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2013-14 College of the Canyons Year in Review

Posted: June 29, 2014 10:35 p.m.
Updated: June 29, 2014 10:35 p.m.

College the Canyons head football coach Ted Iacenda was named National Division, Northern Conference Coach of the Year this past fall.

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When it comes to athletics, College of the Canyons takes a lot of pride in being one of the top community college programs in California.

The 2013-14 season does a lot to back up that notion.

With a total of seven teams winning conference championships throughout the year and a handful of strong postseason showings, COC ranked 12th in the state in the National Alliance of Two-Year College Athletic Administrators (NATYCAA) Cup race.

The NATYCAA assigns a point total to each community college athletic program in the state based on overall performance of the school’s sports teams.

COC was near the top of the list of 106 schools.

A lot of it had to do with COC’s particularly strong showing in fall sports, as well as some strong individual performances in the winter and spring.

No COC athlete this season won a higher honor than sophomore golfer Sidney Wolf, who won the school’s first individual state championship at the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) state finals on May 13.

His 36-hole score of 5-under 139 at Victoria Club in Riverside won it all and helped COC finish second in state as a team.

But perhaps the team that most signified the season’s restoration of athletic prowess was the football team.

Under the guidance of first-year head coach Ted Iacenda, COC football won the National Division, Northern Conference title, advanced to the Southern California regional semifinals and finished 8-3.

It was COC’s first conference title since 2008, and it was good enough to earn Iacenda conference Coach of the Year honors. COC defensive lineman Antonio Guy was named the conference’s Defensive Player of the Year as well.

Shortly after the season, COC announced that Iacenda would become the school’s permanent head football coach, removing the interim tag.

But it wasn’t all about football.

COC also won its first men’s cross country conference championship since 2007 when it claimed the Western State Conference crown.

Both the men’s and women’s cross country teams ended up finishing top 10 at the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) state finals, with the men taking ninth and the women eighth.

COC’s women’s volleyball team also turned in a historic season, winning its first conference championship since 2000 behind co-Western State Conference, South Division Player of the Year Serena LeDuff and conference Coach of the Year Lisa Hooper.

The women’s soccer team continued its dominance of the WSC South, winning the conference for a third straight season. Stacey Atwater was named WSC South Player of the Year and head coach Justin Lundin was given the league’s top coaching honor.

The winter and spring seasons were all about individual performances for COC athletes.

While Wolf’s state golf title was the highlight of the spring, there was also a lot of noise made by COC track and field athletes.

The men’s track and field team won its first conference crown since 1970. Athletes like Tim White and Rodrigo Ornelas were big reasons why the team was so successful.

The two of them were both CCCAA All-America finishers in their events, with Tim White taking third in the long jump state final and Ornelas earning fourth in the 10,000 meters.

The final COC team to win a conference title was the softball team, which claimed a co-championship in the WSC Blue Division. Both COC’s softball and baseball teams had early exits in the postseason, though the baseball team did have some impressive individual seasons.

COC freshman pitcher J.C. Cloney was named the WSC South Pitcher of the Year.

In addition, two current COC players, infielder Roberto Ramos and pitcher Ryan Cruz, were both selected in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft in June.

Another notable COC athlete this season was sophomore forward KeKe Matthews, who was an All-State Southern California third team honoree as well as the WSC North MVP.

She helped the women’s basketball team reach the postseason for its 21st straight year.

That makes a whole lot of top-notch awards raked in by COC athletes across the board this season.

The school better make room in its trophy case.

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