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The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

City College pitcher awarded highest honor

Panthers pitcher Dan Sayles was awarded the CCCAA Scholar Athlete of the Year Award for 2013. Sayles now pitches with the University of Miami Hurricanes. Courtesy photo

The California Community College Athletic Association announced Jan 28 that it has selected City College pitcher Dan Sayles to receive its annual Scholar Athlete of the Year award for 2013.

The CCCAA Scholar Athlete of the Year award is the highest honor a community college athlete can receive, according to the organization.

The CCCAA only considers athletes who maintain a GPA above 3.5, demonstrate outstanding citizenship characteristics by participating in college and community activities, participate in at least two seasons of a sport at a California community college, and are strongly recommended by three people from the college, according to the CCCAA handbook.

“It feels great to be getting this award. [I] never even considered it,” said Sayles. “I’m still in shock.”

On the field Sayles posted an ERA of 3.77, held opponents’ batting average to .275 and threw 49 strikeouts in 76.1 innings pitched. Off the field he maintained a 4.0 GPA. Between the rigorous baseball training, practices, and games Sayles said he never let anything distract him from obtaining success on or off the field.

“Baseball helped me get better grades,” said Sayles. “When I wasn’t playing or practicing, I was focusing on my school work.”

Sayles was raised in Wauwatosa, Wis.). He came to City College in 2010 after attending a baseball camp where he met with former City College head coach Andy McKay. The relationship he built with McKay was a deciding factor in his move, according to Sayles. Sayles pitched for the Panthers from 2010-2013.

Sayles started his career at City College as a position player and but was moved to the mound after struggling in that role. In his first season on the mound for City College, Sayles suffered a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow, which needed to be repaired through a procedure commonly referred to as Tommy John surgery, named for the Dodgers pitcher who was the first to undergo the procedure in 1974.
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Panthers head coach Derrick Sullivan said Sayles’ strong work ethic is what enabled him to come back from a surgery that often ends pitching careers.

“Dan’s a hard-nose hard-worker, on and off the field,” said Sullivan.

Sayles not only excelled in school and sport during his career at City College, he was also active in community service. While dealing with rehabilitation from surgery, maintaining a 4.0 GPA and pitching for the Panthers, Sayles visited area elementary schools for story time, volunteered with a local wheelchair baseball league and was a contributing member of his religious congregation.

“Dan Was involved in his church, as well as our community service program,’ said Sullivan. “He was also an active tutor for other players in the program.”

Sayles is now pitching at the University of Miami. Baseball America currently has the Hurricanes ranked No. 16 in the nation in their pre-season poll.

Though Sayles has moved on to a major university in Miami, he says will never forget the time he spent at City College, a time he says helped him grow as a player and a person.

“I loved my time there,” said Sayles. “It’s the best experience I’ve had in my life so far.”

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