Hopeful seasons end in frustration for Comet participants, programs

Setbacks, injuries impede success


Denis Perez / The Advocate

A Comet player slides safely into second base during Contra Costa College’s 8-2 win against Yuba College on April 14 on the Comet Baseball Field.

By Robert Clinton, Opinion Editor

In years past, spring athletics at Contra Costa College offered a balance of hope and unrealized expectations for the sports teams and 2017-18 would prove to be no different.

For the second season in a row, the softball team failed to produce enough players to field a regulation team and was forced to forfeit all of their games in the Bay Valley Conference.

After failing to field a team for consecutive seasons, Athletic Director John Wade fired softball coach Karolyn Gubbine at the conclusion of the season.

Even when teams were able to complete the entirety of their playing schedule, finding the correct recipe for consistent winning remained patently unattainable.

“I thought we would have been competing for a Bay Valley Conference title,” coach Vince Shaw said. “Even with injuries and other circumstances, which I know are a part of the game, I think the girls came out to compete every night and that’s all you can ask for.”

Despite lofty hopes to climb back into contention for the Bay Valley Conference title, the women’s and men’s basketball teams both failed to capture their expected goals of reaching post-season play.

The Comet women’s basketball team (6-20 overall and 3-13 in the BVC) began the 2017 campaign with hopes of eclipsing the record of the previous seasons team. However, injuries to players at key position forced Shaw to adjust his game plan to fit his young new-look roster.

Through the season, the team diligently fought opponents with deeper rosters, but more often than not, the team fell victim to its own shortcomings.

The Comet men’s basketball team fared better, but their success was still short of the expectations that the coaching staff placed on the freshman-heavy team. More than half of the team this season were freshman.

“When the season started we didn’t know what to expect because we had so many freshmen. We knew we wanted to play hard and see what we had,” assistant coach Jason Maples said. “We beat four of the top teams in Northern California. But in conference play, things just fell apart.”

Early in the season, the team had big wins in the City College of San Francisco tournament. The overwhelming bulk of the Comet offensive production was provided by the team’s freshman. That early success crept into the psyche of the young team and admittedly led to a level of confidence bordering on arrogance.

Comet guard Isaiah Attles made the best of his first BVC season averaging seven points, two rebounds and nearly two assists per game this season.

“If I could go back and give myself a piece of advice, it would be to never get too high or too low,” he said. “We had some good wins in the beginning of the season but as a young freshman team, I think we got ahead of ourselves.”

The Comet baseball team showed no cause for arrogance at any point this season. Touting a paltry (9-27 overall and 5-16 in the BVC) record, the team, which habitually fails to give its pitchers run support, lived up to its usual standard.

Not all the team’s shortcomings could wholly be attributed to the team’s performance on the field, this past spring, at least at CCC, the baseball field could no longer be considered drought stricken.

The weather phenomenon known as the pineapple express sent what was described as an airborne river head-on to Northern California sending the team’s schedule into disarray.