SAN MARCOS – Last semester, Palomar athletics sneakily won a water-polo conference championship and had many athletes get selected for all-conference throughout all fall sports.
When a city like Philadelphia makes it to the Superbowl, people take to the streets parading. It doesn’t take long before a euphoric frenzy takes over the crowd’s minds, and before long, the friendly parade turns into a wild scene ruled by mob mentality and beer. No car is safe, they’re flipped over. Bottles soar in the sky. And that’s before the game. So say what you will about Philly, but one thing’s for certain: They know how to pregame a Superbowl.
Now, for whatever reason, community college sports isn’t able to generate that type of excitement. Which is a bummer because a lot of exciting things end up happening, and lots of talent are displayed.
As we roll into spring semester, The Telescope wants to go over the fall sports and recap their journeys so nothing gets overlooked.
To start off:
Last semester, Palomar’s men’s water polo dominated their conference and won their conference championship. Their efforts sent them to the regionals, where they beat LA Valley before losing to the Golden West Rustlers. A huge turn-around for the program, which, only two seasons ago, had a year with just a single win.
T.J. Turner was a big factor in the winning season. He had the team’s most goals at 86 with Arleigh Williams having the second most at 48. Turner was named Conference Player of the Year and was named an all-American. A great way to finish out his final season as a Comet. He plans to continue playing at CSU Long Beach or begin playing professionally.
Arleigh Williams, Caleb Hogle, Phoenix Shultz, and Tre Turner were named first team all-PCAC (Pacific Coast Athletic Conference). Emmanuel de la Torre and Cody Lovgren were named second team all-PCAC. Ian Ritchie and Ian Alvarez were also given honorable mentions.
Head coach Mike Mulvey was also named the 2023 PCAC coach of the year.
No other fall team had similar successes, but there was still a lot of action and heartbreaks nonetheless.
The Football team probably had the most heartbreak. They finished at 3-7, but the record doesn’t tell the full story.
First, they lost their quarterback to injury in their second game. Then, the second-string quarterback left the team to focus on grades leaving the team with their third-stringer, Clay Omohundro, at the helm.
In Rocky Balboa-esque fashion, Clay defied the odds and went toe-to-toe against the conference behemoth Riverside City Tigers who finished 10-1 and won the state championship.
It was very close with the Comets even having a lead near the end, however, they would end up losing with a final score of 44-45 Tigers. Clay finished with a great 322 passing yards, 3 passing touchdowns, and 1 rushing touchdown.
Despite the loss, the Comets were one of the only teams that didn’t get absolutely crushed by the Tigers, and to do that despite their situation, proved their grit.
Unfortunately, in the spirit of a cursed season, Omohundro would also get hurt. The team ended up calling up a previous quarterback who no longer was on the team but still was attending Palomar.
In the end, seven football players made the All-Southern League team, with offensive lineman Jake Walten being the only first-team selection.
Jude Steffen and Omarion Ireland on the offensive side got named in the second team. Barret Brennan, Jacob Sissan, Henry Davis III, and Jaiden Letua on the defensive side were also named in the second team.
The women’s volleyball team didn’t start strong like they wanted, but they were able to rebound and went on a five-game winning streak. They ended up 13-11 with an 11-5 conference record. The team had finished fourth overall for a while, but they were able to move up to third this time around. They also beat Mira Costa.
Janell Spires and Sonsi Jarvis finished first team all-PCAC. Mayara Swillens and Hope Ihem finished second team all-PCAC.
Like football, wrestling has its own system of doing things. They have a 3C2A tournament as well as a state tournament. However, with the state tournament, wrestlers must qualify individually.
In the 3C2A tournament, Palomar finished at 5th.
For the state tournament, 9 out of 12 wrestlers qualified for the tournament. Together, they finished seventh at state. The wrestlers were: Elijah Nero, Dorian Parker, Anthony Perez, DJ Weimer, Rabih Badrani, Danny Cox, Liam Clark, Mustafa Farha, and Brayan Macias.
Men’s soccer had a decent season finishing at 9-6-5, however, with the competitive conference they’re in, it wasn’t enough to make the playoffs this time around.
Kael Kortz, Lucas Meirelles, Alexis Venegas, and Efren Mendez were all named first team all-PCAC. Kael Kortz, who had a 10-goal season with 3 being game-winners, was also selected for the Sophomore showcase.
Both the women’s soccer and water polo teams struggled and were unable to get the season they wanted. They finished 5-11-2 and 6-22 respectively.
In women’s soccer, Ashley Utrilla and Ashley Clark both made the PCAC all-team. Utrilla had a nice season with 10 goals. Clark came out clutch and had multiple game-winning goals.
Women’s Water Polo
On the women’s water polo side, Emily Freeman and Grace Goode made first team all-PCAC, Hannah Morris and Devyn Wible made second team all-PCAC, and Bella Chacon was an honorable mention.