Alexis Cardoza

Alexis Cardoza, 3, blasts away during a Cal State San Bernardino volleyball match last fall. Cardoza made a virtual clean sweep of most post-season honors by claiming the school's Female Athlete of the Year among other trophies.

Volleyball star Alexis Cardoza stood tall at Cal State San Bernardino ⎯ again.

There was soccer’s Frank Daroma and Jacob Huber.

Volleyball’s Jalyn Hayes and retired administrator Dr. Jenny Zorn.

All were part of the school’s academic royalty, athletic superiority and campus history at the school’s athletic department award show ⎯ via Zoom webinar on June 10 ⎯ while honoring the school’s sports stars.

Those honors, awarded annually, included efforts both in competition and in the classroom.

June Collison, a 1984 track & field Olympian ⎯ one of the world’s top 400 runners ⎯ was the presenter of the school’s awards.

Collison, who is the mother of onetime NBA player Darren Collison ⎯ both mother and son competed at UCLA ⎯ is the president and CEO of San Bernardino-based Dignity Health Community Hospital.

Daroma claimed the Male Student-Athlete of the Year honor, perhaps the first time that a freshman copped the honor.

Huber, with a GPA of 3.55 as a biology major, copped Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year honors.

Both Daroma and Huber played significant roles in Cal State’s 14-4-3 season that ended in the NCAA Division II West Region finals.

Daroma, incidentally, was named Male Pup of the Year, an honor that usually goes to the top freshmen.

Female Pup honors went to soccer’s Vadalia Abarca.

Two more key honors ⎯ Newcomer of the Year ⎯ went to basketball’s Jeremy Smith and volleyball’s Stephanie Doak. Both were seniors.

Smith was a transfer from nearby California Baptist University-Riverside.

Doak transferred to Cal State from Missouri Western University.

Collison presented the Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year award to Hayes, who was part of an NCAA Division II volleyball championship.

Jenny Zorn, meanwhile, is a retired provost at Cal State Bakersfield who spent 30 years on the San Bernardino campus as a professor, dean and associate provost.

A regular at Cal State athletic events, Collison presented the school’s Johnnie-Ann Ralph Award to Zorn, a Highland resident.

Ralph, a campus librarian emeritus, is a longtime athletic program advocate.

There was probably little mystery in the award that went to the Female Student-Athlete of the Year.

After all, Cardoza has already been named American Volleyball Coaches Association Player of the Year. She’s also copped her own conference’s Player of the Year honors, not to mention CCAA Female Athlete of the Year honors.

So it was no surprise that she claimed her own campus’ Female Student-Athlete of the Year.

BASEBALL DRAFT

Five rounds, not a single area player was picked up in last week’s shortened Major League Baseball draft.

In years previous, the draft has lasted for 50 rounds.

The Los Angeles Dodgers picked up five players, including first-rounder Bobby Miller, a right-handed pitcher from the University of Louisville. They picked up one California-based player, Huntington Beach High outfielder Jake Vogel.

The Los Angeles Angels also added a first-round pick from Louisville, southpaw pitcher Reid Detmers. Long Beach State southpaw Adam Seminaris was a fifth round pick.

There were some area possible picks on the draft board, notably Yucaipa shortstop Jordan Andrade, Riverside City College’s Gabe Briones, Fontana A.B. Miller and pitcher Tyler Mahomes along with UC Riverside pitchers Nathan Webb, Kevin West, Cole Percival (Riverside Poly) and California Baptist University-Riverside shortstop Harrison Spohn.

Briones, Webb and West each hailed from Riverside King High School.

COLLEGE BASEBALL

Don Parnell, a long-ago catcher at the University of Redlands who coached at Cal State San Bernardino, is a volunteer assistant coach at UC Riverside ⎯ 9-7 at the time when the worldwide pandemic shut down sports everywhere.

Parnell, head coach at Cal State from 1992 through 2015, had been on the Highlanders’ coaching staff from 1988-91 when Jack Smitheran was UCR head coach.

Parnell returned to UCR in 2015 as director of baseball operations.

During Parnell’s tenure at Cal State, more than 40 of his players were drafted by Major League Baseball organizations.

Part of Parnell’s coaching career included a stint at Bloomington High School before landing at UCR in 1988.

ATHLETIC ADMINISTRATION

Micah Parker, who oversaw the transition of California Baptist University-Riverside from a onetime NAIA powerhouse to its current NCAA Division I transition status, has left the school to accept a position at a school in the Midwest.

Lancers’ athletics, which has boasted a great deal of success during its longtime stay in the NAIA, plus the National Christian Collegiate Athletic Association before affiliating with the NCAA, both in Division 1 and 2, is currently on standby status until it becomes a full-fledged D1 school in 2022-2023.

That’s when the campus athletic program will be eligible for NCAA playoff participation.

Parker, who spent 11 years at CBU, will take over at Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa.

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