Rich Kollen, email@example.com South Coast Conference Commissioner
Colin Preston, SCC President
Release by Robert Lewis, SCC Sports Information Director
Mt. San Antonio College continues to show its strength as the California Community Colleges premier athletics program. The South Coast Conference recognized the Mounties with their triumph of their ninth consecutive SCC Supremacy Award as well as both 2017-2018 Coaches of the Year in selections made at the conference's athletic directors season-end meeting held Monday, May 21 at Rio Hondo College.
Mt. SAC won eight conference titles in the '17-18 season including men's/women's cross country, men's soccer, men's/women's swimming, men's track and field, baseball, and softball. With baseball still in the mix as a final four participant in this week's State Tournament, the Walnut-located college has already recorded five state titles in both men's/women's cross country, both men's/women's track and field, and softball.
Ron Kamaka was named the 2017-18 SCC Men's Coach of the Year for an incredible third time in the last four years after directing the college's state crowns in both men's cross country, including the meet's individual champion Manuel Fernandez, and track and field with that team recording the highest points total in state history with 160. Mt. SAC won its third state title in men's track and field in the past four years. It was the first state title in 28 years by Mt. SAC in cross country as the Mounties became the first SCC college to win the annual Fresno-hosted championship since East Los Angeles in 2002.
For the second straight season, Ruby Rojas was chosen as the '17-18 SCC Women's Coach of the Year after directing the Mt. SAC softball team to a CCCAA state title on May 19, completing a 41-7 season. The Mounties went a perfect 8-0 in the postseason as Rojas coached State Tourney Most Valuable Player in catcher Michelle Santiago and Most Valuable Pitcher in Briana Wheeler. It was Mt. SAC's first softball state title in nine years.
Conference softball Coach of the Year the past three seasons, Rojas was an Olympic player for Venezuela only 10 years ago. In the past two years, her teams have an impressive 83-12 combined winning record and two state championship game appearances. She is the first coach to win the all sports women's award in back-to-back seasons.
Rojas won a close vote in the women's award over other nominees in Cerritos state team, individual singles, doubles state champion, first-year coach Quinn Caldaron, Rio Hondo undefeated SCC champion soccer coach Jennifer Tanaka, and Pasadena City's 2-time state champion winning badminton coach Jen Ho. Also for consideration was LA Trade Tech basketball coach Sherwyn Morgan, who led a 24-7 season, a state tournament quarterfinals appearance, and a SCC North Division title in ending Mt. SAC's amazing 16-year, conference title streak in the sport.
Cerritos basketball coach Russ May was also nominated for the men's award after leading the Falcons to the state semifinals.
In the last 15 years, Mt. SAC coaches have won the all sports coach honor 16 times (nine women, seven men--note there were a few years that co-winners were named). A Mounties coach has won a top coaches honor in each of the last four seasons.
In the supremacy standings, Mt. SAC improved by two points its victory in 2016-17 with 210 overall points with Cerritos again taking second place behind 172 points and six conference crowns. El Camino, winners of three SCC titles, made an improvement of 20 points to take third place (156.5) while Long Beach City scored fourth place with four titles (146.5). Despite finishing in the same ninth place in supremacy, LA Harbor had the largest point improvement of all colleges with a 21-point increase from last season, sparked by its co-SCC women's cross country title.
FINAL 2017-18 SCC SUPREMACY STANDINGS
1. Mt. San Antonio 210; 2. Cerritos 172; 3. El Camino 156.5; 4. Long Beach 146.5; 5. Pasadena 105;
6. Chaffey 88; 7. East Los Angeles 79; 8. Rio Hondo 67; 9. LA Harbor 63; 10. LA Trade Tech 27;
11. Compton 26; 12. LA Southwest 7