SBVC football team looks to reverse trend

I made my way out to San Bernardino Valley College today to see how things are going with the football team which is directed by new coach Kevin Emerson.

The Wolverines head into the 2009 season with a 15-game losing streak that dates back to the 2007 season. Not only did they lose all their games last season, they weren’t even competitive. It’s a daunting task to try and turn that program around.

I have heard it every year for like the last six . . .”We’re going to be better.” . . . “We’re going to surprise some people.” . . .OK, whatever!.

Well the Wolverines might actually come through this time. First of all they have a quarterback, two actually. Robert Fuller appears to be the frontrunner for the job. It wasn’t that long ago he was throwing for a ton of yards at San Bernardino, then Arroyo Valley High School. He went to Utah State last year but redshirted and opted to return home when the new coaching staff wanted him to play linebacker, something he had no interest in.

The other candidate is Roman Neville, a freshman out of Box Elder High School in Utah.

There aren’t a lot of holdovers from last year’s team which is probably good. The less that is remembered about last year, the better.

We’ll see.

We’ll preview the coming seasons for both SBVC and Chaffey next week, The Wolverines open a week from Saturday against College of the Desert. Kickoff at SBVC will be 6 p.m.

A reply from the Cal State big man

I got an e-mail over the weekend from Cal State San Bernardino basketball player Brandon Brown. Well I guess I should now say former player because last week he signed a contract to play for a professional team in Lithuania, which means he won’t be returning to Cal State for his senior season.

I didn’t get to talk to him when the story first broke because it happened late in the day. The press release from the school quoted Brown as saying the decision came down to finances so I ran with that.

But in the e-mail to me he said that wasn’t the entire story. He did say that he didn’t think he had anything else to prove after a season in which he averaged 21 points and nine rebounds.He still appeared a bit steamed about not being named MVP of the conference. (That went to Cal Poly Pomona’s Larry Gordon).

As an impartial observer – he is proabably right. He had a far better regular season than Gordon did, although Gordon stepped it up in the postseaon big time.

Brown also said the team’s schedule wasn’t exactly enticing. As a result of budget cuts the Coyotes won’t be traveling anywhere until they get to the postseason. In the past they have made multiple trips out of state for nonconference games.

He said the Coyotes will be just fine without him because of the others who ARE coming back. He is probably right there too. Coach Jeff Oliver knows how to make it work and has a histotry of coming up with players very late in the recruiting race.

Of course this is assuming the e-mail did in fact come from Brown. The address was from the email of another person, maybe a friend, an agent, who knows?

Brown seemed like a good kid (Yes, to me they’re kids). But he was also one in need of some guidance. I do hope everything works out for him and he isn’t just relying on some bottom-feeding agent taking advantage of an unsuspecting kid. We all know they’re out there.

Leopards No. 3 in AVCA poll

The University of La Verne volleyball team is ranked #3 overall in the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division III Preseason Top 25 Poll, released Aug. 19.

The Leopards, which finished 27-3 last season en route to an appearance in the national championship match, garnered a total of 550 points along with two first-place votes.  Defending national champion Emory University topped the poll with 595 points and 20 out of a possible 24 first-place votes, followed by Juniata College with 555 points and one first-place vote.

Wisconsin-Oshkosh (521) and Washington-St. Louis (495) round out the fourth and fifth spots in the poll, respectively.

First-year head coach Marlon Sano welcomes five returning starters plus the libero to the lineup.  Among that group is senior middle blocker Crista Jones, who earned AVCA First Team All-America honors a year ago.  Also returning are the trio of junior opposite Anna Calmer, senior middle blocker Ashley Morgado and senior setter Yesenia Lopez.  Each earned All-Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) accolades in 2008.

La Verne will battle seven teams ranked among the Top 15 in the poll, including matches against #2 Juniata and #5 Washington-St. Louis at the annual Teri Clemens Invitational in St. Louis, MO.

The Leopards will hold their annual Alumni match on Sept. 1 at Frantz Athletic Court before opening the regular season at the Pacific Coast Classic Tournament Sept. 4-5 in Claremont.

AVCA Preseason Top 25 Poll

Redlands announces football schedule

The University of Redlands announces the broadcast schedule for the upcoming 2009 football campaign, which marks the 100th season of Bulldog football.  With continued coverage on the radio and through the web, all nine Redlands football games will be available on KCAA 1050 AM radio with a simulcast available on the KCAA web site.

For the 22nd year, fans will follow every snap, pass, and touchdown with hosts Mitch McClellan and Brett Malak.

During the Bulldogs’ games, fans outside of KCAA’s listening range may also tune into the action through the station’s simulcast on the web, enabling fans around the world to follow the action.  To access the web-cast, go to the station’s homepage at and then click listen live.  In addition, this link is available directly from the Bulldog Football Schedule page by going to, choosing football under Sports, and then clicking on “Schedule”.

Redlands kicks off the 100th season of football with a 5 p.m. home game against East Texas Baptist University on Saturday, September 12, in Ted Runner Stadium.  Prior to the game, fans are invited to “Rah Rah Redlands”, a family-friendly reception at the football practice field. 

 Please contact the Alumni Office for more information at 909-748-8011.

Coyotes’ Brown decides to go pro

Cal State San Bernardino’s bid for another CCAA title and a chance at a national championship took a major hit when leading scorer Brandon Brown decided to forgo his senior season and turn professional.

The 6-foot-7 center-forward has signed a contract to play for Siauliai, Lithuania, of the Union of European Basketball Leagues. Brown said the decision was a financial one.

“I had to make some money to support my family,” he said in a press release from the school.

It was the second major blow for veteran Coyotes coach Jeff Oliver, who had assembled a team that looked like it would contend for conference, region and national honors.
USC point guard Dante Smith, who earlier signed a letter of intent with Cal State, opted to stay with the Trojans. He was the No. 1 junior college point guard in the country when he came out of Mt. SAC.

Oliver said what bothered him most was the lack of communication and timing of Brown’s move. Brown, named Newcomer of the Year in the CCAA last season, already had passed a summer class and was taking another.

“He kept telling me he was coming back,” Oliver said. “I knew there was some fishing going on and he was exploring some options. Guys do that. But he told me he was coming back.”

Brown’s departure will free up considerable scholarship money if Oliver can find a quality player still available. His track record of landing players late is good.

The loss of Smith and Brown is huge, but Oliver already had secured the services of 6-foot-7 forward Brian Le Duc, the leading scorer and rebounder at Division I University of Pacific last season.

“We’re going to go back to work and see what else we can come up with,” Oliver said. “We might have a different type of team, but we’ll find a way to survive.”

Brown led the CCAA in scoring (21.5 ppg) and was third in rebounding (8.7 rpg). He also led the conference in blocked shots. He was a first-team All-CCAA and All-West Region selection. He also was named Most Valuable Player at the conference tournament, won by the Coyotes.

Brown had 11 double-doubles with a career high of 39 points at Chico State. It was the fifth-best single-game scoring performance in Coyote hoops history. He had a career-high 14 rebounds against UC San Diego. His 200 rebounds for the season ranked him No. 9 on the Coyotes’ all-time list.

He was a four-time CCAA player of the week and led the team in scoring in 17 of the 23 games he played. He scored 30 or more points four times.

He will play for a team that went 15-5 last season in the Lithuanian LKL league. He signed a contract Tuesday and will leave for Lithuania today.

Oliver said if Brown had remained in school on an athletic scholarship, he would have been within a couple credits of obtaining his bachelor’s degree by next June and still able to fulfill his dream of playing professionally.

Brown was projected as a preseason NCAA Division II All-American and potential CCAA and NCAA player of the year if the Coyotes proved to be as successful this coming season as some observers figured they would be with his presence in the middle.

“Physically he was ready to go pro, but mentally he wasn’t,” Oliver said.

Coyotes lose star player to the pros

Cal State San Bernardino’s bid for a national title in men’s basketball has taken a huge hit as 6-foot-7 forward Brandon Brown decided to ditch his senior season and sign with a professional team in Lithuania.

That’s really too bad. It sounded like coach Jeff Oliver had assembled quite a team. The Coyotes will likely still be good but that may not be enough in what is sure to be a competitive conference and fiercely competitive region.

Brown averaged 21 points and 9 rebounds and probably should have been the CCAA MVP. He had a better regular season than Cal Poly Pomona’s Larry Gordon.

Earlier this summer Dante Smith, who had signed with the Coyotes, decided to stay at USC rather than transfer as planned. So Brown’s leaving was a second hit.

The Coyotes do have a quality D-I transfer in Brian LeDuc who was the leading scorer at University of the Pacific. With Brown, LeDuc and Smith the Coyotes would have been unstoppable.

But now coach Oliver is left scrambling. If Brown wanted to leave that was his prerogative but it would have been nice if he had informed his coach early enough he could have come up with another game plan.

Oliver has a good track record of getting players late in the game and now he does have some scholarship money available.There are usually some players floating around. Now its up to him to find one.

Brown was much like former player Ivan Johnson who had visions of pro ball in his head even before he stepped into the gym the first time. While its good to have goals, both those players seemed a little too fixated on that more than the matter at hand which was helping their college team and getting an education.

Let’s hope all parties come out winners.

Coyotes No. 2 in preseason poll

Concordia University, St. Paul debuts the 2009 volleyball season as the nation’s top squad according to the AVCA Division II Coaches Top 25 Preseason Poll, released Thursday afternoon by the organization. CSP, under head coach Brady Starkey, earned a unanimous 32 first-place votes and 800 total points after turning in a 37-1 record and capturing its second-consecutive national championship in 2008.
The Golden Bears enter 2009 hungry for their third-straight title. Reigning AVCA Division II National Player of the Year Maggie McNamara returns to the setter spot for her senior season and will anchor the roster along with junior middle blocker and AVCA First-Team All-American Emily Palkert. Defensive ace Mary Slinger also returns to her libero position which saw her earn AVCA Second-Team All-America accolades a year ago, as the Golden Bears welcome back nine total letterwinners to the court this season.
Right back in the mix of things is west coast power Cal State San Bernardino, last year’s national runner-up, as they take hold of the No. 2 spot in the poll. Veteran mentor Kim Cherniss’ squad, fresh off a 30-4 campaign, returns four starters and nine letterwinners for another shot at title glory. The Coyotes will be guided by senior setter Sara Hoffman, an AVCA First-Team American in 2008. Providing CSUSB an offensive spark will be senior outside hitter and Second-Team All-CCAA honoree Ashtin Hall along with junior outside hitter Jane Chafeh, who was named to last year’s NCAA championship all-tournament team.
Emporia State University rings in 2009 as the No. 3 preseason vote-getter after rolling through last year with a 35-5 record, a MIAA championship and an appearance in the NCAA regional final. Floor general Bing Xu’s Hornets will see four starters, the libero and nine letterwinners back on the court with one goal in mind. Look for junior setter, AVCA First-Team All-American Ting Liu, to lead Emporia State’s offensive attack, which will be spearheaded by another returning AVCA All-American in senior outside hitter Arica Shepard (Second-Team).
Coming in at No. 4 on the AVCA poll is Grand Valley State University, who ended 2008 with a 33-4 record, a GLIAC championship and a trip to the NCAA Championship semifinals. Taskmaster Deanne Scanlon brings 11 letterwinners back to the court this season, including three starters and the libero. Leading the charge for the Lakers will be junior middle blocker Rebeccah Rapin, who was an AVCA Honorable Mention All-America selection a year ago. Joining her will be senior outside hitter Whitney Tremain, the 2008 Midwest Regional Tournament Most Valuable Player and senior outside hitter Katey Crichton, an All-GLIAC Honorable Mention honoree.
Completing the top-five is West Texas A&M University, who returns five starters and eight total letterwinners from a campaign that saw them rack up a 34-5 record, capture a Lone Star Conference championship and earn a spot in the NCAA regional semifinals. First-year head coach Jason Skoch will turn to Laura Prinsen, a senior rightside/opposite, who earned an AVCA First-Team All-America nod at the conclusion of last season, to get the offense ignited. Also back for a final go-around is a pair of senior AVCA Honorable Mention All-Americans in setter Katie Rickwartz and middle blocker Melissa Harper.

La Verne women start at No. 3

The University of La Verne women’s volleyball team is ranked No. 3 in the American Volleyball Coaches Association 2009 Division III preseason poll released today.

Last season the Leopards finished 27-3, marching all the way to the championship match before losing in four sets to Emory (Ga.).

Emory is starting out at No. 1 with 595 points with Juniata, which lost the semfinal to La Verne last season, second with 555. La Verne tallied 550 points.

The Leopards graduated just two players but one of those was All-American Brianna Gonzales, a two-time SCIAC Player of the Year.

There will however be a major overhaul in the coaching staff as Marlon Sano has taken over from the popular Don Flora, who left for a Division I assistant job. Sano, an assistant last year at Cal State Los Angeles, also hired new assistants as both Flora’s helpers left for other jobs.

Humboldt State to host CCAA Tourney

The 2010 California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships have been awarded to Humboldt State, conference commissioner Robert J. Hiegert announced on Wednesday.

The 16-team event will be contested March 2-6 with the semi-finals and championship games slated for the two-year old Lumberjack Arena (1,950) on the campus of Humboldt State in Arcata. The championship format calls for eight men’s and women’s teams to compete in first-round games at campus sites on March 2 with the winners advancing to the semifinals on March 5 in Arcata. The championship games will be played on Saturday, March 6.

“Over the years Humboldt State has received great community support and the conference membership is confident that it will be a well-attended event and serve as a revenue-maker for the conference,” Hiegert said. “The idea of playing in a new facility in front of large and enthusiastic crowds will create memorable experiences for the student-athletes.”

The 2010 CCAA Tournament will mark the third consecutive year that the conference has hosted a postseason tournament. Cal State San Bernardino was the host site the last two seasons.

Cal State San Bernardino is the defending men’s champion while Cal State Dominguez Hills captured the women’s title in 2009.

2010 CCAA Basketball Championships
Lumberjack Arena, Arcata, Calif.
March 2-6, 2010

Tentative Tournament Schedule

March 2 (Tue) – At Campus Sites

March 5 (Fri) – Arcata
Women’s Semifinal No. 1 – 12:30 p.m.
Women’s Semifinal No. 2 – 3:00 p.m.

Men’s Semifinal No. 1 – 5:30 p.m.
Men’s Semifinal No. 2 – 8:00 p.m.

March 8 (Sat) – Arcata
Women’s Championship – 5:00 p.m.
Men’s Championship – 7:30 p.m.

Redlands tennis team earns academic honor

The University of Redlands men’s tennis team landed on the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) All-Academic Team for boasting a cumulative team grade point average of 3.221. This award is given to any ITA member institution with a GPA of 3.2 or higher.
“This is a great honor for Bulldog men’s tennis,” commented Head Coach Geoff Roche.  “Earning this award has become part of our tradition, dating back as far as I can remember.  I’m proud to work with such exemplary student-athletes at the University of Redlands.”
In addition, freshman Lander Jewett (Helena, MT), junior Daniel Adachi (Honolulu, HI), junior Mike Reading (Mill Creek, WA), and senior Aron Ouye (San Diego, CA) all earned ITA Scholar-Athlete status, which is given to varsity letter-winners with a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or above who have completed at least two semesters of college coursework. 
Adachi owns a 3.507 GPA as a Liberal Studies major and played a supporting role in Redlands’ 19-9 season. 
Equipped with a 3.886 GPA, Jewett enjoyed his rookie campaign as a reserve competitor.  He is pursuing a degree in Biology.
Reading looks forward to his senior year as a Religious Studies major with a 3.634 GPA.  Last season, he joined forces with sophomore Cameron Spearman (Laguna Niguel, CA) as the Bulldogs’ top doubles duo, earning a 19-12 record.  In singles, Reading went 13-18, primarily at the No. 2 spot.
Ouye wrapped up a solid four-year career at Redlands by graduating with a 3.519 GPA as an Accounting major.  He compiled a 52-47 singles record, primarily at the No. 2 and No. 3 spots.  He also garnered a record of 21-13 in doubles during his career.
The Redlands men’s tennis team earned a solid 19-9 record during the 2009 season while competing against numerous nationally ranked teams.  The Bulldogs advanced to the NCAA Championships for the 18th consecutive year and finished out their campaign as the No. 10 team in the country.