By Ray Hamill — Saturday was a proud day for College of the Redwoods athletics, albeit in somewhat difficult circumstances.
Although there was no ceremony on campus due to COVID-19, Saturday’s 2020 graduation class included 41 student athletes, each of whom has left their mark on Corsairs sports.
None more so than Juliana Ortega-Miranda, the former Fortuna High star who is one of two three-sport athletes among the 2020 class, having played soccer, basketball and softball.
Angelo Flores also played three sports for the Corsairs (football, track and field and baseball), while three others played two sports, Ashlynn Maddeaux (volleyball and basketball), Rhea McCoy (basketball and volleyball), and Amy Reyes (soccer and softball).
This marks the third straight year the number of graduating CR student athletes has increased, up from 38 a year ago, and 10 more than two years ago.
“It’s a number that we continue to see increasing,” CR Athletic Director Bob Brown said. “It really is a testament to the work the students and coaches are putting into it.”
The school’s Cap and Gown Program, which was implemented in 2013, has played a big role in helping those numbers increase, providing extra support academically for the Corsairs student athletes.
“We’re very proud of the student athletes and their accomplishments,” Brown added. “And even more so considering the circumstances this year.”
Among the many others from the class of 2020 who left their mark at the local community college, Thomas Nelson, Blake Rossman and Charlie Moon all played men’s basketball, with Nelson and Rossman playing a big role in helping the team win a GVC title this past winter.
Also going out with a bang, McCoy, Ortega-Miranda, Darienne Kartes, and Breesia Northern each played a part in the women’s championship season in basketball.
The women’s basketball team graduated eight players in total, also including Maddeaux, Braelyn Rose, Allie Wipf and Amanda Wood
Both football and cross country/track and field each also graduated eight student athletes.
For football, Flores, Anthony Bowman, Michael Gibson, Mitchell Hopkins, Hayz Lantz, Jonathan Lima, Dakota Moore and James Nicoll all graduated, while for cross country/track and field, Flores was joined by Edward Carpenter, Reno Garcia, Abigael Gulley, Savannah Henninger, Brandon Jensen, Robert Masten and Grant Van Emmerik.
In Baseball, Luis Pimentel graduated along with teammates Garrett Johnson, Jonathan Lewis, Colton Stokesberry and Flores, while in men’s soccer, Naive Arana, Jose Celio-Aburto, Josevicente Chavez and Eric Olea all graduated.
In women’s soccer, Ortega-Miranda and Reyes were joined by Noelia Alatorre, Giselle Carrillo-Ceja and Diana Meraz, while in volleyball Maddeaux and McCoy were joined by Emma Miller, Jessica Simon and Rachel Wilma.
Ortega-Miranda and Reyes were the only two softball players to graduate from a young team this spring.