SAT., DEC. 20
23rd Erin Tomlinson Coast Christmas Classic
at Peterson Gymnasium
Orange Coast College
Costa Mesa
Championship Game
Palomar 74, Irvine Valley 55

28th Vaquero Classic
at Verdugo Gym
Glendale College
Glendale, CA
Consolation Championship

Moorpark 73, Palomar 64



SUN., DEC. 28
48th Chabot Classic
at John Wagoner Gym
Chabot College

vs. Cosumnes River, 3 p.m.


1140 W. Mission Rd.
San Marcos, CA 92069
(760) 744-1150 X 2460
FAX (760) 761-3512
Athletic Director:
Scott Cathcart




GLENDALE (12-20-201) -- Moorpark College turned back the Palomar men's basketball team 73-64 Saturday afternoon for the consolation championship of the 28th Annual Vaquero Classic at Glendale College's Verdugo Gym.

The Comets (6-6) will be off until next Sunday, Dec. 28, when they play Coumnes River College of Sacramento in the first round of the 48th Chabot Classic at Chabot College in Hayward.

The Comets and Hawks will tip off at 3 p.m.


COSTA MESA (12-18-2004) -- Keisha Cox narrowly missed a triple-double with 35 points, 11 rebounds and 8 assists on Thursday as she led the Palomar women's basketball team to what coach Leigh Marshall described as an "ugly" win over Saddleback 84-78.

The Comets won for the ninth time in 10 games in the opening round of the 23rd Annual Erin Tomlinson Coast Christmas Classic at Orange Coast's Peterson Gymnasium and will play College of the Canyons in the semifinals on Friday at 5 p.m.

"Keisha and Jessica Scott carried us in a game in which our defense was sloppy," Marshall said. "It was ugly, and we were fouling everywhere and sent them to the line for 29 free throws. But it's good for us to get an ugly win."

Scott cointributed 21 points and 7 rebounds for Palomar. Lynnzy Troxell had 10 points in just 15 minutes. Cox also had 2 steals.

PICTURED ABOVE: Keisha Cox drives to the bucket to score with just under a minute to play as she all but ends Saddleback's hopes of winning Thursday's opener in Orange Coast's 23rd Annual Erin Tomlinson Coast Christmas Classic. -- Photo by Hugh Cox


GLENDALE (12-17-2014) -- Victor Valley overcame a big performance by Palomar's Jeremy Franklin on Wednesday night to hold off the Comets 87-84 in the opening round of the 28th Vaquero Classic men's basketball tournament at Glendale College's Vedugo Gym.

Franklin had a double-double with 27 points and 11 rebounds. He also contributed three 3-pointers on three attempts and dished off five assists.

James Sampson (17 points, three assists, three 3-pointers), Ryan Schaefer (16 points, four 3's) and Deven Riley (15 points, 10 rebounds, three assists) also scored in double figures.

Coach John O'Neil's squad drops to 5-5 on the season, with three of those five losses coming by 2, 3 and 5 points.

Palomar will play tournament host Glendale, a 68-55 loser to Cuyamaca on Wednesday, in the consolation semifinals on Friday at noon.


SAN LUIS OBISPO (12-13-2014) -- Palomar's Alberto Garcia lost in the 133-pound finals, while teammate Alex Graves finished third at 184, as the CCCAA State Wrestling Championships concluded a two-day run on Saturday at Cuesta College.

The Comets placed ninth in the state with 48 points.

Garcia, a freshman from Orange Glen High School, decisioned Sierra's Travis Roberts 5-3 in the quarterfinals, then decisioned Albert Landeros of Bakersfield 8-0 in the semifinals.

In the finals, Garcia squared off against Dustin Kirk from eventual state team champion Cerritos. Garcia had handed Kirk his only loss of the season 10-9 in the 133-pound championship match at last week's Southern California Regionals.

Kirk, a sophomore appearing in the state tournament for the second year in a row, led 4-2 after the first period but Garcia tied the match 4-4 with a reversal late in the second period. Kirk escaped with 20 seconds remaining in the period to regain the lead and put the match out of reach on a takedown with 32 seconds remaining in the third period. He went on to defeat Garcia 9-5, avenging last week's loss.

In the 184-pound division, No. 1 seed Graves, a freshman from San Marcos High, recorded one of the fastest pins of the tournament in 58 seconds against Shasta's Thomas Cross in the quarterfinals but was upset by Will Gockel-Figg of team runnerup Fresno City College 5-1 in the semis. Graves rebounded to decision Sacramento City College's Logan Paxon 6-1 in the third-place match.

Among other Palomar wrestlers, Peter Donchev pinned Cuesta's Joseph Else in 6:27 for fifth place at 165 pounds. Eric Collin placed eighth, also at 165.

Cerritos, out of the Southwest Conference in which Palomar is also a member, outscored second-place Fresno 167-159 to in capturing the team title. The Falcons and Rams were followed in the top 10 by Mt. SAC in third with 111.5 points, fourth-place Chabot (72 points), fifth-place Santa Ana (69), sixth-place Sacramento (66.5), seventh-place Cuesta (56.5), eighth-place Bakersfield (55), the Comets in ninth place and Rio Hondo (43.5 points) in 10th.

Garcia was attempting to become Palomar's 32nd state community college champion. The most recent Comet to win a state title was Lewis Gonzales at 165 pounds in 2007.


CHICAGO (11-21-2014) -- The Chicago White Sox have elevated Palomar product Tyler Saladino to their 40-man roster.

Saladino appeared in 82 games with Triple-A Charlotte during the 2014 season, batting .310 with 16 doubles, four triples, nine homers, 43 RBIs and 41 runs scored. He was placed on the disabled list on July 13 and missed the remainder of the season after undergoing ulnar colateral ligament replacement surgery on his right elbow.

Named as the starting shortstop for the International League for the 2014 Triple-A All-Star Game against the Pacific Coast League, sustained the injury days before the game and had to be replaced in the starting lineup.

Saladino has played shortstop for the White Sox in Major League in spring training the last three years as a non-roster player while he made his way up through the club's minor league system.

He was at Palomar recently for Groundbreaking Ceremonies for the Comets' new baseball field.







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Please click on sport to take you to its pages on the site. Overall and conference win-loss records are listed for each sport:
FOOTBALL  7-4  3-3   WRESTLING  10-4  2-2   GOLF (W)  Conf:  60-36   VOLLEYBALL (W) 19-5 13-3    WATER POLO (M) 18-9 7-3   WATER POLO (W) 12-13 3-6  SOCCER (M)  6-11-4  3-7-2   SOCCER (W)  9-9-2  2-6-0  CROSS COUNTRY (M/W)  no duals BASKETBALL (M) 6-6 0-0  BASKETBALL (W)  11-1  0-0  BASEBALL 0-0  0-0  SOFTBALL  0-0  0-0  GOLF (M)  0-0  0-0    TENNIS (M)   0-0  0-0   TENNIS (W)   0-0  0-0  SWIM & DIVE (M)  0-0  0-0  SWIM & DIVE (W) 0-0  0-0    TRACK & FIELD (W)  no dual meets scheduled   VOLLEYBALL (M)  0-0  0-0  SAND VOLLEYBALL (W)  0-0  0-0


W. BASKETBALL: PC 74, Irvine Valley 55

Comets roll in championship game; Cox MVP

COSTA MESA (12-20-2014) -- Leading Irvine Valley 27-20 at halftime, Palomar came out in the second half Saturday night and rocked Irvine Valley's world as the Comets won going away 74-55 in the championship game of the 23rd Erin Tomlinson Coast Christmas Classic at Orange Coast College.

Keisha Cox (left) led the Comets (11-1) past the Lasers (11-2) with 16 points, 10 rebounds and 4 assists and received tournament MVP honors. She was joined on the all-tournament team by Palomar teammates Jessica Scott (right) and Tessa Balcom.

"It was a geat team win against a very good Irvine Valley team," coach Leigh Marshall said. "We had a tough time scoring in the first half, but we were able to create offense from our defense in the second half."

Melissa Allen (14 points off the bench) and Scott (13 points, 9 rebounds) also scored in double figures for the Comets, who defeated Saddleback and College of the Canyons to reach the championship game. Chelse Ayala went 6-for-6 from the free throw line and finished with eight points. Balcom, the star of the Canyons game, added seven points.

"We had a lot of contributors tonight," Marshall said.

Palomar will be idle until Jan. 3, when the Comets visit Long Beach City College in their final non-conference game before opening their Pacific Coast Athletic Conference season on Jan. 7 at Southwestern.

W. BASKETBALL: Comets 89, Canyons 82

ABOVE: Tessa Balcom takes the ball in to score early in Friday's 89-82 win over College of the Canyons, putting Palomar in front 4-0. -- Photo by Hugh Cox. BELOW LEFT: Tatliano Navarro penetrates the Cougars' Jennifer Franco (24) lands awkwardly behind her. -- Photo by Stephen Davis. BELOW RIGHT: Chelse Ayala, one of the players that sparked Palomar off the bench

Balcom comes up big as PC reaches title game

COSTA MESA (12-19-2014) -- Tessa Balcom came up big as Palomar defeated College of the Canyons 89-82 on Friday night to reach the championship game of the 23rd Annual Erin Tomlinson Coast Christmas Classic.

The Comets (10-1) and Irvine Valley (11-1), which defeated tourney host Orange Coast 61-38, will play for the tournament title Saturday at  Peterson Gymnasium at 5 p.m.

Balcom "stepped up huge" for Palomar at both ends of the court, coach Leigh Marshall said. The 5-foot-5 sophomore guard out of Ramona High School scored 20 points, second-high to teammate Keisha Cox's 21 points, and also made major contributions both defending and handling the ball. Balcom passed off for four assists.

Jessica Scott had another big game for the Comets with 15 points and four rebounds. Chelse Ayala (14 points, four assists) and Lynnzy Troxell (10 points, seven rebounds) turned in strong performances off the bench.

Cox fouled out with eight minutes left in the second half but her teammates picked the Comets up.

Palomar led at halftime 48-33. The Cougars cut the margin to three points with 12 minutes remaining in the second half, but Troxell played a big role down the stretch when she scored six straight points.

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Palomar 60, Glendale 53

Schaeffer scores 19 points as Comets win

GLENDALE (12-19-2014) -- Freshman guard Ryan Schaefer (left) scored 19 points on Friday afternoon as he helped lead Palomar to a 60-53 victory over host Glendale at Verdugo Gym in the consolation semifinals of the 28th Vaquero Classic.

James Sampson also scored in double figures with 11 points while Carston Nyenhuis (right) and Jeremy Franklin each added eight points as the Comets (6-5) advanced to Saturday's 1 p.m. consolation championship game against Moorpark, a 68-61 winner over Orange Coast.

Deven Riley led Palomar in rebounds with six. Nyenhuis had four rebounds. Sampson also contributed four assists and three steals.

FOOTBALL: Commitment

Javante O'Roy (No. 29) has committed to play on the Division I level for the Mean Green of the University of North Texas. O'Roy is pictured above intercepting a pass against Southwestern during the 2013 season as a freshman. He returned the pick for an 87-yard touchdown. -- Photo by Hugh Cox.

PC's O'Roy verbals to North Texas after visit

SAN MARCOS (12-17-2014) -- Javante O'Roy became the first 2014 Palomar football player to commit to a four-year college program on Wednesday following a recruiting trip.

O'Roy a 6-foot-0, 185-pound sophomore cornerback from Antelope High School who played two seasons for the Comets after a redshirt season at Sacramento City College, will play for the University of North Texas Mean Green of Conference USA.

O'Roy, who played in 20 of 21 games for the Comets during the 2013 and 2014 seasons while missing one game because of an injury, has two of the four longest interception returns in Palomar history.

He returned an interception 101 yards for a touchdown to set a Palomar record in the Comets' 2013 season opener with El Camino College (officially 100 yards re: NCAA statistical rules). He also returned a pick 87 yards for another TD, fourth-best on Palomar's all-time list, in 2013 vs. Southwestern.

 In his two seasons with the Comets, O'Roy had 101 tackles (50 as a freshman, 51 during the recent season as a sophomore), 2 tackles for loss, 3 interceptions (2 for touchdowns), 13 pass break-ups, 2 fumble recoveries and 3 forced fumbles.

BASEBALL: Early Commits

Catcher Francis Christy and pitcher Tyler Russell have become the first two 2015 Comets to commit to four-year colleges for the 2016 season. Christy, pictured in the top photo during Palomar's 2014 season, is headed to the University of Washington. -- Photo by Hugh Cox. Eastern Michigan University transfer Tyler Russell, pictured directly above pitching for Vista Murrieta High School where he went 31-7 over three seasons, is headed to Oral Roberts University. -- Courtesy photo

Christy to Washington; Russell to Oral Roberts

SAN MARCOS (12-16-2014) -- Sophomore catcher Francis Christy and sophomore right-handed pitcher Tyler Russell have become the first two members of Palomar's 2015 baseball team to commit to four-year colleges.

Christy, a first-team All-Pacific Coast Athletic Conference selection for the Comets a year ago, has accepted a scholarship to the University of Washington. Russell, a transfer from Eastern Michigan University who was 31-7 in three seasons at Vista Murrieta High School, has accepted a scholarship to Oral Roberts University. Both will transfer after playing for the Comets in the upcoming 2015 season.

Christy, who was drafted by the Oakland A's in the 37th round in 2013 out of Casa Grande High School in Petaluma, hit .322 and made the All-Pacific Coast Athletic Conference first team as a freshman for Palomar last season when the Comets went 28-12 and won their fourth straight conference championship. Following his junior season at Casa Grande, Christy turned down a full-ride scholarship to Oregon predicated on his willingness to graduate from high school early and skip his senior prep season to play for the Ducks.

Christy hit .413 as a senior and was selected to the MaxPreps all-state medium schools first team.

Russell pitched 45 innings appearing in 15 games for Eastern Michigan a year ago as a true freshman after a record-setting career at Vista Murrieta High School. He compiled a 31-7 win-loss record over three varsity seasons for the Broncos. Russell was 11-2 with a 1.58 earned run average two years ago as a senior All-Southern Section CIF selection. He was a three-time All-Southwestern League first-team pick, a two-time All-CIF selection and was selected all-state second team by ESPN Rise.

Palomar has sent a number of players on to Oral Roberts, including shortstop Tyler Saladino, who is currently on the Chicago White Sox' major league roster.

Palomar moved 19 players on to the four-year college level after the 2014 season, 10 of them to Division I including catcher Zach Bonneau, who batted .292 appearing in 18 games playing behind Christy last season and was the only freshman to move on among the 19 scholarship players. He also received a scholarship to Washington.

B.K. Santy, Palomar's new catchers coach who was an All-PCAC selection playing behind the plate for the Comets, spent two seasons as Washington's starting starting catcher before playing in the Minnesota Twins organization.

Audie Afenir, another former Palomar all-confernce catcher, currently plays at Oral Roberts.

WOMEN'S GOLF: Retirement, Hire

Mark Eldridge (red hat and shirt, back row) has announced his retirement at Palomar's women's golf coach. Eldridge, who guided the Comets to the 2009 Southern California title and the 2011 state community college championship after founding the program in 2007, is pictured above with his 2011 state championship team. Mark Halda (below) is the Comets' new head coach.

Eldridge retiring; Halda taking coaching reins

SAN MARCOS (12-17-2014) -- Mark Eldridge, the only women's golf coach the college has ever known, has announced he will retire from Palomar at the end of the spring semester. He's handing the head coach's reins off to assistant coach Mark Halda, who is also the men's coach.

Eldridge, who began the women's golf program in 2007, guided the Comets to the 2009 Southern California championship and the 2011 CCCAA state title. He also coached Palomar to four conference championships, two second-place Southern California finishes and two third-place state finishes.

He coached the 2012 state individual champion, Taylor Crandall, 2008 Southern California champion Cora Busby and 2009 Southern California champion Beth Sellers.

Halda, the assistant for Palomar's 2009 Southern California champion men's team, took over the head coach's position in 2010 and, in his first season, developed Orange Empire Conference Player of the Year Sejun Yoon, who as a freshman tied for the low score in the state championship tournament, losing a card-off to Santiago Canyon sophomore Conner Covington for the state individual title. Yoon left school after his freshman season to turn pro.

The Comets' Jordan Asper won the Southern California individual title in 2013.

"I have every confidence in Mark Halda's coaching ability and know both programs will be in good hands," Palomar athletic director Scott Cathcart said. "The opportunity to mesh both programs into a year-round instructional operation has the potential to make us the community college golf destination of the region."

Eldridge was Palomar's long-time softball head coach and has been inducted intof the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Hall of Fame. He guided the Comets to a 1,083-304-5 record, 29 conference championships and three state titles and developed one of the nation's best players in Oklahoma State All-American and national team pitcher Kim Ward.

Eldridge also was assistant coach / defensive coordinator for two Palomar national championship football teams, also serving a one-year stint as head coach, and was javelin coach for the 1977 state community college champion men's track team. He was the first javelin coach of Tom Petranoff, a converted baseball player who went on to break the world record in the event twice.

"No other coach in the long and proud history of the Palomar athletic program has achieved the consistent level of exellence and success -- both on the field and in preparing student athletes for transfer -- than Mark Eldridge. His presence will be missed," Cathcart said.

Eldridge was a three-sport athlete at Palomar (football, baseball, track & field) and was a starting safety for Washington State. He also was a javelin thrower at Long Beach State.

Halda also has a football background. He was a starting quarterback at San Diego State and was a longtime Palomar football assistant. 

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