SMC Season Opener: 2005 Sports Preview

The closing of the sports season at Santa Monica College saw awards being presented to a number of promising student athletes.
Certainly, names like Masami Hashimoto, Efrem Lawrence and Chinedoz Foster - all superior players in their fields of women's tennis, basketball and track and field respectively - are now prime examples of the exceptional pedigree of athletes that the SMC sports system is able to churn out.
While both men's volleyball and track and field stormed through the competition at the Western State Conference bringing home titles, diving also advanced. However sports such as women's sofball and men's basketball were marred by inconsistencies and afflicted by injuries.
"We had a bunch of injuries," said, Trevor Shickman, men's basketball head coach. "We started off fine but finished with a mediocre record. I was impressed by the character they [the team] showed; playing while struggling through injuries, we had short guys playing tall positions."
Women's soccer Head Coach Aaron Benditson agreed that the team-spirit displayed by his team was commendable. "We have great team camaraderie. We are organized, disciplined. We will be constantly setting goals for ourselves," he said.
Team spirit aside, what can we expect to see in the coming fall?
"We will be losing most of last year's players," said football Head Coach Robert Taylor, whose team finished 6-4 this season. "But we are going to be in a fight for it [the Championships], although we are going to have a young team."
The uncertainty of a new, unfamiliar squad is a problem that many of the sports coaches will face.
"We will be graduating 10 guys, although we have signed three and will possibly be signing another one," said Shickman.
But despite the looming uncertainty, there is a silver lining in this cloud.
"Recruiting good football players helps us become a better team," said Coach Taylor:
"I'm not satisfied with what I have seen. We coaches are never satisfied - if we fill up all the holes we can match anybody in the championships."
This sentiment was echoed by Benditson, who added, "We have the spirit."