Upstarts ready to ‘wow’ coaches on the playing field

Incoming freshmen show they are ready to make an impact for their team

by Emmanuel Bernal
Staff Reporter

Patrick Huber and William Becnel are two of the brightest freshmen athletes at College of the Desert. (Emmanuel Bernal/The Chaparral)

“First impression is everything” — is a statement that has all the value in the world in sports.  It’s a chance for one to assert themselves and show the value and attributes they can bring and put them in the spotlight. Every student athlete knows that catching the attention of their coach in their first year means everything.

And for these up-and-coming freshmen, it seems as if they have been striving for this moment all along.

Pam Manosca, out of Palm Desert High School, is in her first year playing basketball and is red-hot in the shooting range. It’s to her poise, toughness, and “winning smile” that she attributes her success. Manosca spent her summer knowing the transition to college will be a giant one. “The teams are a lot faster in college, the players are bigger and stronger, every player is good and has to be taken into account,” said Manosca. Although it may be her first year, Manosca is showing great progress and hopes to show she can be in the same league as her more experienced opponents.

Jessica Garza, a COD freshman just out of Indio High School, plans to major in sports medicine. She can drive the basketball like no other. A strong player in the paint with hard to guard layups, she plays the guard position with an optimistic vision for the future.

William Becnel has made the transition with great confidence, using the philosophy taught by his coach in Hanville, Lousiana: play hard, play smart, and play together. He’s a Psychology major who shows he’s got the vision to read the schemes, and the patience and ball-handling skills to be an explosive point-guard. With some time left before opening tip-off, Becnel should be ready when his time comes.

Patrick Huber is taking his situation and jumping in head first with a major in Golf Management. With a drive that can reach 300 yards deep, he says his best asset is his short game. He explains that the pressure did not reach him as he expected, and it’s most likely because he feels he is ready.

“There’s a golf course in almost every corner around here, its hard not to get a good practice in,” said Huber.

When all of these students were asked where they expect their teams to be in the next two to three years, they all said one thing: division titles. Each student has a clean sheet to start the season and want to make a powerful statement; something that can carry them for the rest of their college years at COD. They have caught the attention of their coaches and staff, now all they have to do is drive it home.

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