Austin follows teammate to Idaho State

 Chaffey College football standout Marcus Austin is following teammate Jahmel Rover to Division I-AA Idaho State, according to Panthers coach Carl Beach.

Austin, out of Etiwanda High School, was the anchor of the Panthers defensive line the last two years. Austin recorded 37 tackles, seven of those for a loss. He added 4.5 sacks and a recovered fumble. He was a first-team All-Central Conference selection.

He visited the school just before Christmas, after Rover traveled there and signed on.

Beach added that Austin has had no lingering effects of a knee injury that he sustained his senior year of high school that casued him to sit out his first year at Chaffey.

“He has looked very good,” Beach said. “It as a little gimpy there for awhile but the problem seems to be behind him.”

That gives the Panthers four players who have signed or made committments. Earlier both tight end Ricky Howard and defensive back Durrell Givens decided to attend Iowa State.

Cal State San Bernardino player named CCAA Player of the Week

Cal State San Bernardino basketball standout Bryan LeDuc has been named the California Collegiate Athletic Association’s (CCAA) men’s basketball Player of the Week for the week of Dec. 21-27.

LeDuc, a graduate student from Corona, tossed in a season-high 22 points and grabbed 16 rebounds in the Coyotes 81-61 nonconference win against Vanguard University last week at Coussoulis Arena.

LeDuc went 10-for-13 from the field and 12 of hius 16 boards came on the defensive end.

He ranks second in the CCAA in scoring (16.8 ppg) and second in rebounding (8 rpg). LeDuc is also second in both field-goal percentage (.655) and free-throw shooting (.909) and third in 3-point percentage (.500).

Bulldog football team recognized for charity work

The University of Redlands football team has always spent considerable time helping the less fortunate. So it is fitting at the holiday time that group is being recognized for its efforts.

The Benevolent Bulldog program earned a Jostens/National Association of Division III Athletics Administrators (NADIIIAA) Community Service Award for the 2008-09 academic year.
Redlands gained one of two ongoing project/activity “Award of Merit” distinctions.
The idea for Benevolent Bulldog program was hatched in 2008 by Communicative Disorders professor and Faculty Athletic Committee Chair, Chris Walker. Walker and a handful of other sponsors annually give $100 to football student-athletes following their non-traditional season in May and charge them with the task of growing the seed money before they arrive back on campus in the fall.
Through this program, Bulldog football players have purchased food for the homeless, organized a bowling tournament that raised $2,800 for St. Jude’s Research Hospital, hired a translator for a Spanish-speaking mother whose daughter was having a brain tumor operation in Phoenix, donated scholarships to students at a school in Sierra Leone and purchased a water buffalo for a village in the Philippines.
The Redlands football team also gained a Jostens/NADIIIAA Community Service Award at the 2007 NCAA Convention under the one-time project/activity category.  More than 50 student-athletes and coaches spent up to two weeks mucking out houses in New Orleans, LA, for Hilltop Rescue & Relief in May of 2006.

This program recognizes institutions in three separate community service categories: a one-time project/activity, an array of projects/activities and an ongoing project/activity. In addition to the recognition associated with winning the award, the NADIIIAA and Jostens will make a $1,000 contribution to the general scholarship fund of the institutions.
This year’s Jostens/NADIIIAA Community Service Awards will be presented at the 2010 NCAA Convention in Atlanta, GA, on Jan. 16.


Coyotes get set for basketball doubleheader

The Cal State San Bernardino basketball teams each have one more test before they swing back into CCAA play and those will come Tuesday night as the men host Vanguard at 7:30 p.m. The women’s game against St. Martin’s (Wash.) will kick things off at 5:30 p.m.

The Coyotes now have their entire team eligible and they need a good, steady effort to take some momentum into the break.

This team plays hard. It hustles from start to finish. Players dive for loose balls, crash the boards for rebounds. Play isn’t always pretty or perfectly executed but these young men seem to work well as a team instead of as individual players with their own agendas. That will go a long way.

That has made the first couple of months all the more enjoyable for coach Jeff Oliver and associate head coach Paul Trevor. Last year was the polar opposite.

Point guard Corey Gaston is every bit as exciting as teammate Bryan LeDuc made him out to be even before the first game started. He was a little erratic in his first game but he had to be a little nervous. He will be better this time around.

LeDuc has been stellar, ranking in the top 10 in the CCAA in scoring rebounding and free-throw shooting.

The Coyotes have all the parts to make a run similar to the one made by local rival Cal Poly Pomona last spring. Only time will tell though.



Panthers’ Rover headed to Idaho State

Former Eisenhower High School and Chaffey College football standout Jahmel Rover has already overcome a lot of obstacles in his football career. That makes him even more excited about the next step – Idaho State.

He signed with that school last week when me made his visit.

Rover planned on going to San Jose State out of high school but the paperwork got fouled up and he never played there. He had to wait out the year before enrolling at Chaffey to play what turned out to be his freshman season. He averaged 104 yards a game, ranking him ninth in the state.

He missed one game after suffering a severe dehydration episode after a game that resulted in him spending four days in a hospital. It was later diagnosed as a muscle disorder that mimics cramping symptoms.

Then last year he sustained a season ending knee injury before the first game. I went out to interview him for an in-depth feature to kick off the season but it never got written because he was out for the year.

Then last year his numbers took a dive because of the revolving door at quarterback which resulted in a dysfunctional offense.

A lot of athletes that go through that much turn out bitter, especially if they had hopes of playing Division I football somewhere and now are relegated to what might be looked at as a lower tier school.

But Rover just wants the opporunity to play. He has already completed his two-year degree so he will be heading to Idaho in January which makes him eligible to compete in spring practice.

He credits family support for getting him through the tough times, hopefully all of which are behind him now.  He plans to major in nursing, taking after his mother who also works in that profession.

He is a quality young man and deserves nothing but the best!


Smart gets official head job at Cal State Los Angeles

Former Cal Poly Pomona assistant volleyball coach Randi Smart has had the interim label lifted from her title as head coach at Cal State Los Angeles.

Smart, who led the Eagles to a berth in the West Region final opposite Cal State San Bernardino, was named the interim coach in February following the resignation of long-time coach Bill Lawler. She led a young squad with only two seniors to a 23-9 overall record and to a third-place finish in the competitive CCAA.

Cal State Los Angeles finished the year ranked No. 15 in the American Volleyball Coaches Association poll.

Smart came to Cal State Los Angeles after serving as an assistant to Rosie Wegrich for four years.

 Smart also was an assistant coach at the University of La Verne for six seasons, the highlight of her tenure there coming in 2001 when the Leopards won their third national championship.

She becomes the fifth head coach in Cal State L.A. women’s volleyball history.

Clearing up some confusion on the new Chaffey gym

The new gymnasium at Chaffey College will likely not be ready for use when the Panther men’s and women’s basketball teams begin Foothill Conference play on Jan. 6.

Interim athletic director Carl Beach said he hopes that the new veune will be ready ”some time” in January but there are too many variables to be able to set a target date right now.

The structurs is completed as previously reported. There are details such at striping, landscaping and other minor details that are being tended too now.

The biggest factor will be when the facility is ready for a walk-though by an inspector. Then there will be modifications that may have to be made depending on what the inspection reveals. A major problem would result in a longer delay.

So the school is proceeding like it will be playing in the old facility until fiurther notice.

New JC basketball rankings in . . .

As expected the SBVC men’s basketball team dropped from its perch of No. 1 in the state poll released on Monday.

The Wolverines (9-1) suffered their first loss last week against Mt. SAC in the Wells Fargo Classic at Riverside. They bounced back with two nice wins after that, including a heart-stopping 71-70 win over Antelope Valley in which the difference was a buzzer-beater by Syndey Hall.

SBVC fell to No. 3 with Riverside, which won the tournament, inheriting the top spot.There is lots of local representation in the top 10 with Citrus at No. 4 and Mt. SAC at No. 6.

In the South Region, SBVC is No. 2, Citrus No. 3, Mt. SAC No. 4, Chaffey No. 11 and Barstow No. 15.

On the women’s side SBVC (7-2) jumped tow places to No. 7. It losses have been to No. 1 Ventura and No. 5 Mt. SAC.



Redlands sophomore earns weekly honor

Sophomore forward Courtney Carroll of the University of Redlands women’s basketball team was named the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Female Athlete of the Week for Nov. 30-Dec. 6.
She lit up the scoreboard at last weekend’s UC Santa Cruz Winter Tournament, averaging 24 points per game, as the Bulldogs defeated Whitworth University (WA), 81-57, and Santa Cruz, 75-60.  She shot .500 from the field and went 16-for-20 from the charity stripe.  She also pulled down 17 rebounds, including six offensive boards, to go along with eight assists, three blocks and three steals.
The Redlands women’s basketball team (4-2) takes to the road for a non-conference game against Chapman on Sat., Dec. 12, at 5 p.m., before heading to La Sierra University on Tuesday for a 7:30 p.m. showdown with the Golden Eagles.
Whittier’s DaMon Perry earned the male award.  

Bulldogs lineman honored

University of Redlands senior offensive lineman Travis McBride has been named to the All-West Region Second Team.

On the heels of his First-Team All-Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) accolade, McBride gains his inaugural All-West Region honor of his career.  In 2009, this three-year starter led a Redlands offensive line that surrendered just 11 sacks in 232 pass attempts while helping the Bulldogs rack up 2,618 yards of total offense.  He has not personally given up a sack in the past two seasons. 

 This year McBride served as a co-captain during the team’s 7-2 season that included a third-place mark of 4-2 in SCIAC action.
For a complete list of the All-Region recipients, please log onto