Student-Athletes Honored For All-Star Achievements


Balancing academics and athletics has been a long-standing challenge for many college students. On Tuesday, May 11th, Golden West College’s Athletic Department honored 65 of their student-athletes for academic excellence as well as athletic ability. To be considered for these awards, GWC athletes must maintain a 3.0 GPA in their academic classes (excluding PE classes).

As the Rustlers enter the Super Regionals as the top seed team this weekend, Baseball Head Coach Villarreal gave out 10 academic awards, with special mention to four All-Star Scholarship players: Dillon Persinger, Anthony J. Dean, Octavio Lara, and Chris Gilbody. Standout player, Dillon Persinger is Orange Empire Conference Player of the Year, State Player of the Week (three times), and All-State Academic Team (CCCBCA) and received a scholarship to attend Cal State Fullerton in the fall. Other players transferring to universities are Anthony J. Dean (Maryville University), Octavio Lara (Cal State Dominguez), and Chris Gilbody (Cal State Los Angeles).

Football Head Coach Nick Mitchell awarded 15 of his players with their academic awards. Seven members of this year’s team are headed to four-year universities, including Jang-Hwan Hong (USC), Frank Larriva (Fort Lewis University), Alex Ojelabi (Cal Poly Pomona), Brooks Roberts (Oklahoma State), Quest Truxton (Washington State), Jordan Veasy (UC Berkeley), and Bryan Ortega (South Dakota Mines and Technology).

Other men’s sports teams that honored their members were soccer (two awards), track & cross country (three awards), volleyball (one award) and water polo and swim (nine awards). Rustler sophomore and All-American swimmer Nathan Torres will be transferring to USC in the fall.

photo of Gayle Fenton and Albert Gasparian

Gayle Fenton with Albert Gasparian, Dean.

The women Rustlers had an equally impressive season with their Scholar-Athletes. Coach Suzy Brazney handed out three awards to her softball players, while seven of the women’s soccer team received awards and three for track and cross country team. Coach Bill Lawler honored seven of his players for beach and indoor volleyball. Sophomore Megan Sanchez will be transferring to Chapman University and Antoni Perry Livingston will be in the Master’s program at Cal State Dominguez Hills. Standout player Jasmine Hogan received a scholarship to play with the Bruins this fall at UCLA.

Women’s Swim and Dive Coach Mark Schubert handed out five Scholar-Athlete awards at the ceremony. Water Polo player and sophomore Maddie Carreon will be transferring to USC in the fall. Conference Swimmer for 2015-16 and All-American swimmer Madison Varsico will be transferring to either USC or UCSD this fall.

All of the coaches thanked GWC staff member Gayle Fenton for her role in the Student-Athlete Success program and providing support for the Rustler athletes. Gayle said, “this celebration showcases that our student-athletes can do it all; on the field, in the pool, in the gym and especially in the classroom. So many GWC successful scholar-athletes were honored today. It truly demonstrates how important the efforts of our Athletics Department is in the total academic and athletic experience for our students while they are a part of GWC.”