From hitting game winning home runs to throwing down tomahawk dunks, it was an exciting year for Sinclair sports. While no team won its ultimate prize of a National Championship, three programs – Men’s baseball, Women’s basketball and Men’s basketball – enjoyed successful seasons that saw their win totals rise from the season before.
After finishing one game short of the NJCAA World Series in 2009, the Sinclair Tartan Pride had high hopes for 2010.
The Tartan Pride fought through a slow start when the team dropped four of its first six contests, but Sinclair quickly pulled itself together. The Tartan Pride finished with a record of 42-10, the regular season and postseason OCCAC Conference Champions award, the school’s first national ranking in its history and is sending more than a handful of players to Division I schools in the fall.
Although Sinclair stumbled in the NJCAA Region 12 Tournament, the season will be remembered for some explosive offensive outputs and a few incredible runs that the Tartan Pride put together.
Sinclair coach Steve Dintaman said it best when talking about his hitters.
“This team will kick you in the teeth,” Dintaman said in April.
Dintaman wasn’t lying, as the Tartan Pride offense rolled through opponents up until the regional tournament. Justin Marrero, Byron Johann, Zach Stewart and Corey Throckmorton were just a few who helped spark the high-powered offense throughout the 2010 season.
Sinclair pitching also received a lot of attention as the staff put together a string of 31 consecutive scoreless innings in a five-game span in March.
Being a two-year community college, the Tartan Pride is set to lose the majority of impact players from 2010. But, Dintaman has proven in the past that he is determined to fill the roster with impact players that will help Sinclair reach its ultimate goal: the NJCAA World Series.
Expectations were high for the Tartan Pride at the beginning of the 09-10 season. Forward British Alexander returned from a back injury that forced him to miss last season and led the team to a 14-1 start before finishing the season 22-10.
The Tartan Pride were seeded fifth in the OCCAC Tournament where they defeated Owens Community College 67-64, before losing 89-55 to No. 1 seed Cincinnati State Technical and Community College in the second round.
Alexander led the Tartan Pride in scoring at 13.7 points per game and rebounding at 8 per game, earning himself an all-conference selection as First Team All OCCAC. Guard Kevin Vest made the second team, while guard Derek Ober and forward Jason Clardy were honorable mentions.
Off the court, the Tartan Pride participated in several charitable events such as volunteering at the Muscular Dystrophy Association and serving Thanksgiving dinner at the Boys and Girls Club of Dayton.
“Sinclair is a true academic institution,” Coach Jeff Price said in January. “More so than winning ball games, we’re trying to develop good citizens.”
Much like the men’s team, the Lady Pride also started their season strong, winning 12 of their first 15 games before injuries slowed the team down.
Coach Jeff Dillon said injuries to 6-footers Jessica Pierre and Emily Frey forced the team to re-tool midseason. The Lady Pride finished with a 19-10 record and advanced to the second round of the District XII Tournament before being bounced by Grand Rapids Community College.
Guard Chelcie Gullet, the team’s leading scorer, made First Team All OCCAC, while assists leader Jana Gross and top rebounder Emily Frey were honorable mentions.
Dillon said that the highlight of the Lady Pride’s season was a Feb. 20 upset win over then No. 2 Owens Community College.
“Our kids went into that game with a great sense of purpose,” Dillon said in March. “I will never forget the look in some of their eyes.”