Sean Zheng Looks To Continue Polytechnic Water Polo Success

This article originally appeared in the Pasadena Independent.

Polytechnic junior Sean Zheng has high expectations for the water polo team this season. Although the team lost several seniors, he thinks they will have a good chance to get back to the CIF-SS Division Five playoffs.

Zheng will be a leader on the squad, after earning team MVP both his freshman and sophomore years. He aims to earn first-team all CIF again, after earning it freshman year, but only getting second-team last year. Zheng thinks this was because he switched positions during the season.

“I’m excited for this season. We did lose a lot of players but we kept a lot of key underclassmen so it will be interesting to see how they step up,” Zheng said. “We also have a new head coach. He’s pretty hard core and professional, so I’m interested to see what changes he’ll make.”

Although this is his third year on the high school team, Zheng has played water polo for nearly six years. He used to swim but grew tired of it.

“It wasn’t really interesting for me. It was just back and forth, back and forth. It didn’t seem like there was any thinking involved in it,” Zheng said. “Water polo incorporated my swimming skills but it’s not as one dimensional as swimming.”

When the high school season ends, Zheng plays club water polo.

“The competition level in high school is a lot different than in club water polo. It’s a lot more competitive in club,” he said. “On my club team, I’m an average player, maybe a little better than average. On my high school team, I’m one of the best players.”

Although he likes playing club more for the competition, Zheng said he loves the camaraderie on Poly’s team.

“There’s a lot of team spirit. It’s really like a family, like a brotherhood,” he said. “One time the whole team performed a Haka dance, which was really fun. It was kind of embarrassing, but the point was that we did it together, so it was embarrassing for all of us.”

After high school, Zheng said he wants to go to a top college. He said he’s on the fence about playing water polo in college.

“I want to focus more on academics,” Zheng said. “I’m not sure where I’m going to go yet. It might be somewhere really close to here or it might be an Ivy League. The location doesn’t matter to me as much as the school itself.”

This goal is very achievable for Zheng, who has a 3.93 weighted GPA. He isn’t sure what he wants to study in college yet. He said he’s in an online neuroscience course right now that he enjoys but he wants to explore other avenues as well.

Outside of water polo and school, Zheng likes to play video games, watch TV, and play with his cat. He also plays piano.

For now, Zheng is focused on improving the teams record from 15-10 last year and going deeper in the playoffs.

Nick Hernandez Looks To Lead MHS To CIF Championship

This article originally appeared in Monrovia Weekly.

Nick Hernandez had to wait three games last year before getting the chance to start as quarterback for Monrovia High School’s varsity football team, but once he started he never looked back. Hernandez took the team from a 0-3 record to 5-6 at the end of the year, losing in the first round of the CIF-SS Division 9 playoffs.

Along the way to the playoffs, Hernandez tossed for 24 touchdowns, 2,213 yards, and eight interceptions. He completed 68.1 percent of his passes with a 129.7 quarterback rating.

“After three weeks, they decided to give me a shot and it turned out pretty well,” Hernandez said. “That first touchdown pass on varsity is something I’ll never forget. It was special with the crowd and the band on Friday night under the lights.”

Hernandez, 17, looks to improve further this year and lead the team further in the playoffs.

“I think it’s everyone’s goal, but this year I think we can really win our division of CIF. We have great athletes,” he said. “This year feels like it’s going to be something special.”

To achieve this, Hernandez has worked on improving his speed and arm strength in the offseason. He aims to toss for more than 4,000 yards and 40 touchdowns this season.

“I want to break records at Monrovia,” he said. “I just want to contribute to the team. I don’t want to let them down at all.”

Outside of football, Hernandez likes to play video games or other sports in his free time. He also plays shooting guard for Monrovia’s basketball team.

A Monrovia native, Hernandez said he wants to play football in college. Although he hasn’t received any official offers yet, he has been in communication with an NCAA Division One program and is hopeful he will get an offer there in the coming months. Hernandez plans on studying engineering in college.

For now, Hernandez is focused on getting ready for this season.

“I’m more of a competitor than people think. I want to win every game we play,” he said. “I’ll do anything for my team.”

APU Expands Physical Therapy Program, Opens New Facility

As spring semester at Azusa Pacific University came to a close and most students and faculty headed home for the summer, the Department of Physical Therapy geared up to move into their new 26,000-square-foot facility. Located in the back of Duke Hall, the space is more than four times the size of the former location in Mary Hill. “It was a busy time. Our summer classes started just a couple days after we moved in,” said Derrick Sueki, DPT, Ph.D., Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program director. “Everyone is energized by the new space. It still has that new car smell!”

The facility was made possible by a $3 million donation from alumni Steve and Susie Perry through their Sacred Harvest Foundation. The expansion allows the DPT program to grow their annual cohort size by more than 50 percent, increasing enrollment from 48 to 74 students. “We have three cohorts at a time, so this represents a big increase in students,” said Susan Shore, Ph.D., chair and professor in the Department of Physical Therapy. “Our program is extremely competitive. We average more than 900 applicants each year. People come from all over the country to study with us.”

Annette Karim, DPT, Ph.D., Postprofessional Studies program director, said the design and planning was purposeful. “We’ve planned for growth. We could have easily filled more spaces from the beginning, but we didn’t have the space for the quality of education we wanted to provide. Now we do,” she said. “Maintaining the 1 to 15 faculty to student ratio is also very important to us.”

The facility features spacious lecture rooms and labs, providing a host of technological upgrades that enhance classroom instruction. “We educate through a different model than most departments. We have to visualize how people walk, squat, bend, and perform other movements,” Sueki said. “The new classrooms are equipped with cameras in the ceiling. The cameras are interconnected with our desktop, allowing us to take pictures and videos of people moving. We can project these videos on screens and draw on them with smart boards.” Students work on two-sided flip tables that consist of a soft padded side for physical therapy and a hard side for note taking.“The tables offer convenience and functionality for our students,” said Karim.

APU is one of only two Council for Christian Colleges & Universities schools on the West Coast with a DPT program, and Shore said APU’s program is one of the best in the country. “The thing that separates us from other universities beyond the curriculum is the quality of the teaching, which I think is unequaled by any other school,” she said. Karim said the faculty truly connect with their students. “The DPT program requires three full years to complete. That’s quite a bit of time to live life, to go through the ups and downs,” she said. “People often choose APU for the quality of the faculty. You choose your mentors. I think God uses us in that way.”

Sueki said the connection between students and faculty played a role in the design of the building. “One of the primary components in the facility design was to provide spaces for students to interact with each other and with faculty, to go beyond just education, to be a part of each other’s lives,” he said.

Contributing to the DPT’s program expansion and new facility is the exponential growth of the field. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment rate for physical therapists is expected to increase by 36 percent through the year 2022. “We’re an aging population. They say 60 is the new 30. Because of this, we need more physical therapists to take care of people as they get older,” Karim said. In California, the annual mean wage for a physical therapist is approximately $96,000. Currently, APU’s DPT students experience a 97 percent graduation rate, and its DPT graduates benefit from a 100 percent overall pass rate on the National Physical Therapy Exam and 100 percent employment in their field.

“This facility allows us to expand our mission, our visions for our field, and the students we serve,” Sueki said.

Pasadena Spring Sports Recap

This article originally appeared in the Pasadena Independent.

Spring sports have officially come to a close in Pasadena with strong showings by Polytechnic School and John Muir High School.

Poly made it to the California Interscholastic Federation-Southern Section (CIF-SS) Division 5 baseball championship, but fell just short, dropping the final game against Xavier College Preparatory High School 0-3 on May 18. Prior to that, Poly had a dominant season, going 19-4 on the year with a +92 run differential.

Muir also had a solid baseball season, going 18-8 on the year before falling to Canyon Springs High School in the second round of the CIF-SS D4 championships. Muir played on and off throughout the season, notching three win streaks of four or more games, with a three game losing streak. They outscored their opponents by 87 runs on the season.

On the women’s side, Poly made it to the quarterfinals of the CIF-SS D6 softball championships before falling to Nordhoff High School. The team went 15-5 on the season with a nearly perfect league record of 9-1. They also put together a 12-game win streak spanning from the end of February until mid-April.

Muir’s varsity softball team struggled this year, piecing together a 5-17-1 season.

Pasadena High School saw similar struggles on the field. Their baseball team went 11-14 and softball went 6-14 on the season.

Off the field, Poly had strong performances from the varsity boys’ tennis and coed badminton team. The tennis squad was a flawless 19-0 on the season, before falling to Calabasas High School I. the CIF-SS D2 finals. They dominated teams all season including three shutouts.

The badminton team posted a 10-4 record but dropped their match against Westminster High School in the first round of the CIF-SS Open Division championships.

Both Poly and Muir’s boys’ volleyball teams struggled, posting 2-13 and 5-16-1 records on the season, respectively.

Poly sent both the girls and boys swimming teams to the CIF-SS finals, finishing 17th and 24th, respectively.

Check back soon for more coverage of Pasadena sports.

Arcadia Spring Sports Recap

This article originally appeared on Arcadia Weekly.

Arcadia High School had lots of strong action through their springs sports teams. Baseball, boys’ tennis, boys’ volleyball, softball and badminton each notched more than 20 wins during the season.

On the diamond, both the baseball and softball teams saw huge numbers from their players.

Baseball went 25-2 on the year, falling in the second round of the California Interscholastic Federation-Southern Section (CIF-SS) Division 2 Baseball Championships to El Segundo High School. The squad was nearly perfect at home, going 16-1. Arcadia also notched a +150 run differential throughout the season.

The softball team didn’t have as strong of a regular season, going 19-6. However, they made it one round further in the CIF-SS D4 championships, dropping their quarterfinals matchup against Culver City High School. The team had two eight-game win streaks and posted a +191 run differential on the year.

Even more impressive were the campaigns by the coed badminton and boys’ tennis teams.

The badminton squad was perfect during the season, dropping their only match during the CIF-SS Open Division Championships final against Diamond Bar high school. Prior to the final, the team dominated all season with 21 victories by a margin of 10 or more points.

Boys’ tennis was nearly flawless during the regular season, going 21-1, before dropping the CIF-SS Open Division Championships quarterfinal match against Mira Costa High School. The team notched an incredible 13 shutouts during the season.

Boys’ volleyball also posted a strong season, going 26-5. The squad dropped their CIF-SS D2 Championships match against Alemany High School. Although they didn’t make it as far in the postseason, the squad won six more contests during the regular season, helped by a dominant 11-1 home record.

Finally, in the pool, the boys’ and girls’ swimming and diving teams ended the season on a strong note with 13th and 12th place finishes in the CIF-SS D3 Championships, respectively.

Check back soon for more Arcadia sports news.

Monrovia Spring Sports Recap

This article originally appeared on Monrovia Weekly.

Monrovia High School launched a boys’ volleyball program for the 2019 spring season. However, the squad, along with several other spring sports teams, struggled this year.

The boys’ volleyball team ended their inaugural season with a 7-27-1 record. While the team failed to make the playoffs, they had several bright spots in their first year, including a three game win streak in March.

The baseball team posted a stronger season, although they also failed to make the playoffs, going 16-10 on the year. The Bulldogs posted a solid home record of 11-4 and had a +43 run differential during the season. The team was led by junior Sebastian Sanchez (.396 AVG), sophomore Dominic Teneriello (20 hits, eight doubles) and sophomore Nathan Thompson (21 RBIs, two home runs).

On the girls’ side of the field, the softball team posted a 7-17 record on the season. Although the team struggled, junior Alexis Barroso had a strong campaign, batting .448 with 23 RBIs and 26 hits including eight doubles, two triples and three home runs, all team highs.

Check back soon for more Monrovia sports news.

APU Graduates First Cohort of Engineering Students

This article originally appeared on APU’s site.

When Samuel Vander Dussen walked across Azusa Pacific University’s commencement stage to receive his diploma on May 4, he was one of seven students to graduate in APU’s first engineering cohort. Vander Dussen landed a job before graduating, joining two other classmates at Raytheon, a major U.S. defense contractor. “My engineering professors prepared me for my job by teaching me how to learn on my own. They gave me the tools to find solutions to problems and to succeed,” he said.

“Our students getting jobs at Raytheon and other prominent companies right out of college speaks very highly of our program,” said George Thomas, Ph.D., chair and professor in the Department of Engineering and Computer Science (ECS). “As word gets out about the caliber of our curriculum and the professional credentials of our faculty, interest in the program grows.” Thomas said in a few years the engineering program would likely increase in size to match its computer science counterpart.

Students can earn a bachelor’s degree in engineering with a concentration in either systems or computer engineering. The program will add more concentrations in the near future. “Many students have asked for mechatronics, a marriage between mechanical and electrical/computer engineering. Engineering as a field has changed a lot recently. You can no longer stick in one corner. Students need to be strong in one area, but well rounded in other fields as well.” Currently, APU's engineering program is pursuing accreditation through the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology (ABET) and establishing industry partners to serve in an advisory capacity.

James Yeh, Ph.D., assistant professor, has been instrumental in helping grow the engineering program and instructing students at a high level. Yeh taught a senior-level design class for students in the first cohort. In this class, the students worked with Mission Aviation Fellowship, an organization that distributes medical supplies and shares the Gospel with remote regions across the globe. “We worked on two projects, including one where we helped design a power monitoring system for an isolated airstrip in the jungles of Indonesia,” Yeh said. “God really blessed that project and the students did very well on it. It shows how we can use our engineering knowledge to love and help our neighbors as Jesus commanded us to.”

In addition to this project, students have the opportunity to perform research during their summers. Assistant professor Rick Sturdivant, Ph.D., said this is key to students landing internships and top notch jobs when they graduate. “Our students have had the opportunity to perform research on solar powered phone charging stations, drone detection radar systems, pico hydro electric power for a village in the Nepalese Himalayas, satellite communications, and Internet of Things devices,” he said. “Their work has been published and presented at international conferences. This level of research sets our graduates apart and demonstrates their technical skills with real world applications.”

Sturdivant said internships are a huge component in students getting jobs so quickly after graduation. “We help schedule our students to participate in job fairs at prospective employers such as Raytheon. This is a chance for students to meet face to face with employers who are seeking engineering graduates with their skills,” he said. “We also organize visits to employers such as Northrop Grumman and the Jet Propulsion Labs (JPL). This give students the chance to network with employers and to see the work they perform first hand.”

Yeh said many students choose engineering because the job market is good. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects heavy employment growth for the field, with nearly 140,000 new jobs expected for engineers over the next decade. In 2016, engineers had a median annual wage of $91,010—more than twice the median wage for all workers. The strong job market has led to vast growth among engineering departments at universities across the country. Unfortunately, many engineering programs are impacted by this growth, especially at state schools, where students often can’t get the classes they need, leading to delayed graduation. “A major benefit of APU’s engineering major is small class sizes,” Yeh said. “Our students are working closely with faculty and one another, doing projects that focus on the kingdom, graduating on time, and getting excellent jobs.”

Athletic Training Saves Lives

This article originally appeared on

The final day of Azusa Pacific University’s annual Bryan Clay Invitational was nearing an end when a moment changed everything. As the runners crossed the finish line, most stood hunched over out of breath, but one athlete suddenly collapsed. Immediately, APU graduate intern athletic trainer Bryce Gordon radioed to the medical tent for assistance and sprinted over to assess the situation. He found the athlete not breathing and without a pulse. Associate athletic trainer Jesse Cops arrived to assist while assistant athletic trainer Garrett Brooks called 911 and the crew began taking life saving measures. They initiated CPR and placed the automated external defibrillator (AED) pads on the athlete’s chest. Minutes later, the athlete began breathing again. By the time the paramedics arrived, the athlete was alert, but still in critical condition, and was transported to a local hospital where the patient was stabilized, made a full recovery, and returned home.

Head athletic trainer Benjamin Fuller received the call and arrived on scene at the same time the paramedics were taking over. “We hope these kinds of things never happen,” he said. “But we train for these situations, which enabled our staff to go in and do what was needed. The rehearsals paid off and saved a life.”

Multiple clinical experiences provide athletic training students with comprehensive practical experience. “Most of the injuries we prepare for aren’t life threatening like that one,” Fuller said. “We practice for concussions, sprained ankles, ACL/MCL tears, broken and fractured bones, lacerations, and internal organ wounds, among other injuries.” Much of this learning happens in the classroom, but athletic training students also work with APU athletes in the clinical setting to treat them when something happens during practice or a game. “This training is vital. You never know when these scenarios will occur, but you need to be prepared to treat them. If you’ve never practiced, little things can trip you up and cause delays.”

Treating injuries in the moment is just one part of an athletic trainer’s responsibilities. Much of what they do comes before or after, in preventative training and rehabilitation. “Many athletic trainers primarily help people recover from injuries,” Fuller said. “It’s similar to physical therapy, but athletic trainers are in settings where they can work with athletes on a regular basis and are ready to act when an injury occurs.”

The profession of athletic training began with treating athletes primarily at the professional and college level, but now the field has expanded to include high school sports, performing arts, military, and corporate business. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the athletic training profession is projected to grow 23 percent in the next decade. This growth is much faster than normal, particularly in the booming fields of health care, fitness, and youth sports.

Fuller, who has served as an athletic trainer at APU for 11 years, has witnessed the profession and APU’s program go through many changes. Five years ago, APU transitioned from offering a bachelor’s degree in athletic training to solely a master’s program to better meet the requirements of the evolving profession. “Students who come through our program get jobs and succeed professionally both locally and throughout the country. Our program is well recognized as a leader within the profession,” he said. “At APU, our focus is more than the job at hand. Our intent is to be involved in these athletes’ lives. We get to mentor them and help them draw closer to Christ.”

New In-N-Out Burger opens across from APU

This article originally appeared on ZU News.

On Monday, In-n-Out Burger celebrated the grand opening of their newest franchise across the street from Azusa Pacific, located at 988 E Alosta Ave. The West Coast burger chain was packed on the first day and will continue to see steady traffic from the Azusa and Glendora communities.

Robert Hernandez, the general manager for this location, said the feedback from the community has been very encouraging.

“So far it’s been really really positive. We have a lot of fans for In-N-Out Burger,” Hernandez said. “We’ve had people coming from outside the area, leaving their regular stores from Ontario to Baldwin Park and El Monte, coming out to support us and be involved in the opening.”

Hernandez said the store will not only serve APU and Citrus College students, but will employ many as well.

“We support all of our people in the area … At In-N-Out Burger, we try to hire the best. Sometimes it happens to be a student from across the street,” Hernandez said. “We love that people want to get a job here and work their way through school. That’s something we’re really proud of.”

In addition to offering students a place to eat, Hernandez said he hopes the store’s lights will provide a safer walk for students returning from campus to the housing units on Alosta, including University Park, Alosta Place and Bowles.

Regional manager Robert Concepcion also worked the grand opening, saying he’s excited for the new location to serve the community as other locations have been for decades.

“It’s awesome to see that we have a location [in Azusa] that’s been here since the 60s, the one on Azusa Ave. Here we are in 2019 and the city allowed us to put another location here,” Concepcion said. “Families, city officials and even the mayor were here last night, just supporting us in this beautiful area. The support and love we’ve been given by everybody has been overwhelming.”

Although most students are home for the summer and won’t get a chance to visit the new In-N-Out Burger until August, many are already excited to have the restaurant across the street. Senior Christian ministries major Garrett Davis said he plans to eat there frequently when school starts again.

“Yes! Finally we get an In-N-Out right across from campus! You can bet I’ll be there with everyone else,” Davis said.

Nick Meyer, a senior business major, said he thinks the proximity will benefit students.

“It will be cool to have an In-N-Out so close-by. I know a lot of people who don’t have cars that would love to eat there,” Meyer said.

The new location will be open Sunday-Thursday from 10:30 a.m.-1 a.m. and Friday-Saturday from 10:30 a.m.-1:30 a.m.

Cougars' season ends in disappointment

This article originally appeared on ZU News.

Azusa Pacific ended their season on a disappointing note, dropping both games on Saturday to the UC San Diego Tritons, 6-5 and 16-5, respectively. The Cougars needed to win one contest today after claiming game one yesterday in the best-of-three series in order to advance to the NCAA DII World Series; however, UCSD had other plans and turned on their offense that was missing yesterday.

Game Two

APU started game two strong with a solo home run from center-fielder Cole Kleszcz on the first pitch, claiming a 1-0 lead. However, the Cougars didn’t score again until the seventh inning, leaving seven men on base in those six innings. APU failed to capitalize with runners-in-scoring-position after two singles to lead off the fourth and then again in the fifth after a walk and a single.

While APU struggled to put runs on the board, UCSD tied it up with a solo shot from shortstop Shay Whitcomb in the bottom of the first, then claimed the lead with another solo bomb from first-baseman Blake Baumgartner in the fourth. The Tritons added to their lead on an RBI single after a walk and a single in the fourth, then again with a solo homer in the bottom of the sixth from designated-hitter Steven Schuknecht, giving UCSD a 4-1 lead.

The Cougars struck back with a solo homer by second-baseman Joe Quire Jr. and a two-run jack to right field by third-baseman Osvaldo Tovalin in the bottom of the seventh, tying it up again 4-4. Left fielder Griffen Herrera kept the rally going with a stand-up triple and catcher Justin Gomez plated him with a go-ahead single to center field.

It looked as though the Cougars would claim victory, with a 5-4 lead after seven innings, but UCSD right-fielder R.J. Prince clobbered a go-ahead 2 run homer to left-center field. APU managed one hit, a single by Herrera, in the ninth, but didn’t score again, leaving the final score 6-5.

APU head coach Paul Svagdis said the Cougars hit well in the game, but struggled to capitalize off UCSD’s excellent pitching.

“I think they were the best pitching staff in the NCAA [DII]. We saw that today,” Svagdis said. “We still had 13 hits today and drove the ball. We came back. We were down, put four [runs] on the board against a really good pitching staff.”

Game Three

Fired up by their victory in game two, UCSD came out firing on all cylinders in game three. They failed to score in the first inning, but scored in seven of the next eight frames.

The Tritons plated two in the second inning off a walk and three singles. APU starter Declan Kearney walked two and hit one batter to load the bases in the top of the third. Svagdis decided that was enough from Kearney in the winner-takes-all contest and pulled him after 2.1 innings. Reliever John Szczesny got the final two outs of the inning, but the Tritons scored again on a sacrifice fly by left-fielder Keenan Brigman.

UCSD added to their lead in the top of the fourth with a two-run homer by Prince, his second of the day, leading to another APU pitching change. Lefty Gabe Ramos replaced Szczesny, but Ramos didn’t fare much better, allowing four singles in a row before getting an out. Reliever David Wylie replaced Ramos with one out in the fourth, getting the final two outs of the inning.

The Cougars fought back in the bottom of the fourth, loading the bases with two singles and a walk. Designated-hitter Joseph Kim got the first RBI of the game with a ground out to second-base. First-baseman Tito Robles and shortstop Mychael Goudreau each plated a runner with RBI singles, cutting the deficit to 6-3. The Cougars looked to keep the rally going with two on and one out, but center-fielder Casey Dykstra grounded into an inning ending double-play.

UCSD continued their offensive dominance in the fifth, plating five off two doubles, three walks and a three-run homer from Schuknecht, his second of the day, giving the Tritons an 11-3 lead. APU scored one off a double by Tovalin and an RBI single from Kim in the bottom of the fifth to cut the lead to 11-4.

The Cougars made their sixth pitching change to start off the sixth inning, sending reliever Hayden Jorgenson to the mound. Jorgenson notched only the second scoreless frame for APU pitching in the sixth, but gave up a two-run homer to Schuknecht, his third of the day, in the top of the seventh, giving the Tritons a 13-4 lead.

UCSD plated one more in the eighth off an RBI single from Baumgartner, giving the Tritons a 14-4 lead. The Cougars answered with a solo homer from Godreau, cutting the lead to 14-5, but it was too little too late. The Tritons would go on to score two more in the top of the ninth, giving them a 16-5 victory.

Although the Cougars had a strong game offensively, notching five runs on 13 hits, their pitching couldn’t contain the Triton’s offense. APU used a total of 10 different pitchers during the game.

“I made nine poor decisions throughout that process. I think those guys all did a great job for us this year. It’s not on them; it’s on me,” Svagdis said. “I overmanaged a little bit today [since] it was the last game.”

What’s next

With the victory, the Tritons advanced to the NCAA DII World Series in North Carolina next week, marking their third consecutive appearance in the World Series.  

APU will lose six seniors, including three starters in Godreau, Quire, and Gomez, as well as a key reliever in Jorgenson. Svagdis spoke candidly about losing the seniors.

“I couldn’t think of a better group I’ve been around,” Svagdis said. “I’m just proud of them. I know they’re going to be super successful in life when they leave here.”

Gomez, a four-year starter and key piece to the Cougars’ success over the past three seasons, spoke positively after the words from his coach.

“I was a late signee and this place was the one that gave me an opportunity to come here,” Gomez said. “Being able to go off right where I started was definitely one for the books … I wish I would have gone off with a national championship, but there’s no place I would have rather gone off than where I started at Azusa Pacific.”

Gomez, Godreau, Quire and Jorgenson reflected on their time at APU, saying they made lots of great memories and relationships with the team and that what happened off the field was more important than what happened on it. Each of the four also expressed their excitement for the future of APU baseball, with a lot of returning talent next year.

“They’re going to be a really good team,” Gomez said. “I don’t expect anything less than where we are today and taking it even further.”