Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Needham selected by Mariners in 2017 MLB Draft

Edmonds Community College infielder Zach Needham was selected in the 2017 Major League Baseball first-year player draft on Wednesday, June 14. The sophomore was taken in the 40th round and becomes the 70th Triton baseball player drafted from the college. The Puyallup High School product had a huge year for Edmonds CC after recovering from injuries in his freshman campaign, and this past fall. Needham led the NWAC regular season in home runs (10) and RBI (55), and was fifth in batting average (.373). He has received a number of awards recognizing his performance on the field this year: Triton Baseball MVP, Triton Athletics Male Athlete of the Year, ABCA Pacific Association All-NWAC 1st-team infielder, and the Baden Sports NWAC Player of the Year.

Zach Needham was drafted by the Seattle Mariners on June 14
Needham has already signed a scholarship to the University of Houston, a NCAA D-I school that competes in the American Athletic Conference. The Cougars, who tallied 42 wins this spring and took the regular season and conference tournament title, hosted an NCAA Regional for the second time in three years this spring and were one run short of heading to the Super Regional round. Right-handed pitcher Alec Kisena was the last Triton to be taken in the draft when he was picked by the Detriot Tigers in 2015 (16th round).

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Triton Athletics holds annual awards ceremony

EdCC President, Dr. Jean Hernandez
The Edmonds Community College Athletics department held their fifth annual end of the year banquet and awards ceremony on Tuesday, June 6. This year's format was changed to include a guest speaker, and the location was moved to Woodway Hall on campus to accommodate the catered meal provided by the college's culinary arts department. Special guests were recognized, which included former athletic director/vice president of student services and NWAC Hall of Famer George Smith, and outgoing Edmonds CC president Dr. Jean Hernandez. Hernandez, who has been a loyal supporter of athletics, has announced her retirement effective December 31, 2017.

Season Recap
Four Triton teams qualified for the postseason in 2016-17. Volleyball clinched their first playoff berth since 2008 after defeating Olympic College in a tie-breaker game at home. The Tritons saw a 22-win improvement from last season, and were victorious against Pierce at the championships before losing a three-set thriller to Umpqua CC. Men's soccer kept their playoff streak intact, earning their department-leading 11th consecutive postseason appearance. In their opener, they rode sophomore Mohamed Elmoghrbi's two goals to upset Clark College 2-1 in overtime. They bowed out against CC of Spokane in the quarterfinals; Spokane later fell in the NWAC championship game to Tacoma 2-1. Softball was back at the NWAC championships for the second straight year after a 10-year drought, and won a game at the tournament for the second year in a row before losing to Bellevue College. The Tritons finished second in the North Region and tied a school record with 35 wins. The program also had two players honored as National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) All-Americans for the first time in school history -- Seli Aholelei (pitcher), and Kamryn Kanae (outfielder). Baseball was a playoff qualifier for the fifth consecutive year, but was unable to advance past the Super Regionals. Two players, outfielder Guthrie Morrison and infielder Zach Needham, were honored with All-NWAC recognition. Morrison captured an All-NWAC Gold Glove, and Needham was named to the ABCA/Rawlings Pacific Association All-Region team.

Seven Tritons earned accolades from the NWAC throughout the year with Player of the Week honors: 
  • Courtney Anthony - NWAC Volleyball Player of the Week (September 14)
  • Mohamed Elmoghrbi - NWAC Soccer Player of the Week (September 14)
  • Natasha Valentine - NWAC North Defensive Player of the Week 
  • Sydney Lawrence - NWAC North Offensive Player of the Week
  • Pepe Hernandez - NWAC Men's Basketball Player of the Week (January 23)
  • Seli Aholelei - NWAC Softball Player of the Week (March 27)
  • Nathaniel Sagdahl - NWAC Baseball Player of the Week (April 10)
  • Seli Aholelei - NWAC Softball Pitcher of the Week (May 3)
For a full list of all the Edmonds CC student-athletes that were Tritons of the Week, go here.

NWAC Executive Director, Marco Azurdia
NWAC Executive Director Marco Azurdia was the guest speaker and gave a speech about how what you talk about can lead to success. He suggested that the words "but" and "try" should not be in an athlete's vocabulary. His message was summed up at the conclusion of his speech when he said, "Do what needs to be done. Do it when it needs to be done, and do it as well as it can be done." Azurdia, the former basketball coach, athletic director, dean, and vice president of student services at Wenatchee Valley College, was given the Triton Athletics Exemplary Leadership Award for his efforts in taking the conference to another level since his arrival at the NWAC office in 2011.  

The NWAC recognizes sophomores with Academic Excellence Awards for those earning at least a 3.25 cumulative GPA with a minimum of 36 credits earned. Tritons who received Academic Excellence awards:
  • Chiagozie Ezeokeke - Men's Basketball (3.3)
  • Ali Carney - Volleyball (3.3)
  • Lalia Gonzalez - Volleyball (3.52)
  • Issac Ensz - Men's Soccer (3.56)
  • Michele Bodzewski - Women's Soccer (3.97)
  • Micah Chinen - Baseball (3.51)
  • Rob Lawler - Baseball (3.37)
  • Griffin Meyers - Baseball (3.54)
  • Christian Miller - Baseball (3.51)
  • Zach Needham - Baseball (3.27)
  • Emma Bollinger - Baseball (3.54)
  • Melissa Eik - Softball (3.25)
  • Reagan Ingersoll - Softball (3.41)
  • Kamryn Kanae - Softball (3.38)
Additionally, over fall and winter quarters, 32 Triton student-athletes earned at least a 3.5 GPA.

Below is a breakdown of each sport's all-region teams, and the men's and women's soccer all-stars.
Men's & Women's Soccer | Men's & Women's Soccer All-StarsVolleyball | Baseball | Softball

Two Tritons were also honored at the NWAC Banquet in Salem, Ore. on June 1. Women's soccer sophomore Michele Bodzewski was the recipient of the Red Lion Women's Scholarship Award, and baseball sophomore Zach Needham was selected as the Baden Sports NWAC Baseball Player of the Year. Bodzewski's award is the first ever for a Triton; the last baseball player to receive the NWAC Player of the Year was outfielder T.C. Florentine in 2014. He later moved on to finish a stellar career at Santa Clara University after Edmonds.
Zach Needham
Michele Bodzewski

Here's a list of the individual program awards and Athletes of the Year
Female Athlete of the Year
Kamryn Kanae (Softball)
Male Athlete of the Year
Zach Needham (Baseball)
Softball MVP
Paige Matsuki
Coach’s Award
Bailee Senner
Men’s Basketball MVP
Chiagozie Ezokeke
Coach’s Award
Sheldon Hutt
Women’s Soccer MVP
Michele Bodzewski
Coach’s Award
Kylie Morse
Men’s Soccer MVP
Mohamed Elmoghrbi
Coach’s Award
Issac Ensz
Volleyball MVP
Sydney Lawrence
Coach’s Award
Maci Magri
Women’s Basketball MVP
Katie Rodriguez
Coach’s Award
Sudana Moyong
Baseball MVP
Zach Needham
Coach’s Award
Taylor Poffenroth

Ron Newton
Three special recognition awards were also given out near the end of the evening. Coach Ron Newton received the Triton Athletics Special Appreciation Award for his service to the athletic department. Newton assisted the men's basketball program for three seasons before filling in to lead the women's basketball program as interim head coach. He was a key part of the men's program reaching the NWAC title game twice in three years. Newton later stayed on for two years as the head coach of the women's squad and helped stabilize the program while also mentoring new women's head coach Eric Ensign. Newton will resume assistant coaching duties with the men's basketball team next season.

Ron Omori
The inaugural Ron Omori Assistant Coach of the Year Award was bestowed upon longtime baseball assistant coach Ron Omori, who's time in the Triton dugout has spanned nearly 20 years. Omori has been a part of 5 NWAC championships at Edmonds and was the first individual inducted into the Triton Baseball Hall of Fame in 2014. He has never received a dime from the college and has embodied the type of commitment that is required to be a successful assistant coach at the two-year level. The assistant coach of the year award will be given out annually and now bears his name.

Jorge de la Torre
New Edmonds CC Dean for Student Success/Student Life and Development, and former athletic director Jorge de la Torre, was given the Servant Leadership Award for his contributions to Triton Athletics over the past 4 1/2 years. De la Torre led a major turnaround for the athletic programs after landing the athletic director job in the fall of 2012. He inherited only one program that was a playoff qualifier and in just two years helped the Edmonds CC to win the 2014-15 Maury Ray Athletic Director's Cup, which goes to the athletic department with the most on field success overall. Under De la Torre there was significant academic and facility improvements, and new level of professionalism. The Tritons are now recognized as having best of class game management and an outstanding game day experience for student-athletes in the NWAC.

All the pictures from the banquet are posted on the athletics Facebook page. The awards ceremony capped off another successful year for EdCC. Fall sports (volleyball, men's soccer, and women's soccer) begin official practice on August 1.