The basketball teams at Yuba College, as of late, have been polar opposites. The men’s team is coming off of their best season in school history, while the women’s team has yet to find a stable foundation for success. But starting this upcoming season, that could all start to shift towards better results.
The men’s team has reached where they wanted to be; consistent championship contenders every season, and conference champions. Every year since Doug Cornelius took over the head coaching job at Yuba, the 49ers have been an undeniable power house in the Bay Valley Conference and, as of recent years, in the entire state.
Last season the Yuba College men’s team was able to reach the state finals with their best season to date, finishing with a record of 33-4 and an undefeated record of 14-0 in conference play. It was a very experienced team that bought into the idea that they could beat anyone. With so many players graduating though, the team is left with only 3 returning players from last year’s dream team. This year’s team will feature a lot of young players and it will take some alternate tactics to make another magical run towards the state championship.”
If everyone buys into playing defense together, and playing unselfish on offense we’ll be able to beat anyone,” said sophomore Yevgeniy Dyachenko about how the team will fare this year. “We’re pretty young but very athletic. We’re going to be a different type of team than last year’s finals team. Not as many big guys, but we’re going to have to use a lot of fast breaks and a lot of defensive pressure to be really good. If we can do all of that, we can definitely make another run at a state title.”
As for the women’s team, they have been up and down in recent years, more or less striving to find their groove. Their current coach, Steve Sain, will be entering his fifth season as the 49ers women’s basketball coach, and his fourteenth season as a collegiate basketball coach. In his first year at Yuba, Coach Sain led the 49er ladies to an 18-11 record, the most wins by the 49er women in the history of the program.
Unfortunately, success in consecutive seasons would elude the lady 49ers, unlike their counterparts on the men’s team. The following 3 seasons after their 18 win performance, the lady 49ers were only able to corral a total of 4 wins in each season. But things are starting to look up for the Lady 49ers this year.
“I honestly think we will do pretty well this year. We have a ton of talent on the team and a deep bench with 14 girls. I think, because it’s a young team, we just need to work on getting that chemistry with our teammates. Otherwise, I think we are going to play very well together,” said returning guard Chloe Pereiro when talking about the upcoming season.
Even though the lady 49ers only collected four victories last season, they were still able to make the conference tournament as the sixth and final seed. Though the last few seasons have been somewhat bleak, it has been difficult to recruit with the poor facilities and recent renovations to the sports complexes. Now that everything has been rebuilt and revamped, things might yet start to turn around for the lady 49ers.
“Although we only have 2 players returning from last year, this is the biggest roster we’ve had since I came on here. We have recruited very well and gotten a lot of players that will help this program get on its feet again,” remarked Coach Sain after being asked how this year’s recruiting has gone. “We treat the program like it’s a four year college program. We want players who want to play at the next level, and who want to put in the time and effort to get there. I’m very excited to see what we can do this year. Even though we’re young, I feel as though we can compete now, and for years to come.”
With the men’s team already being a highly touted and an established program, and the women’s team looking to establish themselves as a respectable, winning program, both are definitely very young in this upcoming 2012-2013 season. The two things both teams have going for them is that they are very optimistic and very talented. It’s safe to say that it is going to be a fun ride watching both teams play this year, and I believe that each will end up with successful runs in their own respect.