Director of Athletics Debby De Angelis.
Just in time for the weather to start feeling a bit more like winter, the athletics department is preparing for not only just Homecoming 2012, but also the start of the spring sports season. It's going to be a busy month but we couldn't be happier to share the excitement of Homecoming, the home stretch of the winter campaigns and the opening of the spring slate with everyone in the campus community.
When the Pioneer basketball teams next return home, it will be time for one of our favorite times of year, Homecoming! The week of Feb. 6-12 will feature all the usual events, including the East Bay Idol competition, Pioneer Pep Rally, Homecoming Parade and exciting basketball action. In addition, as part of the 50th anniversary celebration, we will honor the first Pioneer team - 1961-62 men's basketball - and welcome back alumni for another chance to commemorate the accomplishments of all the great teams, student-athletes, coaches and administrators in Pioneer history. The week will also feature the second edition of the Battle of the Bay, the softball home opener, a step show and more.
Once the excitement of Homecoming has ended, we'll be set to honor our men and women's basketball seniors during the final homestand of the season on Feb. 17 and 18. Come out to Pioneer Gym to cheer on the teams and our seniors when they take on Cal State San Bernardino and UC San Diego. The two teams will then finish out the regular season on the road where they will look to secure a spot in the top eight in the conference to earn a berth in the 2012 CCAA Tournament to be held beginning at campus sites on Feb. 28 and following with the semifinals and finals, Mar. 2-3 in La Jolla.
In addition to the push towards the CCAA Championships, the Pioneer swim team is busy getting ready for the Pacific Collegiate Swim Conference championship meet coming up Feb. 8-11. Last year, the team posted its best finish in program history and is set to make its presence felt again this season, with hopes of grabbing some NCAA Championship qualifying marks in the process.
The winter sports winding down also means the start of the spring sports seasons. The Pioneer softball team has a great mix of new and old faces that look set to make their mark this season. After starting the season on the road, they'll be home in time to celebrate Homecoming with a pair of "Battle of the Bay" doubleheaders against SF State on Feb. 10 and 11.We're also very excited to see what our new baseball coaching staff is going to do this year. The Pioneer baseball team will open the season at home against Sonoma State on Feb. 4. Meanwhile, the water polo team is set to continue to rise this year with local conference rival Sonoma State coming to Pioneer Pool on Feb. 4 to kick off the regular season.
Looking even further ahead to May, we were very happy to announce the 2012 Cal State East Bay Athletics Hall of Fame Induction Class last month. This year's induction class includes: former volleyball outside hitter Marion Champion, former basketball player Antoinette Goode, former football offensive tackle Don Sawyer, former men's tennis player Jeff Southwick, former men's tennis coach John Nelson, and former track and field assistant coach Dr. Charles Harmon Brown. These Pioneer greats will be entered in the Hall of Fame at a banquet honoring their accomplishments and place in CSUEB Athletics history on May 5. We invite the East Bay community to join in on the celebration by attending the banquet. Tickets will be available in early February through eastbaypioneers.com.