This series has taken a look back at the historic beginnings of Central Oregon Community College’s sports program, including the formation of the Intramural Sports Club. When we last left sports here at COCC, budget woes were causing issues as the Club and Intramural Sports program was phased out to save money. We now take a final look at the history of organized sports here at COCC, what happened throughout the 1990s and the turn of the millennium, all the way up to present day.
The first ever CyclingClub was formed in 1990 and opened its doors to anyone and everyone who wanted to learn how to ride a bike, either competitively or for recreation. Later that year COCC became the first college in Oregon, and in the entire country, to own and operate a rock climbing wall. In competitive skiing, COCC’s men’s Nordic team swept the nationals, placing a Bobcat skier in first, second, and third place in all the competitions.
The following year, the historic trend continued as COCC downed the University of Oregon in indoor soccer, by a score of 3-2. The Broadside that year also featured the new track coach, Mike Dilley, analyzing his new team which featured no veterans–nothing but newcomers for that year. The Nordic team also continued to dominate, getting close to another national championship by winning the National Collegiate Ski Association titles.
In 1992, COCC’s men’s basketball squad placed third in the citywide league and the sports program saw a huge boom as 579 students signed up to participate.
Skiing continued to make headlines at COCC in 1993 as the ski team placed a few more victories in regional competition. The Cycling Club organized a collegiate cycling race for the local colleges to participate in and the Spring Classic Tennis Tournament began. Unfortunately the following year, due to budget cuts and a drop in interest, skiing, cross country and track all came to an end and were phased out of the program.
The secretary of the COCC fine arts department, Joyce Hamblin, took home a national weightlifting title in 1995. The next year, team “Ground Zero” cruised to a victory to win the Intramural Basketball Championship. Also a wheelchair basketball team was formed.
Another COCC staff member made history for the college in 1997, as Dagmar Eriksson competed in the Master’s World Cup for skiing in Palermo, Italy. COCC’s men’s baseball squad also posted an undefeated record for the year, going 18-0. Finally to round out 1997, four unidentified COCC students came to the aid of a hunter wounded in a terrible accident, when his partner accidentally shot him after slipping and falling on some ice. The four COCC students happened to be in the area at the time of the accident and were able to provide swift help to the hunter. In 1998, cycling saw a resurgence as the Cycling Club was able to reform in winter term. Then in 1999, many COCC students participated in the 23rd annual Pole, Pedal, Paddle competition.
At the turn of the new millennium, many COCC snowboarders competed in the Enter the Dragon competition, which featured ‘slopestyle’ and ‘superpipe’ events for the participants.
In 2001, the Bobcat ski team made its return and advanced to national competition, and the college approved the creation of a course for disc golf. The next year, COCC began a snowshoeing class. Also that year Charlie Jackson, a standout on the men’s basketball team, took home a victory in a free throw competition, nailing 22 free throws in a row.
On the not-so-happy side, the Broadside for 2002 chronicled a rash of injuries for the skiiers and snowboarders on campus. In 2003, the legendary Peking Acrobats held a performance at COCC, wowing the students with their athletic prowess.
That same year, the COCC volleyball team went far in the Columbia Empire Volleyball Association tournament before ultimately being eliminated.Finally, the ski team once again made an appearance in the national finals.
The following year in 2004, The Broadside covered the first organization of Bowling Night by ASCOCC, which is a tradition that is still continued today by the current student government.
Baseball player Nolan Wilson, who pitched and played second base for COCC, as well as goalkeeper Jennifer Valladao, won Athlete of the Year honors. Scott Milum for soccer, Ricky Virk for golf, and Mike Barnes for baseball all received Coach of the Year recognitions.
Coverage picked back up in earnest again in 2005, when the COCC Bobcats soccer team, lead by head coach and 2004 Coach of the Year Scott Milum, shot their way into the tournament semifinals by pulling out a win in a penalty shootout. The following year in 2006, though big sports happenings were rare, The Westside Church hosted a rail jam that many COCC snowboarders participated in.
In 2007, COCC drafting major John Hufford as well as Melissa and Rob Hulse started up La Pine’s first semi-pro football team, chiefly to raise money to help buy equipment for La Pine High School’s football team. That year also saw the formation of the Powder Brigade, which was a weekly club for skiing and snowboarding led by Shane Coffey, a COCC student who also coached snowboarding through the Mt. Bachelor Sports and Education Foundation during 2007’s snowboarding season.
COCC started 2008 by sending the Bobcat golf team to the Bandon Dunes Golf Invitational to compete with teams from 13 other schools. Later that year, the annual “Jungle Run” and “Storm the Stairs” races took place on campus, which was free for COCC and OSU Cascades students, but five dollars for any other entrant. In 2009, the Intramural Basketball Championship came down to two teams, Team “Da Bears” and Team “Your Mom”.
Behind Josh Johnstone’s 30 points, Da Bears withstood a plucky assault from Jimmy Holmdahl and Keith Walls, Team “Your Mom”’s stars, to win the championship 82-60.
Finally, this year in 2010 has already proved to be an exciting year for Intramural and Club Sports. Right out of the gate, COCC Head Soccer Coach Scott Milum lead his Bobcats to a season that ended on a great note for the squad despite the 2-7 record and their failure to make the playoffs, which was highlighted by a 2-2 tie with the University of Oregon. This result was achieved, even though Milum lost almost half his team to injury and to increased workloads on campus and at work.
COCC also created a new program titled ‘Bobcat Racing’, whose chief focus is individual students and their goals in sports such as running, cycling, skiing and triathlons. Director Bill Douglass also decided in October of this year to re-open the disc golf course that had been previously closed due to high fire danger and due to the construction going on at the COCC Campus.
This concludes Sports Through The Years: A Look Back at COCC Sports Throughout Its History.
You may contact William James at firstname.lastname@example.org