Thanks to two state championships and a state runner-up finish during the fall season, Long Beach City College is in second place in the Pepsi/National Alliance of Two-Year College Athletic Administrators Cup among California community colleges.
The Vikings (82.5 points) trail only Mt. SAC (90.5) in the standings. LBCC earned 20 points from both the men's water polo and women's soccer teams, each of which captured state crowns in November and December. The women's water polo team added 19 points with its state runner-up finish, with women's golf (13.5) and women's cross country (10) also contributing.
"It was a very impressive fall season for us," LBCC Dean of Physical Education/Athletics John Fylpaa said in a press release. "It's a testament to all of our great student-athletes and outstanding faculty members that are coaching them. I'm very proud of all of the jobs that everyone involved with the athletic department have done this year. Hopefully, the momentum will continue into the spring."
Cerritos (68.5) is sixth in the standings. The Falcons had six different fall teams score points: men's cross country (9), women's cross country (11), women's soccer (8.5), women's volleyball (8.5), men's water polo (15.5) and wrestling (16).
This is the third year the Pepsi/NATYCAA Cup has been presented. Sierra College won the first in 2003-04 and Fresno City won in 2004-05. LBCC finished fifth and third, respectively, with Cerritos finishing eighth and 18th.
The final standings will be announced May 31.
On the rise
Cerritos' men's basketball team has picked the perfect time to reel off six consecutive victories the beginning of South Coast Conference divisional play.
The Falcons have improved their record to 12-11 entering tonight's SCC South opener at home against El Camino. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
"We've found a way to win ball games now," said Cerritos coach Gary Cain. "We were losing games by four, five points. The last few games the guys have found a way to win. It's a pleasant surprise because we lost enough games early to last a whole season."
Following tonight's divisional opener, the Falcons travel to L.A. Southwest on Friday and to defending conference champion Long Beach City on Jan. 25.
"I still believe Long Beach is the team to beat," said Cain, "… but I'm really optimistic about our chances."
Seven of the Falcons' losses have been by six points or less. Since the winning streak began on Dec. 29 against Santa Barbara City, however, Cerritos has outscored its opponents by nearly 10 points per game (73.3-63.5).
Freshman guard Aaron Thompson leads the Falcons in scoring at 13.2 points per game, with freshman forward Brandon Ivery close behind at 12.9 ppg. Ivery leads Cerritos in rebounding at 8.1 per game.
On the dotted line
Cerritos football player Clayton Caron will transfer to Southeast Missouri State over the summer and play for the Redhawks next season.
Caron, a second-team All-Mission Conference National Division center, also considered Southern Utah and Western Washington. Southeast Missouri State competes in NCAA Division I-AA in the Ohio Valley Conference. The Redhawks went 2-9 last season, 2-6 in the OVC.
Long Beach City softball coach Erika Blanco is looking for former Viking players to participate in Saturday's Alumni Game.
The game begins at noon on the campus field.
Any former player interested in playing can contact Blanco at (562) 938-4026.