As the calendar turns from 2018 to 2019, join us as we look back at what has been the pinnacle year in the history of Coastal Bend College Cougar Athletics!
The Men's Basketball team got the year rolling qualifying for the Region XIV Championship Tournament for the first time in four seasons (2014-2015). They finished the year with a 12-15 record including 7-12 in Region XIV. Malik Amos ranked among the Region's best in scoring per game, while Rashon Thomas ranked among the Region's most accurate shooters from long distance. Dajuan Madden was among the national leaders in steals while Edmund Franklin led the nation in blocks per game. Madden and Amos earned All-Region XIV South - Second Team honors, while Franklin earned All-Region XIV South - Honorable Mention honors. Amos, Franklin, Madden and Thomas all moved on to the next level with Amos signing at Dillard University, Franklin signing with Langston University at the NAIA level; Thomas signing with NCAA Division II TAMU - Kingsville and Madden with NCAA Division I Prarie View A & M.
While the Women's Basketball team didn't have the 2017-2018 season they had hoped, they still captured a pair of All-Region XIV awards and saw three players continue their playing careers at the four-year school level. Samantha Atkinson-Roach and Darias Whittington each earned All-Region XIV Honorable Mention honors; with Atkinson-Roach signing with NAIA Our Lady of the Lake University, while Whittington signed with NCAA Division II Adams State University in Colorado. Aryana Brown was the third Cougar to extend her career signing with NAIA Friends University in Kansas.
The most historic of Cougar athletic seasons belonged to the Baseball team. The team became the first Cougar sport to be nationally ranked, reaching a high of 2nd in the NJCAA Division III Baseball Poll. They set new program record for wins 35, and consecutive wins with 18. They captured four National Player of the Week Awards - with Ruben Sepulveda and Kylor Bumstead earning position Player of the Week awards on February 8th and March 7th respectively; while Michael Dinsdale and Marco Becerril each captured Pitcher of the Week awards in consecutive weeks on February 22nd and 28th.
Becerril and teammate Jordan Gochenauer brought home two even more impressive pieces of hardware in May, when they were voted First and Second Team All-American, becoming the first Cougar Student-Athletes to receive the honor.
The Cougar Softball team became the first women's sport at Coastal Bend College to qualify for post-season play when they punched their ticket to the Region XIV Championship Tournament on the road in a winner-take-all game vs. Laredo College. Their 23 wins in 2018 was a new program high. Mirella "Maya" Guervara earned All-Region XIV South Second team honors, while teammate Lydia Clarke was the only Cougar to extend her playing career as she signed with McMurray University.
The Cougar Soccer continued the 2018-Mojo as they reached post-season play for a record setting fifth straight season. Cougars showed their moxie all season long as they battled injuries all year. The season highlight came on the road with they knocked bitter rival and nationally ranked Laredo College behind an inspired effort from sophomore goalie Matthew Shorrocks. Freshman Sam Robinson was the lone Cougar to earn All-Region XIV honors.
The Volleyball team kep the "best-ever" theme alive and strong all fall as the team jumped out to a 7-0 start to their season. The Cougars captured the programs first-ever Region XIV victory at home over Wharton County Junior College in early October, which also punched their ticket to a first-ever trip to the Region XIV Championship Tournament. A host of talented freshmen energized the program and collected plenty of hardware along the way as the team led the nation in digs per set. Alyssa Hutcheson the team's libero was named National Defensive Player of the Week, becoming the first Cougar female student-athlete to earn that level of honor. Hutcheson was named All-Region XIV South First Team, while teammates Samantha Santos and Emma Batte both earned Second Team honors. Sophomore Lindsay Garibay and freshman Cameron Del Angel both received All-Region XIV South Honorable Mention honors to set another school record with five team members earning all conference honors.
Lastly we come back to Women's Basketball, who have already in the 2018-2019 season won more times than in all of last season, but most importantly they are capping the 2018 calendar year with two wins in Region XIV, which is the most since the 2015-2016 season.
The Cougar success wasn't limited to the playing fields and courts, it also included the classroom as the Cougars captured a new record with 66 Dean's List Awards, 19 NJCAA All-Academic Awards and saw three student-athletes named to the Region XIV All-Academic team.
2018 was truly a wonderful year for the Cougar athletic teams, but you can be certain each program will look to build on last year's success and go even higher in 2019 and beyond!