Court Jesters No more

Fast break—Freshman Taylor Smalley fires a down court pass in the Lady Jaguar’s 63-40 win against San Diego Mesa College.
John Domogma/ Staff

It’s another silver medal for the Lady Jaguars basketball team after a heartbreaking 60-48 loss to Mt. San Jacinto College in the conference championship game. Head coach Darnell Cherry said he was disappointed, but saw a silver lining. “San Jacinto is a good team,” he said. “They were a state championship team last year, so we knew it was going to be a tough battle coming in and trying to get a win. But you know, I’m proud our squad played hard. They fought until the end. It was a good game.” It was another sterling season for the Lady Jags, who racked up a shiny 19-8 overall record and 11-3 in conference, but also the third consecutive year they…

Petite lady is a big cat — Southwestern College architect major Poema Sandoval has won praise and earned the respect of her Chula Vista Pumas soccer team for disabled players. 
Serina Duarte/Staff

Upbeat Coach of disabled soccer team is pitch perfect

Poema Sandoval is four feet and eleven inches, but a tower of power. Actually, a tower of empowerment. Sandoval is a coach of disabled young adult soccer players who knows how to make her message known without being the loudest person on the field. Last summer Sandoval was asked to help coach the Chula Vista Pumas V.I.P soccer team for disabled players ages 16-24.  Players have a wide range of disabilities such as autism and Down Syndrome. She unexpectedly became …

Sophomore pitcher Joey Esposito went five innings with zero earned runs in an 11-5 win against Barstow. 
Rick Flores/Staff

Jaguars enjoy roaring start

A 10-2 start has Bartow’s boys in the hunt for the championship   Jerry Bartow has spent years making the baseball field feel like home and it has paid off this year as the Jaguars are undefeated at the Junction and 10-2 overall.   “We’ve got a pretty good crowd coming every day, people like their baseball,” said the veteran coach. “I just hope we keep doing good. I think we’ve got a little nucleus anyway, the kids have a …

A POINT TO MAKE — (above) Sophomore guard Julian Stewart takes flight. (below) Sophomore Jimmie Edler scores against Mt. San Jacinto College. 
Photos By John Domogma

Men’s basketball team stumbles out of the playoffs again

  It’s been a long, cold, lonely winter on the basketball court for a men’s program used to going to the playoffs, but coach John Cosentino has issued a warning for 2015. Things will be different next year. Southwestern College finished 11-15 overall and 4-4 in the Pacific Coast South Athletic Conference, good enough for second place. SWC’s fierce freshmen will return. “[It was tough] blending 12 new players together,” he said. “We didn’t have a lot of experience and …

ONE STEP AT A TIME — Andy Galata treks his way through Arizona .
Courtesy Photos

A body in motion stays in motion

Last summer Andy Galata and his pal decided they wanted to go for a bike ride, so they walked over to their bikes…which were in Utah. After walking across California and Nevada, the pair saddled up and pedaled to the Atlantic Ocean. Galata did it again this summer with his brother, Nieco McCabe. This time, though, they pedaled with the purpose of fundraising $10,000 for the kids at the non-profit Children’s Inn at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, …

Jags have arms, bats, title shot

Although Southwestern College’s baseball team finished the 2013 season with a respectable 20-16 record and third place in the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference, the Jaguars could have done more after an 11-4 start. In this, head coach Jerry Bartow’s final season, the team wants to send him out on top. One factor in the 2013 slide was the Jags’ poor performance on the road. When playing at home they were 14-7, but away from the Jaguar Junction they were 6-9. Bartow already has his own remedy. “We always play a lot of those L.A. teams,” he said. “Orange Coast, for example. Sometimes when you get to the playoffs you end up playing them again. Then I like to be able …

NET RESULTS — Oscar Calderow sets up to shoot on Carlo Franco at Chula Vista’s new Futbol Factory training center.
Karen Tome/staff

Soccer academy has new students dribbling in

Soccer, the Beautiful Game, is music to the ears of Chula Vista’s hottest new coach. Two decades ago in Mexico City, J uan Carlos Paz y Puente opened the first university recognized by the Mexican government. He applies the same teaching method to soccer that produced many successful musicians in Mexico. “The similarities are just unbelievable,” he said. “You have to have rhythm. You have to have control of your body and be aware of your surroundings. You are a …

CAN’T BE STOPPED — Defensive tackle Alfonso Hampton (90) shakes off two defenders as the Jaguars beat Mt. San Jacinto 42-6. He is ranked a top-10 recruit by ESPN.com. 
John Domogma/staff

Highly recruited Jags prospect skipped high school, heads to D-1

Thousands of community college football players dream of being ranked a top-10 national recruit. It never crossed Alfonso Hampton’s mind. He was ranked as the 10th  best community college recruit in the country by ESPN and never saw it coming. He learned to play football at SWC. From scratch, square one, the starting line. He did not play a down of football in high school. “I wasn’t really interested in it,” he said. “Just kind of floated around school doing …

NO PASSING ZONE — SWC point guard Gabby Robledo locks down on defense during a 76-56 home open win against LA Trade Tech College. 
Alejandra Rosales/staff

Tired of second, Lady Jaguars seek title

After a pair of second place finishes, Darnell Cherry wants to go to the top. More importantly, so do the members of the women’s basketball team he coaches. Cherry said he has high hopes for a squad anchored by speedy sophomore guards Alexis Harris, Cardedra Evans and Gabby Robledo. “We want to win conference,” he said. “We’ve come in second the last two years, so we just want to go get it.” The Lady Jaguars are off to a great …

ONCE MORE INTO THE BREACH — Jerry Bartow is set to retire after nearly 40 years of coaching baseball for the Southwestern College Jaguars. A national sports figure, Bartow was SWC’s 2012 honorary degree recipient.
Dianna Innocencio/Staff

Iconic baseball coach announces retirement

In 1976 Rocky Balboa graced the silver screen for the first time. Elton John was the world’s biggest rock star. Gerald Ford was president.  And in 1976 Jerry Bartow took over as head coach of the Southwestern College baseball team. This season, his 39th, will be his last. “It’s always sad when you have to give up something,” he said, “but it’s time for somebody that’s probably got a lot more energy than I do now. I don’t move as …

TUSSLE FOR THE TITLE— Freshman forward Walter Parra fights for possession against Cuyamaca. SWC won, 2-1, to clinch the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference title. Photo by John Domogma

Jaguars Champions Again

Maroon 5 may be a hot rock band, but Southwestern College’s Maroon 11 are the conference champions again. For the second consecutive year Head Coach Cem Tont has led his squad to the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference title, this time with an undefeated 10-0-2-conference record (15-3-3 overall). “We are expected to be the top team,” said Tont. “Whenever we put on the maroon jersey we are the favorite to win the game and that’s the mindset that we have.” A …