This past spring, Tony DeFelicis signed on to the United Boys and Girls Club of Santa Barbara County’s Carpinteria Unit as the new assistant club director in charge of athletic programs. Having worked for the city of Burbank’s Parks and Recreation Department, DeFelicis has a strong coaching background and jumped right in mid-season to the club’s indoor soccer program. To bolster the program, DeFelicis partnered with Carpinteria High School. State and regional school soccer players worked as coaching staff, learning mentoring and teaching skills, along with earning community service hours.
CHS Class of ’18 alum, Gabriel Barajas, who was named MVP at the 2018 CIF-Southern Section Division Six Soccer championships, helped recruit fellow Warriors soccer players to serve as coaches. Standout coaches include, Alberto “Tito” Arroyo, Jose and Mario Jimenez, Eddie Mendoza, Angel Orozco and Alex Ramirez. Several of the student coaches continued on as volunteers or junior staff after the soccer season concluded. The club had a great season with the help of the CHS players. “We had an excellent year, and it just opened my eyes to the partnership we could have in the future,” said DeFelicis.
On Aug. 22, the club finished out their summer basketball league with a special “kids against parents” game. In an exciting turn of events, the kids prevailed in overtime. “It was really awesome,” said DeFelicis, “you know, I’m new here, getting to know the parents… there were a few parents on the fence, but now they’re coming for flag football and certainly a lot of them said they would be back for Winter basketball.”
The club’s next athletic league is flag football. The program offers fundamentals clinics for kindergarten through first grade, and league play for third, through eighth-graders (with divisions by age). Flag football games kickoff on Sept. 21, and go through Oct. 26, with each team playing six games.
DeFelicis’ father Gus coached over 100 youth teams during a 50-year span in the city of Burbank. The younger DeFelicis plans to continue his father’s legacy and set the bar high for the Carpinteria Club. “My vision for athletics is to unite and build our district of the United Boys and Girls Clubs to be a catalyst to assist the other clubs in sports,” said DeFelicis.