COC Insider: 2017 Hall of Fame class announced

Former College of the Canyons running back J.J. Arrington runs the ball in 2002. Photo courtesy of COC Sports Information.
By Jesse Munoz
For The Signal

The College of the Canyons Athletic Department has announced its 2017 Hall of Fame class of inductees, with the college’s bi-annual Athletic Hall of Fame dinner and induction ceremony taking place at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017, at the Hyatt Regency Valencia.

The 2017 class of inductees includes: the 2004 National Championship Football Team; Sha’Tasha Allen, women’s basketball, 1998-2000; J.J. Arrington, football, 2001-2003; Jessica Gomez, cross country/track and field, 2002-2004; Ulric Grigsby, meritorious service

“This year’s class of inductees holds a special place in my heart,” said Chuck Lyon, COC’s athletic director who also served as head coach of the college’s 2004 National Championship football team. “Once again, the Hall of Fame committee has done a tremendous job of selecting student-athletes, coaches and teams that have left a significant mark on the Athletic Department, and will now be honored for exemplifying the ideals of what it means to be a College of the Canyons Cougar.”

Tickets to the COC Athletic Hall of Fame dinner and induction ceremony are $75 per guest, with all proceeds benefiting the college’s athletic programs.

The 2004 National Championship Football Team will be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Photo courtesy COC Sports Information.
The 2004 National Championship Football Team will be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Photo courtesy COC Sports Information.

As in past years, friends, family members and former teammates of the inductees — as well as all fellow COC Alumni and Hall of Fame members — are encouraged to help the COC Athletic Department honor its 2017 Hall of Fame class.

For more information or to purchase tickets to the 2017 COC Athletic Hall of Fame dinner and induction ceremony please visit or call (661) 362-3434.

Cross country

COC sophomore Jessica Ruiz ran to a first-place finish time of 17 minutes and 58.7 seconds to help the women’s cross country program earn runner up status at last week’s San Bernardino Valley College (SBVC) Invitational.

Canyons had three runners finish in the top-20 on the 5K course, with freshmen Stephanie Martinez (18:10) and Celine Whitman (19:45.3) finishing fourth and 19th, respectively.

COC’s 70-event points trailed event winner and conference rival Glendale College (23), while outlasting third place L.A. Harbor College (84).

The COC men’s team placed fifth among the field of 10 schools on the four-mile course.

Sophomore Jake Higdon was the top finisher for the Cougars with a time of 21:07.3 to place 12th.

MORE COC: Cougar football faces yet another challenge vs. Ventura

Canyons then had a trio of runners finish among the next wave of competitors, with Christopher Ochoa (21:42.2), Cody Roelofson (21:43.7) and Mauricio La Plante (21:49.5) finishing back-to-back-to-back in 22nd, 23rd, and 24th. Matthew de Jesus (23:10.4) rounded out the top-five with his 57th place finish.

Both the men’s and women’s programs will now compete at the annual Mt. SAC Invitational being held at 10 a.m. on Friday.

The WSC Championships will be held Friday, Oct. 21, at Oxnard College.

Women’s golf

COC sophomore Amanda Horii carded a score of 78 at Kern River Golf Course in Bakersfield on Monday, to earn medalist honors at Western State Conference (WSC) tournament No. 6.

The tournament victory was the first of Horii’s career, while her five-over-par score of 78 was also a personal best.

Highlighting the round for Horii was her chip in for eagle on the par-4 17th hole. That shot, combined with an otherwise steady round, helped Horii hold on to beat second place finisher Danielle Picard (79) of Santa Barbara City College.

Horii, who earned All-WSC honors as a freshman, currently sits in ninth place of the conference’s individual standings with an average score of 82.6 strokes through the five tournaments she has competed in.


The COC Athletics department is inviting all local boy scouts, girl scouts, and adult troop leaders and volunteers associated with a Santa Clarita Valley youth scouting group to attend Saturday’s Cougar football game free of charge.

No. 10 College of the Canyons (2-3) will host No. 7 Ventura College (3-2) with kickoff scheduled for 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 15, at Cougar Stadium.

Scouts, scoutmasters, troop leaders, troop instructors, den parents and other adult volunteers who arrive at Cougar Stadium wearing their troop’s uniform and/or apparel will be admitted into the game for FREE.

General admission tickets are $5. Kids 10 and under are free.

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