Skippers Esports looks to continue its success in the fall

The St. Clair County Community College Esports team found tremendous success in its inaugural season, claiming three top-four finishes this past April in the National Junior College Athletic Association Rocket League and Super Smash Bros. tournaments.

Skippers Jarod Graham and Mitchell Lumpford finished second in the country in the doubles for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Graham finished fourth in the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate single player tournament. Kylar Marinez, David Roy and Philip Winterbauer finished fourth in the country in Rocket League.

The teams were launched in the fall, and through their first season continued to grow under the direction of coach James “Jimmer” Jordan. When COVID-19 closed campuses throughout the country cancelling other sports, SC4 Esports team members were fortunate enough to have their own systems at home so they could continue the season.

Each of the players began Esports at different ages, some using the Nintendo 64 console when they were younger than 10 years old, while other team members picked up on video games in junior high school. Most stated they really began taking Esports seriously late into high school, and one just a few months before when they joined the Esports team.

“I never really took competing in games seriously or thought that I had a chance. When some of my friends talked to me about playing for SC4, I decided to give it a try,” Winterbauer said. “It was a cool opportunity to get involved with Esports through my college, with a professional-level coach to mentor us and really step our game up to the next level.”

Winterbauer said he began the season at a low rank in Rocket League and in the past four months has climbed three ranks while competing for the Skippers.

“Anybody is capable if you put your mind to it,” he said. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, why not give it your all? Maybe you’ll find your calling.”

Being on the team and competing together helps with real-world skills.

“(Esports) helped me improve and grow relationships and learning abilities. It teaches you diligence – to do things the right way, every time, even if it is harder that way when you first start,” Marinez said. “Things like that are really going to help me in the future and transfer over to job training.”

Added Graham: “It gives you the feeling of always wanting to do your best, not just for you but for the college, too.”

With a stay-at-home order in place, playing at home for the remainder of the playoffs wasn’t quite the same as the team atmosphere they have in the facilities at the college. The team had formed a family-like bond over the last few months.

“Competing with this team, and for the college, really gives it purpose for me,” Roy said. “It’s different than playing alone.”

Most of the team plans to come back next season, except for sophomore Mitch Lumpford, who completed his Associate of Arts degree at SC4 and will be continuing his education at Oakland University in the fall.

Jarod Graham, Mitch Lumpford, Kylar Marinez, David Roy and Phil Winterbauer
Jarod Graham, Mitch Lumpford, Kylar Marinez, David Roy and Phil Winterbauer

Three teams and 12 individuals are inducted in the Skippers Athletics Hall of Fame

Three teams and 12 individuals were inducted into the Skippers Athletics Hall of Fame Saturday, Feb. 22, at the SC4 Fieldhouse. It is the fourth class bringing the total of membership to forty-two individuals and 14 teams.

The three teams entering the Hall of Fame are the 1994 men’s golf team, coached by Ross Green; the 1994 baseball team, coached by Rick Smith; and the 1996-1997 women’s basketball team, coached by Chris Huss.

The individual inductees were women’s basketball player Taleesha Hardy; baseball players Dana Duskocy; Darby Parsons and Tyler Shantz; golfer Brian Bowman; softball player Marisa (Jensen) Pierce; men’s basketball players Mike Branaugh and Jeremy Denha; and volleyball player Morgan (Iloncaie) Fagerstrom. One athlete was inducted for two sports; Troy Dean played baseball and golf.

In addition to the players, two coaches were inducted, Ross Green coached golf and was the athletic director; and Rick Smith played baseball and returned to the college as a baseball coach.

The Skippers Athletics Hall of Fame is located in the SC4 Fieldhouse. To learn more about it and read their profiles, visit sc4.edu/halloffame.

Globetrotting professional women’s basketball player grateful for SC4 experience

When she joined the St. Clair County Community College Skippers women’s basketball team in 2012, Rachel Kehoe never imagined her basketball career would lead her to play with professional teams in France, Spain, Malta, Germany, Serbia, Finland, Ireland and now Denmark.

“I chose SC4 because I liked how I fit with athletics and academics,” said the St. Clair High School graduate. “I also liked that there was one central campus.”

While Kehoe was with the Skippers, the team won the league, regional and state championships twice and competed in the national tournament.

But it wasn’t just on the court where Kehoe found support and success.

“I had some great SC4 teachers who were passionate about their work and subject,” she said. “They were always available to us for questions, feedback or guidance. Kraig Archer, Charles Meeker and Mary Kennedy were a few of my favorites. Plus, the staff of the Student Center—especially Brenda Rinke—was always helpful and my work as a student ambassador allowed me to be more involved in the community as well.”

Kehoe earned her Associate of Science degree in 2015 and transferred to Eastern Michigan University where she played on the Eagles women’s basketball team and studied psychology and communication. She graduated with her bachelor’s degree from EMU in 2016.

Since graduation, Kehoe has experienced great success overseas. Some of her most notable accomplishments include winning the league and the Louis Borge Cup with her team in Malta. She was also recognized on the All-Tournament team (2017) and Second All-Tournament Team (2018) in the Mediterranean Cup.

Kehoe signed with the Lemvig VP out of Denmark in January 2020 and looks forward to continued growth as a professional player.

Though a few years have gone by, she still credits SC4 for playing a large role in her success.

“SC4 helped prepare me for the next step in both my education and in basketball,” she said. “I benefitted from smaller class sizes and a warm and welcoming community. I left a lot more confident in myself and my future.”

SC4 to host winter 2020 baseball and softball clinics

St. Clair County Community College will host baseball and softball clinics in the SC4 Fieldhouse this winter for area youth ages 8 to 18.

  • Youth Baseball Clinic for ages 8 to 13
    Sunday, Feb. 16
    10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Softball Clinic for grades 4 to 12
    Sunday, Feb. 16
    1 to 3:30 p.m.
  • High School Baseball Clinic for ages 14 to 18
    Sunday, Feb. 23
    10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The clinics are designed for all skill levels and the cost for each clinic is $55.

To find more information and register for the camp, visit sc4.edu/camps, email athletics@sc4.edu or call 810-989-5670. If paying with cash or check, please go to the SC4 Business Office in Room 220, Main Building at 323 Erie St. in Port Huron (8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday).

“These camps provide a wonderful opportunity to learn from collegiate coaches, athletes and experts,” said SC4 Athletic Director Dale Vos. “We are thrilled to offer this experience and look forward to welcoming youths to camp this winter.”

SC4 names women’s soccer and Esports coaches

St. Clair County Community College is pleased to announce the addition of two coaches to lead Skippers Athletics teams in women’s soccer and Esports. Todd Stank will serve as the women’s soccer coach and James Jordan will be the Esports coach.

Todd Stank Soccer Coach
Todd Stank
Jim Jordan E-Sports
James Jordan

Both women’s soccer and Esports were added to the college’s growing list of athletic offerings this fall. In doing so, SC4 became just the sixth community college in Michigan to offer women’s soccer and was among the first 50 of 520 National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) member institutions nationwide to field an Esports team.

The women’s soccer team will begin its play in 2020-21 and will be recruiting players over the coming year. The Esports team will begin NJCAA Esports competition this semester, potentially competing in Rocket League (PC), FIFA 20 (PS4), Overwatch (PC) and Super Smash Bros. (Nintendo Switch).

“We’re thrilled to welcome Todd and James to our Athletics program,” SC4 Athletic Director Dale Vos said. “They both bring tremendous experience and expertise to the college, along with the energy level needed to get these programs off the ground and help them reach their potential.”

A graduate of Siena Heights University, Stank has extensive experience coaching soccer. He has served as head coach at Rochester University (women’s), Waterford Kettering High School (women’s) and Capac High School (men’s and women’s). He has also served as head trainer at Romeo High School and as a staff coach and president with an array of metro Detroit soccer clubs, including the Blue Water Soccer Club.

A former Michigan Olympic Development Program evaluator, Stank holds licenses from both the United States Soccer Coaches Association and the United States Soccer Federation. He was named NAIA WHAC Conference Champions of Character Coach of the Year in 2017 and 2018, and his teams continuously experience both athletic and academic success.

“I am grateful to be chosen to start the soccer program at SC4,” Stank said. “I have had the privilege of helping to build teams, clubs and programs at many competitive levels throughout my coaching career. It is a rare honor, and I look forward to the challenge and opportunity of creating and establishing a high standard and competitive culture for the SC4 women’s soccer program. Our program should always represent the college, our athletes and our community in a positive manner.”

Jordan brings six years of Esports coaching and managing experience to the college. He has coached and competed at various skill levels from minor events to premier competitions against top talent from around the world. In 2018 he led Splyce’s Rocket League team to a first-place finish in RLRS, earning a berth into RLCS, Rocket League’s World Championship Circuit. In 2019 Jordan coached and competed in various international competitions against top teams from Europe, South America and Oceania.

An SC4 alumnus, Capac, Mich., native and current St. Clair resident, Jordan also works as a unit operator for DTE Energy at St. Clair Power Plant.

“I’m excited to be here,” Jordan said. “The opportunity to foster a culture of hard work, critical thinking and excellence at SC4 is something that I don’t take lightly. I have been fortunate enough to compete with and against some of the world’s best, and I am thrilled to share that knowledge and experience with those right here in my hometown community.”

SC4 to host winter 2020 volleyball camp

St. Clair County Community College will host a volleyball camp in the SC4 Fieldhouse this winter for girls and boys in grades 5-12. Camp dates are on Fridays, including Jan. 31, Feb. 7, Feb. 21 and Feb. 28 from 6 to 9 p.m.

The camp is designed for all skill levels – from those just being introduced to volleyball to those who have played on a club team and/or a high school varsity team. SC4 volleyball coaches and team members lead camp instruction.

To find more information and register for the camp, visit sc4.edu/camps, email athletics@sc4.edu or call 810-989-5670. If paying with cash or check, please go to the SC4 Business Office in Room 220, Main Building at 323 Erie St. in Port Huron (8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday).

“These camps provide a wonderful opportunity to learn from collegiate coaches, athletes and experts,” said SC4 Athletic Director Dale Vos. “We are thrilled to offer this experience and look forward to welcoming youths to camp this winter.”

SC4 to host 42 basketball teams from 14 counties at upcoming Fieldhouse events

St. Clair County Community College is pleased to host two upcoming basketball tournaments in its Fieldhouse.

The Ed Peltz Holiday Basketball Tournament features 12 games played by boys freshmen, JV and varsity teams on Thursday, Dec. 19, through Saturday, Dec. 21. The tournament is named after Ed Peltz, a longtime special education teacher, administrator, coach and athletic director who passed away in 2009. Peltz coached at Port Huron High School, Port Huron Northern High School and at SC4. Tickets are available at the door for $5, which is good for an entire day of games.

The 2019 SC4 Holiday Basketball Showcase will take place Friday, Dec. 27, through Monday, Dec. 30. The showcase features 42 high school varsity girls and boys teams representing 14 counties. Tickets for the showcase are available at the door for $10, which is good for an entire day of games.

“These events provide great opportunities for K-12 students from in and outside our region to play at a collegiate facility and explore downtown Port Huron,” said SC4 Director of Athletics Dale Vos. “I encourage anyone to come down to the Fieldhouse to see some great basketball.”

Schedules for both tournaments are listed below.

Ed Peltz Holiday Basketball Tournament Schedule

Thursday, Dec. 19
4:30 p.m. – Grosse Pointe South vs. Croswell-Lexington (freshmen boys)
6 p.m. – Port Huron vs. Port Huron Northern (freshmen boys)
7:30 p.m. – Port Huron High vs. Port Huron Northern (JV boys)

Friday, Dec. 20
4:30 p.m. – Grosse Pointe South vs. Cros-Lex (JV boys)
6 p.m. – Grosse Pointe South vs. Cros-Lex (varsity boys)
7:30 p.m. – Port Huron vs. Port Huron Northern (varsity boys)

Saturday, Dec. 21
10 a.m. – Freshmen Consolation Game
11:30 a.m. – Freshmen Championship
1 p.m. – JV Consolation Game
2:30 p.m. – JV Championship
4:30 p.m. – Varsity Consolation Game
6 p.m. – Varsity Championship

2019 SC4 Holiday Basketball Showcase Schedule

Friday, Dec. 27
11:30 a.m. – Capac vs. Cass City (girls)
1 p.m. – Corunna vs. Port Huron High (girls)
2:30 p.m. – St. Clair vs. Imlay City (girls)
4 p.m. – St. Clair vs. Imlay City (boys)
5:30 p.m. – Lowell vs. Marine City (girls)
7 p.m. – Chelsea vs. Grosse Pointe South (girls)
8:30 p.m. – Cros-Lex vs. Flint Southwestern Academy (boys)

Saturday, Dec. 28
11 a.m. – Armada vs. Anchor Bay (boys)
12:30 p.m. – New Haven Merritt Academy vs. Capac (boys)
2 p.m. – Lake Shore vs. Flint Southwestern Academy (girls)
3:30 p.m. – Lake Shore vs. Yale (boys)
5:30 p.m. – Marysville vs. Lake Fenton (girls)
7 p.m. – Marysville vs. Madison Heights Bishop Foley (boys)
8:30 p.m. – Port Huron High vs. Detroit Loyola (boys)

Monday, Dec. 30
11 a.m. – Clintondale vs. New Standard Academy Flint (boys)
12:30 p.m. – Marlette vs. Yale (girls)
2 p.m. – Marlette vs. Roscommon (boys)
3:30 p.m. – Detroit East English Village vs. Detroit Collegiate Prep at Northwestern (boys)
5:30 p.m. – Dearborn Henry Ford Academy vs. Anchor Bay (girls)
7 p.m. – Temperance Bedford vs. Port Huron Northern (girls)
8:30 p.m. – Port Huron Northern vs. Detroit Douglass Academy (boys)

Call 810-989-5513 for more information.

SC4 announces Skippers Dance Team

St. Clair County Community College is pleased to announce a collegiate level Skippers Dance Team beginning in the winter 2020 semester.

Through a SC4 Athletics partnership with the Huron Physical Arts Center (HPAC) in downtown Port Huron, the team will be coached by Laurie Charron, owner and head coach of the State, Regional and National Champion Starlites Competitive Dance Team organization.

“We’re pleased to offer this new opportunity for students,” said SC4 Director of Athletics Dale Vos. “Many high schools and colleges offer dance teams, and this partnership with Laurie and the Huron Physical Arts Center provides another great way for more students to become actively involved on campus and continue their passion for dance at a collegiate level right here in our region.”

The Skippers Dance team is open to any SC4 student who wishes to audition. The team will start training in January and is expected to perform at SC4 basketball games this season, as well as possibly during the NJCAA National Women’s Basketball Championship at SC4 in March.

Future plans include the opportunity to compete against other college and university teams in the open division at competitive dance events next year.

“We have many dancers in our community who are always looking for more opportunities to do what they love,” Charron said. “We’re thrilled to partner with SC4 on this new collegiate-level dance team.”

Interested students can call Charron at 810-984-5861 for further information about this new opportunity.

 

Gov. Whitmer’s Task Force on Women in Sports to meet at St. Clair County Community College Nov. 20

St. Clair County Community College (SC4) will serve as the host site for the Nov. 20 meeting of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Task Force on Women in Sports. The meeting is open to the public and will take place from 1 to 4:30 p.m. in Room 150 of the college’s Welcome Center at 323 Erie St. in Port Huron.

Gov. Whitmer signed Executive Order 2019-16 in June 2019 establishing the Task Force on Women in Sports within the Department of State and naming Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson as chair. The task force – the first of its kind at a state government level – brings together local and national leaders to develop strategies that support and promote opportunities in Michigan for girls and women in sports.

SC4 continues to strengthen its commitment to equality and leadership in sports. The college recently announced the addition of women’s soccer and women’s golf to its athletic offerings. It also launched its SC4 Michigan Promoters of Women’s Equal Rights in Sports (SC4 MPOWERS) group and became the first community college member of WeCOACH, a national organization dedicated to the recruitment, advancement and retention of women coaches of all sports and levels.

“The Women in Sports Task Force brings together an extraordinary group of leaders to take on critical issues in our state,” said Benson. “I am proud Michigan is leading on this issue and grateful for the work of our hosts at St. Clair County Community College.”

Added SC4 President Dr. Deborah A. Snyder, “We’re thrilled to welcome Secretary Benson and the entire task force to campus and our region. We know sports provide camaraderie and support, build resilience, develop leadership skills and empower those involved in countless ways. Colleges and universities, working closely with their respective urban, suburban and rural communities, can take a lead role and do more to illustrate what’s possible for young women.”

This is the second full meeting of the Task Force. The task force will issue a preliminary report on its findings for the status of girls and women in sports in Michigan in the spring of 2020. They will then develop and issue a report of recommended solutions in early 2021. The task force will conclude its work in 2022, the fiftieth anniversary of Title IX.

For more information on the Task Force on Women in Sports, please visit the Secretary of State’s website at Michigan.gov/SOS.

Top D1 and D2 MHSAA volleyball teams heading to SC4 for state quarterfinals

St. Clair County Community College is pleased to host the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) state volleyball tournament quarterfinal beginning at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 19, in SC4 Fieldhouse. The Division 2 quarterfinal match is set for 6 p.m., followed by the Division 1 match at 7:30 p.m.

“Port Huron is the ideal setting for the MHSAA Division 1 and 2 volleyball quarterfinals for 2019,” said Michelle McCulloch, the SC4 volleyball coach. “The facilities are top notch, a testament to the commitment and devotion that our college has to athletics and our students here at SC4.”

McCulloch added, “We’re committed to providing a fun fan experience and competitive atmosphere. This event is an exciting addition to our already busy sports calendars, and is another example of how the college is helping bring more activity to downtown and growing our interest in athletics at SC4.”

The winner of the D1 quarterfinal will advance to the state semifinals at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 21, at the Kellogg Center in Battle Creek. The D2 quarterfinal winner will head to Kellogg Center 4:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 22. The four state title matches are set for Saturday, Nov. 23.