By Andrew Sabedra
College of the Canyons has had countless players play for their program and go on to transfer to Division 1 colleges, but is it attractive to kids from local high schools?
“The fact that COC was close to home and that they have a good baseball program attracted me to COC,” said transfer from Cisco college and local alumni from Golden Valley, Cole Bygum.
Local high school baseball players come to COC as a way to continue their love and passion for baseball but does the slim opportunities allow them to?
“The opportunity for mission lasts the entire fall semester regardless of the player being a returner, recruit, or someone trying to walk on, compared to COC, where returners and recruits tryout within the first month before the fall league, whereas walk-ons have one day to get to another tryout as cuts continue to be made by the coach,” said Chris Galvez a student-athlete from Mission College and alumni of Golden Valley who tried out for COC baseball, but found the opportunity at Mission more suiting for him.
Mission College went 10-11 in league play last year opposed to COC’s record of 28-10 so it begs the question is it the talent that comes into COC or the way they present their tryouts during the off-season?
“You make the team if you deserve to make the team,” said starting catcher Anthony Lepre who graduated from Valencia when asked if COC’s tryouts are too tough on players coming in and trying to make the team.
Lepre has already signed with University of California, Riverside for the next fall and will play this spring with the Cougars, but is a perfect example of a local athlete who prolonged his baseball career and ended up finding success at COC.
Although COC may not be the greatest place for someone looking to just continue their passion for baseball it does however give their players a great opportunity to advance and make it to the next level as it had with COC player Anthony Lepre.
“I believe that COC is successful compared to other junior colleges because the area around COC produces a lot of great athletes, a lot of quality athletes come out of the high schools that surround COC. Also, COC has a great track record, they have won a lot in the past so it attracts other great athletes from other areas who desire to win,” said Bygum when asked why he thought COC was so successful.
COC’s strong track record is still a strong focus point for local athletes who are looking to advance to the next level or transfer to division 1 colleges, because when you get to the higher level it’s not about trying to prolong your love for baseball it’s about who has a real future in the sport and even make it into a career.