Former Roughriders Called Up On Same Day
June 10, 2014
Two former Roughrider baseball players each received the call to the bigs on the same day. Kirby Yates (2008 & 2009) and Ken Giles (2011) were notified on June 7th to report to their respective clubs.
Yates left his Durham Bulls AAA team to meet the club in Tampa for a game against the Seattle Mariners. The Hawaii native saw his first action that night throwing 1.1 innings without surrendering a hit and striking out 2. In the minors, Yates posted an impressive 0.36 ERA with a 35/9 K/BB ratio in 25 innings.
Giles joined his new team in Cincinnati for a game against the Reds. Giles carries good numbers with him to the "show". In two stops at Reading and Lehigh, the Albuquerque native had a 1.20 ERA in 15 innings with the Reading Fightin Phils, with seven saves and 29/5 K/BB ratio. With the Lehigh Piggies, he was slightly less effective, with a 2.63 ERA in 13.2 innings, five saves and 9/8 K/BB ratio.
Yates and Giles joins two other former Roughriders in the majors, Kyle Blanks (2005) from the Oakland A's and Kole Calhoun (2007 & 2008) of the California Angels. YC has had 17 former players play in the Major Leagues:
Former Rider Baseball Players in the 2014 NCAA Baseball Tournament
May 27, 2014
Eight former Roughrider baseball players and their current teams were selected to the 64 team NCAA Baseball Tournament. Oregon State claimed the overall #1 seed in the tournament featuring former YC outfielder/pitcher Michael Howard.
The tournament opens up on Friday, May 30th with 16 four-team, double elimination regionals with the winners advancing to a best of three super regional the following weekend. The winners of the super regional will move to the 8-team Championship in Omaha, Nebraska beginning on June 14th.
Former Yavapai players and their teams and seeding.
Michael Howard (2013) – Oregon State #1 overall seed and #1 seed in the Corvallis Regional
Tim Arakawa (2012 & 2013) – Oklahoma State #1 seed in the Stillwater Regional
Zak Miller (2011) – Arizona State #2 seed in the San Luis Obispo Regional
Drew Turbin (2012 & 2013) – Dallas Baptist #2 seed in the Ft. Worth Regional
Kyle Toth (2012 & 2013) – Ole Miss #1 seed in the Oxford Regional
Jordan Negrini (2011 & 2012) – Old Dominion #3 seed in the Columbia Regional
Tyler Urps (2011 & 2012) – Old Dominion #3 seed in the Columbia Regional
Krysthian Leal (2012 & 2013) – Maryland #2 seed in the Columbia Regional
Former YC Soccer Player: Champion On and Off The Field
February 26, 2014
Written by Nancy Schafer
Yavapai College’s former defender from 2002 and 2003 was just inducted into the NJCAA Hall of Fame.
The young man from Oregon wasn’t quite sure what he was going to do after high school. His strength and talent revolved around a black and white ball, which he hoped would bring him a college education. Having played soccer from the time he was 4 with the support of his parents, Mark and Karen, and his two brothers Corey and Matt, he continued to excel in his sport throughout high school in Oregon. With his excellent playing, Josh Westermann assumed that he could nail a good scholarship to pay for his college years. However, only partial scholarships had been offered until that fateful day when he was approached by Mike Pantalione and Hugh Bell from Yavapai College who could offer him close to a full ride at Yavapai College.
Those two years in Arizona gave Josh the opportunity to nurture his passion for soccer while discovering his passion for Jesus Christ. As Josh tells it, through the professional program and high standards required of the YC players by Pantalione and Bell, the team was able to capture two national championships (2002 and 2003). He recounts that those years were “two of the best years of my life.” Not only was it an exciting time with the back-to-back championships, he also enjoyed the community support and the academic environment in which faculty, teammates, and coaches made him feel at home in Prescott, Arizona.
Yavapai College became the stepping-stone in the continuing pursuit of his two passions. As Josh puts it: “God was leading the way.” He went on to play soccer for Gonzaga University in Washington and graduated in 2006. During his junior year summer, he played for AIS, Ambassadors in Sport, a Christian organization that sends soccer players around the world. And, indeed, since graduating, Josh has played around the world from Cleveland to Nairobi, from Salem, Oregon, to South Africa. And everywhere he has gone, he has been able not only to play professionally but also to reach out to local youth and communities through the soccer ball. He has played soccer in the streets and in prisons. He has coached, lead clinics for youth, and prepared prisoners for success outside of prison walls. All of this came about because of two special years in the Yavapai College soccer program. He recounts that he experienced some incredible adventures in Africa both on and off the field. With the passion for soccer running high in those nations, he has seen riots on the field, and he has seen lives touched on the streets filled with poverty and sometimes violence. “Something as simple as a soccer ball breaks down all cultural barriers.” Josh has seen that sports can be a powerful tool to overcome adversity and to communicate love.
While Josh was playing soccer professionally in Kenya in 2010, mutual friends introduced him to his future wife Amy, who was teaching at an international Christian school. Theirs became a whirlwind romance when Josh blew out his knee and had to return to the US for surgery. After they married, they settled back in the States, and Josh began to coach soccer in various venues and at various levels, from high school to youth clubs to community college. While coaching the women’s team at Cochise College in Arizona in 2011, he began pursuing his Masters in Sports Management online from Liberty University. At this time, he was offered the job as assistant coach for the men’s and women’s soccer teams at San Diego Christian University. Once he and Amy settled in the San Diego area, he also took up opportunities to support soccer in the local area. Now he is not only the head coach for the women’s team and assistant coach for the men, he is also the assistant director for the Liverpool Soccer Club, overseeing 30 local teams and coaching boys. Amy is teaching kindergarten at a local school, and they are expecting their first child in July.
As a fulltime coach, Josh pulls from his experiences both in Africa and in Arizona. Following Pantalione and Bell’s example, he views coaching as an opportunity to pour into the lives of his players. He leads by example and wants to promote character development, determination, and faith in his players. His wife Amy says he has a soft heart but expects the best from his players. When asked about his advice for Yavapai College players, he replied, “Yavapai College is a “fantastic opportunity.” He thinks future players shouldn’t take their opportunity for granted: “Give it everything you’ve got. Stick with what matters and don’t get distracted.” He feels players should pursue their academics with just as much dedication as their sport. He added, “Don’t get discouraged at first while honing your skills if you aren’t getting the playing time you hoped for. The work, time, and patience will pay off in all areas.”
Yavapai Soccer Coach Sets All-Time JUCO Wins Milestone
November 16, 2013
The Yavapai College men’s soccer team captured the NJCAA West District Championship with a 3-0 victory over Otero Junior College (Colorado) on November 9 in Prescott, Arizona. The victory was the 100th playoff win for the Roughriders and the 535th for Mike Pantalione, Yavapai’s only Head Coach in their storied history. In 25 years at Yavapai College, Pantalione’s all-time record now stands at an astounding 535-45-22. At the top of the junior college coaching annals, he overtook former Ulster County Community College (NY) coach George Vizvary, who posted a 534-163-28 mark in 37 seasons. The win advanced Yavapai College to their 20th national tournament since 1990, the most appearances by any JUCO Division One program. The Prescott school has captured seven national championship and were national runners-up six times. This year’s NJCAA National Tournament will take place in Tyler, Texas beginning Nov. 18.
November 9, 2013
Yavapai College defeated Otero Junior College of La Junta, Colorado 3-0 Saturday afternoon to capture the NJCAA West District Championship. As a result, the Roughriders will make their 20th appearance in the NJCAA National Tournament in Tyler, TX beginning on November 18th. That also marks the 20th West District title and the 71st overall championship (conference, region, district, national) for the program that started in 1989. The 20 tournament appearances are the most of any junior college program in the country.
The victory is the 100th post-season win in the history of the storied program and the 535th overall victory for the program’s only head coach Mike Pantalione making him the NJCAA all-time coaching leader for wins surpassing long time Ulster County Community College (NY) head coach George Vizvary. Vizvary retired in 2010 after 37 years at the helm. Pantalione is in his 25th season at Yavapai College.
The Roughriders scored all their goals in an 18-minute stretch. Scoring Summary:
37th minute – Matthew Paine assisted by Yabin Cruz
43rd minute – Jake Winship assisted by Matthew Paine
55th minute – James Ampleford assisted by Yabin Cruz
Goalkeeper Bradley Trella played all 90 minutes in goal to record the shutout, the 316th in the program’s history.
Yavapai is now 18-2-4 on the season while Otero Junior College finishes with a 16-6-0 record.
The group pairings and schedule for the NJCAA National Tournament will be announced on Tuesday, November 12th. Twelve teams will participate in the tournament that will run from Nov. 18-23 on the campus of Tyler Junior College.