Kevin Kramer is in his 10th season as the coach of the Gavilan College women’s volleyball program, and his goal remains the same: To transfer athletes to four-year schools and help them continue their education, preferably on a scholarship. Winning is simply a byproduct of this process, and in some years the Rams have one of the upper-echelon teams in Northern California.
Former San Benito High standouts Amy Quinones and Elijah Changco had terrific seasons running cross country for Sacramento State University this season. Quinones, a 2015 San Benito graduate, and Changco, a 2016 graduate, capped off their year at the Big Sky Championships in Moscow, Idaho on Oct. 29.
When Yvette Felix is running with the lead pack, she sometimes finds herself in a state of wonder. After all, the 2015 Anzar High graduate was on the back end of the Hartnell College starting lineup a year ago, lining up as the team’s fifth, sixth or seventh runner, depending on the meet.
When R.J. Collins and Jesus Limon graduated from high school, no colleges offered them a scholarship. But after two seasons playing for Gavilan College, Collins and Limon are a step closer to their dreams of playing for a four-year university. Last Friday the two were inside the Gavilan gymnasium in front of family, friends and teammates to confirm their signings.
Robbie Skinner, top right along with men’s basketball coach David Kaplansky, earned Gavilan College 2015-2016 Athlete of the Year honors. The 2014 San Benito High graduate won the award based off his athletic performance (Skinner was one of the best players on the team) along with academic achievement (he had a cumulative 3.6 GPA) and community service. Skinner will not attempt to play basketball at San Jose State; rather, he is majoring in mechanical engineering and will focus his efforts in the classroom. Skinner still keeps himself busy with hoops, however, as he worked as an instructor for the well known Basketball Jones camps. For winning the award, Skinner received a blanket, a $50 gift certificate to Togo’s and a plaque.
From an early age, Daniel Hopkins knew he wanted to earn an athletic scholarship. Last Friday, the 2016 San Benito High graduate saw his dream come true when he signed a letter of intent to play baseball for Holy Names University, the Oakland college that is transitioning to the NCAA Division II level.
Frankie Martinez has attended just one semester at the University of Southwest in New Mexico, but he’s already made a huge impact. At the USW athletics banquet, Martinez was named the school’s Overall Athlete of the Year to go along with the Male Track and Field Athlete of the Year honor.
After establishing herself as one of the best pitchers in San Benito High softball history, Megan Sabbatini entered the University of San Diego brimming with lofty expectations. Unfortunately for Sabbatini, injuries and other factors limited her playing time in her first two years at the school.
Christian Monroy never ran track while he prepped at Anzar High, graduating from the San Juan Bautista school in 2014. But the Hartnell College sophomore showed just how far he’s come when he signed his letter of intent last week to run cross country and track at Eastern New Mexico University.
Even in the ever changing landscape that is community college sports, the Gavilan College softball team represents something unique: An all-freshman squad consisting entirely of local players.