Exciting times for College of the Redwoods athletics

Ray Hamill/ – Members of the 1998/99 CR men’s basketball team were introduced to the crowd at the Corsairs’ annual dinner and auction fundraiser on Thursday night.

By Ray Hamill — Community support for College of the Redwoods athletics is alive and well.

On Thursday night, the local community college held its annual fundraising dinner and auction with a packed house on hand at the CR gymnasium.

But then again, these are exciting times for CR sports and while the local community has always supported the Corsairs in big numbers they have plenty of reasons to do so these days.

Excitement is fast building for the CR football team after a successful return to competition in 2022 and with the majority of that team back for 2023.

The men’s basketball team also is in the midst of an incredible run and going for an historic fourth straight conference championship this coming winter under the guidance of state coach of the year Ryan Bisio, while teams like softball, women’s basketball, cross country and track and field have all made some big strides in recent years and most of them appear to be on an upward trajectory.

The recent addition of women’s tennis and wrestling teams and the return of men’s wrestling is something else that will excite local fans, while the women’s volleyball team begins a new era this fall under the guidance of new head coach Paul Castillo.

Thursday’s annual dinner and auction was another successful one for the Corsairs, on a night that honored some legendary CR figures, including former football coach and AD Jim McAuley, who passed away earlier this year.

McAuley oversaw an incredible era of success for CR football.

He won nine Golden Valley Conference championships, two Northern California championships and three California State titles in just 10 years, while putting together a record of 87-13.

The Corsairs also recognized the 1998/99 men’s basketball team, which finished the year 21-13 on the way to a conference championship and also gained national attention for having father and son Frank and Issac Gildea playing together.

Several of the players were on hand and were introduced to the crowd.

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