Women’s soccer envision an upcoming season

By Melanie De Santiago

The East Los Angeles Women’s Soccer ending their final season with a scoreless draw against Long Beach College with the total of 10- 7 and 4 draws. Qualifying to playoffs but from a point away they were not qualified for the championships.

From endurance to technique and having better discipline could have lead them to advancing and winning next year, despite there draw in the finals they will be more than ready due to their past experiences.

Although, not making it to the final championship, they gained a great experience that will make them more prepared for next season. “There is no “I” in the word of team, therefore no single individual should be treated differently, however that’s not really in the hands of the players but more in the hands of the coaches to enforces” said by front row player, number 6, Jemelly Medina.

According to ELAC’s head coach Tessa Troglia she said “As far as next season going, into next season we’re going to monitor the players pretty close  making sure that they’re taking the right classes we had 20 freshman’s and 3 sophomores. We are really young with a lot of potential our goal is to get these girls return”.

Making it mandatory head coach Troglia is having her spring class of soccer training for her players to take to become more prepared  and put a little work until summer when they fully begin. In soccer only the top eight teams qualify for the playoffs.

“As a matter of fact but unfortunately there’s a rule in the bylaws if a team wins their conference they get an automatic bid to the playoffs so San Diego Mysa unfortunately they only have 5 teams in their conference and they won their conference and they actually took our spot” said by head coach Troglia.

“They were ranked lower than us and finished lower than us that was a shock and surprise it’s unfortunate but that’s just the way the rules are dictated and it sucks”.  said, head coach Troglia. If winning their conference they would have move forward regardless the draw but since it’s a matter of point involved they need one to move upward, which they didn’t have.

The are different conferences, South Coast conference then there’s a foothill conferences there’s different conference in the south this is one of those cases when they were number 19 they won their conference that took ELAC’s place from making it to the playoffs.

It remains to be seen if ELAC will be able to recover from that blow, and rebound from this disconcerting loss. Although there final game ended as a draw there last victory was on November 10, 2015 and had ended with a victorious win of 8-0 against El Camino Community College.

Men’s basketball place third in tournament

By Daniel Gudino

The men’s basketball team placed third at the Gregg Anderson Memorial Classic at Antelope Valley College on Sunday when it beat Los Angeles Harbor College 77-64.

The tournament started with a win over Ventura College 89-84 in the opening round on Friday. On Saturday in round two, the Huskies received its first loss of the season after losing in overtime 89-82  against No. 4 state-ranked San Bernardino Valley College.

East Los Angeles College  freshman guard Iziahiah Sweeny led the team and averaged 17 points per game in the tournament.

The Huskies moved up in the state rankings. Previously ranked No 8., ELAC is now at No. 6, and has an 8-1 record.

ELAC is on top of the standings, amongst the South Coast Conference-North. Conference play has not started, yet its second place team El Camino Compton-Center College is 3-5 and on a four game losing streak.

 Statistically, ELAC is a top ten team in three-point percentage.

The Huskies face Oxnard College at home in the South Gym Dec. 15 at 5 p.m.

Former Husky coaches superstars

by Bryce Ronquillo

 

Seizing opportunities and making the most of them is what former East Los Angeles College Basketball player and coach Rex Kalamian has done to build a successful career in the NBA.

Kalamian has worked 23 years in the NBA, two as a scout and 21 as an assistant coach.

He currently is the assistant coach for the Toronto Raptors out of the Eastern Conference under Dwane Casey.

His coaching career in the NBA has lead Kalamian to work with teams such as the Los Angeles Clippers, Philadelphia 76ers (scout), Denver Nuggets, Minnesota Timberwolves, Sacramento Kings and the Oklahoma City Thunder.

His most successful years were with the Thunder, where he spent six seasons coaching under Scott Brooks. During his tenure, the Thunder never had a losing record, reached two Western Conference finals and made an NBA Finals appearance in 2012.

“Not only is he (Brooks) a great coach, he is a very good friend,” Kalamian said. “He is someone I have learned a tremendous amount from and we had a lot of success together,” Kalamian said.

While with the Thunder, Kalamian coached superstars such as Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant and James Harden.

“One of my favorites was James Harden. He was the one I spent the most time with during the season and the summer. We were always together,” Kalamian said. “Russell Westbrook was also someone I really enjoyed coaching because not only was he the biggest competitor I’ve been around, but he kept me sharp as a coach, challenging me to always be at the top of my game and prepared as well.”

Kalamian came from a humble upbringing. Born in Monterey Park, Kalamian’s parents  divorced when he was still very young. His mother worked very hard to provide for him and his brother, Mitch. Kalamian attended local Schurr High School, but transferred to Mark Keppel High School where he graduated in 1986.

During his senior year, he averaged 18 points per game, which attracted attention from ELAC Men’s Basketball coach Jim McFarland. Kalamian’s freshman year, he averaged 14 points per game. He played at ELAC for the 1986 and the 1987 season.

“I really enjoyed (going to ELAC) because it gave me an opportunity to play. There were maybe other schools I could’ve gone to, but not have played right away,” Kalamian said.  “ELAC gave me an opportunity to be a student and be on the team. It also gave my family a chance to come watch me.”

Kalamian graduated from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona with a bachelor’s in business management. Kalamian started his coaching career at ELAC as a grad assistant under head coach Jorge Calienes in 1990. He spent two seasons with Calienes.

“I really enjoyed that first year as a grad-assistant. I knew I could possibly have a career coaching basketball. I didn’t know what level yet,” Kalamian said.

It didn’t take much time for Kalamian to figure out what level he wanted to work at. He reached out to the Clippers several times to see if there was a possible job opening for him. He called them so much that the secretaries knew him by name.

Eventually, there was an opening for him as an unpaid intern.

“With any type of internship you have to be aggressive, assertive and show the company that you are willing to do anything to learn and become better. That was my approach with the Clippers,” Kalamian said.

Kalamian spent two seasons as an intern. He said he would do jobs such as tape-recording late night games then driving the film to the coaches homes. In his third season there, Kalamian got a full-time job with the Clippers as a video coordinator and scout.

His hard work and the relationships he built with the Clippers did not go unnoticed. In Kalamian’s fourth season, Clippers head coach Bill Fitch made him an assistant coach for the 1995 season. Kalamian went on to spend eight years with the Clippers.

“(Fitch) taught me so much. I really learned the game under him, especially how hard you must work to be really good at this profession,” Kalamian said.

Despite living a life of constant travel while coaching one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference, Kalamian has not forgotten his roots. He grew to love basketball during his childhood living in Monterey Park.

“I was always looking for a game. Whether it was at the school playgrounds, a park or a local gym, I was always playing. I became a basketball junkie,” Kalamian said.

Kalamian’s ultimate goal is to be a head coach in the NBA. Even though he lacks NBA playing experience, he does not believe that affects him.

“I can make up for my lack of NBA playing experience by outworking everyone and being the most prepared,” Kalamian said. “One of the best coaches in the league, Gregg Popovich, never played in the NBA. I know that I am a good coach, a fair coach and I know that I help players develop.”

While at ELAC, Kalamian met his wife Patsy, who was the statistician for the basketball team.

They have been married 16 years and have two kids, Mason, 14, and Ella, 10. His family currently lives in Oklahoma City while he is in Toronto.

“The one downside of this job is that it takes away from family time,” Kalamian said.

Kalamian offers words of wisdom to his fellow Elans.

“It does not matter where you come from. What matters is how hard you work to get where you want to go. Regardless of the school you go to, you create your own success. It’s all about how much you are willing to sacrifice to learn and get better,” Kalamian said. “Who would have thought that somebody who played four years of high school basketball, two years of community college basketball and is from East Los Angeles College would have a 23-plus year career as an assistant coach in the NBA?”

Men’s soccer fails to seize playoff spot

by Stephanie Guevara

 

The East Los Angeles soccer team fell short from qualifying to the California Community College Athletics Association SoCal Regional playoff, after ending a tough season.

The Huskies ended the season 9-6-6 overall and 6-5-3 in the South Coast conference.

From the South Coast Conference, only two teams advanced to the playoffs.

According to head coach Eddie Flores, the Huskies had a better team this season than last season

“We had a better record and better players but we didn’t make it to playoff,” Flores said.

After winning the last four consecutive games, ELAC was defeated by Cerritos College 1-0 in a rescheduled game.

Before winning those four consecutive games, ELAC came back from a three-game losing streak.

According to forward Jordan Elias, after the first game against Cerritos, the team’s performance began to drop tremendously. “After the game against Cerritos the team’s performance began to drop because we had the best defense in the conference and they (Cerritos) scored 5 goals on us,” Elias said.

Half-way through the season, Huskies lost key players due to injuries. According to assistant coach David Garcia, the loss of key players weakened the team in the second round of the season.

“This was the season we had a good solid starting eleven and he had people in the bench, but once we started losing key guys due to injuries, we lost that debt in the bench. At one point we had about five injuries,” Garcia said.

ELAC starting goalkeeper Brian Paredes suffered a concussion when ELAC played El Camino Compton Center. Paredes collided with ECCC forward. The three consecutive losses came after Paredes’ injury.

Coaches and players have a different perspective on how the season was overall.

According to midfielder Alvaro Torres, the season had ups and downs because of the injuries and because other teams in conference had a bad preseason, which was a major factor why ELAC didn’t qualify for playoff.

“The team had a lot of ups and downs and if we would’ve not had that many injuries, our team would have been in a better position,” Torres said.

Torres also said that the team’s frustration when losing played a huge factor because the team wasn’t used to losing.

Although the season didn’t end as expected, four players made it to the all-star team and won awards. Valentin Mercado, Hugo Flores, Aldair Martinez and Jorge Chave form part of the all-star team.  Javier Gutierrez won honorable mention.

ELAC midfielder Alexis Cubias and defender Albert Chamagua were also nominated by coaches to the 2015 California Community College Soccer Coaches Association showcase.

According to Flores, the team will have five games scheduled to in spring as preparation for the the 2016 season.

A positive factor for the team will be that the majority of the players will be returning.

“Since 80 percent of the team is coming back, that is a huge plus for us,” Garcia said.

Basketball opens with Anderson Memorial Classic victory

By Dan Gudino

The basketball team squeaked out an 89-84 victory against Ventura College on Friday, in the opening round of the Gregg Anderson Memorial Classic at Antelope Valley College.

East Los Angeles College  is now 7-0 in the season and going back to last year has won 15 of its last 16 games. Not including the lost in last year’s state championship, the Huskies’ last lost goes back to Feb. 6 of last year.

Great play continued with freshman guard Chandler Redix, who lit up the court with one missed shot. Redix led all Husky players with 22 points.

Redix went seven of eight shooting, drained all three of his three point shots, and went a perfect seven of seven from the free throw line.

The listed guard/forward, sophomore Miles Ford had a great night of shooting too. Ford scored all four of his three-point shots and totaled 15 points on five of seven shots.

ELAC the No. 8-ranked team in California was slightly more physical with hustle plays, out rebounding Ventura and eliminated second chance tries. ELAC finished with 38 rebounds compared to Ventura’s 32.

The Husky hustle plays continued through the game as VC made it tough and forced 14 turnovers on ELAC. VC refused to let up and kept the game close as it made a shot with five seconds left, to cut the lead to 40-33 into the half.

ELAC started on fire as it went on a 14-6 run and gave itself a 16-point cushion to start the second half.

VC stormed back, off the great performance of its sophomore guard Elijah Brown, who scored 26 points.

Brown managed to cut the Husky lead to three points, 87-84, with five seconds left, but ELAC’s Redix iced the game with the final two free-throws of the game. Redix leads the team in free-throw shooting at 83 percent.

Free throws are a must in close games, ELAC currently is No. 9 in the state in free throw shooting.

ELAC moves on to clash with undefeated San Bernardino Valley College (10-0) who is ranked No. 2 in state.

 

Sophomore leads volleyball to last victory

By Mayra S. Ventura

The East Los Angeles College volleyball team ended the season strong by defeating Los Angeles Trade Tech College in three sets, 25-5, 25-12, 25-11.

Breanna Trujillo led the Huskies volleyball team to one last victory of the season on Nov. 18.

April Melgar, lead outside hitter of LATTC, expressed her feelings “You guys are definitely a strong team. Breanna is a really good outside hitter, but she is a sophomore so we don’t have to worry about her next season” Melgar said.

She also expressed appreciation for the ELAC hospitality “You guys have a great coach and great program here. We definitely appreciate the welcomeness,” Melgar said.

Huskies closed this season with an overall record of 10-15  and 5-9  in the conference. ELAC took the victory on four home games out of six, and won  four away games out of six.

They hold 25 matches this season with 10 kills per set, 18 percent hitting, 9 assists per set. ELAC averaged one block per set. Service aces per set was 1 and 12 digs per set.

“I am proud that they finished the season with a win. I think it is probably an inner joy. They knew they had to finish strong despite our ups and downs through the season, so this leaves an ever-indelible mark in their minds that we finished doing what we were supposed to do,” ELAC head coach Elliot Walker said.

Despite being out of the playoffs, coach Walker expressed how proud he is of the team and what they have accomplished. He gives them one more piece of advice and encouragement “Never stop sezing an opportunity, because opportunities only come once, for the most part, and remember that they always have to continue to work for them, they have to continue to work,” Elliot said.

Men’s basketball dominates classic

By Alex Maciel

East Los Angeles College basketball won the 2015 Neil Edwards Classic held at Citrus College. ELAC defeated Orange Coast College 71-46 on Friday. Moorpark College 81-64 on Saturday and Cuesta College 85-80 on Sunday.

ELAC scored a combined 237 total team points and 134 total team rebounds throughout the tournament.

Currently ELAC is on a six game winning streak and is atop of the South Coast – North Conference.

While sophomores forward Richard Bivens, guards Miles Ford and Iziahiah Sweeny were all named into the Classic All-Tournament team.

Bivens earned the tournament MVP award recording two double-doubles in the games against Moorpark (15 points, 13 rebounds) and Cuesta (22 points, 10 rebounds).

Bivens averaged 50 percent shooting from the  field and 57 percent from three point line.

In the tournament championship game against Cuesta College,     ELAC shot 54 percent from the field and 50 percent from the three-point line.

In the Semi Finals against Moorpark, ELAC shot 55 percent from the field and 33 percent from beyond the arc, with Sweeny leading the way in scoring for the Huskies with 18 points.

Moorpark shot 37 percent from the field and 24 percent from the three-point line.

Overall the Huskies were sharing the wealth with unselfish play and in doing so got everyone involved in the scoring department.

ELAC shot 46 percent from the field and 38 percent from the three-point line while Orange Coast Shot a poor 25 percent from the field and 12 percent from the three-point line.

Turnovers were the common theme throughout the tournament as ELAC turned the ball over a combined 70 times.

Head Coach John Mosley commented on the overall performance of handling the ball

“The team didn’t do a fantastic job of taking care  the ball, however the ball movement and unselfish play was a high point.

“We got big goals, trying to prepare for conference, so the goal is to execute better, take better care of the ball, rebound.

“All those little things that we preach in practice,” Mosley said.

ELAC freshman guard Chandler Redix helped the Huskies in the assists department averaging four  a game throughout the tournament, which kept the opposition’s defense moving and at the same time getting his teammates involved.

After the game against Orange Coast, point guard Redix mentioned aspects to the game that  ELAC needed to improve on, one being getting the loose balls

“Boxing out and not letting go so many second chance points, give them one shot, get the rebound, (and) let’s go,” Redix said.

ELAC will try to stay strong before confernce play starts January 8 against Long Beach City College.

ELAC (6-0) will go on to face Ventura College (4-3) at Antelope Valley on Friday in the Gregg Anderson Memorial Tournament at 1 p.m.

Huskies win 2015 Neil Edwards Classic

By Alex Maciel

East Los Angeles College basketball won the 2015 Neil Edwards Classic tournament held at Citrus College by defeating Orange Coast College 71-46 on Friday, Moorpark College 81-64 on Saturday and Cuesta College 85-80 on Sunday.

Throughout the game ELAC Never gives the opposition a chance to get back into the game; ELACs defense held Orange coast to only 18 points at halftime while scoring 38 points themselves.

By games end the final score was ELAC College 71 and Orange Coast College 46. Turnovers were the common theme throughout the game as ELAC turned the ball over a combined 29 times and Orange Coast turned it over a combined 24 times.

The Huskies Freshman guard Chandler Redix helped ELAC early on by working the inside out game, passing the ball out to the open man which kept the opposition’s defense moving and at the same time getting his teammates involved.

When asked what is one aspect of the game the huskies needed to improve on Redix commented “Boxing out and not letting so many second chance points.” Head Coach John Mosley also commented that the team didn’t do a fantastic job on taking care of the ball however the ball movement and unselfish play was a high point.

Coach Mosley goes on to say “ We got big goals, trying to prepare for conference, so the goal is to execute better, take better care of the ball, rebound, all those little things that we preach in practice.”

Overall the Huskies were sharing the wealth with unselfish play and in doing so got everyone involved in the scoring department.

Frustrating football woes continue on the road

By Dan Gudino

A possible snap of a four-game losing streak for the football team, turned into another heartbreak loss on Saturday at San Diego Mesa College, 26-25.

The heartache of last week (vs. Desert 21-20) seeped into a fifth-straight loss where turnovers, two blocked punts, and a safety were all in favor for the Huskies, yet not enough to close out.

ELAC was up 25-20, with 4 minutes left in the game, when the Huskies allowed Mesa to comeback due to two costly and controversial pass interference calls, on freshman cornerback Deangelo Buchanan.

The Huskies were flagged on the winning go-ahead drive on a 4th down which could have closed the game for ELAC, but gave an automatic first down to Mesa allowing the drive to continue.

Mesa continued at the 21-yard line, then a second pass interference call placed Mesa in the red zone (20-yard line). This set up the one-point win and its backup freshman QB Nick Plum to throw a 7-yard TD pass to freshman receiver Desmond Simmons.

ELAC for the second straight week losses by a point and for the second straight week missed an extra point kick which proved to be costly.

A bad attitude was seen from many Huskies players after the game where helmets were taken off and thrown in frustration. Arguing and banter were exchanged by many within the Huskies team as they walked off the field. Two un-named players had to be separated twice as the team headed to the locker rooms.

No one would comment on exactly what was said or why a small altercation occurred, it was obvious the costly penalties, an inability to close its second game in two weeks finally blew up in emotion for the Huskies.

The silver lining for ELAC is sophomore receiver Iheanyi Obinna who this year has caught five touchdowns, rushed in two TDs, passed for a TD and at Mesa blocked a punt and returned it himself for 30 yards in the first quarter.

Obinna was also not available for comment after the game as he was seen taking off his pads and threw his helmet in anger on the final drive for the Huskies with seconds left in the game.

ELAC sophomore cornerback Ryan Cisneros had a tremendous game with an interception, three pass deflections and two tackles for loss, did lightly comment on the Huskies loss.

“It’s real frustrating. I don’t know what to really say, I’m just trying to help my team whatever way and anyway I can. I’m tired of these losses, all we can do is work throughout the week.” Cisneros said.

Running back of the Huskies, freshman Shaq Shelton when near healthy can contribute for ELAC effectively, rushing for 98 yards on 23 carries and two touchdowns in the loss. Shelton has missed two games this season and in the six games Shelton has played in, he has hobbled off the field at one point of the game.

“I still have a sprained right ankle. It’s still swollen, so here and there it’s still tweaking. I’m limited in practice,” Shelton said.

Shelton offered his ideas on what needs to happen for this ELAC team to improve.

“I think we need to tighten up on the mental mistakes. That played a major role in the game. Communicate a little better, overall toughness and I think if we clean up those three things, I think we’ll be ok,” Shelton said.

The ELAC Head Coach Eric Marty era in its inaugural season after a decent 2-1 start to the season has gone down hill and hasn’t won a game since Sept. 26, against El Camino Compton Center, 37-12.

“We’ve put a lot of effort and a ton of energy to this season. When you work really hard and don’t get results, it’s frustrating. Its the critical plays. We threw an interception, we lost two fumbles, we muffed a punt, we missed an extra point for the second straight week in a row. There’s so many chances where we can make a play and close out the game and we haven’t been able to do so,” Marty said.

ELAC will travel two hours to the Inland Empire to face Mt. San Jacinto College (4-4), on Saturday in a 1 p.m. kickoff.

Volleyball falls out of playoff contention

by Mayra S. Ventura

 

The East Los Angeles College Women’s volleyball team defeated Los Angeles Harbor College in three sets, 25-12, 25-13, 25-8, on Nov. 6.

After a rocky start, sophomore outside hitter Breanna Trujillo (Montebello High School) led the Huskies to victory.

“Honestly a lot of the times we have a rocky start at the beginning, I think that’s just how we are, it’s a form of getting a feel out of the other team. See what is going on,” said Trujillo.

After regrouping, they came back stronger, taking the win on all three sets.

ELAC lost in three sets.

ELAC Head coach Elliott Walker expressed his excitement at the victory. “I think it’s one of the best things you can ever have. We work hard on doing things for the big games. This team is an intermediate level team. We performed really well. I’m excited about it,” Walker said.

With a few games left in the season, the coach reminded his team to, “stay focused and remember our team creed… I am a winner. They have to focus on that.”

He also expressed the leadership that Trujillo holds on the team. “Today she did an excellent job. She has done a great job all season long… tonight she came out showing the basic tendency of what we call leadership. It’s being able to one, lead by example, two model by example, and three perform by example.”

Trujillo is one of the five Huskies ranked at the top attack percentage of the South Coast Conference (SCC). She has been ranked NO. 1 in the hitting category, averaging 15 kills per game. She is also ranked NO.5 in the state.

“I am frankly quite disappointed. It’s probably the worst we have played in about a month,” Los Angeles Harbor College Head Coach Christian Cammayo said. He believes that his team has not “fully bought into the level of effort that they need. They are not coming out exactly how they need to.”

ELAC has won three of the last 10 games, falling to South Coast Conference rivals Cerritos College in three straight sets, 25-19, 28-26, 25-14 on Nov. 11.

ELAC then played Pasadena City College on Nov. 13 and lost in three sets, 25-21, 25-17, and 25-22.

ELAC is out of playoff contention with the loss.

 

ELAC sports editors contributed to this story.