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Monday, August 10, 2020

Top 5 athletes to look for next semester

FOOTBALL-OFFENSE

Earl Hargrove, sophomore

6’2- Wide Receiver

South Philadelphia, PA

Description: Hargrove is expected to do great things this upcoming fall. He follows a long line of Philadelphia natives that have become star wide receivers at Pierce. First it was Jaelen Strong who is now at Arizona State having a prosperous career for the Sun Devils and was among the top wide receivers in the Pac-12 conference. Then it was Tyrin Stone-Davis who will be headed to Illinois in June. With a season under his belt, Hargrove was slow to learn the offense at the beginning of last season but blossomed down the stretch. His 6’2 frame along with his strong upper body, tremendous speed and agility will make him Pierce’s favorite target this year offensively. Combined with his offseason regimen where he has been studying more film, developing his football I.Q. and most importantly learning the offense, Hargrove hopes to become “Earl the Pearl.”

Head coach Efrain Martinez: “Earl Hargrove will continue the line of dominant wide receivers we have had here at Pierce College. He played last year, but last year he was just learning the offense. Now he’s learned the offense and now he is going to excel even more. He is going to be getting a lot of attention as being one of the best wide receivers in the country. He’s got the body type of one of the better wide receivers that we have had here in the past and that is Damon Julian. Julian coached him last year and I see Earl move and I say ‘Wow, That’s Damon Julian.’ So I call him ‘Little Damon’ because he’s got that big physical body type that you need to succeed at this level.”

Offensive Coordinator Jason Sabolic: “Hargrove was a valuable weapon last year until he got injured midway through the year and it was kind of tough for him to come back. But this year he has really rededicated himself and is a physical specimen. As far as his rededication, it has happened in the weight room and you can really see his body transform. Now him along with the other wide receivers last year that were freshman, now sophomores that have that year under their belt, understand the offense. They know exactly where they need to be and it just makes for a good coupling. Comparing Earl [Hargrove] to Julian [Damon] is a great comparison, but Damon liked to block and we’ll see if Earl will be as physical as Damon was. We’ll see, but there’s no doubt in my mind that he can play at the Division I level.”

FOOTBALL-DEFENSE

Jay’Onn Myles, sophomore

5’8- Cornerback/Kick Return and Punt Return

Palmdale, California

Description: Poise and leadership in a nutshell pretty much describes the Brahmas defensive leader this past season. Myles made a splash from the get go in his freshman season, during the second game of the season against Mt. San Jacinto he returned a 58 yard punt for a touchdown. Myles then had a 98 yard extra point return on a blocked kick for two points. That game would highlight a year in which Myles had 28 tackles as well as four interceptions to make him one of the most recognized corners at the community college level despite being only 5’8. Myles played a large part in the Brahmas victory in the American Bowl Championship game by recording one of his four interceptions which helped Pierce hold Chaffey to only 179 passing yards. Myles will be looking for another successful year, he already has offers from many Division I schools including Arizona State, University of Arizona and University of Southern California. Expect him to be the glue that holds the Brahmas together, whether it is on special teams or guarding the best wideout on the field.

Head coach Efrain Martinez: “He’s one of the hardest working guys that we have on defense. He’s one of our returning leaders that we will be able to count on this year to help us lead our team. We are really excited about him, his future is bright. He is definitely a Division I prospect. He conducts himself very well. He’s a very well spoken kid. He’s a role model and that’s typically what you want out of every junior college kid. The kid is a role model student-athlete. Everybody should be like him.”

Defensive Coordinator Kort Huettinger: “Jay’Onn is a great corner and he’s a great leader on the team. He knows how to lock people down, he knows how to stand up for the guys but he also knows how to get on the guys when they need to do their work proper. He saved us a lot last year with the field goal returns when teams would kick them short and he would block them. He had a couple of great returns that decided some games and helped us win a lot. In the bowl game against Chaffey he locked down one of their main wide receivers. For his size he has got the biggest heart because he’s not that tall but he’s got the biggest heart out of anyone on this team and he can ‘D’ up a 6’6 receiver or a 5’2 receiver it doesn’t matter. He’s smart, he knows how to read the ball and he knows how to read the quarterback. He is an undersized corner but he knows how to jump and get the ball out of the wide receiver’s hands and he knows how to play to his height and use it as an advantage. He definitely takes the advantage away, you wouldn’t even know he was 5’8.”

WATER POLO

Sierra Marroquin-sophomore

5’3- Utility

Burbank, California

Description: Marroquin will be leading the Brahmas women’s water polo team, a team that is only in its third season. Despite the program being in its infancy, the Brahmas in water have won two consecutive Western State Conference championships. They won a title in its opening season in 2012 and then shared the title with Los Angeles Valley College in 2013. Marroquin was thrown into the pool in high school after growing up playing baseball and being on Burroughs High School’s team. Followed by offseason pool workouts with her teammates she was cut from the baseball team, made the switch and it has been water polo ever since for the Burbank native. Despite being only 5’3 she has one of the strongest set of arms on the team as Pierce looks for its third conference title in water polo.

Outgoing sophomore utility Darby Schuett: “Sierra has an insanely hard shot and her no-look shot is crazy, one of the best I have ever seen.”

Soccer

Diana Argueta-sophomore

5’3- Midfielder/Forward

Reseda, California

Description: Diana Argueta was one of the most underrated and underlooked players during the Brahmas’ successful season last year. Argueta led the Pierce College women’s soccer team to a Western State Conference title, its first conference title in three years. Her passing ability is one of her biggest strengths along with her decision making in offense and defense combined with her defensive prowess, which made Pierce one of the best stories of the year. The team started the season losing three of its first four games, yet they were able to turn it around and make it into one of the most successful runs in recent memory. To go along with the conference title, the Brahmas made it to the second round of playoffs for only the second time in the program’s history. With a new incoming freshman squad that has been highly touted by head coach Adolfo Perez, she’ll be the experience and leadership Pierce will need in order to maximize that potential.

Perez: “The sky’s the limit for Diana. She’s one of the best holding defensive midfielderss that Pierce has had and that is saying a lot considering the amount of success Pierce has had throughout the years. She is the glue from the middle and the one that links the midfield to our forwards. Her success is not measured on her stats. Her ability to win the ball and then produce immediate offense after that is incredible. She’s a quiet leader, she leads by example. There are examples of vocal leaders and there are leaders who are not vocal and she’s one of them. But her impact will be felt.”

Assistant Coach William Diaz: “Diana is a very talented player that has the ability to be the best player in our conference as a center-mid. Last year she was the mold that kept everything together and held a midfield line and put it together. She was the missing piece that we needed there and she came in and solidified a line that made a big impact during games.”

Women’s Volleyball

Sage McClain- sophomore.

6’0 Middle/Opposite

Oak Park, California

Description: Sage McClain will be given the task to help lead the Brahmas women’s volleyball team that for the first time in three years showed they weren’t invincible. After three consecutive state titles, they struggled and showed that they were not the same dominant team. Although they won a share of the Western State Conference title, they were soon ousted in the first round, leaving head coach Nabil Mardini searching for answers. Luckily for him, McClain was one of those answers. She has really developed her skills over the past year by showing massive improvements in her passing as well as in her defense. Whether it is at the net or tracking a ball that is tailing away, McClain does her best to not let a point slip away. McClain has also taken the role of being the chief organizer both on and off court, leading the team whether it is in workouts or making sure that Ken Stanley Court stays pristine. Overall, with her improved skills as well as a highly touted freshman class hand-picked by Mardini, expect this season’s squad to forget about the doldrums of last year’s often sporadic play.

Mardini: “Sage along with other girls has shown massive improvements. She has better speed on her arm swing. She is a critical asset if you want to make a switch to the left side. We’re thinking about maybe changing her to an outside hitter, we’re thinking about it. But it is too early for me to decide on the court. I like what Sage is doing. She is doing a good job of leading the girls and she continues to be very positive. She is always positive. We do need to work on her confidence a little bit and she knows that. She just needs to be a little bit more aggressive and cocky. Her volleyball I.Q. is a lot better and she understands the intricacies of leading a team. Just being the leader on and off the court. She is very vocal about it, but her overall game and everybody else’s game is so much better.”

Ethan Hanson
Staff Reporter - Fall 2013 Sports Editor - Spring 2014, Fall 2014

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