Director of Athletics Debby De Angelis
After all the rain over the last few months, it seems spring has finally arrived and the Athletics Department staff, coaches and student-athletes couldn’t be happier. With just about a month of the spring seasons remaining, our teams are just hitting their stride and will give the campus community plenty of chances to come out and see what they’re all about during April.
A big event that we want to invite the entire community to participate in is this Saturday’s Support the Troops Day at Pioneer softball. The team will host Cal State Dominguez Hills for two games beginning at 11 a.m. The Pioneers have partnered with Give2theTroops to collect donations of sundry items to be sent to our troops serving overseas, will be selling raffle tickets to support Give2theTroops and allow fans to send messages to our troops.
Give2theTroops, Inc., is a nonprofit organization founded in 2002 and sets out to support the troops and boost morale through the shipment of letters and items donated by volunteers. To date, Give2theTroops has shipped more than 115,000 packages and 30 millions letters and cards to more than 1 million American troops deployed in combat zones overseas.
This is the second year the team has joined Give2theTroops to collect items and funds to show our support for our country’s service men and women and we’d love to see you come out to donate items, catch some Pioneer softball and participate in games and promotions. The first 50 youth in attendance will be invited to join the team on the field for the national anthem, performed by Pioneer women’s basketball player Sarah Finlay, and get a chance to play games and win prizes during the doubleheader.
If baseball is more your style, the Pioneers still have another 12 home games for you to catch, including this weekend’s four-game series with Cal State Dominguez Hills and doubleheaders with local conference rivals Sonoma State and Cal State Monterey Bay on April 12 and 16, respectively.
This weekend also brings your last chance to catch the water polo team in action at home before it plays host to the Western Water Polo Association Championship Tournament at Chabot College. The Pioneers will meet Cal State San Bernardino at 4 p.m. on Friday at Pioneer Pool as we honor seniors Liz Warren, Jenna Gelet, Kendra Mason, Tristan Kennedy-Donohue, Whitney Bell and Danielle Comforti.
With the spring slates winding down this month, we are also looking ahead to the 2011-12 season. The Athletics Department is currently in its final year of NCAA Division II candidacy and, with approval from the NCAA this summer, we will be eligible for both conference and NCAA Division II titles next year.
The 2011-12 campaign will also mark the 50th anniversary of the Athletics Department. In honor of the anniversary, we will host several events in the fall and welcome back all former Pioneer student-athletes and the community to celebrate with us during the weekend of Sept. 23-25. The weekend will feature men’s and women’s soccer against Cal State Stanislaus and Chico State, a swim meet, a water polo alumni game and several events for Pioneer Alumni, including a reception, poolside party and recognition. So be sure to save the dates for the Pioneer Athletics 50th Anniversary Weekend in the fall.
Come out and enjoy the weather with us at baseball, softball and water polo this month and be sure to join us for Support the Troops Day at softball this weekend and our 50th Anniversary Celebration in the fall.