Spring Sports Offer Promising Opportunities for Student Athletes

Ross Coleman

The start of Spring brings many new beginnings to the GCC campus: new students, new teachers, and new seasons for various sports teams. The packed sports schedule includes men’s and women’s track and field, men’s and women’s tennis, baseball, softball, and men’s golf.

The track and field teams hope to build on the success of the cross-country teams in the fall. On the women’s side the distance team looks to be strong due to the fact that many of the runners also competed on the State Championship cross-country team.

The Men’s team also will boast a good group of runners. Head coach Eddie Lopez brings a lot of experience to an already good team. Throwing coach Jason Bender returns for a second year to coach the men and women. Bender boasts an impressive resume that includes numerous records from his years at Santa Rosa Junior College and at UCLA.

Men’s tennis looks to improve on an impressive 2007 season that saw the Vaqueros reach the playoffs and finish number eight in the state. The Vaqs retain two all-Western Conference performers from last year in Matthew Taoatao and Greg Arutyunyan. Head coach Bob McKay has set a tough preseason schedule in hopes of helping the team to be ready for an exciting season in the Western State Conference.

The women’s tennis team matches a “wonderful mix of veterans and new athletes,” according to head coach Terry Coblentz. Team Captain, and number-four singles player, Sonia Rodriguez teams up with Miyuku Yokozuka, number-three singles player, to form the second doubles team for the Lady Vaqs. The top two singles players, both freshmen, Monique Palmea, Valencia High, and Melinda Hacopian, Glendale High, will also team up as the number one doubles team.

“Palmea plays a very exciting serve and volley style of play and is a very experienced doubles player,” said Coblentz.

The last doubles team consists of Armine Balayan, number five singles player and Ani Petrosyan number six singles player. “Our goals this year are to play every match as hard as we can,” says Coblentz. “These women have been working extremely hard since September and it shows in how they conduct themselves during their matches.”

The baseball team hopes to continue on a rich tradition in 2008. The coaching staff takes great pride in two statistics for the program. 100 percent of sophomores transfer to four-year colleges and 85 percent play baseball at the next level. The team is currently 5-7 but they hope to build on that record for a strong season in conference play.

The softball team got a great boost from a strong recruiting class that brought in 11 freshmen. Add those freshmen to the five returning sophomores and that makes for a great opportunity for the team. The team is currently 11-4 overall and 5-1 in WSC play.

Men’s golf looks to the leadership of head coach and PGA Tour member Greg Osbourne. Osbourne, a former GCC student and MVP of the golf team that he now coaches, also played on the football team. The team looks for a strong year from its 13-man roster. They play home matches at nearby Oakmont Country Club.

All teams are looking for fan support. For information on game schedules please visit www.glendale.edu/athletics