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College of the Canyons 2012-2013 Year in Review: State of success

Posted: June 23, 2013 8:07 p.m.
Updated: June 23, 2013 8:07 p.m.

College of the Canyons' Jaylen Bland was an All-State Southern California honoree for his performance on the basketball team.

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The College of the Canyons’ athletic program enjoyed a fruitful 2012-2013 season.

And no team had as much to do with that success as men’s golf.

The team won its fourth straight Western State Conference title this season, and the roll never stopped.

The Cougars carded a 361 on the second day of the Southern California Championship on May 7 to finish in second place and earn a spot in the state tournament.

Over the 36-hole championship, the Cougars won by three strokes to claim their sixth state title in 41 years.

At an individual level, track and field’s Tim White, a Hart High graduate, won a state title of his own.

That came in the men’s triple jump on May 18, where White posted a 51-foot, 3 1/2-inch jump

Plenty of other programs enjoyed very strong seasons in their own right.

In the fall, the women’s soccer program led the way.

Under head coach Justin Lundin and All-Western Region sophomore defender Casey Wesley, the Cougars won the Western State Conference, South with an 11-0-3 conference record.

The title was the team’s first since 2004 and fifth overall.

In women’s golf, Kristin Grimes led the way.

Grimes won the Southern California Championship, shooting a 174 over the two days to win by three strokes.

The Cougars finished in fifth place as a team at the event and went on to finish fourth at the California Community College Athletic Associations Women’s Golf State Championship tournament.

Things were tougher on the gridiron.

The football program lost four of its first five games before rebounding to make a postseason bowl.

The Cougars won four of their final five regular season games to earn a bid into the So Cal Bowl, where they lost 24-21 to Santa Ana.

Much like he would later do in track and field, White was a star for the football squad in the fall.

White led the team with 805 yards receiving and nine touchdowns to earn All-WSC First Team Offensive honors.

The men’s basketball team highlighted the winter, as head coach Howard Fisher led the Cougars to their first WSC, South Division title since 2007.

Sophomore Jaylen Bland earned All-State, Southern California honors and joined Tyler Barber, Terrez Scott and Temjae Singleton on the All-WSC, South First Team.

The group helped the Cougars to a 9-1 conference record and COC made the third round of the postseason for the first time in 13 years under Howard.

The women’s basketball program was also strong in the winter season, finishing second in conference with a 10-2 record. The Cougars, though, fell in the first round of the playoffs to Long Beach City College 75-41 on March 1.

Sophomore Dalisa Chapman earned All-State Southern California Third Team honors and Chapman, Shawn Kolani, Keiona Mathews and Hope Smith were named to the All-WSC, South team.

Spring was where COC really made its mark, though, with White, baseball, softball and men’s golf in action.

The baseball program had it’s most successful season since 2003, reaching the California Community College Athletic Association Southern California Super Regional before losing 5-4 to Cypress. During the regular season, the Cougars finished second in the WCS, South.

Valencia graduate Alex Bishop and Chad DeLaGuerra led the way for baseball, both earning Southern California All American honors.

Bishop was also named the conference’s Player of the Year after hitting .419 with 22 RBIs and a team-high 12 doubles.

Freshman Quincy Quintero was named to the All-Southern California team, along with Bishop, after batting .361 with 20 RBIs and two home runs.

Softball enjoyed a strong season, too, winning the Western State Conference, Blue Division, going 34-10-2 overall, and reaching the Super Regionals for the second straight season.

The Cougars again hosted a Regional and won the final two games over Saddleback to advance, before losing 11-1 and 10-0 to Riverside to end their season.

Savannah Gutierrez led the way, as the sophomore outfielder earned National Fastpitch Coaches Association CalJC All-American South-Team honors.

Gutierrez hit a team-high .477 from the plate and knocked in 38 RBIs and a home run. She also led the team with 16 stolen bases and walked 15 times.

Saugus graduate Kimmie Lockhart pitched her way to All-State honors, and Alyssa Hernandez, Ashley Colon and Gutierrez were All-Southern California honorees.

Hernandez, Melissa Reynosa, Colon and Gutierrez also earned All-WSC, Blue First Team honors.

After winning the conference championship, Southern California championship and state championship in the triple jump, White was named a junior college All-American and the WSC Field Athlete of the Year. He also earned first-team conference honors in the triple jump and second team in the long jump.

Sidney Wolf, the conferences’ top men’s golfer through the season, and Jake Katz were both All-State for the 2013 season.

Wolf’s 722 through conference play was the lowest overall score, earning him WSC Player of the Year honors.

Wolf, Katz and Luke Kristo, who finished third in conference, made the All-Southern California team and Katz, Kristo, Eric Kim and Riley Hayfield were on the all-conference team.

The Spring also saw the resignation of head football coach Garrett Tujague after six seasons at the helm. Tujague left his post on Jan. 15 to take an offensive line assistant coaching job at Brigham Young University, where he played offensive line.

On Feb. 1, the school announced former Hart High star Ted Iacenda as its interim coach.

Both as individuals, and as teams, College of the Canyons enjoyed plenty of success during the 2012-2013 season.

With conference championships, postseason runs, and even state titles, the Cougars set a high bar for the future.

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