Local colleges enjoy good showings in 2021-22 sports year

Photo by Joe Snyder El Camino College quarterback Dylan Guerra gets off a throw in last fall’s National Central Conference football game against Cerritos College

Like other colleges, El Camino College and Cal State Dominguez Hills saw the last part of the 2019-20 and almost all of the 2020-21 athletics canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak. It was a struggle for even this past year, but they all got through it with some good results. Cal State Dominguez will remember its best ever softball team that made it all of the way to the NCAA Division II finals before falling to Rogers State from Oklahoma 6-1 in the last game on May 30 in Denver. The Lady Toros were able to get through all of their other opponents, including stunning top seed University of Tennessee at Tyler 6-5 in the first round on May 27, but lost in the second game to Rogers 10-2. CSDH won its next three games over North Georgia, but saw its luck run out in two more losses to Rogers. Despite the second-place finish, Raquel Jaime was the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player and the Toros had three other players make the all-tournament squad, including Torrance resident Ashley Weis, Malya Lopez and Kianna Abellero. Cal State Dominguez ended its season at 45-24 overall, including 28-21 in the California Collegiate Athletic Association. The Toros’ men’s basketball team competed in the CCAA Tournament, but lost in the semifinals to eventual champion Cal State San Bernardino 69-64. El Camino College enjoyed good success in men’s soccer, football and baseball. The Warrior men’s soccer seemed like it was most successful in making the California State semifinals before falling to Hartnell College 4-1 in November at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut. The Warriors were led by defender Brandon Galindo, who was selected as a first team All-American. ECC ended up ranked third in the state behind champion Mt. SAC and Hartnell. The Warriors finished their season at 19-5-1. El Camino’s football team went 7-4 overall but 2-3 in the National Central Conference. The six regular season victories, however, was enough for the Warriors to make a bowl game as they hosted the Beach Bowl in November. ECC proved successful with a 39-24 victory over East Los Angeles College. The Warriors got good help from former North Torrance High standout Stephen Bradford, a sophomore who rushed for 993 yards, ranking him ninth overall in ECC football history. Sophomore kicker Noah Guastella tied the El Camino record for 83 points in points after touchdown and fi eld goals tying him for the school record with Stephen Locke in 2009. The ECC baseball program has enjoyed success in recent years. The Warriors advanced to the Super Regionals, but lost in two games to Glendale College 8-3 and 8-6 on May 20 and 21 at Glendale. The Warriors, who were underdogs in the playoffs, got past the fi rst regional playoffs by sweeping host Cuesta College 15-14 and 8-1 on May 13-14 in San Luis Obispo. El Camino had three players make fi rst-team All-South Coast Conference in former North Torrance High standout Thomas Bainton, Julio Camarena and Ben Griffi n and four others on second team in Ethan Felix, Jonale Storey, Daniel Murrillo and Theo Forshey. The Warrior women’s volleyball team advanced to the state playoffs ending up fourth. In track and field, ECC’s men was led by Dominic Briton and its women by Yakina Hamachi. Hamachi, who came from Japan, finished second in the state meet in the heptathlon with 4,400 points on May 21 at Mt. SAC. Her strongest events were in the long jump at 18 feet, 4.5 inches, the javelin at 110-3 and the 100-meter hurdles clocking 14.8 seconds. Briton took third in state in the 110-meter high hurdles at 14.21 and the time is good enough for him to compete in the USA Track and Field under-20-Year-Old Championships which runs from today through Saturday at University of Oregon in Eugene. Sources indicate that Serra standout Roderick Pleasant is expected to be involved in the 100- and 200-meter dashes, as well.

Photo by Joe Snyder
El Camino College batter Theo Forshey takes a swing at a pitch during this past baseball season’s game against L.A. Harbor College.