Valley teams look to practice to compete heading towards the fall sporting seasons.
By Benjamin Royer, Staff Writer
Valley College sports have been up and running since April 19; however, teams look towards the fall semester to face their first opponent.
Sports teams have practiced every other day while adhering to guidelines set by the college, in order to keep the athletes, coaches and others safe. Student athletes have their sights set on the fall as to when they can play their first league-organized game since the campus closure.
“We are anticipating bringing everything back as is, coming fall. Football, water polo and women’s soccer to operate as usual with proper protocols,” Co-Interim Athletic Director and Head Baseball Coach Dave Mallas said. “We’re moving in the right direction. We’re gathering schedules for fall, and have received the women’s soccer schedule. We anticipate Aug. 9 will be our first practice for football.”
The football team expects a new signal caller as Ottawa raised quarterback Wesley Tshimanga announced he was joining the Monarch team through JZ Media — a sports blog which covers the Canadian Football League team, the Ottawa Redblacks. Transferring in from the University of Ottawa, the quarterback runs an educational and football related Instagram account called “QB1 Football.” Tshimanga has not played a game at the collegiate level yet due to last year’s closures but is confident that his skills have remained sharp.
Starting Aug. 9, Head Football Coach Lester Towns and the rest of the Monarch coaching staff, can prepare for their JUCO football action. JUCO sports is the junior-college rank for student-athletes looking to transfer to a four-year university.
“I think the date is Monday Aug. 9, the first day of fall camp for everybody at the JUCO level,” said Towns. “Right now our requirement is to test our guys [for COVID] once a week and so if on Aug. 9 if that's still protocol then that's what it is.”
The last time the college saw a basketball team compete was when men’s basketball defeated San Diego College 83-81 on March 10, 2020, in an overtime win. If past scheduling repeats itself, the men’s season would begin late next semester while women’s basketball historically begins in early spring.
Having the women’s soccer and football schedule available to view, helps create excitement towards the fall. The women’s soccer team will start at Santa Ana on Aug. 27 and the football team will begin their season on Sept. 4, versus Mt. San Antonio College at home.
Monarchs will be able to cheer on their sports teams next semester, for the first time since the campus closure in March of 2020. Although an organized game has not been played since March 13, the teams continue to condition on campus, preparing for the upcoming season.