With the fall season officially over for the year, the 2016 Lassen Community College fall athletes were honored by their coaches, athletic staff and administration for their hard work and accomplishments.
While sports are often a fun and expressive outlet for students, they are also a challenge to most. The act of juggling a sports schedule as well as academic tasks should be considered a sport itself.
Lassen’s fall athletes of the 2016 season were either involved in soccer, wrestling, or volleyball.
To initiate the banquet, assistant athletic director Glen Yonan took the stage to express his pride that the Cougars have earned over the season.
Yonan presented a brief speech about the importance of hard work over winning, as well as the definition of success.
Yonan said, “There is no right way to do something.”
As Yonan explained, there are numerous way to accomplish any task. Whether the subject is playing a sport, coaching, as he hopes many of the Cougar athletes will do in the future, or completing daily interactions.
The techniques and methods vary between people, and the hard work put into morphing multiple styles into one is truly and art form.
“I’m proud of you all,” Yonan said, “Success depends on what you do and don’t do; what you get out of it and what you don’t get out of it.”
While some teams struggled more than others in the Cougar den, success was achieved by all based upon their drive to never cease improving.
The first coach to address her team was Julie Brown, head coach of the volleyball team.
Brown commented that her favorite thing about coaching is the team-bonding experiences.
The volleyball players throughout the auditorium laughed alongside Brown while reminiscing about the many van rides filled with meaningful as well as goofy conversations.
Brown said, “If there’s one thing I want my team to take away from this year, it’s friendships built and life lessons learned.”
Josy Wortman was honored with All-Conference First Team Selection for volleyball.
Taylor Speers earned All-Conference Honorable Mention.
The next coach to take the stage was George Kee, coach for both the men’s and women’s soccer teams.
Before Kee met the microphone, though, Yonan shared a few words about the women’s soccer team.
“Anybody can win a championship,” Yonan said, “It’s always been my philosophy that a true champion is someone that repeats. And these girls are repeating Golden Valley Conference Champions and they deserve a round of applause.”
Kee thanked the freshmen players for allowing him to be their coach. Kee commented that each freshman on the team was hand-selected. Kee expressed his gratitude that the young men and women on his teams were willing to listen and to work hard to make Lassen’s team stronger than ever.
Additionally, Kee thanked the returning players for helping build a bond he will never forget. The passion and strength of each player has helped the Cougars shine throughout the conference.
Regarding the women’s team, the Golden Valley Conference All-Conference First Team Selections were awarded to Emily Upstone. Teleya Reynolds, Brooklyn Pawelek, Brianna Mendonca and Emerald Castelli-De La Torre.
Upstone was also awarded Defensive Player of the Year. Mendonca was awarded Offensive Player of the Year.
The men’s team’s All-Conference First Team Selections were awarded to Oliver May, Djibril Fofana, Louis Callaghan and Carlos Eduardo Cusatis.
Cusatis was also awarded Offensive Player of the Year, All-Region, All-State, and Lead Scorer in the State.
Fofana was awarded with All-Region, and Callaghan was awarded Defensive Player of the Year.
Coach Francis Beaujon took the podium next in order to honor his wrestlers.
Beajon said, “Lassen College is the smallest college in California. There are excuses here; they are abundant. You people, you stayed in course. You have learned to kick ass.
“As you go on in your life, you will find out that will serve you well: knowing how to get things done and stay to it and not giving up. And you should all give yourselves a round of applause for that.”
The Cougar wrestling team earned second in the Big Eight Conference for the second year in a row.
Beajon said the sophomores on the team provided 267 wins throughout the season with 10 dual-meet victories.
The Big Eight All-Conference First Team Selections were awarded to Antonio Jauregui, Drew Smith, and Westley Ruffer.
Ruffer was also named Outstanding Wrestler of the Big Eight Conference. Additionally, Ruffer was named Lassen’s 142nd All-American Wrestler.
The final awards of the night were the Marlon Hall Jr. Memorial Awards.
The awards are in memory of the death of Marlon R. Hall on Oct. 1, 2007.
A prepared speech by Lassen’s president, Dr. Marlon Hall, read, “Throughout his lifetime, Marlon stated that he wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a teacher and a basketball coach. He was an adamant reader of the daily newspaper, loved English grammar and even coached with his father at the high school.
“The recipients of this award exhibit the character, leadership, passion, enthusiasm and teamwork while participating in athletics at Lassen Community College. This award is given to the student athletes in each sport.”
The recipients were Wortman, Callie Drescher, Ruffer and Bruno Bandiera for the sports of volleyball, women’s soccer, wrestling and men’s soccer, respectively.
Yonan brought the banquet to a close with his final encouragement toward the students to support their winter and spring Cougar athletes, as Cougar spirit is essential in every athletic event.