After 500 Wins (former Cougar) Brian Whitaker Still Teaches Baseball 'the right way'
By Ed Graney, Las Vegas Review-Journal
The game wasn’t going all that well — one of those days, is all — and yet every player wearing a Silverado High baseball uniform sprinted on and off the field as if his future on the roster depended on setting personal bests in the 100-yard dash.
The last time I saw kids exert this much energy around a diamond was years ago, when my son’s T-Ball team discovered someone had delivered cupcakes to the dugout. One kid actually swung at the ball, took a step toward first base and bolted for the double-chocolate with sprinkles.
Might have been my kid.
I’ll never tell.
Brian Whitaker didn’t do much running last week, and I’m not sure he was in the mood for sweets as his team lost to Basic 11-3, instead making lineup and pitching changes with the sort of calming stroll of a man confident in his approach.
You know, because 500 wins will do that for a guy.
Full Story Click Here
Cougar Athletics Raises Money at Triple Play Dinner
By Matt Henry, Midway Driller Sports Writer
January 26, 2016
TAFT-There are many ways to raise money. The Taft College Athletics Department found a fun way to do so this past Friday night when they hosted the third annual Triple Play Dinner highlighted by former Los Angeles Dodgers knuckleball pitcher Charlie Hough in the Auditorium of The Fort.
“Doing the fundraiser for a local junior college is very important,” said Hough. “This is where our players come from. We all started in stuff like this. ”
Hough found out about the fundraiser through George Culver of Bakersfield who was a teammate of his. On the flip side, Cougar baseball coach Vince Maiocco got in touch with Culver who put him in touch with Hough.
After a 25-year career playing for the Dodgers, Texas Rangers, Chicago White Sox and Florida Marlins, Hough who was famous for his knuckleball is currently a senior advisor of Player Development for the Los Angeles Dodgers. According to Hough, he works with young pitchers.
The Triple Play dinner started with those in attendance getting a chance to mingle around and having the chance to take part in a silent auction that included items like Golden State Warriors’ Klay Thompson’s autographed hat and an autographed baseball from Orel Hershiser.
Once the event got underway Taft College Athletic Director Kanoe Bandy welcomed the large crowd and introduced the Cougar baseball and softball teams. Pastor Mike Osthimer of Calvary Chapel in Bakersfield then read a prayer that is in the baseball Hall of Fame and gave a prayer of his own.
Dinner was served to the large crowd with the Taft College baseball and softball players doing the serving and Salty’s restaurant providing the catering.
Following dinner a live auction was held with Maiocco’s brother, Matt Maiocco, doing the emceeing with three prizes auctioned off-a framed poster of Hank Aaron’s 715th home run with autographed balls from Aaron and the pitcher Al Downing.
Also a timeshare was auctioned off with the final bid going for $2900. The live auction was only going to be three things but the owner of Salty’s offered a catering of 50 people that went for $1000.
After the auction, Matt Maiocco, who is a San Francisco 49’ers Insider for Comcast Sports Net Bay Area and Hough sat in a pair of chairs with Maiocco interviewing Hough and Hough telling stories about his career ranging from how he started throwing the knuckleball to a story about former Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda to advice for the Cougar baseball and softball players.
“We’re always searching for ways to raise money,” said Vince Maiocco. “It’s a really neat event.”
According to Maiocco, the event doesn’t just raise money for the baseball and softball programs but for all of the sports programs at Taft College.
Academic All Conference Team - Fall 2015:
CONGRATULATIONS to the following student athletes have satisfied the fall 2015 Central Valley Conference requirements for the academic all-conference awards. These student athletes have excelled academically with a grade point average of 3.0 or above, on a 4.0 scale in at least 12 semester units while successfully participating in a season of sport. To see the list of qualifiers, click
Taft College Set to Honor First Hall of Fame Class
By Jeff Evans, Bakersfield Californian - firstname.lastname@example.org
Taft College is about to honor its past.
The west Kern County community college will hold its inaugural Taft College Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Nov. 7.
“With the rich history here at Taft College, it was believed we should begin to honor individuals who have had a major impact on the college,” said Kanoe Bandy, the college’s athletic director and volleyball coach who is co-chair of the Hall of Fame committee.
The inaugural inductees are Larry Peahl and Don Zumbro in the distinguished administrator category, John Miller and the late Jack McCall for extraordinary service, the late Al Baldock for outstanding coach, Amanda Smith for outstanding female athlete and the 1982 football team in the outstanding team category.
Former Cougar, Tiffany Mapusaga Named GNAC Player of the Week
From St. Joseph University, Connecticut
September 21, 2015
WEST HARTFORD, Conn. – University of Saint Joseph senior Tiffany Mapusaga (Waianae, Haw.) was named Great Northeast Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Week for the period ending Sept. 20, it was announced Monday.
Mapusaga, the 2014 GNAC Offensive Player of the Year, claimed her first weekly honor of the season. She had 37 kills in 11 sets over three matches against only seven hitting errors on 91 attacks for a .330 hitting percentage. She also had 31 digs and served five aces to lead USJ to a 3-0 week.
Mapusaga had 15 kills and 14 digs in a four-set win over Mitchell and 15 kills (on only 30 swings) and 11 digs in a big GNAC win over Suffolk Saturday. She is presently fifth in the GNAC at 2.81 kills per set.
USJ (5-3 overall, 1-1 GNAC) next plays Thur. Sept. 24 when it hosts Daniel Webster at the O’Connell Center in a non-conference match at 7 p.m.
Academic All Conference Team - Spring 2015:
The following student athletes have satisfied the spring 2015 Central Valley Conference requirements for the academic all-conference awards. These student athletes have excelled academically with a grade point average of 3.0 or above, on a 4.0 scale in at least 12 semester units while successfully participating in a season of sport: More
TC Announces Inductees for First Hall of Fame Class
By Dennis McCall
Taft Midway Driller
June 24, 2015
Taft College will induct six individuals, two of them posthumously, and a team into its inaugural Hall of Fame. Click the link below for the whole story.
The Taft College athletic department is looking for individuals who were on either the 1982 Football team or the 1996 volleyball team. Please contact Jennifer Edmaiston at 661-763-7829 or email@example.com.
Miguel Ibarra - Face of the United Franchise
Miguel Ibarra helps put Minnesota United FC on the map
By David LA Vaque Star Tribune
May 31, 2015 — 10:43pm
They watch and cheer back home in Lancaster, Calif., where his love for soccer took root. Former coaches and teammates from his alma maters Taft College and the University of California, Irvine meet around televisions or computers and marvel. Even veteran Minnesota United FC teammates can feel like fans in Miguel Ibarra’s presence.
An explosive midfielder with great speed and stamina, Ibarra took a unique and circuitous path from an unknown to the 2014 North American Soccer League most valuable player. Bigger still, last fall he became the first player from a second-tier league in North America to receive a national team call-up in a decade.
The kid who could not garner Division I college interest out of high school found his jersey hanging next to Landon Donovan’s in the locker room. Clint Dempsey presented Ibarra, once cut by Portland of Major League Soccer, a ball signed by the U.S. team after his first appearance in an international match.
Spring Sports Banquet
The Taft College Athletic Department held its Spring Sports Banquet on Sunday, May 3, 2015 to recognize the hard work and dedication of our athletes who participated on the women’s basketball team and the baseball team.
Click here for the full gallery. Pictures courtesy of Mahea Maui.
Kanoe Bandy Given Top Soroptimist Honor
March 3, 2015
Taft Midway Driller
Kanoe Bandy was given one of the highest honors Soroptimist International bestows – The Soroptimist Ruby Award.
Bandy is a Taft College professor, coach, administrator and mentor to the student athletes she coaches and was honored Tuesday (March 3) by the Taft Soroptimist Club.
She was introduced by Taft College President, Dena Maloney and was clearly moved by the honor.
“It’s beyond any kind of thanks that I could give,” she said. “It’s humbling, and it’s humbling being here with you.”
Bandy is well known for enlisting the volleyball players she coaches to get involved in community service, like holiday food drives and helping at Fort luaus.
“I have found we teach and learn more through service,” she said.
Bandy and her volleyball team always help with fundraising for the American Cancer Society, especially in Breast Cancer Awareness.
It’s a cause that is especially important to her.
Her younger sister – Li’i Pearl – died of cancer. She was an assistant coach with Kanoe and taught her big sister an important lesson about coaching.
“She taught me to do it because I love it,” Kanoe told the Soroptimists.
Bandy began her career at Taft College in 1987, but attended the school as a student athlete in the early 1980’s.
She has coached softball and volleyball, and since 1996 has been the TC Athletic Director.
Bandy attended the luncheon with her husband Don Bandy and colleague Tony Thompson.
Since Li’i’ s death, Thompson has been driving the volleyball team bus.
Each season, when they travel to Porterville, they stop at the site of a drunk driving crash that killed a member of the team, Katie Owens, who was home for there over the semester break. Kanoe gets out, places candles and ribbons at the site, and talks to the team about Katie.
It is the type of teaching that makes Bandy stand out.
Former West Kern Community College District Board of Trustees member, Carolyn Hosking emphasized that.
“She develops the total person, not just the athlete,” Hosking said.
Hosking has attended many TC volleyball games and is impressed with Bandy’s style.
“I have never seen her show anything but respect for those girls,” Hosking said.
The Ruby Award includes a cash donation to the charity of the recipients choice.
Bandy donated the money back to the Soroptimist Critical Access Program which helps pay for gas and travel costs for Taft residents who need to travel for medical treatments.
TC Baseball Retires #10 Jersey of Tony Thompson
February 12, 2015
Taft Midway Driller
Former Taft College baseball coach, Tony Thompson got a surprise last week when the school retired his jersey number at a ceremony before the Cougars played College of the Siskiyous.
Thompson, left, received a plaque from current coach Vince Maiocco and watched as players unveiled a large sign in left field marking the occasion.
Thompson coached from 1988-2004 and currently serves as the school’s Academic Advisor for Athletes.
Men's Soccer Team Recieves Certificate of Recognition
Taft College’s men’s soccer team took center stage at Tuesday’s Taft City Council meeting. Coach Angelo Cutrona (below left) recounted some of the successes in the 2014 season that saw the Cougars finish with a 22-1-2 record, a Central Valley Conference championship and a trip the California Final Four. (Below right) Cutrona, with Taft College President Dena Maloney, team captain Edgar Rodriguez, Athletic Director Kanoe Bandy, women’s soccer coach Myisha Cutrona and Vice President of Student Services Darcy Bogle, accepted a certificate of recognition from Mayor Randy Miller.
Academic All Conference Team - Fall 2014:
The following student athletes have satisfied the fall 2014 Central Valley Conference requirements for the academic all-conference awards. These student athletes have excelled academically with a grade point average of 3.0 or above, on a 4.0 scale in at least 12 semester units while successfully participating in a season of sport: More
Van Stone Signs with Hawaii Pacific University
Cougar’s starting pitcher Brandon Van Stone is the first baseball player this year to commit to a four year university. After a very strong freshman year Brandon was contacted by Hawaii Pacific, a Division 2 school in Honolulu, early this fall. It didn’t take him long to fully commit.
Congratulations to Brandon Van Stone!
37 student athletes graduated in the Class of 2013 ceremony on Friday, May 24, 2013.
Madison Lawley Honored by Soroptimist
Soroptimist International of Taft presented Madison Lawley, Taft College sophomore student/athlete with the Young Women of Achievement Award at a luncheon on May 14, 2013.
Every year, Soroptimist International of Taft contacts local schools in the area for the names of young ladies from each grade, 7-14, who have demonstrated outstanding qualities. Taft College’s Madison Lawley received the honor for grade 14.
Taft College Student/Athlete, Edgar Contreras signs with UCLA
Lamont, Calif. (Taft College/Arvin HS)
Defender - 6-0, 185
Transfer from Taft College who will enter the 2013 season as a junior...attended Taft for two years, playing under head coach Angelo Cutrona...named the CVC Defender of the Year and was a second-team NSCAA All-American while at Taft...attended Arvin High School (Arvin, Calif.), playing soccer under head coach Mauricio Lobos and football under head coach Edgar Mares...earned All-League honors in soccer at Arvin. More