Camarillo High coach Allan Sadowsky welcomes it.
It wasn’t as if Sadowsky was a newcomer to the Scorpions. Prior to replacing Mike Prewitt as varsity coach, he’d spent nine years coaching the frosh-soph team. Sadowsky even played four years for Prewitt, graduating from Camarillo in 1994.
“Coach Prewitt is one of my best friends,” Sadowsky said. “I lean on him a ton. I’ve learned a lot from him coaching-wise. I’ve learned a lot from him people-wise. He goes to a lot of our games. He doesn’t really comment to me about anything unless I ask him. He’s always willing to help out in any aspect he can.
“To me it’s a blessing to come into a program and actually have someone who knows what they’re doing and has the respect of the players and in the community.”
Camarillo is 18-7 overall and tied for first place in the Pacific View League with Rio Mesa at 7-1. The rivals play for the league championship Wednesday night at Camarillo.
“There’s been some ups and downs with the basketball players, with the execution in games and stuff,” Sadowsky admitted. “I knew it wasn’t going to be smooth sailing for an entire year. I mean, it never was on the frosh-soph level, so I knew coming into the varsity level it was not going to be smooth sailing. But we’ve weathered the storms, we’ve played pretty well, we’re competitive and the kids are having fun. To me, a lot of it is about the kids having fun.”
The Scorpions have a balanced attack, led by 6-foot-6 junior forward Jake Maulhardt, who is averaging 16 points and 10 rebounds.
“Maulhardt’s an animal,” Sadowsky said. “He just plays hard.”
Also backing the cause have been forward Evan Vigiano, guards Ryan Pettit and Conrad Kotake and centers Dan Reilly and Kyle Willson. All but Kotake, a junior, are seniors.
“We’ve got a lot of guys contributing,” Sadowsky said. “It’s not like we’re a one-man team. We’ve got Conrad running the point and there’s a lot of guys scoring like eight, nine or 10 points a game.”
Wednesday’s game against Rio Mesa also is the Scorpions’ “Ball It Up for Cancer” fundraiser game. A similar game at Rio Mesa on Jan. 21 raised more than $3,000, said Sadowsky, who said he is very happy to be coaching at Camarillo, which is known for coaches with long tenures. Prewitt was in the job for two decades and John Harbour for another one before that.
“It’s a dream for me. It’s my dream job to become the head coach at my alma mater,” he said. “(I have) big shoes to fill following Coach Harbour and Coach Prewitt.”