The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

City College athletes look to the future after sports cancellations

Kevin Ham
Paige Powell drives a ball down the right-field line during the third inning of the Vaqueros game against the Bakersfield College Renegades on Thursday, Jan. 30, at Pershing Park in Santa Barbara, Calif. The Vaqueros lost the game 13-5.

It’s game over for sports at City College, for now. 

With the COVID-19 pandemic in-effect canceling the seasons of all spring sports, athletes are left unsure of what the fall semester will look like, and what comes next.

Shortly after the California Community College Athletics Association canceled all athletic events on March 12, the board announced that it would extend one additional year of eligibility to all spring athletes. 

At the community college level, athletes normally get two years of eligibility; some athletes choose to “red shirt” for one year, voluntarily sitting out one season in order to stay at a school for three years. 

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With many athletes at City College trying to plan out the coming year, The Channels reached out to ask what’s next.

Paige Powell

After playing her first two seasons as a pitcher on the City College softball team, Paige Powell was planning on redshirting next season. With the change in the eligibility rules, Powell will now be able to pitch another season for the Vaqueros. 

“I was planning on staying a third year at City College anyways,” said Powell. “In a way it’s like a blessing in disguise.”

Powell was one of six sophomores on this year’s squad and knew that—pandemic or not—this was going to be the last season for some of her teammates.

“A lot of people are not coming back next year so they kind of lost that season,” she said. 

Before the shutdown the Vaqueros were 4-12, winning just two games at  home. 

“Our coach always told us to play like it was our last game,” said Powell, “[but] you never really know what game is going to be your last.” 

Though Powell is excited to be able to play another season, she’s going to miss the chemistry that the team had together.

“I didn’t get to say goodbye to a few of my teammates and I’m not sure when I’ll be able to see them again,” she said. 

Next season, the Vaqueros will try to finish what they had hoped to accomplish this year, and Powell is excited to be a part of it. 

“This break from school and softball just helps me realize that I do miss [the sport] and it’s a huge part of my life and I’m not ready to give that up yet.” 

Jake McBride

Jake McBride was one of the Vaqueros’ most dominant pitchers during the abbreviated 2020 season. McBride made six appearances as a reliever, earning a 1.00 ERA over a total of nine innings. 

He had made 10 appearances in 2019, but suffered a shoulder injury in the fall and was hoping to use this season to “slowly climb the ladder back” to where he was. 

“I am of course upset about everything,” said McBride. He says he was disappointed over the season being cut short— he loves the game, he thought the team could have done something really special and he enjoyed playing with such a good group. 

Despite being eligible to play for an additional season, McBride is still hoping to transfer to either a Division I or a Division II school in the fall. 

With the season ending in March, many recruiters were unable to see City College athletes play. Scouts usually check out players later in the year.

“The further you get, the more wins you have [and] the more people see you,” McBride said.

He has already been accepted to a few schools and is hoping to continue his career one one way or another.

“I could walk on if I had to,” McBride said.

He says that the whole process is very confusing and scary, and he is excited about getting his degree but is determined to keep playing the game he loves.

“I feel like everyone’s goal is to try to play the game as long as they can. That’s definitely my goal,” he said. 

“If I get to keep playing baseball, I’m happy.”

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