The 2011-2012 season for Contra Costa College athletics has been a rollercoaster ride.
The men’s basketball team reached the playoffs for the first time since 2005-2006, the softball program was rejuvenated under new coach Otis Yelverton and the women’s basketball team experienced adversity losing guard Jamie Capoot to a season-ending leg injury as well as the November murder of Capoot’s father Jim, who was a Vallejo police officer.
Overall, Comet teams have seen their ups and downs this year while striving to improve their on-the-field performances.
Since coming to CCC in fall 2009, I have not seen as much positive morale from athletes, coaches and the entire athletic department as this year.
The biggest turnaround of the year was the men’s basketball team under coach Miguel Johnson.
After finishing the 2010-11 season with only two wins, the men’s basketball team rebounded by reaching the second round of the Northern California Community College Athletic Association tournament, its first time reaching the playoffs under Johnson.
Although the squad was eliminated by City College of San Francisco, the team managed a nine-game winning streak toward the end of the season. While the men’s basketball team improved, the women’s squad declined.
When I came to CCC, the women’s basketball team was the most dominant team on campus.
This season the squad suffered its worst year since I’ve been here, finishing 3-19 overall, 2-10 in the Bay Valley Conference.
The team’s poor performance was mainly due to the squad’s five-player roster, which was fatigued in almost every game. Also, it lost leading scorer, Capoot, to an injury in the team’s second BVC game Jan. 11.
If anything, next year’s women’s basketball team can do what the softball team did this year by rebuilding and redefining its program.
After finishing last season with a 0-28 overall record, it looked unlikely for the Comet softball squad to bounce back.
To make matters worse, former softball coach Ed Miller took over equipment manager duties during the fall semester, leaving his coaching position.
Despite all of the doubts entering the season, the new coach, Yelverton, and his group of Comet players were able to finish with a 13-20 overall record, 9-11 in the BVC.
The squad also made its presence known by leading the conference in batting average (.364).
The softball team displayed strong efforts throughout the season, losing nine games in the last inning, Yelverton said.But the Comets were unable to reach the post-season playoffs.
As long as Comet teams can continue to stay positive during tough times and use other teams as motivation, CCC can be a top tier athletic program someday.