Squad looks to resuscitate program


Archive / The Advocate

Former Comet pitcher Hulita Latu pitches during the Comets’ 16-2 loss against Los Medanos College at the Softball Field in the first game of a doubleheader on March 14, 2017.

By Luis Cortez, Advocate Staff

After two seasons without a softball team, the athletic department has made significant changes, primarily by hiring a new coach who is tasked with increasing team participation rates and campuswide interest in the sport.

Newly appointed coach Taylor Harris brings a winning record with her to Contra Costa College having previously won North Coast Section (NCS) championships with Salesian High School and St. Mary’s College High School in Berkeley.

Harris has her own ideas as to why participation rates in softball have been low at CCC.

“It’s (the Comet softball program) an unknown for people,” Harris said. “I’m willing to teach new players.”

She wants people to know that the softball team is a safe zone and a nurturing environment. Harris has already made time to recruit students to the program. She hopes to build strong character in her players, install core values while teaching any willing parties.

Ultimately, she wants to give her players a chance to succeed in life.

“I was able to earn a scholarship in softball and I want to give back what I learned,” Harris said.

“I would rather have a team full of people who don’t know how to play, but are willing to learn and work together, than a team full of individuals who don’t play together for the benefit of the team,” Harris said.

CCC Athletic Director John Wade expects to have a team this semester.

Wade credits students choosing academics over playing sports and wanting to get out of college more quickly for the low number of participants on past softball teams at CCC. “Life hinders participation,” Wade said.

The balancing act of daily life affects the things we can focus on and may deter many people from believing they have the opportunity to play, he said.

Former Comet pitcher Nancy Bernal blames the lack of equal number of coaches between male sports and female sports as a contributor to the low participation numbers. In Bernal’s three attempts to play softball for CCC, the team never completed a full season.

Bernal said it was difficult to be a part of a program knowing not a lot of people knew about the team.

Athletic trainer Nicole Oaks said the benefits of playing a competitive sport include the release of stress. It helps students build a foundation and teaches team-building skills that are needed later in life. It’s also a good healthy way to spend time, she said.

“Go out give it a try. Life is short,” she said. Sports can contribute to becoming a well-rounded person and you never know if you’re good if you don’t try.”

Many people on campus believe reasons the softball team has not fielded a team reaches beyond low participation — primarily because the product hasn’t been good.

In the 2016 season, which was the last season CCC had a softball team, they went 0-26 overall, 0-22 in the Bay Valley Conference.