The last time the PCC Football team was on the field they went 6-4, their first winning record since 2008. And for the first time in 45 years, they had back-to-back shutouts while closing down the season in second place in the SCFA American Pacific League. Lancers defeated their opponents 98-2 over their last three games. After his third season, coach Steven Mojarro has the Lancers on the right track. The winning has certainly helped the team in the recruiting department.
“We have a lot of football players coming in from various different schools around the area,” said Coach Mojarro. “There are two new recruits that are coming from [John] Muir High School this year: Carlos Ramirez and Kamar Wattkins. They are two big time defense alignment, and we are very lucky to have them both. We expect great things from them.”
Coach Mojarro is also excited to welcome new recruits from Linda Marquez High School like Aldo Sanchez, Steven Ortiz and Alan Loreto. Sanchez looks forward to representing the school as a Lancer out on the field.
“Personally I do not know of any other recruits who decided not to attend PCC because of the pandemic, as everyone I know that wanted to attend this school did so, despite our current global situation,” said Sanchez.
According to Sanchez, his parents are supporting him in following his dreams of playing football at the next level. They are not worried because they know that he will take all the necessary precautions to stay safe and to not expose those close to him. Alan Loreto will be attending PCC as well, and he will keep training to be ready for a season, once this pandemic is over.
“From what I know, all the athletes are supporting each other in finding new ways to stay active and get some work in while still maintaining proper social distancing,” said Loreto. “My parents are very supportive of me competing and like the other athletes, all of us can’t wait for the season to begin.”
Loreto has been lifting weights at his home gym and he’s been going to the park to work on technique and speed.
“We have around 140 Football players now in our program, and it’s exciting,” said Mojarro. “It shows all the hard work that our assistant coaches have been doing in the offseason, recruiting and bringing in players at PCC.”
The PCC football team isn’t the only team who has been recruiting at this time of the year. The women’s badminton team has also been adding a few pieces to their own team.
The Women’s Badminton team at Pasadena City College is nothing short of being defined as ‘legendary’: undefeated in 2020 before the Covid-19 pandemic hit, they have been the best team on campus for a very long time. Coach Jennifer Ho has a remarkable record of wins of two CCCAA Championships, state titles, and 5 SCC titles. In 2019 Lancers had a 9-3 overall record, and won the SoCal championship against San Diego City College. At one point in the past, the
Badminton team even had a 50 game win streak. The ‘legend’ is backed up with extraordinary victories and successes.
Badminton season was postponed last season because of COVID-19. However, they are scheduled to play in the spring of 2021. The new challenge for the Badminton team is recruiting new student-athletes to PCC while continuing to dominate in the process. But all the high school games were canceled, so coach Ho didn’t have a chance to recruit. Since coach Ho wasn’t able to go out to high schools and recruit new players like she was accustomed to, she decided to reach out to the president of the Badminton Club at PCC. The club is a community for Badminton lovers at Pasadena City College. The club helped her by recruiting new students on their website.
“I told the president of the Club that I am looking for women who have competed in high school before.” said coach Ho.
A few high school girls sent their information, so she met up with them before the school year started, and she introduced them to the program.
According to coach Ho, there are eight players on the Badminton roster this year. Six are returning: Nicole Ching, Charisse Chow, Huyen Diep, Basilicus Kintanar, Chau Lam, Annjie Li, and Sophia Nguyen. And the two newly recruited players are Joanna Diep and Kyra Kho.
“Currently, I am still attending PCC as my last year,” said Chau Lam. “My parents are very grateful for having coach Ho as my coach and allowed me to practice and join the team. They are really proud because we successfully achieved the CCCAA State 2nd Place in Women Badminton.”
Coach Ho reassured Lam that Badminton should not be canceled for the 2021 spring season. Erika Endrijonas, superintendent-president of PCC and the CCCAA have continued to hold a position of sports returning in the spring of 2021. Sports will resume at PCC if it’s safe to do so, and the decision will be guided primarily by state and local health guidelines.
“We do have a very strong program at PCC,” said coach Ho. “We are an undefeated team, we are pretty popular, a lot of players reach out to me. I don’t really have a hard time recruiting players, but this is different since I don’t get to go out, and then I have a lot of returning players, and I’m fortunate for that.”
Coach Ho admitted that she’s pretty sure the kids have not worked as hard as she would have liked them to since they are training virtually and independently, but hopefully they can get back on campus in the winter and compete in the Spring.
Basilicus Kintanar is also a returning Badminton player at PCC. She still plans to finish her general education here, but she’s concerned because she doesn’t do well in remote settings.
“Most of our team are either transferring or busy with their degrees, and likely won’t return to the team,” said Kintanar. “I wanted to return for a second season, but there’s just too much of a time commitment being on the team, and the time that I allotted for a second season has passed, so I need to move forward with my education plans.”
As coach Ho puts it, the kid’s academic endeavors are always their priority. Badminton is secondary, and she supports them 110 %.
“My parents would consider allowing me to practice and compete in 2021, but again, it’s outside of my time frame at that point,” said Kintanar. “There are just too many hoops and hurdles to go through, and still a high risk of COVID exposure, so it doesn’t seem plausible to return to sports in 2020, even just for practices. Having to think about the health of yourself and others takes focus away from sports and competition, and I think it’s discouraging to players.”
Coach Ho considers herself and her team lucky since this time around with COVID-19.
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