The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Athletic and Academic Excellence: City College recognizes the campus’ top scholar athletes

City College awarded over 100 of its top scholar athletes at its annual Recognition of Excellence ceremony May 7 in the Student Center. | Photo courtesy of baseball coach Derek Sullivan

Nick Pecoraro

Sports Editor

[email protected]


City College held its annual Recognition of Excellence awards ceremony May 7 in the Student Center, recognizing the top scholar athletes on campus.

Seven categories—freshmen and sophomores with 3.0 grade point averages or higher, two-year sophomore athletic participants, team scholar awards, male and female scholar athlete of the year, and male and female athlete of the year—saluted this year’s best in City College academics and athletics.

Over 100 student-athletes, including more than 70 freshmen and 30 sophomores, earned Scholar Athlete recognition, which is determined by accumulating a 3.0 GPA or better for the first semester for freshmen, and over three semesters for sophomores.

“First and foremost, our student-athletes once again achieved academically,” said City College Athletic Director Mitch Campbell via email. “We are most proud of our transfer rates and our record of achieving academically at a rate higher than the general student population.”

Cross-country and track and field runner Jasmine Loyola was named Female Scholar Athlete of the Year. Loyola helped the women’s cross-country team to back-to-back Big 8 Conference titles during her tenure with the team as well as the 2017 Big 8 championship for the women’s track team.

Loyola is currently chasing a spot in the state finals for the 3,000-meter steeplechase for the 2018 season. Loyola was this year’s Big 8 steeplechase champion and holds the second fastest time in the event in program history.

With a 3.60 GPA, Loyola was also named to the City College Scholar Athlete Team, which recognizes the Top 20 student-athletes (10 male, 10 female) who have the highest GPAs over their two years of athletic involvement.

“Jasmine is such a powerful runner, and the energy really pulls the team,” said coach Marissa Avendano after the Big 8 cross-country championships. “The rest of the girls really get pulled with that strength. It takes something to go out there and lead a race like that.”

Sophomore pitcher Adam Erickson took the honor of Male Scholar Athlete of the Year. The Panthers’ closer, who holds a 3.77 GPA, also carries a 1.72 ERA with a conference-leading six saves. At the end of the regular season, Erickson’s five wins out of the bullpen were the most on the team.
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Erickson was named to the Big 8 Conference Second Team for his efforts on a pitching staff that collectively has the third best ERA in the state. The Panthers are the No. 3 seed in the NorCal playoff bracket and will host Fresno City College May 11–12 at Union Stadium.

Another baseball player, Jake Guenther was named Male Athlete of the Year. The 6-foot-4 first baseman leads the Panthers in most of the major offensive categories in Coach Derek Sullivan’s lineup, including batting average (.346), hits (47), doubles (13), triples (3), walks (41), on-base percentage (.507), slugging percentage (.508), total bases (69) and extra-base hits (17).

Guenther, who has a .316 career batting average at City College, was selected to the All-Big 8 First Team and is headed to Big 12 program Texas Christian University on a baseball scholarship next year.

“They were both very deserving,” said Sullivan of Erickson and Guenther. “Both those kids are excellent students and good examples of very good players in our program.”

Female Athlete of the Year went to softball captain Marissa Rocha. Rocha was named to the All-Conference Second Team at first base while hitting .331 with a team-leading 14 doubles this season. Rocha capped her City College home career with a monstrous day at the plate, hitting two home runs with seven RBIs in her final home game at The Yard.

Rocha, who has five career homers and 70 career RBIs in a Panther uniform, helped City College upset the second-seeded Feather River in the NorCal playoff bracket May 4–5, going 3-for-8 in the series. Rocha’s 3.60 GPA also earned her City College Scholar Athlete Team honors.

City softball coach Tim Kiernan said that he expects Rocha to get “some very nice scholarships” for the four-year level in softball.

Joining Loyola, Erickson and Rocha on the City College Scholar Athlete Team were Ciera Hoag (golf); Payton Simmons, Joe McNamara, Devon Burhans, Mitchell Miller and Danny Chavez (baseball); Brianna Magobet (women’s swimming); Kailee Orsi and Bryce Ellman (volleyball); Julia Ng (women’s swimming and water polo); Alyssa Ayala and Haley Grieger (women’s cross-country); Alexis Tomlinson (women’s swimming and volleyball); Matt Lemire (men’s swimming); Felipe Lemus Servin (wrestling); and Carl Henley and Noni Ifyefobi (men’s track and field).

The Team Awards (given to City athletic teams with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher) went to softball (3.45), women’s tennis (3.42), women’s cross-country (3.21), water polo (3.17), women’s swimming (3.15) and volleyball (3.05).

“We expect our student athletes to achieve and succeed academically and will continue to do all we can to promote that achievement via the vehicle of sport participation,” said Campbell.


For more info on SCC athletics, visit

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