By Ray Hamill — Eureka graduate Tiana Rodgers became the latest local athlete to take her talents to College of the Redwoods, when she recently signed a letter of commitment to play basketball and compete in track in field.
Rodgers brings a lot of athleticism to both Corsairs teams, and will be expected to open things up for a balanced basketball squad not lacking in numbers.
“We’re really excited to have her,” CR head coach Jain Tuey said. “She didn’t play a whole lot in her junior and senior years in high school, but we know she’s very athletic and real quick.”
Tuey, who feels she will have a much better balance of size and speed on the team next season, is confident Rodgers’ speed will fit in well with what the Corsairs are trying to do.
“I definitely believe so,” the head coach said. “We have some post players coming in that I think will be a huge improvement, and we’re working on getting the ball out.
“With the numbers we have, and the true post players we have, we’re going to be able to push the ball more and put in a press.”
Rodgers certainly has speed.
The Eureka graduate is coming off a sensational spring on the track, where she tied for the second fastest 100 meter mark of the year in the H-DNL (13 seconds) and the third fastest mark of the year in the 200 meters (27.16 seconds).
She becomes the second H-DNL star to commit recently to run track for the Corsairs, joining McKinleyville standout Owen Lien.
“I think it’s a great move for her,” Eureka basketball coach Michael Harvey said. “She is so fast, and it does translate to basketball. I think she’ll do well.”
Speed isn’t the only thing Rodgers brings to the table.
“Her strength is defense and speed,” Harvey said. “She’s quick, and to utilize that speed in more of an up-tempo game will be a huge asset.”
Rodgers is one of several new recruits for the CR women’s basketball, including a number of players already on campus who will be joining the team.
In what has been a busy offseason for Tuey and assistant Darren Turpin, former H-DNL players Kaylin Campbell, Ashley Quigley, Rhea McCoy and Juliana Ortega-Miranda have all decided to play this coming winter.
Campbell, who is also a volleyball standout, will play both sports after moving over from Humboldt State, while Ortega-Miranda is a three-sport standout and is coming off very impressive freshman campaigns in both soccer and softball.
McCoy also plays volleyball.
Also joining the team this year are Del Norte’s Dennise Horton, McKinleyville’s Theresa Dickey, and Brianna Green from Florida, the latter of whom will also run track.
The numbers have been a positive in other ways too, with enough players on hand this summer to compete in a showcase event in San Mateo on July 19, which will give the CR women some valuable scrimmage time.
“It’s been a couple of years since we had enough players to get to go down and play some summer scrimmages,” Tuey said.
The head coach will have four returning players on hand, Bree Northern, Darriene Kartes, Abiona Katri and Mikaela Arnold.