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Alexander: At RCC, high achievers without ranting or raving

By in Press Enterprise on November 17, 2017

By Jim Alexander

RIVERSIDE — It is yet another big sports weekend for the school bordering the arroyo in downtown Riverside.

Riverside City College has two programs going for repeat state championships this weekend. The defending champion women’s water polo team begins the four-team state tournament Friday at Cuesta College, near San Luis Obispo, against Sierra College of Rocklin. Meanwhile, the men’s and women’s cross country teams are in Fresno for that sport’s state meet, with the men trying to add a second straight cross country championship to the school’s six state men’s track titles.

(And RCC’s women has one of the state’s best individuals in sophomore Sarah Hollis, her conference’s female runner of the year.)

Meanwhile, closer to home, the Tigers’ football team makes its fifth straight Southern California regional appearance, facing Ventura at 6 p.m. at Wheelock Field Saturday night. If they win, they face either top-ranked Fullerton or Saddleback next week in the regional final.

Men’s cross country (and track) coach Jim McCarron suggested a three-team state championship parlay over the next few weekends would be quite nice. Did we say these folks are high achievers?

And yet what they achieve may not even be as interesting as the manner in which they achieve it.

Background: Your humble correspondent just got through binge watching Season 1 of “Last Chance U” on Netflix, a reality series that embedded during the 2015 and 2016 seasons with the nationally prominent football program at East Mississippi Community College in tiny Scooba, Miss.

It wasn’t a terribly uplifting narrative. The most sympathetic figure in the show might have been the program’s beleaguered yet eternally hopeful academic adviser, the good (yet persistent) cop to the head football coach’s bad (and memorably profane) cop.

“It’s one of the most disgusting things I’ve ever seen,” was RCC football coach Tom Craft’s reaction to the show. “And […]    

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