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Around the SCV: Two for Hart, one more for GV

Three to play at next level; TMC athletes at NAIAs

Posted: May 30, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: May 30, 2011 1:55 a.m.

As the spring seasons come to a close, colleges are already filling up rosters for next year.

Three more Santa Clarita Valley athletes benefitted from that this spring — two of them Hart baseball players.

Seniors Garrett Gooding and Alex Tenorio received at least partial scholarships to National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics schools, while Golden Valley volleyball’s Ryan Kessler signed with Emmanuel College, a Division III school in Boston.

Gooding, a left-handed starting pitcher for the Indians, will play at Pt. Loma Nazarene next year and infielder Tenorio is headed to Menlo College in the San Francisco Bay Area.

“Both guys really made some improvements in their four years in the program and we’re really excited to have them move on to the next level in their academic and baseball careers,” said Hart head coach Jim Ozella.

Tenorio had what Ozella called a breakout season for Hart, recording team-highs in every major hitting category. He finished with a .475 batting average, 26 RBIs, 25 runs, 38 hits and three home runs, all of which were team-bests.

Gooding gained most of his accolades on the mound, serving as a big piece of the best starting rotation in the Foothill League this season. His 2.43 ERA and 72 strikeouts were both second best on the team. Opponents hit just .258 against the lefty.

“A lot of people look at it and say, ‘Well maybe they’re not playing at a (Division I) place, but I think both guys are happy with the places they’ve chose,” Ozella said.

Kessler served as an opposite hitter for the Grizzlies this season, during which he tallied 198 Kills, 170 digs and 27 aces to help his team finish third in league.

He was part of a Golden Valley team that made the CIF-Southern Section Division II playoffs two years in a row, including the program’s first appearance in 2010.

Pizzo takes fourth at nationals

Sophomore Anthony Pizzo was The Master’s College’s best finisher this week, taking fourth place in the 5,000-meter run at the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Outdoor Championships on Sunday in Marion, Ind.

Pizzo’s time of 14 minutes, 18.46 seconds earned TMC its only four points of the event, putting the Mustangs at 55th place in the overall team standings.

Teammate and fellow sophomore John Gilbertson took 11th in the same event, running it in 14:42.10.

It wasn’t the best performance either athlete had posted this season. Earlier this year, both Gilbertson and Pizzo broke school records in the event, holding the fourth and fifth best times, respectively, in the NAIA this year.

The third and final TMC participant at the NAIAs was freshman Matthew Crichton, who didn’t make it past the prelims in the 3,000 steeplechase. He finished 23rd in Thursday’s prelim race with a time of 9:46.47.

Canyon product honored at AFA

Former Canyon offensive lineman and Air Force Academy junior A.J. Wallerstein was named the school’s most valuable lineman/special teams player on the football team at Tuesday’s 2010-11 annual sports awards ceremony near Colorado Springs, Colo.

The 2007 Canyon graduate led the team in knockdown blocks and led a group of five new starters on the offensive line according to the release.

The Falcons finished 5-4 overall in 2010, 3-3 in the Mountain West Conference, and defeated Georgia Tech 14-7 in the Independence Bowl.

Wallerstein anchored a front line that helped Air Force to a 12th straight conference rushing title, averaging 306.5 yards per game. The unit also allowed the second fewest sacks in the nation in 2010, at five per game.

In high school, Wallerstein started for the Cowboys varsity squad for three years, including the 2006 season when the team won a Division I state title. He was an all-CIF, all-Santa Clarita Valley and all-Foothill League selection that year.

J.C. rankings put COC at No. 23

College of the Canyons is 23rd best in overall athletics among community colleges in California.

At least that’s according to the criteria of the National Alliance of Two Year College Athletic Administrators Cup, which released its yearly standings this week for the state’s junior colleges.

COC’s ranking is up from last year’s mark of No. 51 among the 105 qualifying schools and No. 28 from two years ago.
Mt. San Antonio College won the competition with an overall score of 173.5 points. COC came in at 68.5 points.

The scoring criteria incorporates a system where each sport at the school gets a certain amount of points based on its performance that season.

A state championship would award a program 20 points, whereas anything below a top-20 finish is worth zero.

The highest scores for COC came in men’s soccer and women’s golf, which each earned the school 19 points. Women’s basketball garnered 14.5 points.

Six total sports made it on the scoreboard for COC, which also included men’s golf (9.5), men’s track and field (5.5) and women’s cross country (1 point).


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