With the local sports season ramping back up this month, there’s still plenty of off the field stories to report, especially at Long Beach State.
The San Diego Chargers open the NFL regular season at home on Monday night against the Houston Texans. It’s a local story because it will be the first game on sidelines for first-year head coach and 17-year NFL man Mike McCoy, the last quarterback to take a snap for the Long Beach State football program.
During his redshirt freshman season playing for George Allen in 1991, McCoy played in eight games, starting five of them. He completed 87 of 165 passes for 938 yards, seven touchdowns and three interceptions. When Long Beach State discontinued its football program in December 1991, McCoy transferred to the University of Utah.
Soon to be an on-the-court story, Long Beach State women's volleyball has announced the addition of middle blocker Haylee Roberts. The 6’2” freshman will join the team immediately just months after graduating from Liberty High School in Bakersfield, Calif.
Roberts was a four-time all-area selection at Liberty, and was the Area MVP in her senior season with the Patriots. She led the team with 404 kills on .478 hitting, while averaging 1.90 blocks per set.
“(Roberts) is a good middle blocker but also a versatile player that can be used in various positions," said Long Beach State head coach Brian Gimmillaro, who added that Roberts could see team on the right side where the 49ers have been struggling defensively.
The 49ers and Roberts return to action this weekend when they travel to San Francisco for three matches, facing off with Air Force, San Francisco, and Miami (Fla.) on Friday and Saturday.
On the links, former Long Beach State women's golfer Monica Villarreal advanced in the LPGA Tour Qualifying School over the weekend after tying for 88th place in stage one of the Ladies Professional Golf Association qualifying tournament at Mission Hills Country Club. Villarreal was among 241 players from around the world competing in the 72-hole event that was also contested The Palmer and the Dinah Shore Tournament course.
The top 100 players advances to stage two of the LPGA Tour Qualifying School in October at The Plantation Golf Club in Venice, Fla. Stage two will consist of 200 players with the top 80 advancing to stage three in December.
The Yorba Linda native was a three-year letterwinner for the 49ers, recording eight top-10 finishes and two top-20's. Villarreal also posted three runner-up finishes and helped the 49ers capture four tournament titles during her career while being named a three-time all Big West Conference selection and an academic all-conference recipient.
In fundraising news, for the second consecutive year the 49er Athletic Club will host its annual golf tournament at prestigious Virginia Country Club here in Long Beach. The tournament will be held on Monday, November 4 and all proceeds from the event will benefit over 350 49er student-athletes and their pursuit for academic and athletic excellence.
Last year, the tournament sold out more than one month in advance and raised a record amount of money. The 49er Athletic Club Golf Classic has traditionally raised thousands of dollars as one of the department's biggest events each year.
Golfers will be treated to an 18-hole shamble format tournament on the pristine layout, which is located in the Bixby Knolls area of Long Beach.
Opened in 1909, Virginia Country Club is one of the most sought-after rounds of golf in Southern California due to its privacy and prestige. Hosting just a few public events each year, this year's Golf Classic is a perfect opportunity to play one of the most memorable golf environments in the state.
Foursomes are just $1,700 prior to September 15, when prices will increase to $1,800. Individual golf spots will be $425 prior to September 15 and $475 thereafter.
All participants will receive more than $175 in gifts, sponsored by Nike, Srixon and LBSU partners, as well as a ticket to the post-tournament dinner, chances to win new cars, cash and more.
Community members and participants will also have the opportunity to support scholarships and win a dream vacation for two people. The drawing will take place on November 4 and the winner does not need to be present to win. The winner can choose from one of two trips to the 2014 Masters in Augusta, Georgia or a week at a Hyatt Resort in Maui, Kaua'i or Oahu.
Tournament sign-ups and raffle tickets can be purchased online at the link above, or by calling (562)985-7441.
In media news, Long Beach State Athletics Director Vic Cegles announced last month that Roger Kirk will be promoted and assume the title and duties of the Assistant Athletics Director of Media Relations. Kirk has spent the past six years as a member of the media relations department at Long Beach State.
Hired in 2007 at Long Beach State as an Assistant Director, Kirk was promoted to Associate Director of Media Relations in 2008. He has spent the past five years working as the primary media liaison for women's volleyball and baseball among other sports while serving as the department's webmaster.
"I'm genuinely thrilled to receive this opportunity," said Kirk. "Working with all of our coaches and student-athletes during my time here at Long Beach State has been tremendous, and I look forward to continuing a great tradition while accepting new challenges in this age of new media."
During his time at Long Beach State, Kirk has overseen two redesigns of www.longbeachstate.com, and served as the Interim Director of Media Relations after the departure of Todd Miles from November to January of the last academic year.
Kirk was honored by the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) with the West Region's Grant Burger Media Award for outstanding service in the promotion of volleyball while at Long Beach State, and is also a publications award winner with the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).
A 2003 graduate of the University of Puget Sound, Kirk worked at Fresno State as well as with the Minnesota Twins and Seattle Mariners organizations before joining the media relations team at Long Beach State.