“Former” Cobra Athletes named June Athletes of the Month

June 26th, 2013

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With Parkland College athletic teams off for the summer, there are no current athletes to name as the June Athlete of the Month award. However a trio of former Cobra Baseball players are making their mark in Minor League Baseball and will be recognized as the "Former-Athletes" of the Month for June.
Pitchers Danny Winkler and Nick Wittgren along with outfielder Kevin Kiermaier are all excelling for their respective teams. Winkler was recently named a California League All-Star as a member of the Modesto Nuts, an advanced A league team of the Colorado Rockies. Although the California All-Stars lost 12-2 to the Carolina League Stars, Winker was a bright spot throwing a hitless inning striking out two.
For the season, Winkler is 9-2 with a 2.15 earned run average. He has appeared in 14 games, all starts, working 83.2 innings while giving up just 47 hits and 20 earned runs. Opponents are hitting just .163 against him and he has issued 21 walks while striking out 98. In his most recent start, he took a no-hitter into the 7th inning before giving up a one-out double.   If Winkler were to move up, the Rockies AA team is the Tulsa Drillers of the Texas League.
Closer Nick Wittgren has been equally as dominant for the Jupiter Jammerheads, the high Class A Florida State League team, of the Miami Marlins. Wittgren was also named an All-Star and worked the final inning for the winning team striking out two of the three hitters he faced to seal the 8-1 victory.

So far this season he is 1-1 with 14 saves and an ERA of just 0.86.  He has appeared in 26 games, all in relief, allowing just 24 hits and 3 earned runs. His control has also been on mark as the hard throwing right-handed hurler has walked just 6 while striking out 39.  The next team in the minor league system for the Marlins is the AA Jacksonville Suns of the Southern League.
And finally, outfielder Kevin Kiermaier is having an outstanding season for the Class AA Montgomery Biscuits, an affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays. Kiermaier is hitting .313 on the year appearing in 73 games and compiling 281 at bats. He has a team-high 88 hits, 20 for extra bases, and has scored 54 runs while driving in 22 from the lead-off spot in the order.  He also has stolen 12 bases while walking 26 times.
He has been red-hot as of late hitting .359 over the last 10 games, going 14-39.  He is expected to be chosen for the Southern League All-Star game when it is held on July 17 in Jacksonville, Florida. Kiermaier hopes to get called up to the AAA Durham Bulls before the season is over. He was called up to the Bulls at the end of last season. appearing in four games and going 3-9.
Congratulations to all three young men as they work toward their goal of reaching the major leagues!

Parkland Assistant Volleyball Coach Wins Discus at US Outdoor Championships

June 24th, 2013

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Parkland College Volleyball assistant coach, Gia Lewis-Smallwood, won the women's discus competition at the USA Outdoor Championships in Des Moines over the weekend qualifying her for the IAAF World Championships in Moscow August 10-18.  Gia set a Drake Stadium record with her toss of 213 feet 8 inches.  In addition to coaching at PC, Gia is a former Champaign Centennial and University of Illinois athlete and was a member of the 2012 USA Olympic team.

Congrats Gia and best of luck in Moscow!

Keenan and Geers Named Parkland College Athletes of the Year

June 18th, 2013

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Golfer David Keenan (Salt Fork) and volleyball star Shelby Geers (Saint Joseph-Ogden) have been named the Parkland College Athletes of the Year for 2012-13.  The two sophomores both earned 1st Team All-American recognition in their respective sports as Keenan was the Medalist at the NJCAA D-2 Golf Nationals and Geers led the Volleyball team to a 3rd place finish at Nationals.
Keenan capped an outstanding season by winning the Cobra first individual title in school history in Golf. Earlier, Keenan had earned All-Conference and All-Region honors and will be named an NJCAA Academic All-American later this month after earning a perfect 4.0 this Spring.  The Salt Fork graduate will attend Chicago State University next season.
Geers burst on the scene this season to help PC to a 45-8 record, the M-WAC and Region 24 titles and a 3rd place finish.  She had the third highest hitting percentage (.451) in NJCAA D-2 Volleyball and was 10th in kills (505).  Geers was the M-WAC and Region 24 Player of the Year in 2012 and she and her sophomore teammates finished their careers with a record of 86-16, two conference and region titles, and two trips to the national tournament. The former SJO star will plat at the University of Illinois-Springfield next year.

Parkland College Athletes Recognized for Academic Sucess

June 18th, 2013
Eleven Parkland College athletes and four Parkland College teams have been recognized for their academic achievement for the 2012-13 school year.  Individuals must have at least a 3.60 cumulative grade point average and played for at least one year at the two-year college. Teams must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.00 with all remedial grades removed from the average. Congratulations to the student's, coaches, and teams for representing PC so well on and off the field/court.
Academic All-American's:
Priscilla Azuaga           Women's Soccer
Dana Belcher               Volleyball
Tabitha Davis              Softball
David Keenan              Golf
Alison Kimble              Softball
Lauren Klein                Softball
Mark Munizzi              Baseball
Taylor Redeker           Women's Basketball
Mason Silver              Golf
Sam Thoele                Baseball
Jason Ziegler              Baseball
Academic Team's of the Year:
Softball             3.44
Golf                  3.26
Baseball            3.18
Volleyball          3.15

Cobra Baseball Players Honored

June 18th, 2013
Six members of the Parkland College Baseball team have earned post-season recognition on the All-Conference and All-Region 24 teams.
Freshman Kyle Weller headlines the list as the Pleasant Plains graduate earned Freshman of the Year honors in the Midwest Athletic Conference and was named 1st team All-Conference and All-Region. Weller was 9-3 this season and a perfect 7-0 in conference games. Joining him on the first team in both the conference and region are fellow freshman Johnny Herrera (Dominican Republic) and designated hitter/outfielder Isaac Sampen (Brownsburg In.).  Herrera hit .341 this season tying for the team lead in hits (57) and leading the team in stolen bases with (22). He had his best games against conference foes hitting .394 in those games. Despite battling injuries, Sampen hit . 302 for PC this year with a team high 6 home runs while driving in 37.  Like Herrera, Sampen was at his best in the M-WAC, hitting .377.
Joining that trio as a first team all-conference honoree is freshman catcher/designated hitter Ramon Valdez (Canada). Valdez, who played the last half of the season with a wrist injury, still hit .343 with 2 HR and 38 RBI while splitting time between the two positions. He hit .366 in conference play to help PC to a 24-8 record in the M-WAC and a 2nd place finish.
Two sophomore stand outs earned 2nd team All-Conference recognition as pitcher Sam Thoele (Dieterich) and outfielder Joe Trennepohl (Indianapolis North Central) both were selected by the coaches.  Thoele was 4-4 this season but struck out 90 hitters in just 75 innings of work.  He had a career high 13 strikeouts in a win over Lincoln and 11 more in a 3-2 victory over conference champion Heartland. Trennepohl hit .303 with 3 HR and 40 RBI and had 16 multiple hit games. He was also solid defensively throwing out five runners.