Last week, after finals, I thought the pace would slow down as we started moving towards the holidays. But no, that was not the case. It was a very good, and very active, week at the college.
One of the highlights for me was a conversation I had with Senator Jean Fuller. As you may know, Senator Fuller is an alum of BC and is doing us proud with her amazing work. She is currently the Senate Republican Leader and first female to hold this post in California’s history. Senator Fuller is a force in Sacramento with a reputation for getting things done. A straight-talking individual with a deep love for her community, Fuller has a big vision for the area she represents and for California as a whole, even as she pays careful attention to the details to move the work and achieve the impossible. For more on Fuller, check out her website at http://district16.cssrc.us/
Then there was Kern Tax annual dinner. Michael Turnipseed, CEO, does great work monitoring our tax dollars while connecting the different agencies in Kern County to advance workforce and economic development. You may want to check out my blog on August 4th on a great piece of work Turnipseed facilitated:
Tom Burke in on the Board of Kern Tax and invited me as his guest. Connected with wonderful people during this event. Here is a picture with Midge Boydstun Jimerson, who is the daughter of John Boydstun and a strong supporter of BC.
I also attended Vienna Battistoni’s retirement party and met Meg Gonder and Linda Hudson, two remarkable women who introduced themselves as Clayton Fowler‘s aunts. Fowler is the current SGA president at BC and he is doing remarkable work advancing student leadership and student engagement on campus.
Talking about the Boydstun’s, John is a die hard Renegade football fan and comes to all of our games. Also, was happy to connect with Bob Hodel, another supporter of Renegade Football. For more on Bob Hodel, check out my Nov 9, 2014 blog about the Alumni BBQ as well as the September 5, 2014 post on Renegade Athletics
Last night Frank Gornick, Chancellor of West Hills, sent me a photo of the Basketball score board as BC took on West Hills in overtime. The Renegades won 97-89! Coach Hughes, you rock!
Check out the story Gades win OT Thriller at West Hills–Coalinga by Francis Mayer on our athletics website:
As we move into the holidays most of our fall sports are also wrapping up their season schedules.
The BC volleyball team scored a rousing first-round playoff victory over Palomar College before eventually falling in a tough four-set match to number three ranked El Camino during the second round of the Southern California Regionals over the Thanksgiving weekend. Meanwhile, the women’s soccer team had a great midseason run of their own before a late score knocked them out of playoff contention.
And then there’s the Bakersfield College wrestling team that features some of the finest junior college wrestling talent in California. The team started November by hosting their first SEWC Conference Championship Tournament in years — and they didn’t waste the opportunity.
Five Renegade grapplers claimed conference titles in their weight class — the most of any college — and two earned Most Valuable Wrestler honors as BC placed third overall on their home mats.
Conference crowns were won by Norman Abas (125 lbs.), Torrey Casper (133 lbs.), Jacob Maas (165 lbs.), Zack Mitchell (184 lbs.) and Jose Robledo (197 lbs.). Meanwhile, Norman was named Most Valuable Wrestler among competitors in the lower weight classes, while Jacob took that honor for the upper weight classes.
Casper is an example of the wonderful things that unfold in community college athletics. After a promising high school wrestling career at Bakersfield’s Frontier High School, Casper fathered a child and took a break from school to work and support his young family. But the desire to complete his education and athletic career never went away, so after building up his financial reserves laboring in the oil fields, he returned to Bakersfield College.
Then there’s Norman Abas. This Fresno native is the nephew of a pair of global wrestling legends, but he decided to come to Bakersfield College to make his own mark.
It’s hard to question his decision, considering BC’s exceptional coaches may be the most highly decorated staff in the state.
Co-head coach Brett Clark won a state championship at BC in 2002, then launched a return to the mat earlier this year. Obviously, it was a good decision as Brett went on to win National Championships in Greco-Roman and Freestyle wrestling before competing in the World Championships in Greece last October, earning a silver medal in Freestyle and a bronze in Greco-Roman. Meanwhile, Brett’s coaching partner, co-head coach Marcos Austin, is a black belt holder in both Brazilian Jujitsu and Judo, while assistant coach Joe Espejo won the State Heavyweight title for BC in 2004. Is it any wonder why some of the best young wrestlers in Kern County want to continue their athletic careers under the direction of these men?
These latest developments are just the latest stellar chapter in what’s been an incredible half-century for the BC wrestling program — check out some of the impressive stats the team has accumulated over the years (and special thanks to Mike Stricker, president of local wrestling support organization the Coyote Club, for these numbers).
Fifty (55) Years of Bakersfield College Renegade Wrestling
1960-1961 Harry Kane 13-8 .619%
1962-1964 Vic Linkog 13-6 .684%
1964-1985 Bruce Pfutzenreuter 264-81-4 .765%
1985-1987 Steve Nickell 5-12 .243%
1987-2014 Bill Kalivas 208-72-2 .654%
2014 Brett Clark-Marcos Austin
1969 State Champions
2003 State Champions
2004 State Champions
Renegade Wrestling Greats
Art Chavez – South High, BC, San Francisco State – National Freestyle and Greco Roman Champion, US World Team, Olympic Team
Rockey Rasley – South High, BC, Oregon State – US World Team, Played 8 years in the NFL
Joe Nigos – Delano High, BC, Cal Poly – US World Team
Bruce Burnett – North High, BC, Idaho State – US National, World and Olympic Team Head Coach
Bill Van Worth – South High, BC, Humboldt State, CSUB – Pan American Games Champion
Franc Affentrange – Shafter High, BC, CSUB – 2 Time 3rd NCAA Division I Tournament
Florencio Rocha – Bakersfield High, BC, CSUB – 4th NCAA Division I Tournament
Pfutzenreuter – Inducted into the Bob Elias Kern County Sports Hall of Fame, California Wrestling Hall of Fame, USA Wrestling Hall of Fame California Chapter
Kalivas – Inducted into the California Wrestling Hall of Fame