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Gearing up for fall sports

A new school year means a fresh start for fall sports.

By Katie Unverzagt
On September 21, 2010

Team captains have been chosen, practices are full in swing and all the penguins have started their seasons.

The wide array of fall sports at Clark include: men and women's soccer, volleyball and men and women's cross-country.

The men's soccer team has six returning sophomores and more than 25 players overall.

"Our team's chemistry is very solid thanks to our returning sophomores being able to step up and lead," Head Coach Biniam Afenegus said. "And of course our strong recruiting from the off-season."

The men's soccer team has named sophomores Nick Herzberg, Ben Miramontes and Ricardo Garcia as team captains this season.

The Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges (NWAACC) takes three teams from the southern division and Athletic Director Denny Huston has nothing but high hopes for the team. "I know (Afenegus) will lead the team to one of those three spots in the south," he said.

On the women's side, their new coach, Stan Rodrigues, working with 16 players. Three sophomores return from last year, including team captains Anna Blakeslee and Angela Gardner.

"Rodrigues is going to have a difficult time with these short numbers; when the girls have to play that long, fatigue usually means injuries," Huston said. "I cross my fingers every time they go onto the field."

"I only expect to get better as the season progresses," Rodrigues said, whose team recently picked up their first win of the season.

Just as the women's soccer team made changes to their coaching staff, so did the volleyball team. Mike Lee stepped down as head coach at the end of last season and his assistant coach, Jessie Uribe, takes over.

"The transition from being assistant coach to head coach was very smooth," Uribe said. "Last year (Lee) let me do a lot of the coaching, but as for this season I am not as used to the behind-the-scenes stuff."

The team has eight returning sophomores, including team captains Justine Tabor and Ellexsa May.

According to Huston, with the NWAACC picking four schools to compete from the west and the tough schedule this transition team will be facing, it is uncertain how this team will look at the end of the season.

"I think after a few seasons Coach Uribe will be able to get Clark back to the playoffs," Huston said.

Both the men and women's cross-country teams have been a part of two invitationals this season. The women placed fourth out of eight schools in the first invitational of the year and the men placed sixth out of nine schools.

Orange Coast Classic, the second invitational of the season, was held on Sept. 18 in Costa Mesa, CA.

Leading the teams, with three more invitationals left in the season before the Cross-Country NWAACC Meet, are Men's captain Abdul Kamara and Women's captain Briel Thoune.

"Team chemistry is great," Head Coach Ryan Hovde said. "All team members understand what our main objective is for the season and they train with one goal in mind: a top-three finish at the NWAACC Championship Meet in November."

For the fall sports' schedule, visit or pick up a schedule on the top floor of the O'Connell Sports Complex.

Contact Katie Unverzagt at

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