Tuesday September 22 was National Voter Registration Day. In conjunction with that day, the Ventura College Athletic Department has paired with the Associated Students of Ventura College to encourage 100 percent voter registration among eligible student athletes and 100 percent registration among VC students. The effort is also encouraging all students to become educated voters and participate in this fall's election.
The Ventura College Athletic Department is proud to announce that Antonio Rosales of the men's tennis team and Michelle Hamm and Raphaella Rosales of the women's cross country/track and field and volleyball/beach volleyball teams, respectively, have been named the Pirates' Scholar Athletes for the 2019-20. All three sophomores finished two years of competition for the orange and black with perfect 4.0 grade point averages in the classroom.
Despite the movement of classes online and the cancellation of most of the spring season, student athletes at Ventura College continued to achieve academically in 2019-20. In the fall, 99 student athletes made the Dean's list, signifying a grade point average of 3.5 or above, while 107 student athletes were honored on the Dean's list in the spring 2020 semester.
Aside from not celebrating a season-opening win this weekend due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the Ventura College football program had a pretty good weekend, celebrating the arrival of a pair of alumni into the National Football League. Pirate alumni Jake Luton '16 and Jessie Lemonier '17, are set to earn their paychecks playing football as the 2020 NFL season opens this week. Luton has been named the back-up quarterback for the Jacksonville Jaguars while Lemonier is officially on the practice squad for the Los Angeles Chargers.
Pirate head baseball coach Cole Mahoney-Bruer has had the "Interim" tag removed from his title. Mahoney-Bruer, who will enter his sixth season in the VC dugout in the spring, served as the interim head coach during last spring's covid-shortened campaign after four years as an assistant. He has played a role in helping 55 Pirate baseball players transfer to four-year schools, including 15 to NCAA Division I, during his time with the orange and black. He was the lead assistant for VC's 2019 Western State Conference championship team.
The Ventura College Athletic Department is pleased to report that they list 83 student athletes from 2019-20 who are slated to transfer to four-year institutions in the fall, as of August 31. Of those transfers, 60 plan on continuing their athletic careers at their new school, most of them with an athletic scholarship. The transferring student athletes will attend 58 different schools in 26 states around the country.
The Ventura College women's basketball team posted a program record 3.544 team grade point average for the 2019-20 academic year to receive the No. 2 national ranking on this year's Women's Basketball Coaches Association Academic Honor Roll. The team achieved a 3.386 GPA in the fall and overcame the disappointment of a cancelled state tournament and the challenges of a spring semester that moved completely online due to the coronavirus health crisis to shatter the program standard with a 3.723 in the spring, earning VC's 16th WBCA Academic Honor Roll appearance in the last 17 years.
Ventura College football coach Steve Mooshagian has announced 24 transfers from the 2019 Northern Conference champion Pirates, five of whom were mid-year transfers. Among the transfers and signees, 12 are moving on to NCAA Division I, eight to NCAA Division II, one to NAIA and three to the NCAA Division III level. Many of these transfers were part of VC's 2018 Southern California Football Association championship team, and they helped lead a relatively young Pirate team in 2019 to a share of the Northern Conference title.
The Intercollegiate Tennis Association is proud to announce the 2020 Junior College Men ITA Scholar-Athletes and All-Academic Teams. With a team grade point average of 3.26, the Ventura College men's tennis team is one of 16 programs recognized from across the country on the distinguished list. Meanwhile, Dean's List honorees Antonio Rosales, Cody Castro and Yuya Koide were among the 68 individuals recognized by the organization as ITA Scholar Athletes.
With an incredible team grade point average of 3.78, the VC women's tennis team had been named an All-Academic Team by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association for 2020. Academia is a key aspect of the college tennis experience. Collegiate tennis players add to the rich intellectual community found on college campuses across the nation. Individually, Dean's List student athletes Sylvie Van Cott, Tanya Thompson, Isabella DeRosa and Dee Emami all were named ITA Scholar Athletes.
The VC women's basketball team has nine alumnae who are planning on transferring to four-year universities in the fall, with three signing scholarships to continue their basketball careers. This group adds to the long line of four-year transfers during the 30-year tenure of head coach Ned Mircetic. Since 1990-91, 164 Pirate alumnae have transferred to continue their education with 89 continuing their basketball careers at the four-year level.
Cross country star Olivia Burton was named the Ventura County Female College Athlete of the Year by the Ventura County Sports Hall of Fame Tuesday. The sophomore had earlier been awarded VC's Outstanding Female Sophomore Female Student Athlete and men's basketball standout Dayshone Henry was honored at the Pirates' Outstanding Male Sophomore Student Athletes for 2019-20. The two were also recently recognized by the Ventura Country Sports Hall of Fame for their accomplishments over their careers for the Pirates.
Ventura College Athletic Director Jimmy Walker and the Pirate Athletic Department hosted an alumni panel discussion on Racism, Diversity and the Student Athlete late last week that was posted to the Pirates' YouTube Channel and the VC Sports Network on Sunday. The panel was moderated by VC football mentor and player development assistant Ron Jenkins. He was joined by eight Ventura College alumni as they discussed racism in sport and society as a first step in addressing the current climate of racial tension.
Larry Baratte, the architect of Ventura College’s dominant men's and women's swimming programs of the early 21st century and a 2017 inductee into the VC Athletics Hall of Fame, peacefully passed away surrounded by the love of his family. He impacted the community in so many ways and will be sorely missed, yet his legacy will continue to live on.
Ventura College is pleased to announce that Jimmy Walker will continue as the Pirates’ Director of Intercollegiate Athletics permanently beginning in July. He has been serving as the Interim AD for the past year, helping the department navigate through the current coronavirus challenge, and the College is confident in his leadership for Pirate Athletics into the future.
The Pirates' men's tennis team has added three more players from the 2020 team to its list of students athletes who will transfer to four-year schools to continue their academic and athletic careers. Sophomores Charles De La Laurencie (Florida National University), Alexandre Campolina (Westcliff University, CA) and Thorben Waldburger (Indiana University East) have all signed scholarship offers this spring, joining Antonio Rosales (Biola University), who committed in the fall.
Nine players from Ventura College's 2019 Western State Conference championship team were honored earlier this spring by the California Community College Baseball Coaches Association as Academic All-State honorees. A total of 202 players from the 2019 season were honored by the coaches association for achieving at least a 3.5 grade point average during the last academic year.
In a perfect world, the Pirates' beach volleyball team would have returned home over the weekend following their first ever team appearance in the CCCAA State Tournament. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the season ended two months ago with unfulfilled expectations. But in the short time the 2020 team made it to the sand courts, there was much to celebrate.
The Pirates' women's tennis team was progressing in what could have been a memorable March and April when the coronavirus pandemic prematurely ended the 2020 season. Freshman Sylvie Van Cott was undefeated at No. 1 singles with an 11-0 record, and she also had a strong doubles year going with partner Aline Rojas. Meanwhile, others were also having solid seasons for VC when the CCCAA sports world stood still.
It is a season whose end will forever be unwritten. The Ventura College men's tennis team was the lone undefeated squad remaining in the state in 2020 when the campaign came to an abrupt end on March 12 due to the coronavirus, and their journey will always be unfinished. But despite that, the 2020 Pirates achieved many great things worthy of recognition and review.
The season had barely began, and then it was over. In a sport where progression of training builds to a pair of three-day meets at the end of the season, the Ventura College men's and women's swimming and diving teams had barely gotten in the pool before the coronavirus ended the year. Despite the short campaign, the Pirates still managed to make their mark.
Dennis Downey, a 1973 Ventura College alumnus and a member of the VC Athletics Hall of Fame, passed away peacefully in his sleep on April 20, 2020. A graduate of Ventura High School, he was a standout for the Pirates in football and baseball before transferring to Oregon State.
2020 was already a transition yer for the Ventura College track and field teams. With former VC All-American and new head coach Tomak Czerwinski at the helm, the Pirates began anew in January and racked up some solid performances before the season was stopped in mid-March due to the coronavirus.
In a season that concluded with a "what if," the Ventura College men’s golf team looked to make a deep run into the CCCAA State Championships in May. When the 2020 season was suspended due to the coronavirus, the Pirates were alone in second place in the difficult Western State Conference, trailing only defending state champion College of the Canyons. The Pirates had three runner-up finishes and a pair of third-place finishes in five WSC events. In addition to the stellar play of sophomore Mason Teron, two freshmen, Evan Colborn and Steen Zeman each notched individual third-place finishes at separate events.
Three Ventura College football alumni continued their dreams of playing in the National Football League on the final day of the NFL Draft Saturday. Jake Luton, the 2016 SCFA Northern Conference Offensive Player of the Year for VC, was drafted in the sixth round, the 189th pick overall, by the Jacksonville Jaguars. Meanwhile 2017 Northern Conference Defensive Player of the Year Jessie Lemonier signed an undrafted free agent contract with the Los Angeles Chargers. Case Cookus, a grey-shirt member of the VC's 2014 team was signed by the New York Giants.
After a strong run in the Western State Conference North Division in 2019, the Pirate softball team was poised for another run at the title in 2020, before the coronavirus. VC, which was due to open WSC play on March 10 before rain postponed the conference opener, ended the season with an 11-8 record in solid position in what looked to be a four-team race in the division.
The 2020 Pirate baseball season may have been cut short by the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent nation-wide shutdown, but it was not short of drama that is unique to JC baseball. Late-inning heroics, wide run swings, and solid individual performances highlighted the Pirates' 2020 baseball season.
Despite being the lone undefeated team in the state when the coronavirus halted CCCAA athletics across the board on March 12, the Pirates' men's tennis team was ranked No. 3 in the final Oracle/ITA JUCO CCCAA Men’s Team Rankings issued by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association on Thursday. Ventura (8-0) was ranked behind College of the Desert (6-1) and American River (9-2) in the poll.
At the end of a roller coaster season, the VC women's basketball team had found its way back to the top with a berth in the CCCAA State Elite Eight with a regional final victory on March 7. Five days later, they found themselves in the middle of the emerging COVID-19 crisis that enveloped the country and the world. After a 21-7 overall record, the Pirates became Ventura College's first team to end their season without closure as they returned home from the cancelled state tournament.