Category Archives: Sports

Michiko. End of an Era

They say history is written by the winners, and this young lady has indeed written her legacy with her athletic achievements. Michiko Yoshimitsu, a 17-year old senior, became a two time State wrestler this year for Mt. Eden High School.

Last year Yoshimitsu was the first girl ever to qualify for the state competition in the school’s history and was determined to make it back this year.

Although a return to the CIF (California Interscholastic Federation) tournament looked to be nothing but a mere fantasy, as Yoshimitsu battled a shoulder injury for the majority of the season.

On December 15, 2018, at the Women’s West Coast Tournament of Champions in Rocklin California, Yoshimitsu was injured fighting off a wing pinning combination. After that match, Yoshimitsu was pulled from the tournament, and taken to the hospital by Assistant Coach Justin Sturholm.

When asked about her injury and how it almost derailed her state aspersions this is what Yoshimitsu had to say. “Since I was out for about two months and couldn’t wrestle, even in practice, I was worried that I wasn’t going to qualify for state at the NCS championships or even make it back to the league tournament.”

Coach Sturholm gave this response when questioned about Michiko’s injury. “I was unsure if she would be healthy enough to get cleared to complete. If the opportunity presented itself and she was available I had absolutely no doubts that she would once again qualify.”

Fast forward to February 8 and 9 of 2019 for the Girls NCS (North Coast Section) Tournament at Albany High School in Albany California, Yoshimitsu overcame adversity and qualified for state.

Head Coach Todd Rose had this to say about Michiko making state again “In a few words, stressful and nerve-racking. Even though it should have been easier than last year due to the additional NCS placer qualifying, it was still tough for a multitude of reasons. First, her weight class at NCS was one of if the not the most competitive weight class this year. Second, her shoulder injury that continues to plague her.”

Yoshimitsu’s Family was in attendance at the CIF State Championships in Bakersfield California, and Michiko tells us how they feel about her continued success.

“My family is very proud of me & my accomplishments throughout wrestling & always tell me that by becoming the first female wrestler at Mt. Eden to qualify for state, that I have opened doors for females to come out to wrestle. But my family explains to me that by being a 2x state qualifier while being injured & not wrestling for half my season, that I have left behind a great legacy for student-athletes” says Yoshimitsu.

On February 21, 2019, Michiko’s first match was a loss and was done for the day, she knew she had to wrestle hard to stay in the tournament. Day two February 22, 2019, Michiko wins her first match then loses her second match of the day and third match of the tournament thus ending her high school career.

After the loss, Yoshimitsu expressed her thoughts on her high school career. “My time at Mt. Eden has been very stressful, being a full-time athlete year round took up most of my time. Wrestling took up most of my time because of practice and making sure you stay in weight. I started from nothing as a wrestler and made it to where all the champions are.”

Coach Sturholm has this to say about Michiko’s career “She can triumph over any adversity she will face in life. Her legacy will never be duplicated. No one else can ever be the first girls’ state qualifier in school history, now first back to back qualifier. She’s brought recognition to a program that was virtually nonexistent when she started to a team that finished the season with 5 girls and should continue to grow due to her accolades.”

Head Coach Todd Rose was asked with the remaining girls on his roster does he think any of them will make it to State like Michiko did, “Yes, definitely! Having 5-6 girls on the team this year practicing with Michiko took them from beginning wrestlers to intermediate by the end of the season. Those 4-5 girls got to see what it took to get to state and made them hungry to follow in her footsteps. I wouldn’t be surprised if we take 2 or 3 girls to state in the next few years.”

Even though Yoshimitsu’s High School wrestling days are over, it appears as if a collegiate wrestling career is in her future. Michiko was accompanied by Coach Sturholm to three different colleges in the country to check out their wrestling programs. Presbyterian College In Clinton South Carolina, York College in York Nebraska, and Waldorf University In Forest City Iowa.

Coach Sturholm discusses the colleges after his trip. “All three colleges look to be exceptional. Whatever her decision is they will be getting one hell of a young woman for their program. I hope she does as much for them as she did for Mt. Eden.”

Coach Rose gave Michiko some words of advice. “Keep your head on straight and in the books. I know from experience the toll traveling on a collegiate sports team can have on your academics. I wish her the best of luck and can’t wait to see her compete again.”

When asked what her legacy is Yoshimitsu had this to say “I want to leave behind the self-confidence that I have with my teammates for them to help out future athletes.”

I would say Yoshimitsu has an aura about herself. Anytime she had a match there was a big match/ big fight feel about her competitions. All in all, it was an absolute pleasure to watch Michiko’s growth as a wrestler and as a human. Michiko Yoshimitsu for everything that you do to help the girls wrestling program at Mt. Eden, and everything you have done for this team, in general, there are no other words but Thank You.

Chabot Sports Preview

Fall Sports is among us at Chabot College, as athletes of Wrestling, Soccer, Football, and Basketball go on their quest to win it all, which is a state championship.

Wrestling coach, Steve Siroy seems thrilled about the upcoming season, saying “I’m excited about the whole team. We have a lot of good talent coming in, a state champ coming back, and about 4 returning sophomores who are one match away from going to state”.

Men’s Soccer Coach, Tony Igwe is passionate to win and believes in the squad he has developed. “I think I have a good team, only if they play to the system I want them to play. We want team players”.

Women’s Soccer Coach, Markus Bathelt feels optimistic to help his team succeed, saying “We are going to face opponents that are stronger than us, but we have to work harder and be more ruthless in front of the goal”.

When speaking to Sophomore Linebacker Ethan Owens and Freshman Defensive Back Darriell Wells, they sai:d “It’s going to be a really good season, I think we are going to come out more intense than last year because the team is more together”. When asking about why the team feels more unified than last year, Ethan Owens replied “Leadership is different this year. We have more sophomores this year and since we were a younger team last year, we didn’t have that image. Now we feel like this is our time to shine and our goal is to go to State.”

Men’s Basketball Coach, Keenan McMiller is entering Chabot College as a first-year head coach. Previously as a Chabot alumnus, Coach McMiller believes he has the tools to make the Chabot Gladiators Basketball Team a winning team. “I have the experience, I’ve had seven winning seasons out of 10 where I came from. I’ve been to the State Final Four two times as a Head Coach and I am relentless when it comes to recruitment”.

Women’s Basketball Coach, Mark Anger is excited about the upcoming season, saying “I have great expectations for this year. We have nine returnees and some really impactful transfers in Freshmen”. The main challenge Coach Anger faces this season is “integrating the new players with the old players and bringing them in as a team”. It was surprising to know that when asking about the players that played last season, Coach Anger answered: “We had all freshmen last year so leadership is a lot better than last year and they’re doing a really good job”.

 

From the Jaws of Defeat

The stage was set Friday, 23, 2018, in Quincy, California, for round two of the CCCAA Playoffs as the number seven ranked Chabot Gladiators match up against the number ninth ranked Feather River Golden Eagles. The all-freshmen (18-5) Lady Gladiators arrived at Feather River (17-8) excited about their first postseason playoff game.

Before the start of the game, I was able to talk to Olivia Vezaldenos, one of the guards for the Gladiators and I asked her what has been the hardest part of the season? She replied, “Getting out of my head in key game situations, and I need to stay focus, remember to keep my composure and just try to lead by example.” You could feel the playoff energy in the gym as more and more Golden Eagle fans, hyped and ecstatic with school spirit filed into the gymnasium.

The game went scoreless the first two minutes as both teams, clearly nervous, tried to find their rhythm. Feather River took a twelve point lead that the Lady Gladiators were able to cut down to five by halftime. Right before the start of the second half, I asked center, Mia Finnie, what she could do to make her team better? She replied, “Talk, Talk more, communication is everything, I just have to make sure I keep talking to my team so we can stay on the same page.”

Feather River continued to pour on the pressure going up by as much as thirteen points in the fourth quarter with six minutes left in the game. Gladiators called a timeout to try and stop the bleeding. I asked head coach Mark Anger what he was most proud of this season? He said, “how we have come together as a group to get this far if we stick together hopefully we will get a little further.”

Stick together is exactly what the Lady Gladiators did going a 13-2 run to win the game by seven in amazing fashion. The final score was 85-78 Gladiators advance to round three where they will meet the number one ranked team Sierra College on March 3, 2018, at Sierra College. Lets Go Gladiators!

Lady Gladiators’ Look Says It All

Mimi Sadberry boxing out for the rebound.

Mimi Sadberry boxing out for the rebound.

Center Ferrynn Steen walks back to the locker room after a tuff

Center Ferrynn Steen walks back to the locker room after a tuff

The look says it all Freshman center Ferrynn Steen leaves the court after a disappointing loss to their across the bridge rivals Community College of San Francisco  68-70.

Anticipation was high as the two top team of the north-coast division squared off (Gladiators 6-2/ 18-5 overall with the Rams 7-0/ 20-3 overall)  it was a blow for blow fight from the beginning with CCSF closing the first half 36-34

I asked coach Davis what do the Gladiators need to do to clinch the win she said they just needed to be more confident and play their game that they got off to a slow start but they will pick it up. I asked if the Rams were doing anything that they should be concerned with and she said no they just need to out-hustle their opponent and they’ll be fine.

Chabot kept coming taking a 68-64 lead with two minutes remaining in the fourth quarter but the Rams sophomore Caprice Taylor hit a big three-pointer with 1:20 left to bring the Rams within one point then Zakiya Willis of the Rams drops a low post bucket taking the lead 69-68 with 45 seconds left Chabot unable to score the Rams split two free-throw the Gladiators got off a good last shot but were unable to convert losing the tie for first place 68-70.

Top performers included Olivia Vezaldenos 30 points and Mia Finnie 13 rebounds.

Kim Masulit smothering the opposition

Kim Masulit smothering the opposition