PHINS SEEKING CONSISTENCY
Just two of SCC’s seven athletic teams will have the same head coach from the 2016-17 season in 2018-19.
Men’s basketball, women’s basketball and softball all had new head coaches this past year, and both men’s and women’s soccer have new head coaches for next year.
But before looking forward to 2018-19, here’s a recap of what happened this year.
The one team to make the playoffs this past year was the volleyball team, which won a one-game playoff against Skagit Valley College for the final playoff spot.
“Our women’s volleyball program has been a constant because you have coaches that have been there for 20-plus years,” said Steve Eskridge, SCC’s athletic director.
(Co-Head Coaches Mark and Raquel West started at SCC in 1997.)
“I think (the players) were down a bit in terms of the skill this year, but they still made the playoffs, and I attribute that to our coaching staff,” Eskridge said.
Attendance reports for spring sports are not yet available, but SCC estimates that 4,100 people attended home events in fall quarter and 5,400 in winter quarter. Due to many attendees being students who get in for free, SCC does not track the exact number of people who go to sporting events.
The fall attendance number is somewhat spread out amongst sports, with women’s soccer leading the way with 1,800 people. In winter quarter, men’s basketball drew 5,200 people and women’s basketball drew 200 before they had to suspend the rest of their season due to not having enough players.
Women’s basketball is in a particularly tough spot. Head Coach Amy Donovan was officially hired just one day before preseason practices were set to begin, leaving her with little opportunity to get a team ready for Northwest Athletic Conference (NWAC) season play.
“From a recruiting standpoint, you’ve got an uphill battle,” Eskridge said. “The selling point for us is that kids are going to be able to come in and compete immediately for a starting role.”
Meanwhile men’s basketball was in the playoff race with just one week left before being eliminated. Freshman star Terrell Brown won NWAC Freshman of the Year and was named to the All-North Region first and defensive teams.
Softball went 13-25, an eight-game improvement over last year, under Head Coach Ben Reindel, who returned this year after a season away.
One area that the athletic department will try to focus on moving forward, according to Eskridge, is improving the connection between the student body and the athletic teams. Eskridge said marketing the sporting events to students who end up living in the on-campus housing being built right now is a great opportunity to “build a greater sense of community at our games.”
By Ed Strong,