The First Forty Years of Marauder Athletics


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            As an overall program, Antelope Valley College's athletic department has always maintained itself within the community college specter as a quality program for athletics.  Through the 1960's, under the athletic directorship of Bucky Wolter, the program worked hard to instill itself as an integral part of the college, and not a separate part, as many athletic programs of the time were doing.

            In the early 1970's, with the hiring of Brent Carder (head football coach, and in 1975, the athletic director), Richard Curtis (who would become the Marauders' academic advisor) and Jerry Lewis (athletic trainer), the core of a far-reaching, forward-thinking athletic department, which not only demanded it be an integral part of the college, but an integral part of the community it served, began putting in its roots.

            Twenty years later, with an ominous new logo promoting the college's desert location, Marauder Athletics, "A Proud Community Tradition," was firmly planted as an integral part of the prestige of Antelope Valley College and the Antelope Valley community.

            By 1990, the Marauder Athletics staff held full-time positions one would normally find only at four-year athletic departments.  In addition to Lewis, two equipment assistants, an athletic academic advisor and sports information officer would be added to the staff.  Further, a firm commitment was made to have head coaches be full-time faculty members, and a "whole person" approach--the philosophy that the department must not be committed to just creating the best athletes, but more importantly creating the most productive members of our society--was implemented. 

            Some of the most important successes of Marauder Athletics' philosophies included: in the classroom, a 60 percent or better student-athlete transfer rate to four-year schools, more winners of the prestigious Pepsi Scholar Athlete award than any other school; in the community, a mandatory drug testing and education program, live local radio and television coverage, and an aggressive marketing plan centered on community businesses; and on the field, one quarter of its teams was winning conference titles, with one half competing in post season competition.




            Certainly one could point at 1974 as the pinnacle of Marauder Football, which celebrated 50 years in 1996.  With California Community College Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame running back Tony Reed leading the way, the Marauders went 10-1 and won the only outright state team title in the school's history, defeating College of the Redwoods 18-14.  Reed, who was the state's Most Valuable Player in both 1973 and 1974, was so dominate that he still held more than 15 school records 20 years later.  It takes more than one player to win a championship, and several Marauders on the 1974, and the 1975 state co-state champions would not only win high honors for their on field play, but would become an important part of Marauder Athletics.

            Frank Blua, who was a two-time All-America nose guard and played on the 1974 team, would return to AVC as a coach, where he would become the Assistant Head Football Coach, as well as head baseball coach.  Tim Cox, Blua's replacement at nose guard, and 1975 All-America selection, would return as a Marauder coach, as would Tim Feikert, who had a three-year stint as the Marauder baseball coach.  Of course, Brent Carder, who played for the Marauders in 1958 and 1959, returned in 1970 as the Marauders head coach, and has remained in the position for over a quarter of a century, compiling one of the top winning marks in the country.

            In addition, Marauder Football has seen the likes of Jim Johnson (1974-75) who was selected Most Valuable Player California Community College football, Division II in 1975, after  playing on two state championship teams and Ross Brosius (1968-69) who was named All-conference in 1968 and AVC’s Outstanding Athlete in 1970.

            Since 1972, Marauder Football had won seven conference championships, and was second seven other times.  In addition, AVC has played in ten bowl games, including the 1975 Ocean Bowl where AVC tied MiraCosta 14-14 to claim state co-champion honors, the 1981 Southern California Division II Championship Bowl, which was won by the Marauders 13-12 over Porterville, and the 1992 K-Swiss Classic II where AVC overcame a 20-3 half-time deficit to upset Glendale 24-23.

            In 2001, the Marauders broke over one-third of their records, including over one-half of the team and individual records, and was invited to the prestigious Shrine Potato Bowl.

            Six Marauder football players have won the Pepsi Scholar Athlete Award, more than any other sport, and additionally, Kevin Curtis, was in 1986 further honored as the state's Men's Scholar Athlete, and Brian Lasagna, was named All-America as a center, as well as Academic All-America in 1993.





            In its long run, Marauder baseball has been a successful platform for talent, but has won only one conference title, in 1969 under coach Ray Smith.  Some of the players that have come through the Marauder baseball program include: Frank Slayton (1967-68) who was selected First team All-Central Conference (first base) in 1967 after hitting .385 in 1967 and posted a perfect 8-0 record as a pitcher and again in 1968 when he posted a 9-5 record and hit .354.  Later, he would be named All-NCAA All-America Div. II Tournament first baseman in 1970 for National Champion Matadors and played professional baseball for the Milwaukee Brewers organization; Jim Slayton (1969) where he led Marauders to Desert Conference championship and second round of state playoffs in 1969, and was named player of the year in Desert Conference in 1969, posting a 12-3 record with a 2.63 ERA.  Slayton later became an outstanding player for the Milwaukee Brewers, Detroit Tigers and California Angels; Perry Husband (1981who holds the state community college record for consecutive game hitting streak with 31 straight games in 1981, hitting safely in 32 of 33 games in 1981 for the Marauders and batted .439 (69 for 157) with 37 RBI while scoring 45 runs and had slugging percentage of .669; Jim Bruske (1985) AVC's leading hitter and pitcher in 1985, sporting a .367 batting average and a 3.51 earned run average.  Hitting, he compiled a .598 slugging percentage with 16 of his 45 hits being for extra bases.  He led the Marauders in steals with 9, and had 32 walks and 30 RBI.  Pitching, he had only six starts, but fashioned a 6-1 record, with three saves.  Had 101 strikeouts in 69.1 innings, including 16 against Porterville; and Kevin Appier (1987) who pitched 136 innings, nearly double anyone else on the staff, allowing 40 earned runs for a 2.65 earned run average, striking out 161 batters, including 15 against LA City and Palomar. Had an 11-6 record for the Marauders, and had three saves. In the early 1990's, he was the top pitcher for the Kansas City Royals, before moving on to the Oakland Athletics.

            In 2003, Jeffrey Leonard, a major leaguer with the Giants and Dodgers, among others, became the Marauder head coach.



Men's Basketball


            Until football won its title in 1974, Marauder men's basketball had come the closest to that state crown, as the 1956 runners-up.  Despite the success of football in the 1970's and beyond, men's basketball, which having started in 1937 is the first Marauder sport, has refused to become Marauder Athletics' step-sport.

            In 1964, the Marauders would be the state's consolation champion under the guidance of Bill Montamble, and would win the conference title in 1987 for Bob Murray, who would coach AVC for 22 years and be named into the California Community College Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame.  In 1989, Newton Chelette arrived to coach the Marauders and three straight conference championships followed (1989-90, 1990-91, 1991-92), as well as the first playoff games ever played in Marauder Gym.  AVC would win another two in 1994-95 and 1995-96.

            Under Montamble two players would shine: John Chambers (1961-63) who led Marauders in scoring, 1962-64, was AVC's Most Valuable Player in 1962-64 and holds school record for most free throws in a game, 21-21 vs. Santa Barbara CC and John Bacon (1963-64) who set a then-Marauder record for points in a season, 533 and scored over 30 points four times, including a career high 36 points against San Fernando Valley State.

            Top players throughout Murray's coaching reign included Lincoln Williams  (67-68), who was the Marauder MVP in 1967-68 season after scoring 596 points as well as the MVP of the Marauder Tournament which saw AVC beat Sequoias 91-79; Mike Adams (1968-70) who was the all time leading scorer in season (1969-70) with 755 points (24.3 avg.)and all time leading scorer in a game (1970) with 59 points against Santa Barbara.  He was named team Most Valuable Player both seasons and twice first team all-conference; Bill Burden  (75-77) who scored 1303 points for the Marauders, a career scoring mark which now ranks second all-time and was the MVP in both 1975-76 and 1976-77; and Donald Davis (80-82) who scored 670 points in the 1981-82 season, the same year he hit 65 percent of hit shots from the field.  That percentage ranks second all-time and was MVP for the Marauders in 1980-81 and 1981-82.

            With Chelette came a philosophy of scoring, and his players responded.  Tony Madison began when in 1991, he set the school and state record for three pointers with 270 in two years, including another record for 163 in one season.  Quartz Hill's Danny Prince would break that record by one in 1994, also destroying the single season record for threes with 182.  DJ Jackson led the state in scoring in 1992, and was one of four Marauder conference Most Valuable Players and All-State selections in five seasons.  The list included Jackson, Prince, Orville Turner and Palmdale's Jerome Payton.  At one point, AVC won five straight conference championships, and had six straight All-Golden League Most Valuable Players named Foothill Conference Player of the Year.



Women's Basketball


Begun in 1982, with Jane Cwayna as head coach, AVC has had only three coaches, as John Taylor took over the duties in 2000.  The Marauders have had conference champions, in 1989, 1991 and 2003.

            Under Cwayna, possibly the best was Kim Fairchild (1986-88) who at the time set the Marauders career scoring average with a 16.98 points per game average. She also set records for season scoring, rebounding and rebounding average, career points, rebounds and rebounding average.

            Under Lott, who led the 1991 team to a school record 23-8 season and the program's first playoff win, the cream would include Paula Page (1990-91) who broke all the Marauders season and career scoring and rebounding averages, and was the first Marauder named All-State, Sasha Garrison (1992-93) who became the third most proficient scorer and rebounder in AVC history and Andi Boswell (1995-96) who broke the career, season and game three-point field goals records.  Lott’s team made the playoffs five times in ten seasons, and hosted two post-season games in Marauder Gym.

            In just his third season, 2003, Taylor put together AVC's winningest team with a 25-10 record and a perfect 16-0 record in conference.




The Marauder Golf team won three conference championships (1961, 1962, 1974) for this sport which was offered until 1993.  One of the Marauders' best golfers was Steve Applegate (1968-69) a medalist in the 1969 Desert Conference Championship, who shot a 144 over 36 holes, finishing fifth in State championships that same season.  Named the Marauders’ Most Valuable Golfer in 1968 and 1969, Applegate competed in Asian Professional Tour and became the Golf Pro at Antelope Valley Country Club

            Women's golf was added to the Marauder list of sports in 2002.




The Marauder Soccer team began play in 1999, under the guidance of Rene Bielling.  In the four years of existence, the Marauders have finished third each season.  In 2002, Robert Fulbright became the Marauders' head coach.



Beginning in 1986 with Janet Rawlins as coach, softball took a year off after the inaugural season and then returned in 1988 under the guidance of then assistant football coach Gene Pagliaro.  AVC has won eight conference titles (1988, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2002).  The best of the Marauder seasons included a 41-10 season in 1993, when they were ranked fourth in southern California and hosted the regional state playoffs for the only time. On that team was three of the best players in Marauder history: pitcher Angie LePage (1991, 1993) who took MVP honors in 1993, and won 45 games in her two seasons, more than any other Marauder pitcher; Heather Meyer (1993, 1994) who was the 1994 state pitcher of the year, a career ERA of .50 and three no-hitters, and would go on to be the starting pitcher in the 1996 NCAA Championship game for the University of Washington; and Yvette Allen who was a two time First team All-Conference player with a 0.368 batting average and in 1994, a 17 game hitting streak, and a 37-11 season which featured Meyer, Allen and Jody Snelling, who would break 14 Marauder hitting records, including a career .411 batting average, .678 slugging percentage and a 17 game hitting streak.

            Other top players have included Becky Peters (87-89), who had a conference career ERA of 0.51 in 165 innings pitched. In 1989, she was 8-0 with only two earned runs as the Marauders won the program's first conference title. She threw the Marauders' first two no-hitters.  In 1989 she broke the school record with 34 hits in a season, and finished with a .325 career batting average and Kim Farnam (87-89) broke the season stolen base record with 26 and set records for career runs, walks and stolen bases, seasons hits, runs and walks.

            After Pagliaro's retirement after the 2002 season, former players Becky MacQuarrie (neé Peters) and Cindy Vargas (neé Sims) were named as the Marauders' head coach.



Men's Tennis

Begun in 1963, men's tennis did not win any conference titles before the sport was no longer offered in 1993.  Its coaches included Jim Kelly, Greg Madison and Jane Cwayna. 


Women's Tennis

Begun in 1978, women's tennis won one conference title, in 1986, before the sport was no longer offered in 1993.  That 1986 team was coached by Stacy Love (now Bryant) (played 1978-79, coached 1982-87) who was a two-time Central California Conference singles champion and conference doubles champion in 1979, as well as team MVP both seasons.  Greg Madison, Jerry Lewis and Jane Cwayna also coached the women.  In 2001, Barry Green became the head coach for the revitalization of this sport, and as a team finished third in conference.



Track/Cross Country

Overview -- The Marauders have had three coaches for the running sports since 1962.  Austin Jordan was at the helm until 1985, when Dick Curtis took over.  In 1990, Mark Covert,  himself in the Nike (in part for being the first person to wear "Waffle" shoes in competition) and Mt. San Antonio Cross-Country Hall of Fame, became the Marauder coach. 

Men's Track -- Since 1962, the Marauders have won the exact number of conference titles, two, as they have state individual champions.  AVC won titles in 1972 and 1996.  State individual champions include: Mark Davies (1973-74) was the Marauders' first individual State Champion winning the  120 yard high hurdles, running 14.1 to tie own school record in 1974.  He led the Marauders in 1974 Central Conference track championships, winning the 120 yard high hurdles and 440 yard intermediate hurdles and ran relay legs for the quarter mile relay and mile relay, both won by AVC.  Larry Johnson (1991) would be the next Marauder individual champion, winning the hammer. His 199-1 best was the second best in junior college history.  Another top track athlete was Keith Carter (1971-72) who was a 6-2 high jumper for the track team, putting the shot 47-9 and throwing the discus 131-4 1/2.

            The Marauders have had five conference athletes of the year, including Greg Crosley (track, 1990), Mark Sinderson (track, 1994), Bryan Frazier (field, 1994), Charles Patterson (field, 1996) and Jerrick Holmes (field, 2001).

 Women's Track -- Began in 1978, the Marauders have put together three conference championships (1989, 1992, 1993).

            The Marauders have had two state individual champions, Angie Arrington (1991), who won in the discus, and Elizabeth Robinson (1979-80) who won the state championship in the Long Jump (17' 4 1/2") and 100 meter dash (12.7) in 1980.  She also broke all Marauder women’s hurdle records — 100 m high hurdles (14.8) and 400 m intermediate hurdles (70.0), and held then for 15 years. She won nine of ten  individual and team events in Central Conference championships, including all individual events, being named Most Outstanding Women Athlete in both 1979 and 1980 Central Conference championships.  Jean Harvey (1990-91) set the national junior college record in the 10,000 meters, and was the silver medal winner in that event in the junior Pan American Games of 1991.

            The Marauders have had eight conference athletes of the year, including Robinson (1979, 1980), Arrington (field, 1991), Harvey (track, 1991), Regina Burnett (field, 1992), Kim Nellis (track, 1993), Tahara Martin (field, 1993), Debra Gifford (field, 1994) and Jolenne Argandar (track, 1996).

Men's Cross Country -- Begun in 1964, AVC has won five conference titles (1968, 1972, 1973, 1993, 1994). In 1971, AVC was fifth overall in the state meet.  Some of AVC's best were Conrad Lowry (1971) who was first in the Western State Conference meet, setting a then WSC record of 20:35, and was the Marauders' MVP on a squad that was 6-0-1 and second in conference and fifth in state, Charlie Horn (1971), who was third overall in the 1971 state championships and Tim Hampton (1975) who was fifth overall.  Mark Sinderson (1993), Manuel Perales (1994) and Daniel Cobian (2000) were conference athletes of the year, as well as All-State.  Sinderson was also All-State in 1992.

Women's Cross Country -- Begun in 1977, the Marauders have won three conference championships (1992, 1993, 1995).  In 1991, Jean Harvey became the Marauders first individual state champion, and she was the conference's champion and athlete of the year in 1990 and 1991.  In 1978, Robin Tracey was second in the small school state championships.

            The Marauders best finish in the state meet was sixth in 1992.




The Marauders won three conference titles (1962, 1972, 1973), and placed second three other seasons, in a sport which was offered until 1975.  Some of the top performers included Ray Yocum (72-74) who wrestled at the 126 lb. level and was a two time conference champion. In sophomore season, he was second in region and third in state and the year before won the region and was fourth in the state, going undefeated in dual match competition.  He moved on to CS Bakersfield where he was the Division II 126 lb. champion in his senior year; and Robert Martinez (72-74) who won the conference 118 lb title both his years.  He placed fourth in the state in his freshman season, and was sixth in his sophomore year, despite wrestling with a dislocated shoulder.



Begun in 1976 with Jennifer Fernandez as head coach.  In 1981, Jane Cwayna took over as coach, winning conference titles in 1982, 1983, and 1993.  In 1993, AVC was a perfect 18-0 in conference play, and for the first time hosted and won their first round playoff match.  That team featured Aimee Sayles, who was conference player of the year, as well as breaking all the Marauder setting records.  Another top Marauder was Heidi Roarty (90-91) who broke school records in career kills, perfect passes and aces, season kills, perfect passes and aces and was named to First team All-conference team in both seasons.  In 1998 and 1999, the Marauder kill records were obliterated by Jennifer Keating.  Keating was the first Marauder to get 400 kills in a career, and was first in the state in kills per game in 1998.