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The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

City College coaches stay connected during stay at home orders

City College baseball Pitching Coach Deskaheh “Bomber” Bomberry watches as pitcher Ryan Costeiu (34) warms up in the bullpen before a game against Folsom Lake College at Union Stadium at City College Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020. (Dianne Rose/[email protected])

City College sports have been canceled since the middle of March by the Board of Directors of California Community College Athletic Association, who unanimously voted to end the season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Since the cancellation of the remainder of the collegiate seasons as well as professional sports, City College coaches and student-athletes have found ways to maintain their teams during quarantine, stay connected with one another and stay in shape. 

Softball Coach Tim Kiernan said that he and his assistants have sent two types of workouts to this semester’s team—one for athletes with gym equipment and one for those who don’t. 

City College softball Head Coach Tim Kiernan talks to the team after the win against Sierra College in game three of the NorCal Regional Playoffs round two at The Yard at City College Saturday, May 11, 2019. City College beat Sierra College 8-6. (Sara Nevis/[email protected])
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“It’s been hard with everyone at their house unable to do things,” said Kiernan. “For those who don’t have a gym, it’s mostly conditioning workouts with running and using bodyweight versus using actual weight. Everyone’s different— we have a pitcher whose younger sister is a high-school catcher. We have ones that go to a park and pitch balls by themselves, pitch to mom or dad maybe. It’s different, but they all are taking care of business.”

Kiernan said he has many student-athletes who have gone home to their families around the region. Still, he stays in touch with each of them on a regular basis. 

“The school for our players has definitely changed, but we’ve stayed connected through cell phones,” said Kiernan. “We have kids that are in Nevada, San Joaquin County, some live in the hills, Marysville, all over. They all have family responsibilities, so we just stay in touch with them and give them information maybe about once or twice a week. They’re doing school, they’re working, and they’re working out.”

City Colleges Women’s Volleyball Coach Laurie Nash said the team had started its off-season training class before the stay-at-home order. Since then, the student-athletes connect every week with Nash, and they understand how Nash expects them to continue their physical conditioning.

(left to right) Mitch Campbell, athletic director; Michelle (then Johnson) Gibson, played volleyball 2007 to 2008; and Laurie Nash, women’s head volleyball coach, at the City College 2019 Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony at Dante Club in Sacramento, California, Friday, April 5, 2019. (Sara Nevis/[email protected])

“We had been meeting three days per week, and were practicing in the gym as well as conditioning outside the gym,” said Nash via email. “I have recommended specific training sites for them to choose from to make sure they are working out weekly. They all have a routine they go through during the week, which coincides with their academic schedule. I am mainly concerned with academics and deadlines for registration and maintaining eligibility status for the rest of this semester.”

Nash said she will stay connected with the team during the summer, doing training classes with incoming freshmen. Nash uses texts, social media and Canvas to communicate with the team, as well as a team Zoom connection, and will give the athletes activities and assignments to improve teamwork. 

“This will help everyone be on the same page as far as expectations,” said Nash. “It will be my responsibility to put these weekly workouts together for them. It’s difficult to not have the equipment needed for strength and conditioning, but the girls are improvising. It will be challenging and less rewarding than if we were together but we will try and make it work.”

City College baseball Pitching Coach Deskaheh “Bomber” Bomberry said he’s been in contact with all of his student-athletes and gives direction to those who ask while also providing the team with inspirational quotes.

“I was hoping to provide a sense of normalcy for them,” said Bomberry. “I wanted them to feel like they [could] count on that. Something they knew was coming just like if we were still playing and practicing. Give them a little bit of a routine, something that they were used to so that not everything is stripped away from them. I wanted them to feel like they can count on that.

Bomberry said it’s challenging for some student-athletes because they know how to lift and work out, but they may not have places where they can do so.

“We’ve had a couple of guys who have basically built gyms at their house with stuff they’ve bought at Home Depot,” said Bomberry. “It’s just going to be hard for these guys to show up for school and be in good shape, just because they’re not going to have access to all the things they’re going to need. Yes, they can go out and run and throw a little bit, but it’s going to be a challenge to get them all up to speed and make sure they’re all in good enough shape to be competitive. You don’t want to show up early on and just be all gung ho. You’re going to get someone hurt. So we have to be careful with that part of it.”

Women’s Soccer Head Coach Alexia Poon said her team has been meeting during assigned practice time, and she has give the athletes optional workouts to do. Poon said that the team has also stayed connected by working together on social media.  

City College women’s soccer Head Coach Alexia Poon before a game against Modesto College at Hughes Stadium at City College Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019. (Dianne Rose/[email protected])

“Just giving them resources so they can keep themselves busy,” said Poon. “I suggested if you have a dog, you could front squat, or if you have gallons of water, maybe you can do push press with them. Just being creative for them so they can stay as active as they possibly can. 

But a lot of her athletes were having a difficult time, Poon said. 

“We tried to, as a team, think of different ways to have everybody to stay in touch. On our Instagram page I had our captains get together and assign everybody to create that photo of thanking our essential workers. Right now, we are working on a team TikTok.”

Poon said she tries to think of optional ways to encourage competition as well as help the athletes to hold each other accountable during this time of quarantine. She believes that  the COVID-19 experience has brought the team closer.

“It’s been one heck of a time for me, for sure. Especially being a newer coach, I still feel like I’m getting my bearings,” said Poon. “This spring things were finally starting to click with my team, and then COVID hit. I think more than ever I’ve been trying to stay as connected as possible with my girls. Seeing how they’re connecting with our incoming freshmen as well has been a breath of fresh air. They talk to each other and [are] building that relationship, and they haven’t even met each other face-to-face yet. That has been encouraging for the upcoming months.”  

Additional reporting by Tony Rodriguez and Sara Nevis

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