like basketball, soccer, boxing, and tennis. The area boasts of a robust culture of girls athletes to boot, particularly Marion Hollins, possibly the best all-around girl athlete of the early twentieth century.

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Right here, southpaw Steve Slivkoff (left) spikes the ball whereas longtime companion Kent Kitchel (right) appears on at Capitola seashore in 1978. destiny Capitola mayor Dennis Norton is ready to make the dig. Capitola was once a sizzling spot for seashore volleyball, with courts first situated alongside the Esplanade earlier than relocating towards the wharf. Slivkoff and Kitchel have been the best two-man crew to ever pop out of Santa Cruz, successful the Northern California men’s seashore identify a outstanding eleven out of 12 years, from 1978 to 1989. (Phil Kaplan. ) The volleyball motion at Sunny Cove built in the summertime of 1977, whilst Soquel excessive superstar Ed Morrison (left of middle, in white visor and sun shades) and a few of his neighbors erected nets in the back of the seashore. between these during this photo are Mike Tolaio, Mark “Wags” Wagner, Kelly Manss Ernst, Lisa Wiget, “J. D. ,” Michelle “Belle” Poen, “Tall” Steve, Kelly Lappin, and Jar Mellon. Robert Poen, who coordinated the Cove Invitational Coed Volleyball event, is manning the table in the back of the pole. “Cove Rats” staged an annual contest at the final Sunday in August for the higher a part of a decade. (Photograph by way of Wade Lindquist. ) 102 Local seashore volleyball guru Phil Kaplan spikes a ball on the Capitola four-person staff championships in 1977. His teammate within the heritage is Leslie Jossy, with Steve Lawton (of Otter B e-book repute) and Eve Zafiropoulos protecting. Kaplan has taught and coached volleyball for 30 years in the neighborhood and nonetheless runs a year-round software of seashore volleyball sessions and tournaments known as No Attitudes Allowed, concentrating on the fit points of festival and the advance of lifelong friendships. (Phil Kaplan. ) Jeff “J. T. ” Tolaio spikes the ball, together with his cousin and longtime teammate Lance Tolaio giving his signature “olé” gesture, in the course of the overdue Nineteen Seventies at Fourth street seashore. The west jetty of the Santa Cruz Yacht Harbor is in historical past. The Tolaios have been one of many best two-man groups within the sector for the higher a part of a decade, that includes unheard of ball regulate and pinpoint units. West Coast volleyball insiders considered them because the most sensible two-man crew “pound for pound” on California shorelines. (Tolaio family members archive. ) 103 Warren “Skip” Littlefield (left), famed public kin director on the Boardwalk for almost part a century, is obvious at the Santa Cruz excitement Pier along with his longtime good friend, the mythical Hawaiian swimmer and surfer Duke Paoa Kahinu Mokoe Hulikohola Kahanamoku (1890–1968). This used to be Kahanamoku’s 3rd and ultimate stopover at to Santa Cruz, in July 1938. Duke first arrived in July 1913, after successful the gold medal for the 100-meter freestyle on the 1912 Stockholm Olympics, and gave exhibitions in “surf using. ” He set a brand new global list right here within the 50-yard freestyle, 22. 2 seconds. 104 In reaction to techniques made via Duke Kahanamoku in 1938, Santa Cruz lifeguards have been built with particularly crafted 12-foot paddleboards for rescue operations. proven listed here are, from left to correct, (first row) invoice Lidderdale, Lester Eisley, and James Taylor; (second row) Elmer Geyer, Henry Ingerman, Richard Thompson, and bypass Littlefield.

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