State of the Campus: Sports at Glendale College

Ross Coleman

Can you tell me, without cheating and looking online, how many sport teams we have at Glendale?

What about our team colors? Our division? Star players? Win-loss records? Do we have a marching band?

I’m sure you can tell me the mascot but that’s about all and that is pretty sad.

After covering sports here for two years, it has been clear to me that GCC has a lot of potential to be a great sports school; it just needs a chance to become so.

Look, I know that sports aren’t everything and I know that most people aren’t at GCC because of its stellar sports programs. But I tell you that is a shame. Our sports teams don’t get enough exposure.

I know that budget would prevent lots of the changes that I would recommend, but I’m not going to school to be an accountant, so I am not too worried about that.

The first thing that really doesn’t make sense to me is the fact that many people on campus don’t even realize what sports we have. For those of you who can’t name the number of teams we have, it’s 16. Football, baseball, women’s softball, volleyball, men’s and women’s basketball, soccer, cross country, track and field, tennis, golf.

That’s a lot of sporting events that the students of Glendale are missing out on. Sports offer the opportunity for students to be united in support of their fellow students.

The colors of our Vaqueros are maroon and gold. We compete in the Western State Conference or WSC for short. As far as star players go, there is a lot of talent that comes out of Glendale every year.

Just ask the Pittsburg Pirates second baseman Freddy Sanchez, or two-time gold medal Olympian Cathy Ferguson, or three-time gold medalist Frank Wykoff, or even head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles Andy Reid.

Sanchez is a GCC grad who played on the baseball team. He went on to great success with the Pirates and even won a batting crown in 2006.

Ferguson won two her gold medals in the 1964 Olympics in swimming. Wykoff won his gold medals in three different Olympics, 1928 in Amsterdam, 1932 in Los Angeles, and 1936 in Berlin.

Reid was a former football player here and he donated the money to build the scoreboard for our football stadium.

While many of these people did great things to enhance athletics in general at GCC, there is more work needed to tap the potential on campus.

One thing that has been my biggest gripe is the lack of a marching band.

Now, I did formerly attend a four-year division one university. Big name program. So I may be a little spoiled or biased, but the lack of a marching band at football games is glaring. Where is the fight song after a touchdown? How imposing would it be for other schools to come into Sartoris Field and have to face a loud marching band and a raucous student body singing a fight song?

GCC would be not only one of the biggest athletic draws in the area, but would have another program in the already popular music department, which attracts many students to the campus.

Then, you could have a pep band do the basketball games.

But the exposure of these programs is the thing that is greatly lacking.

During homecoming week, what were the activities that promoted homecoming? I can’t even name one. The football game, itself, was difficult to distinguish from any other football game this season, even though it was arguably the most important game. The only thing different was the halftime show, in which students tried to kick a field goal.

Look, I am sure there were a lot of people working for months on the logistics of that kick, but really? That’s the best you came up with?

I know that Glendale is a commuter school where people rarely want to spend extra time. I know because that is how it has been for me, but I think the thing keeping people from spending time on campus is the fact that they are not knowledgeable about the great sports provided.

Another thing that could be provided to get more exposure are intramural sports. Intramurals provide the chance for people to build companionship and increase the moral on campus. The only way for GCC to really get to where it could be with its activities is to provide them.

Don’t say no. It wouldn’t be difficult to give people a chance.

In fact, that is all that Glendale Community College needs – a chance. Community is in the name; give it a chance to become so by putting a little time and energy into making GCC a beacon for local athletes who would like to continue their careers.