By Alexia Carmela Sottile--
The red and white gymnasium walls fill to honor Passaic County Community College Panthers women’s volleyball and basketball as well as the men’s basketball team for Athlete Appreciation Day on October 21st. Enthusiastic panthers from all groups join to enjoy a fun banter, play, and dance hosted by Coaches Linda, Jones, Ashton, and Derek. Unfortunately, all athletic faculty and students were not able to attend, but the ones that did, enjoyed the reunion!
Coach Jones dives into the breakdown of teams and how they manage practices, preparing students for games and national championships. Unable to speak for all teams, Jones explains women’s basketball teams usually equal out into 25-30 students, give or take how many students try out. Weight room workouts typically take place Mondays and Wednesdays, while practice is reserved for Tuesdays and Thursdays. Fridays teams and faculty alike are off schedule, so they can focus on personal responsibilities and leisure. Coach Ashton recognizes star athletes for their dedication to their teams.
Ihiandra Brito, a star athlete recognized for her contribution to women’s volleyball and basketball teams says, "I've had no prior experience in basketball but was a part of the team last year."
This year she chooses to focus solely on volleyball, a sport she’s been passionate about and has played for three years! She is currently majoring in business administration and hopes to major in accounting upon transferring to a four-year college.
Sabrina DeFreese is photographed with her one-year-old daughter as she smiles proudly for PCCC Panthers women’s basketball team. Sabrina, one of the most renowned star athletes, had driven her success to compete in national championships in 2020.
Jade Ramos-Henkel, a star athlete for the women’s basketball team smiles in recognition of her hard work and achievements. She has been a team member of PCCC Panthers for two seasons now and hopes to continue her legacy. She played basketball for Passaic County Technical Institute years back and hopes to further her athletic passion into a career, as she is currently majoring in education in hopes of becoming a gym teacher.
Paige Neal stands in front of the same basketball hoop she has been practicing on for 2 years, now in honor of her star athlete recognition. She has always had a passion for basketball and played throughout her years at Hackensack High School. She is excited to bring in the year with the championship. Her dreams do not end there. She is currently a business major, hoping to pursue real estate.
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