Last year, Sylvia Ramirez was a star player for the Porterville College volleyball team.
She was voted First Team All-Central Valley Conference, team Offensive Player of the Year, and earned PC’s Sportsmanship Award among all female student-athletes.
Following those impressive accomplishments, it was no wonder why PC coach Dale Henderson added Ramirez to his coaching staff.
“Sylvia wanted to continue her education at PC, so I was happy to offer her a position as my top assistant coach,” Henderson said.
“We have all enjoyed having her onboard. She has a great connection with the players, and is really a great communicator.”
Ramirez, a former Granite Hills standout, decided to stay at PC to complete her A.A. degree, and possibly apply for the nursing program. Her only previous coaching experience was last spring, when she was head coach of Pass-Set-Hit, a club team of 14-and-under girls in Visalia.
“I’ve learned a lot about being a player and being a coach,” said the 20-year-old.
“With the knowledge I have now, I wish I could be out there playing with our girls; especially, because we have a lot of potential to be really good and make the playoffs.”
In addition to taking nine units this semester — and working as a grade-school tutor — she is in charge of team conditioning, warmups, film, statistics, helping organize practice drills, and scouting opponents.
Her former teammates — current sophomore captains Jennifer Landers and Stephanie
Dounseroux — say above all else, Ramirez is someone they can lean on for support.
“Coach Ramirez is calm and helpful,” Landers said. “She played at a high level, so she knows what it takes. She’s an effective communicator and a great motivator.”
“It’s nice to look at the bench and see someone smiling,” Dounseroux added. “She keeps our spirits up and encourages us to fight through tough times.”
Henderson hopes Ramirez will remain on the staff for as long as she wants to.
“It takes a lot of dedication to coach on a volunteer basis,” he said. “We’ve already talked about plans to keep improving our volleyball program, with fund-raising and youth camps. Her next step will be helping us recruit players.”
Ramirez plans to stay a while.
“I have really enjoyed being part of the entire coaching staff at PC,” she said. “I love the game and coaching is the next best thing to being able to play.”
VOLLEYBALL STAT LEADERS
Several Pirates still ranked among the leaders on the California Community College Women’s Volleyball statewide statistics report heading into Wednesday’s match against Taft.
Dounseroux leads all CVC players in assists per game with a 7.32 average, which ranks No. 12 in Northern California.
Freshman outside hitter Amanda Monge (Exeter) is second in CVC kills per game with a 3.61 average — eighth in NorCal.
Landers (Granite Hills) ranks sixth in CVC digs per game at 3.34.
PIRATE MADNESS UPDATE
The PC athletic department’s “Pirate Madness 4” is at 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 20.
The college is seeking business sponsors and donations for giveaway and prizes for the free event. Community members can call (559) 791-2460 for more information.
The fourth annual event features contests for fans and students, and the men’s and women’s basketball teams will be introduced before taking the floor in a variety of activities.
BASEBALL ALUMNI GAME
PC coach Jake Kiser is looking for former Pirate baseball players to participate in the Alumni Game at noon Saturday, Oct.
Former PC players interested in playing can contact Kiser, (559) 791-2328 or email@example.com.
ON THE AIR
PC athletic director Eric Mendoza and Pirate Hall of Famer Milt Stowe will be the featured guests on Friday’s halftime show during KTIP’s Football Game of the Week between Monache and Granite Hills.