Lady Cougar softball slugger signs scholarship
Lady Cougar first base player Becky McConnell signs a scholarship to attend and play for William Jessup University Thursday, March 7. Photo by Maddie Musante
March 13 — Lassen Community College softball star Becky McConnell is not only looking forward to this year’s softball season with the Lady Cougars, she is thrilled to have just signed a scholarship to play for William Jessup University next year.
McConnell is a Susanville native and alumna of Richmond Middle School and Lassen High School. According to McConnell, she has played softball since she was able to, starting with tee ball and beginning softball at the age of 5. This will be her second year playing first base for the Lady Cougars under head coach Glen Yonan. Last year she was awarded second team all-conference. Currently, she has a batting average in the high 300s and has scored two home runs for the Lady Cougars in their pre-season games.
William Jessup University is a private, liberal arts college in Rocklin, Calif. The William Jessup University Lady Warrior’s softball team is currently ranked number one in the California Pacific Conference.
McConnell said she was both excited and nervous about next year’s season as a Lady Cougar. “Nervous because I haven’t been anywhere but here, but excited to be away and play,” she said in Yonan’s office before practice Thursday, March 7. McConnell also said she thinks her greatest challenge next year will not be on the softball field, but in the social arena, as she tends to be shy, which can make it harder for her to meet new people.
After growing up in Lassen County and playing softball for so many coaches, McConnell was full of thanks for those who have coached and supported her throughout the years. “I would like to thank all of my coaches that I’ve played for, especially coach Yonan because he got me this offer. I’d like to thank my family for always supporting me and being there as often as possible,” she said.
Lady Cougars looking forward to season
Lassen Community College head softball coach Glen Yonan discusses strategy with the team before practice Thursday, March 8. Photo by Maddie Musante
March 12 — The Lassen Community College Lady Cougars fast pitch softball team is gearing up for the season and raring to go. According to head coach Glen Yonan, the team gets better every week. While they have lost some pre-season games, the team has played competitively, beating several tough teams while continuing to hone their skills.
Unfortunately, the Lady Cougars haven’t been able to perform for their home crowd, as their first scheduled home game against the College of the Redwoods was cancelled due to snow. Prior to that, the Lady Cougars had played 19 non-conference away games and had a record of 7-12. Yonan stressed that the team is constantly improving, saying they are much better now than they were a month ago and emphasizing how on point they are with hitting.
He believes the Lady Cougars can make it to league playoffs this year, as long as they play well and continue to improve. After researching the other teams in the Golden Valley Conference, Yonan is convinced each team is beatable. That being said, he does see Shasta College as one of the big challenges in the conference, based on their pre-season record.
When asked about team captains and star players, Yonan said everyone on the team pitches in at the same level. However, the team does have some new and returning talent. Sophomore Siera Barton was an All Northern California selection last year and was ranked fourth in the state in hitting. Barton’s current batting average is in the low 400s. Becky McConnell, who was second team All Conference last year and just signed a scholarship offer from William Jessup University, has a batting average in the high 300s and has hit two home runs for the Lady Cougars. Newcomer Lauren Knorzer is also batting in the 400s and has scored two home runs in the pre-season.
As far as his strategy for the remainder of the season, Yonan said, “We need to pitch well, we need to play good defense and we need to have timely hitting. Those are the three main ingredients we have to have. If we get those three things, we’ll be okay.”
The Lady Cougars’ next home game is against Feather River College at 12 p.m. Friday, March 22.
Lassen High School freshman wrestler goes to state championships
Lassen High School freshman Kenny Jones approaches the head table prior to his first match in the CIF State Boys Wrestling Championships in Bakersfield, Calif. March 1. Photo submitted
March 11 — As the wrestling season comes to a close, Lassen High School’s Kenny Jones has a lot to be proud of. Jones, along with Lassen High School wrestling coach Errin Montgomery, traveled to the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) State Boys Wrestling Championships in Bakersfield, Calif. Friday, March 1 and Saturday, March 2. Jones finished his freshman season in the top 24 in the state in the 113-pound weight division.
In order to qualify for the CIF State tournament, wrestlers had to place within the top three in their weight class at the Master’s tournament in their section. Jones won third place in the 113-pound weight class during the North Section Masters Tournament, making him the only LHS wrestler and only freshman in the North Section to qualify for the state tournament.
Forty wrestlers from each of the 10 sections in California participated in each weight division at the CIF tournament, meaning 560 wrestlers in California, spread between the 14 CIF weight classes, qualified.
The CIF State Wrestling tournament began in 1973 at Cal State University, Hayward and was approved on a one-year trial basis. It is now considered one of the best high school state tournaments in the nation.
Looking back on the wrestling season and the state championship tournament, Jones was happy, yet humble. “I was happy to make it there … I was two matches away from placing, so I did good, but I think I could’ve done better,” he said. Jones reflected on his coaches and teammates, saying that they did well, better than previous years. He is looking forward to the next wrestling season and hopes to get another shot at the state championship tournament.
Cougars enjoy new Memorial Park scoreboard
March 5 — As the Lassen Community College (LCC) baseball team prepared for its first home game Friday, March 1, it was pleased to see a new scoreboard going up at Memorial Park.
According to head coach Frank Avila, the old scoreboard had not worked well the entire time he has been coaching at LCC. The LCC baseball team helped raise the money for the new scoreboard by holding a golf tournament last summer. The Kiwanis Club, The American Legion, the Lassen High School baseball team and several local businesses also fundraised and donated money for the new scoreboard.
The baseball field at Memorial Park is the home of all things baseball in Susanville. The field is used for Susanville Little League, men’s league, senior league, Lassen High School, The American Legion team and LCC. It’s no surprise fundraising for the new scoreboard was a community effort and that the baseball community is looking forward to seeing it at home games in the future. At an LCC baseball practice Thursday, Feb. 21, Avila said, “We want to thank all the local businesses in town that helped us come together to get the new scoreboard at Memorial Park. I know it will be an advantage to pretty much the whole city of Susanville baseball-wise, so that’s good. I want to thank the Kiwanis Club and Steve Robertson. He’s the guy behind the scoreboard and he did a great job.”
In addition to their excitement over the new scoreboard, Avila and the LCC baseball team are looking forward to the remainder of the baseball season. At practice on Feb. 21, LCC had already played 11 games, all of them away, and held a record of 1-10.
Despite the losses, Avila was positive about the Cougar’s upcoming games. “The season’s going good. We’re off to a slow start, but once we get outside a little more and practice and start working on the little things its going to take to be successful, we’ll be fine,” Avila said.
While the Cougars played competitively in their previous games, unfortunately they didn’t come out on top.
However, the Cougars aren’t focusing on the losses, their future competitors or any other challenges they may face throughout the remainder of the season. Instead they are focusing on themselves, the quality of their game and the things they can control. “When we worry about other people is when we start getting in trouble. We need to play against the game, not necessarily against the opponent. We need to play a clean game and play our style of baseball and make people beat us,” Avila said.
According to Avila, the sophomores on the team are the leaders. They help the Cougars come together as a team competing for one common goal, rather than playing as individuals. The Cougars 11 pitchers are led by left-handed pitcher Colby Duncan, from Reno, Nev. and right-handed pitcher Cory Louber, from Chico, Calif. Lassen High School alumni Austin Chedwick and Jared Bertotti also play for the Cougars.
The LCC baseball team had its first home game with the new scoreboard Friday, March 1 against Delta College. The Cougar’s next home game is a doubleheader against Butte College at 12 p.m. Saturday, March 9.
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