Chaffey women help a coach in need

A small gesture can say a lot about the character of a team and its individuals. In this case it’s the Chaffey College women’s volleyball team that deserves a pat on the back.

Over the weekend coach Larry Chowan took his team to a tournament at Santa Ana college. It is one he takes his team to pretty much every year since he is a long-time friend of Santa Ana coach Troy Abbey, who coached his daughter Leslie in club ball.

Abbey has 6-year-old twin boys, one of whom has battling leukemia for the better part of three years and is on his second round of chemotherapy.

Chowan asked his players if they would mind chipping in a couple of dollars each from their school-allotted meal money to give to the coach to put toward the boy’s medical expenses. While it wouldn’t make a dent, he knew his friend would appreciate the gesture and it would show others in the volleyball community are thinking about him in what has to be a tough time.

Team captains Tara Sawyer and Colleen Chauncey discussed it with their peers and to Chowan’s surprise, most gave back almost all their money. Chowan presented the money in a card signed by the team.

Chowan said he left it totally up to his players and did not pressure them to chip in. He expected a collection of $40 or $50 but ended up with around $120. Not only did most players give back their entire meal money per diem, parents of some of the players also chipped in.

Sometimes the best stories aren’t about wins and losses.

Injuries mounting at Chaffey

The casualty list at Chaffey College is getting longer.

The Panthers chalked up a 31-14 win over Antelope Valley Saturday at Quartz Hill High School. Veteran coach Carl Beach is pleased to be 3-0, but he is wondering who he’ll left with when his team goes to play Grossmont on Saturday.

The latest addition to the injury list is sophomore offensive lineman Baron Coffin banged up both a knee and a shoulder. He had played center and guard but moved to right tackle on Thursday when Addison Bachman went down with a knee injury. Bachman got hurt in the same practice in which kicker Jason Levy injured a knee practicing PATs.

Sophomore linebacker Aaron Plante got hurt against Southwestern a week ago.
Running backs Jahmel Rover and John Alejandro and defensive back Mike Fields were all gone with knee injuries before the season started.

“Now we’re going to have to count on some guys that really haven’t played a lot,” Beach said. “There won’t be many hard decisions, we don’t have that many people left. But it is what it is. We have to try and piece something together.”

Beach is satisfied with his team’s showing but is frustrated with its inconsistency. He also knows that is not unexpected given the number of personnel changes that have been made.

“We’ll have 10 minutes when we look like a million bucks, then we have a another stretch where we don’t know what we’re doing at all,” he said.

Penalties are still a problem too. The Panthers were called for 16 totaling 148 yards.

Beach was most pleased with the play of sophomore Aaron Mays who caught five passes for 144 yards and two touchdowns, one of those for 74 yards. He also returned a punt 86 yards for another score.

Beach also singled out the contributions from backs Tyler Thompson and Mark Chase.
Greg Sprowls and A.J. Springer split playing time with Sprowls throwing for 78 yards and Springer 77. The system has been working so Beach sees no need to change it.

“They are both a piece of the puzzle and bring a different dimension to what we’re doing,” he said. “But they both have limitations as well.”

Beach added that he doesn’t plan on backing off in practice to avoid injuries, especially since the replacements need the practice time.

“I don’t think it’s conditioning of something we’re doing wrong. They’re just fluke things,” he said.

Wegrich nets 300th career win at Cal Poly Pomoma

It was probably fitting that Cal Poly Pomona took five games in getting by CCAA rival Chico State Saturday at Darlene May Gymnasium. Veteran coach Rosie Wegrich says those are the ones she remembers most vividly.

She has been coaching for 34 years and is in her 17th year directing the Broncos. The 3-2 (25-21, 21-25, 21-25, 25-22, 15-7) win over the Wildcats was the 300th in her tenure at Cal Poly. She owns a career record of 629-446-10.

She didn’t know about the milestone until after the match when she was congratulated by school president Michael Ortiz and athletic director Brian Swanson.

“I didn’t even think about it,” said Wegrich, whose team improved to 7-2 overall and 4-0 in conference play. “I was so focused on the match. I really had no idea.”

Wegrich, who grew up and still lives in Manhattan Beach, is the dean of coaches in the CCAA. She joined the Broncos in 1992 after 17 years at the Division I level – two at Minnesota (71-30-1) and 15 (258-229-9) at Arizona.

While there may be more notariety at the Division I level, Wegrich enjoys some of the other intracacies that come with working at a Division II institution.

“I love dealing with really smart girls who want to be here,” she said. “We don’t give fully funded scholarships so these girls are working in addition to playing so they are seeing what live after sports is going to be like.”

She also enjoys the camaraderie of her players. The team started the season with a trip to Hawaii where they played four matches. A similar venture at the Division I level would probably have been paid for by the athletic department.

In this case the athletes spent much of the offseason raising the money themselves with fundraisers including summer camps, a garage sale and working the concessions stands at Angels Stadium.

“When you spend so much time together you really build memories,” she said.
Asked what her most memorable match is and she doesn’t single out her 200th at Cal Poly which came in 2002 against Cal State Los Angeles or the 500th of her career which came against Grand Canyon in 2000.

She goes back to one in the regional playoffs against Cal State Bakersfield in which her team came from down 15-12 in the decisive game to win 16-14.

Wegrich isn’t saying how long she will coach. She said she has been blessed with good assistant coaches in the past and will do so as long as she has that kind of help and passes along credit to her current assistant Kenji Mukai.

“I don’t know if I could do it if I didn’t have such good help,” she said. “We really are on the same page and he really brings a fighting spirit and an energy that make it fun.”

Tritons dominate Coyote Invitational

UC San Diego runners captured the team titles in the women’s 6,000-meter run and the men’s 8000-meter run Saturday at the 2008 Coyotes Cross Country Invitational at Glen Helen Regional Park

Bre Schofield of San Diego was women’s race winner in 22:09. Tiffany Turner of Cal Poly Pomona was second (22:23) with teammate Amber Hebb fourth (23:19).

The first 45 runners averaged less than seven minutes per mile over the 3.78 mile course that included a loop around the San Manuel Pavilion.

San Diego scored 30 points with four runners in the top 10. Cal Poly Pomona was second (63) followed by Riverside Community College (71).

The Coyotes had 156 points and placed five runners in the top 40, finishing sixth on the same course that will be used for the CCAA championships on Oct. 25.

Cal State freshman Nikki Chesnut was the top Coyotes runner, finishing 21st (24:30) of 77 runners.

In the men’s race, Jersain Torres of Cal Poly Pomona was the individual champion, covering the 4.99 mile course in 25:05, an average of 5:07 per mile. Jake Levieuz of San Diego was second (25:32) followed by Landon Bright of Point Loma Nazarene (25:49).

The Tritons placed all five scoring runners in the top 10 to finish with 29 points, ahead of Cal Poly Pomona (43).
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Cal State East Bay to join CCAA in 2009

At its annual Presidents/Chancellors’ Group meeting, California Collegiate Athletic Association Presidents unanimously approved membership of California State University, East Bay to the conference beginning with the 2009-10 athletics season. The conference is currently comprised of 10 California State University institutions and UC San Diego.

The membership of the Division II CCAA includes Cal Poly Pomona, Cal State Dominguez Hills, Cal State L.A., Cal State San Bernardino, Cal State Monterey Bay, Cal State Stanislaus, Chico State, Humboldt State, Sonoma State, San Francisco State and UC San Diego.

“To say the campus is excited about this opportunity is an understatement. There has been a big buzz around campus about moving to Division II and joining the CCAA,” Cal State East Bay President Dr. Mohammad Qayoumi said. “Our goal is to develop a vibrant university village that the entire community is proud of. Athletics plays a major role in this effort. Moving to Division II was initiated by our students and I am glad to say the faculty and staff stood behind this move. It is an exciting time for Cal State East Bay.”

With the formal approval, Cal State East Bay, which is currently in the ‘exploratory” stage of becoming a Division II member, will begin competition in the CCAA as a “scheduling partner” for the 2009-2010 athletic year, with eligibility for conference championships when the NCAA approves its “active status.”

“This is a monumental day for Cal State East Bay, its athletic department, student-athletes and entire University community,” Cal State East Bay Athletics Director Debbie De Angelis said. “We are excited to be moving to Division II and joining the CCAA. This move will benefit the entire University and its student-athletes while bringing added exposure to the institution.”

The Pioneer teams are in their final year with dual membership in NCAA Division III and NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics).

Cal State East Bay’s men’s and women’s basketball, cross country and golf teams have been participating in the California Pacific Conference for the right to participate in post-season playoffs through the NAIA. Other Pioneer teams, including women’s volleyball and softball and men’s baseball, have been competing as NCAA Division III independents, with no league or conference affiliation.

Citrus player earns defensive honor

 After racking up 15 tackles (8 solo, 7 assisted), two tackles for a loss, and one quarterback hurry in Citrus’ 20-30 loss to LA Harbor on Saturday, linebacker Bronze Withem was named the Southern California Football Association Central Conference Defensive Player of the Week.

 

Withem, a  5’11, 200 pound freshman out of San Dimas High School, all ready leads the Fighting Owls with 21 tackles through Citrus’ first two games. Withem’s 15 tackle performance on Saturday, is the second most tackles in any community college game in Southern California over the first two weeks.

The Fighting Owls (0-2) will resume play this Saturday as they take on LA Southwest College. Saturday’s game will be played in Culver City, CA at West LA College with a 1:00 PM kick-off time.

SBVC, Victor Valley face tough road

The football teams from Victor Valley College and San Bernardino Valley College both have started the season 0-2 and each is likely to be 0-3 after this week.

Victor Valley has to go play on the road against the most formidable foe in the South in Mt. SAC. SBVC will be at home against Saddleback, which was the preseason conference favorite in a poll of member coaches.

The restructuring of the conferences and new playoff format has those in the lower division such as SBVC and Victor Valley playing all three nonconfence games against teams in the upper division. So they’re supposed to go 0-3.

The rally cry is has to be “Wait until we get to conference play.”

Well SBVC and Victor play each other the first game of American Division, Mountain Conference play the following. So someone will probably be 0-4. It will be hard to rally the troop at that point.

SBVC is really looking for something positive. It has seven straight losses, going back to the last five games last year. And the Wolverines were never in the two games they have played so far this season.

Coach Pat Meech has his work cut out for him.

Bulldogs look like a contender

Based on its 46-9 thrashing of the University of Dubuque Saturday night, the University of Redlands football team looks like a true contender this season.

Sure the Bulldogs are in that top tier in the SCIAC along with Occidental and Cal Lutheran. But the Bulldogs could have something even more special this year. Maybe this is the year Coach Mike Maynard’s team gets over the hump and wins a playoff game or two.

It’s hard to tell what the other SCIAC contenders will look like. Occidental opened with a 41-0 win over Colorado College but that is a considerably weaker opponent.

Dubuque looked like it would pose a serious threat and would not have ventured all the way out to California on a one-year contract if it thought it was going to be totally embarrassed which turned out to be the case.

Quarterback Dan Selway ran the Redlands offense efficiently. He wasn’t a wild man back there running around and trying to take on linebackers. He got his yards and got out of bounds. And you don’t get much more balanced than 228 team yards rushing and 229 passing.

The Bulldogs have balance in the backfield and balance in the receiving corps. Running back Jeff Stewart, who Maynard said is the strongest player on the team, absolutely leveled a defender trying to tackle him in the early going.

Brock Arndt is the big name on defense but sophomore defensive back Mike Nicolini looks like a future star. He was everywhere.

The schedule is also in the Bulldogs favor. They have six home games, the next coming Saturday when Whitworth (Wash.) comes in for a visit. That’s another traditionally tough foe. Redlands also has its toughest two SCIAC foes at home in Occidental and Cal Lutheran.

The conference title looks like the Bulldogs’ to lose!

La Verne football team drops season opener

The University of La Verne dropped its opening game of the 2008 season, battling defending Northwest Conference Champion Whitworth University to the very end before falling 22-13 to the Pirates Saturday at the Pine Bowl in Tacoma, Washington.

La Verne, which fell 38-0 to Whitworth a year ago, had a chance to pull within a point under two minutes to go.  Down by nine, the Leopards reached the Pirate 31-yard line but could get no closer as Whitworth held on downs to seal the win.

After a scoreless first quarter, the Pirates scored twice within a three-minute span to grab a 15-0 lead, first on a five-yard TD pass from Kory Kemp to Joey VanHoomissen with 7:25 remaining in the second quarter, and converted on a Leopard fumble as Kemp once again connected with VanHoomissen in the end zone, this time from four yard outs at the 5:20 mark.

The Leopards finally struck late in the first half when Kemp was intercepted by Joe Padilla, who returned the ball 32 yards to the Whitworth 36 yard line. One third and goal from the Whitworth five, Anthony Andre passed to Phi Van Le for the touchdown. After the Leopards missed the PAT, Whitworth had a 15-6 lead at halftime.

The teams traded punts five times to open the second half. On the first play after Whitworth took over on its own 18 yard line, Kemp was intercepted by Taylor Hart at the 25. Four plays later Andre completed a 19 yard pass on fourth down to Fernando Gonzalez to pull La Verne within 15-13.

Whitworth closed the scoring in the fourth quarter, capping a 9-play, 59-yard drive on a four-yard scoring run by Adam Anderson to go up 22-13.  Anderson finished with a game-high 158 yards on 33 carries.

La Verne amassed 229 yards on offense, 223 came through the air as quarterback Anthony Andre debuted with the Leopards by completing 17 of 30 attempts for 203 yards and two scores.  On defense, Jason Carpenter led the Green and Orange with a game-high 16 tackles, including two for losses of three yards.

The Leos have a bye next week and enjoy their 2008 home opener Sept. 27 against fellow Northwest Conference opponent Willamette University.

Redlands names football captains

University of Redlands football team announced its captains for the 2008 season today. Voted in by their peers, senior defensive lineman Brock Arndt (Valencia, CA), senior defensive back Conor Drake (Jackson, CA), senior quarterback/punter Dan Selway (Villa Park, CA) and senior fullback Tom Romaine (Ahwatukee, AZ) received captain honors.
 

Named a Preseason All-American by D3football.com, Arndt solidifies the defensive line this season after receiving Second-Team All-West honors and First-Team All-SCIAC laurels in 2007, tallying 48 tackles, five sacks and two recovered fumbles for 10 yards.

 

Exemplifying the ideals of Bulldog football, Drake brings senior leadership to the backfield. Drake earned an All-SCIAC First Team selection last year after a season that included 13 broken-up passes and two interceptions to compliment 39 total tackles.

 

Returning as a captain for his second season, the consummate athlete Selway takes the reigns for the second year as the signal caller for Redlands. This returning Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Offensive Player of the Year garnered a 140.47 efficiency rating in 2007, compiling a total of 2,429 yards passing and 22 touchdowns through the air. He also ran in three touchdowns.

 

Rounding out this year’s captains is Romaine. Providing running and blocking skills, Romaine helped the team gain 1,969 yards rushing and fortified one of the best offensive units in the region and in the NCAA. For his efforts, the SCIAC named him to the conference’s second team.

 

The Bulldogs take on the University of Dubuque (IA) at 7 p.m. Saturday.