Tag Archives: junior college

colleges

Gauchos not going to bowl game

by Jason Stone

Glendale Community College’s football team will not be going to an out-of-state bowl game, and its season is now over.
The 6-4 Gauchos were considered for the Zions Bank Top of the Mountains Bowl in Salt Lake City, but the game chose in-state team Snow College and Rochester (Minn.) to play in the contest.
But it was not all a bad week for the Gauchos. Eight players were selected to the NJCAA All-Region 1 team — seven on the first team.
GCC also garnered eight picks on the All-Western States Football League team.
The Region 1 first-team included running back Johnny Lopez, wide receiver Eric McCain, offensive lineman Brett Leeds, defensive lineman Ronnie Tate, linebacker Torrey Huckaby, defensive back Reno Paccioni and punter Brian Pacheco.
Defensive lineman Jason Horn was a second-team selection.
On the WSFL team, Paccioni and Pacheco were first-team selections, while Lopez, McCain, Leeds, Tate and Huckaby were second-team picks.

Published at glendalestar.com • Nov. 29, 2004

colleges

Gauchos continue late-year roll

by Jason Stone

Glendale Community College’s football team is officially on a roll.
The Gauchos won their fifth straight game at Snow College in Utah last week — and luck was on their side in doing so.
Six-foot-five wide receiver Eric McCain, who was inserted into the game to try to block a game-winning field goal attempt, did just that, helping preserve GCC’s 23-21 road win.
“It got a little exciting there at the end,” GCC coach Joe Kersting said. “We were holding our breath. It was a wonderful bus ride home.”
The victory kept GCC in the national rankings and opened the possibility of the Gauchos playing a bowl game in Salt Lake City next month.
Scottsdale Community College wrapped up the Valley of the Sun Bowl bid by clinching the best record among Maricopa County schools, but GCC’s rebound from a 1-3 start has other bowls eying the team.
Additionally, if GCC beats Arizona Western Saturday and Scottsdale loses to Mesa, there could be a two or three-way tie for first place.
“To start off 1-3 and tie for conference championship, that would be great,” Kersting said.
Just like the whole season, GCC rallied in the game against Snow.
The Gauchos were down 14-0 after running only one offensive play, but scored 20 unanswered points the rest of the first half to take a six-point lead at the break.
“We just methodically out played them the rest of the game,” Kersting said.
A lengthy drive to start the second half only netted a field goal for GCC, but the Gauchos also ate up more than eight minutes of the clock in the process.
Snow returned the ensuing kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown to end the scoring.
Snow tried to win it at the end, when aided by a pass interference call, it moved the ball to the 12. GCC picked up a sack on the next play to set up a 37-yard field goal attempt.
Kersting put McCain in the middle of the line and the receiver swatted the ball away.
“They’re playing with a lot of confidence,” Kersting said. “Our players and coaches have just done a great job. I’m really proud of them.”

Published at glendalestar.com • Nov. 12, 2004

colleges

GCC pulls off huge win at Dixie

by Jason Stone

GCC running back Johnny Lopez picked a good night to have his best game ever.
An eight-hour bus ride to Utah didn’t slow down the Gauchos’ momentum as Lopez rushed for 242 yards in GCC’s 45-35 win at Dixie State last Saturday.
It was the Gauchos’ fourth win in a row and improved GCC’s overall record to 5-3 and Western States Football League mark to 5-2.
“The offensive line blew open a lot of holes and (Lopez) ran like a man possessed,” GCC coach Joe Kersting said.
Lopez, who entered this week 24 yards short of 1,000 for the season, was named the WSFL’s Player of the Week.
It was the most yards for a GCC back since Ramel McIntosh rushed for more than 260 against Phoenix College last year.
“It was quite an accomplishment, especially against Dixie State on the road,” Kersting said. “But we’re a pretty good team at this point and I don’t think (Dixie) knew that. They do now.”
In a game that was tied at 21, 28 and 35, GCC finally broke through with eight minutes to go in the game when Centennial High-product Marcus House returned a kickoff 89 yards for a touchdown to give GCC a 42-35 lead.
The Gauchos forced Dixie to punt, and drove the ball down to Dixie’s 5.
With a little less than two minutes left in the game, former Cactus High School kicker Nigel Ricks nailed a 22-yard field goal to provide the final margin.
“We’ve been improving every week,” Kersting said. “The players are really learning the concepts and learning the game.”
It was only GCC’s second win ever in St. George, Utah, and first since 1992.
The Gauchos have another tough task this week with a trip to Snow College, which is four hours farther.
“My worry is keeping healthy,” Kersting said. “(Dixie State) was really a physical game. We got beat up a lot. Those long road trips have an effect on you.”
Scottsdale can wrap up the host spot for the Valley of the Sun Bowl this week, but Kersting said GCC still has a “remote chance” of playing in another bowl somewhere.

Published at glendalestar.com • Nov. 4, 2004

colleges

GCC builds reputation as Arizona’s biggest winner

by Jason Stone

Two national championships. Twelve conference titles. Four straight bowl victories.
Sounds like the football resume of universities such as Florida State or Nebraska, but it’s not. This success story is closer to home.
Since 1981, Glendale Community College has been one of the best teams in the Western U.S. and has dominated Arizona.
The Gauchos kick off the 2004 season Saturday against Phoenix College, looking to extend its streak of three Valley of the Sun Bowl appearances — which goes to the best team in the Valley — and maybe rack up another Western States Football League crown.
“It has been a combination of getting the right people — we have some quality coaches — and getting quality athletes,” GCC head coach Joe Kersting said. “Plus, the Northwest Valley has really grown in high school football.”
Kersting’s 20-plus-year tenure with GCC has spanned three different stints. He has been head coach two different times and assistant coach twice as well.
Prior to 1966, GCC had only achieved one winning record entering the 1981 season. Kersting, then a young assistant, helped the Gauchos win conference titles in two of the next three years.
After a short span away from GCC, Kersting returned in 1987, but this time as head coach.
A year later, the Gauchos won the first of their national championships.
Between 1987 and 1996, GCC won seven league titles and made seven appearances in the Valley of the Sun Bowl.
Kersting left in the late 1990s, but returned as an assistant in 2000, just in time for GCC to win another national title.
When coach Mark Grossner left for a job in Colorado, Kersting took over the head reigns again and led the Gauchos to Valley of the Sun appearances again in 2002 and last year.
The success has manifested itself in ways Kersting could have never imagined.
For instance, Arizona State University defensive back Chris McKenzie played at GCC for two years after finding the school on the Internet from his home in New York.
“That’s a perfect example of how (visible) the program is,” Kersting said. “He just wanted to play for the defending national champion (in 2001) and he found us.”
Kersting said defensive coordinator Mickey Bell’s offseason strength program has allowed the team to stay competitive each season, even in years when many starters from the previous year depart.
“The guys progress quickly,” Kersting said. “That’s how we can get away with not having many starters returning.”
This will be one of those seasons as only four players who started games last year return.
GCC’s success this season will also depend on how it navigates six road games.

Published at glendalestar.com • Sept. 9, 2004

colleges

Hills hurls no-hitter for Glendale CC baseball

by Jason Stone

Glendale Community College’s baseball team has risen to near the top of the NJCAA baseball poll.
Last week, one of its pitchers made some national news of his own.
Starting pitcher Thomas Hills notched the Gauchos’ first no-hitter in more than 25 years April 10 when he blanked Pima 2-0.
Hills, a right-handed sophomore from Alhambra High School in Phoenix, was named the NJCAA Division 2 National Player of the Week for the feat.
In the game, Hills walked two and struck out four while improving his season ERA to 2.28. His ERA entered the week ninth best in the Arizona Community College Athletic Conference.
The win was also big because it was GCC’s only victory in four games last week. The Gauchos entered the week ranked second in the NJCAA among Division 2 teams.
The Gauchos lost the second game of the doubleheader to Pima 9-2. GCC also lost close games to Cochise 2-1 and 3-1 to fall to 13-13 in the league and a tie with Cochise in fourth place in the Cactus Division.
Among Division 2 teams, GCC still held the best record by two games over Mesa. The top Division 2 teams will meet in a best-of-three series at the end of the season to determine the region champions.
Other Division 2 teams include Phoenix and Scottsdale (both 7-19).
GCC will try to make up some more space in front of Scottsdale when the two teams square off in a home-and-home series Friday and Saturday.
SOFTBALL: Gauchos take 2 from Eastern Ariz. — Wins in three of their four region games last week gave GCC’s softball team a firm hold on third place among Division 2 teams in the ACCAC.
GCC swept Scottsdale 1-0 and 9-1 and split a pair of games with Mesa, winning 3-2 and losing 5-2.
The Gauchos entered the week at 17-15 in the region, three games behind second-place Mesa and eight behind Division 2-leading Phoenix.
The top four Division 2 teams qualify for the postseason tournament.
GCC was scheduled to face Division 1 Arizona Western (19-11 ACCAC) and D-2 Paradise Valley (8-22) in doubleheaders this week.
Pitcher Brittani DeRuiter is expected to pitch the first game of both doubleheaders as she did last week. DeRuiter picked up the victories in the first game of each doubleheader to improve her overall record to 16-9. DeRuiter’s 0.97 ERA entered the week as the ACCAC’s third best.
GCC also still owns two of the league’s best hitters in Dani Pope and Laurie Peterson. Pope entered the week batting .417, while Peterson was right behind at .415. Ashleys are at the top of the ACCAC batting list as Phoenix’s Ashley Bray (.580) and Pima’s Ashley Monceaux (.509) lead the league.

Published at glendalestar.com • April 14, 2004