Sierra Football: Winning and Staying Healthy One Day at a Time

Sunny sky and football players lined up in distance, cloud patterns in wavy shapes

Ever since March, community colleges, our country, and the world have been different. The COVID-19 Pandemic has taken its toll on everybody and it will continue to do so until a vaccine is invented. Now that it is right in the thick of football season, when is the Sierra College football team going to play?  With the NFL and NCAA playing on Saturdays and Sundays it raises the question as to when Community Colleges will start playing again.

Given the current state of the pandemic, it is uncertain when sports will continue at the community college level. To get a better perspective, I met with Sierra College wide receiver and quarterback duo, Matt Smart and Qyntyn Pilcher, on Zoom.

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Career and Transfer Connections: Changing with the Times

Many students on campus are already aware of the various resources available at their disposal, such as the library or financial aid. However, one area that less people know about is Career and Transfer Connections. Since Sierra College is a career-based school, it only makes sense to have a team of people who help students with their plans after they graduate. Whether a student wants to transfer or go into the workforce, this team is here to guide them.

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Playing at a Different Level: The Success of the Sierra Football Program at Moving its Players to the Next Level

Four Sierra College Alumni. (Top Left) Brandon Aiyuk WR 49ers, (Top Right) Vince Mayle TE Browns/Cowboys/Ravens/Chargers, (Bottom Left) Devin Gray WR Falcons, (Bottom Right) Devante Bond OLB Buccaneers/Bears. Graphic by Alex Huddleston.

For most young athletes, the dreams and aspirations for their athletic journey end with performing their craft at the professional level. This journey can take many twists and turns. After high school, many highly scouted football players might get scholarships to play at a big name NCAA Division I University.

However, some of those Friday night lights heroes can be overlooked by the big schools and end up starting their college football career at a local community college. From there they have to work as hard as they can in order to be able to transfer to one of those big name schools.

According to the Sierra College Football official website, there have been ninety-three players who have transferred from the Sierra football program to a four year university since 2013. This does not include those who have or are planning to transfer after this year.

Four of these talented players not only made it to the next level, but they achieved their goal of playing at the top level in the NFL. On October 9th, I spoke over Zoom to Sierra’s own head football coach and the biggest fuel tank that pushes this program to its success, Coach Ben Noonan, about what his involvement is with getting these players to the next level.

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Building an Honor’s Society at Sierra College

Students making chalk art

“Congrats! You qualify to join the Honor Society.” This is the email students receive when they have completed 12 units and earned a 3.5 or higher-grade point average at the end of a semester. It’s an email with the potential to set students up for scholarship opportunities, help students develop leadership skills, gain lifelong friends and so much more.

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Study Drugs: Be Informed and Consider the Alternatives

Student holding head behind open laptop

It’s no secret that the college experience has included experimentation with drugs. When I think of drug use on campus, I picture sitting in circles on a grassy hill, smoking joints, trading revolutionary ideas, and experimenting with psychedelics like LSD. Fast forward a few decades and what you get is a complex drug problem that exists in colleges around the country, and the new juggernaut is the prescription drug trade.

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A Tribute to Dr. Reyes Ortega

The above 13-minute video features an interview with Dr. Reyes Ortega about his work with the Puente program at Sierra College and his legacy as he enters into retirement. After the interview in the video, two former students share personal tributes. In the written article below, other former students pay tribute to their transformative teacher and offer advice to future students.

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Consent Posters: The Sexual Violence Dialogue at Sierra College

It’s 11:00 a.m. on Monday, and I’ve been sitting in the Sierra College cafeteria with my friend Lindsey since 9:30 a.m. When we first entered the cafeteria, it was dimly lit and the smell of bacon permeated the air. To our right there were students lined up to pay for breakfast as we scanned the area for an open table to sit at. It was mostly vacant, and we began walking by the grey square tables looking for the one that had the least amount of food on it. It was fairly quiet, except for a loud group that had pushed two tables together and must have discovered the key to being fully awake on a Monday morning. As time goes by more people come in and the noise begins to increase, as singular voices turn into a woven tapestry of words and constant noise.
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Connecting the Corners of Sierra Through Story: The Founding of Roundhouse News and Review

Roundhouse's founding team (missing Tricia Caspers)

“I don’t want a single one of you to leave here tonight thinking you’ve done anything other than kick some serious butt this semester,” laughed Alex Zenner, the president of Roundhouse News and Review. She addressed the attentive crowd of 40 family, friends and local supporters gathered to celebrate the launch of Sierra College’s latest online intercultural news publication. “Tonight, we shared in ideas of what Roundhouse can become – a place for community, a place for voices of all kinds. I couldn’t be more proud of us.” Students on the founding editorial team shared knowing smiles, understanding our term developing Roundhouse, a collective brainchild, was coming to close.

“Yet, this is just the beginning,” I thought, gazing at the crowd. “Roundhouse is public now. The site doesn’t belong to just us anymore. It’s for everyone.” As Roundhouse’s Community Engagement and Communications Director, I connected the editorial team and the public through graphic design, in-person meetings, food and email. In short, my job was to listen to the stories, interests and values of Sierra community members.
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Tokyo Darling

Every morning, Haruka Ogawa would wake up to the sight of string lights above her dorm room bed, an experience so uniquely American for her. As she stepped out into the cold air to get ready for her day, her eyes would catch the memories of her old life hanging on the walls — a group photograph of her dance team, or a snapshot of her graduation ceremony from her high school back in Japan.

Just a few months prior, Ogawa was living in a suburban city outside of Tokyo, visiting the bustling metropolis each weekend with her friends. She was used to the colors, the sights, and the sounds of the place she grew up. Now she was walking through a campus of unfamiliar trees and faces, in a country where everyone spoke an unfamiliar tongue.

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