After a 67 to 53 win over Edison State on January 27th, the Cuyahoga Community College Challengers men’s basketball team have a record of 19-0. Quintin Dove, the six-foot-sixsophomore forward, and Devon Robinson, a six-foot-three sophomore wing forward, led the Challengers with 15 points each. Both Robinson and Dove are having All-American campaign seasons. Thurmon, Anderson and Smalls, the three other starters, had 22 points between them. Bradford and Cooper combined for 15 points off the bench to give the Challengers the win.
The Challengers are ranked number one in the country in NJCAA D2 men’s basketball. According to Assistant Coach Thomas Coleman, the Challengers men’s basketball team have a few superstitions they are sticking with during this winning season. “We eat at the same restaurants. We sit in the same seats on the bus during road games. I pass out the uniforms both home and away, in the same manner, every game.”
Coach Coleman also explains the moment when the team really came together this season. “Everything came to focus when we went to Maryland and played in a tournament before Christmas break. Our starting center, Wade Lowman, had surgery on his wrist. The team rallied to blow out two teams and you could really see they believed in themselves.”
When asked how the coaching staff and players get along, Coach Coleman said, “I can honestly say we all get along, we are a family. It is crucial to forming a bond with players so that they can trust you, and vise-versa.” Coach Coleman also believes local support is key to helping the Challengers continue with their winning ways.
The Head Coach, Michael Duncan, grew up around the Metro campus and has a lot of friends and family in the area. In addition, past players and other individuals who like good basketball respect our program and have come down to support, not only at home but on the road as well. It’s great to have the community around you with great support.
The Challengers, who were the 2017 OCCAC Co-Champions and the 2017 NJCAA D2 Region XII Runners-Up, have a goal for this season. Since summer workouts, they have had their eyes on the NJCAA D2 National Championship prize. As the team sits at number one for the sixth consecutive week, they are making a strong statement and a serious commitment to their goal.
The basketball team is not the only group of athletes from Tri-C who are making strides. The Fall OCCAC Academic All-Conference Honorees have been announced. The student-athletes must have a minimum 3.30 GPA while completing at least 12 credit hours to receive the honors. James Anderson, Anthony Bittala, and Wade Lowman represent our Challengers men’s basketball team.
Tri-C’s baseball team honorees are Dylan Brister, Ashton Budzinski, Lucas Diluca, Jacob Hovanec (4.0), Landon Hunt (4.0), Jarrett Redding, Garett Roberts , Tate Skipton, Doug Smith, Barrett Weber, and Andrai Wright. The softball team honorees are Kaitlyn Boykin, Erin Carpenter, Kayla Gardner, Emma Macias and Cailee Rendlesham.
Rounding out our OCCAC Academic honorees are Rushoy Brown and Alex Wright from the Men’s Soccer team. Congratulations to all of Tri-C’s Academic All-Conference Honorees.