Tag Archives: Renegades

Remembering Tom Nery, a true Renegade


Sonya Christian with Tom Nery. Fall 2014

We lost a true dyed-in-the-wool Renegade earlier this month.

Thomas Nery, a BC grad and member of the storied 1961 Renegade football team that played in the historic Junior Rose Bowl against Cameron University, passed away a few weeks ago.

I first met Tom, 76, at last year’s Homecoming game and was immediately struck by his winning personality and deep sense of pride and enthusiasm for his alma mater. So it was with great sadness that I received this email earlier this week from Tom’s daughter Kim Nery Drndarski.

Hello Sonya,

I wanted to share the news of the passing of my father, Thomas Nery, a former BC Renegade from 1961.

Tom Nery

Tom Nery with daughter Kim

At last year’s homecoming, you interviewed him and me during the game. You really made him feel special that afternoon, the hero he is to his family.

We went to the GWC game last week, and I saw you there. I wanted to tell you my thanks in person and give you a giant hug, but I knew I was going to cry and I decided to send you cyber hugs instead.

My Dad passed on 9/1/15, after a short battle with pancreatic cancer. It takes the worst cancer to bring down a Renegade. He will be placed at Greenlawn on River Blvd., on 10/3/15 at 11am. He worked there when he was attending BC. I made sure that his niche faces the school and asked if he could hear the game from where he is on Saturday nights. :o)

Thank you again, from the bottom of my heart, for making him feel so special that day.


Kim Drndarski

Nery-02Kim also sent this photo of Tom in his vintage 1961 BC jersey along with his grandson.  50 years later and the jersey still fits…

During our time together at 2014 Homecoming, I shot this quick video talking with both Tom and Kim.

First, a thank you to Kim for taking the time to reach out and pass along the sad news. I’m returning that cyber hug and adding my thoughts and good wishes for you and your family as you go through this difficult time.

And also, a sincere thank you to Tom. You represented Bakersfield College with distinction 50 years ago on the gridiron, then spent a half-century further honoring this institution by leading a life that bettered your community while raising a beautiful, loving family.

As Tom himself said in the video, “I had a good life.” No one could ever ask for more.

I know I’ll be thinking of you when I head out to Memorial Stadium Sept. 26 for our next home game against Allan Hancock. And I’m heartened to know that your spirit will be there cheering on future Renegade squads for decades of Saturday nights to come.

Rest easy, Tom.

Gearing Up for Renegade Athletics 2014-15

If you follow me on Facebook and Twitter (@sonyachristian), you’ll know that I consider our athletics programs a critical path to the academic success of our student athletes.
Last year, I ran into little Torrance at a game as she prepared to cheer on her brother Chris, decked out in Renegade red. Let’s hear from Torrance.

Let’s now switch from Torrance to Bob Hodel who was in the 1957 graduating class from BC.

selfie with Bob Hodel and Bob Covey Sep 4 2014

A selfie with Bob Hodel and Bob Covey on Sep 4, 2014

On September 6th, join me at Riverside where BC kicks off our first game of the season.  We will be back in Memorial Stadium on Sept 13th.

Athletics Department launches the Renegade Report:

BC’s Athletics Department has launched a new program called Renegade Reports on Bakersfield.com to get the word out about Renegade Athletics.  The show is produced by Francis Mayer and hosted by Greg Kerr of Channel 29.  It airs every Thursday at 11:00 a.m. for 15 weeks this fall term.  I was a guest on the premiere episode along with Coach Britnney Goehring, Coach Jeff Chudy, and Rick Van Horn, author of Haley Street Heroes.  Check out the video clips at:


With Kevin McCarthy Aug 29 2014

Craig Rouse, Kevin McCarthy, Sonya Christian, Brett Clark, Janet Tarjan

Friday Night Lights back at the memorial Stadium

A few of us from BC, along with over 5000 others packed the stadium to watch the relaunch of the Friday Night Lights High School games on our campus.  It was a double header with the Drillers playing Oak Christian School in the second match.  The Drillers won 34-21.  Thnx to Ed Davis for getting our field ready; it was not an easy feat.
Here is a picture of some of the BC gang with Kevin McCarthy.  Craig Rouse, Director of Facilities and M&O; Brett Clark, Wrestling Coach; Janet Tarjan, Math Faculty.

Gavilan vs BC Aug 30 2014

BC vs Gavilan


Volleyball on August 30th

On Saturday, I attended part of the Gavilan game.  BC won!   If you have not seen the recent article in the Californian about our Volley Ball team, check it out at http://tinyurl.com/mv8dl83

Cross Country

The Women’s Cross Country team finished 3rd at the Ventura Invitational over the weekend, with a total time of 1:57:10, and an average individual time of 23:26.

Two ladies cracked the top ten of the field of 82 for Bakersfield.

Sophomore Jessica Campbell placed seventh, with a total time of 22:24.68, and an average mile time of 7:12.

Her teammate Sophomore Leah Theroux placed eighth, with a total time of 22:40.30.

The Men’s Cross Country team finished seventh out of 12 schools.

Juan Calderon was the highest placer for BC, finishing in 19th place out of 117 runners.

Women’s Golf:

Women’s Golf, under the direction of first year Coach Brittney Goehring started their season at the Indian Canyon Country Club Saturday.

First year transfer Lindsey Maribal from Sandia High School in Albuquerque, New Mexico led the team on the first day with a seven over par 79, but Coach Goehring said improvements caught her eye more than scores.

Meet Gathered Colleges at Memorial Stadium for Track & Field Competition

On Friday, March 28 the Western State Conference’s Inland Meet for Track & Field was held in the Memorial Stadium. Four other community colleges traveled to Bakersfield College for this meet: College of the Canyons, West Los Angeles, Glendale, and Antelope Valley.

Even if you have not attended any Track & Field meets, the events may be familiar to those who have watched any Summer Olympics-skilled and dedicated athletes competing in running, jumping, or throwing. It takes its name from the fact that these events are held on a track and field.

The WSC Inland Meet was an exciting event–athletes, coaches and spectators alike were abuzz with evident enthusiasm. There was a never a dull moment; As soon as an event ended, another started merely minutes afterwards. Scores of student athletes lined up not only to score points for their schools, but to prove to themselves that they are making progress. “I got a season best, so I’m happy about that. [The team] is getting a lot of PRs (Personal Records), especially the girls. We’re all improving,” said Renegade runner Jonathan Salinas, in between deep breaths.

It was amazing to see so many athletes wearing red and white doing their absolute best out on the track and in the field. Apparently, they faced some stiff competition! “It was hard, there’s a lot of fast kids here,” Jonathan explained. One of his teammates concurred. “On the first heat, [the girls] were really competitive,” Bakersfield College long-distance runner Cristina Herrera said, “We will need to practice harder.”

All in all, it was an exceptionally fun place to be. Family members and faculty cheered for their students during the events, rivaling athletes high-fived and congratulated each other at the finish line, and teammates spent some quality time together sprawled out on the cool grass after their events. Bakersfield College was proud to host this years Western State Conference’s Inland Meet! In the end, the Men placed 5th and Women 3rd overall. Go ‘Gades!

BC Renegades at Santa Ana this evening. Tune in.

Heading to Santa Ana today to watch our first football game for the season.  Check out our student athletes at http://tinyurl.com/khjnjd9.  Vance Palm will be broadcasting live on Kern Radio.  I will tweet the game @sonyachristian.

Congressman McCarthy Visits Bakersfield College

IMG_0212 IMG_0291Bakersfield College is quite fortunate to have support from all areas of our community. After the Renegades’ high-profile state championship in December, members of the community were eager to show their support and appreciation for the hard work, dedication, and power these student athletes showed during their run for the trophy.

In February, we enjoyed having Congressman Kevin McCarthy visit campus to present Congressional Record Statements to each member of the championship team.  In turn, the Congressman was presented with a championship jacket.

Here is coach Jeff Chudy and Congressman McCarthy in Bakersfield College’s beautiful Memorial Stadium on a gorgeous February afternoon.