Spring 2016 Issue 6

Page 1


Student-Run Newspaper of Fresno City College

The Rampage



Rampage reporters debate whether the state of California should legalize marijuana. l SEE PAGE 9

April 20, 2016




Students Outraged After Parking Lot Assault BY CRESENCIO RODRIGUEZ-DELGADO Editor-in-Chief crodriguezdelgado@therampageonline.com

When word got out that a Fresno City College student was attacked in parking lot D on the south end of campus, students quickly took to social media to express anger and concern. According to a bulletin issued by the State Center Community College District police, a male student was approached by two Hispanic males who demanded his backpack in the early morning of April 12. When the student refused, the men struck him in the face with closed fists. The student managed to fight back, but the suspects got away. At first, FCC students who read the Rampage’s posts of the incident on social media expressed concern. “I’m going to literally start carrying my stun gun with me from now on,” wrote Facebook user, Joshin Gomez. “Great!” Sarah Parsalakis wrote on Facebook. “More of a reason to be scared to go to school.”


A dancer from the Irene Gonzales Project performs at the Old Administration Building Auditorium during the Chicano Youth Conference on Saturday, April 16, 2016 Photo/Daisy Rodriguez


Man and Best Friend Become Big Hits on Campus BY ASHLEIGH PANOO

Reporter apanoo@therampageonline.com

Outside the Tutorial Center at Fresno City College, Zapata, a small, brown dog sits patiently, stoically even, waiting for his owner. He wears a red shirt that reads, “#1 Fan EOPS,” and seems to be at ease, yet slightly cautious around the flurry of tudent activity that pass near him. Eventually, the doors open and student Larry Rodriguez walks out. Zapata jumps up excitedly -- his wait is finally over. Rodriguez, the man behind the dog that is such a familiar face around campus, reaches out to give an Apache handshake to a passing student. He

jokes that it’s good for keeping away germs. Then he turns to Zapata and with a wave of his hand, the dog is by his side. He wonders aloud if Zapata needs to be tied up, then laughs. “I’d never tie him up anyway,” Rodriguez says. He explains that Zapata was given to him four years ago by a former neighbor. “A friend of mine passed away,” Rodriguez says solemnly. “He had cancer [and] asked me, ‘Larry, do me a favor, can you take care of Zapata for me?’” Rodriguez says he then trained the dog, which now follows him to school every day. In fact, Zapata goes just about everywhere Rodriguez does, including



Zapata waits patiently for his owner, Larry Rodriguez, outside the Fresno City College Library, April 13, 2016. Photo/Larry Valenzuela




Briefs 2


Guitar summit scheduled for April 22 at FCC auditorium BY ASHLEIGH PANOO

Reporter apanoo@therampageonline.com

The Central Valley Guitar Summit will be held in the Old Administration Auditorium, according to information released by Fresno City College. The event is scheduled for April 22 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The summit includes a high school guitar competition, an appearance by the FCC guitar ensemble and a performance by award-winning

classical guitarist William Kanengiser. A pre-concert reception will be held for ticketholders at 6 p.m. in OAB 251. At 7:30 p.m., William Kanengiser will take the stage, and the summit will close with an announcement of the competition winners. Admission to the competition is free, and concert tickets are $10 for general admission and $5 for students and seniors. A $30 package includes two tickets, a Kanengiser CD, and VIP seating to the concert.

NAACP to hold informational meeting for Measure C BY DESTINEE LOPEZ

Reporter dlopez@therampageonline.com

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is inviting students and faculty to an informational meeting on Measure C. The NAACP Fresno Branch will host

the event on April 21 starting at 6 p.m. at 1920 Mariposa Mall suite 310. Campus representatives will present the impact the bond would have on each of their campuses.

Chicano youth conference BY DAISY RODRIGUEZ

Photo Editor drodriguez@therampageonline.com

The Chicano Youth Conference sponsored by the Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan Club provided tools for connecting to cultural roots.


Hosted in the Old Administration Building Auditorium on April 16, the event featured workshops for Latino and Indigenous youth who sought to “celebrate [their] cultural heritage and had desire to learn.” Workshops included poetry, music and dancing, mental health in prisons, as well as voting and alternatives to violence.

Rampage Staff

Editor-in-Chief Cresencio Rodriguez Delgado Managing Editor/Copy Chief David Chavez Rampage Adviser/Instructor Dympna Ugwu-Oju dympna.ugwu-oju@fresnocitycollege.edu Contact Us Tip Line: 559.442.8262 Send Questions or Letters to the Editor to: editorial@therampageonline.com

Softball team on top of latest state ranking

‘Lit Hop’ event scheduled for April 23


Sports Editor kclark@therampageonline.com

The softball team is number one, according to the latest California Community College Fastpitch Coaches Association ranking. “I’m very proud of this team for their success so far, and grateful for the recognition,” Rhonda Williams, head softball coach said. The ladies took the lead in the state and Northern California ranking after riding in a 22-game winning streak. After 412 days, they trumped the previous number one team, College of San Mateo. The Rams, who are currently 30-3, were selected unanimously. Sophomore pitcher, Sarah Santana, leads the team and is ahead in the state with 29 wins.


Reporter dlopez@therampageonline.com

The Tower District is holding its first Lithop on April 23 from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. All 39 events are free and open to the public. More than 140 writers, including the Fresno Poet Laureate and FCC professor Lee Herrick, will be featured. The headline event will be held at the Fresno City College Auditorium at 7 p.m. U.S Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera will give the first public free reading. An after party is scheduled at GoldStein’s on 1279 N. Wishon Ave for those 21 and older.

Student art show opens April 25 BY ASHLEIGH PANOO

Reporter apanoo@therampageonline.com

The annual Student Art Show is coming to Art Space Gallery at Fresno City College from April 25 to May 11. An award reception will be held from 5 p.m to 8 p.m. on April 28 to honor Fine, Performing and Communication Arts students who submitted their

work in various forms of media. A juror talk will also take place during the reception including local artist and past FCC instructor Nancy Youdelman as well as painter, photographer and CSU Fresno professor, Joan Sharma.

Check out our website for videos, galleries and more stories

Arts & Entertainment Editor Jasmine Yoro Bowles Sports Editors Keaundrey Clark Michael Ford Photo Editor Daisy Rodriguez Multimedia Editor George Garnica Broadcast Editor Larry Valenzuela Assistant Copy Editor Tammi Nott

Reporters Caleb Owens-Garrett Michael Mendez Rudy Perez Ryan Holquin Tammi Nott Destinee Lopez Ashleigh Panoo Amrita Aulakh Aedan Juvet Trevor Graham Travis McDonald Edward Smith Christopher Del Castillo Connor Linville Jorge Alamo Bineet Kaur Ram Reyes





Man Says Dog Helps Him Through College l CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

his classes. How does he know if an instructor will let Zapata into class? “I just take him in,” Rodriguez says. “If they don’t say anything, I guess it’s a yes.” Although Zapata is friendly and Rodriguez often greets other students with a huge smile, he admits that it wasn’t always this way. The former youth counselor has a past that at one point cost him his freedom. He admits that his temper led him through a string of events, including a strong arm robbery, which eventually caused him to lose his job and become homeless. “I used to be a very violent person,” Rodriguez says, turning serious. “You know how people have [those] little buttons [that say] alcohol or drugfree? I think they should [make one] that says ‘hit-free’. I haven’t hit anyone in two years.” Rodriguez was born in New Mexico and lived his young life on the Mescalero Apache Indian reservation before coming to California. He found work as a youth counselor, but his violent behavior eventually landed him in prison. Rodriguez says that since he’s been out, he is changing his ways. “I came back to school [because] I can’t find a job. This is like a job,” he adds. “It’s like going to a job eight hours a day, because that’s how long I usually stay.” While Rodriguez is getting his life together, he and Zapata live in Fresno’s Chinatown. He hesitates to call himself homeless, but says he would not exactly call where he lives a home either. After he and Zapata leave FCC in the evening, they return to community apartments. “There’s maybe 50 people that live there and they have like three bathrooms and three showers,” he says. “Sometimes you really need to go and you have to run across the street to a store or something.” He also talks about the toll his living arrangements take on his schoolwork. “It’s very difficult to concentrate,” Rodriguez says. He is also concerned about general


Larry Rodriguez stands next to his dog, Zapata outside the Fresno City College Library building on April 13, 2016. Rodriguez says his pet dog helps him get through college. Rodriguez and Zapata have become familiar faces on campus. Photos/Larry Valenzuela. safety. “You can’t have any stuff. They’re always breaking in your apartment when you’re not there,” Rodriguez said. “There’s a lot of violence, a lot of drugs, a lot of prostitution.” He tries to stay away as much as possible from his “home”. “It is a struggle as far as maintaining my sanity and trying to educate myself,” he says. “I’m trying to get rid of that stigma.” Rodriguez admits it is difficult at times to keep out of trouble. “Everyone knows I used to be violent. They don’t want to get me upset,”

he says. “They say, ‘hey, he’s a nice guy now. We don’t want to get him back to that stage,’ and I try very hard not to get back to that stage.” Despite his struggles, Rodriguez says he is now on the right track to success. “I’d like to go to [Fresno] State. I’d like to continue [my education],” Rodriguez says. “I’m thinking about going for my masters, maybe doing teaching. Maybe become an instructor here [at FCC].” Every morning Rodriguez is woken up by Zapata’s whimpering in his ear.

AWP Conference Shows Career Paths to Literature Society BY BINEET KAUR & TAMMI NOTT Reporters editorial@therampageonline.com

Members of the Fresno City College Literature and Arts Society attended the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) Conference in downtown Los Angeles during the weekend of April 1. The conference lasted four days and attracted more than 12,000 attendees and more than 2,000 presenters. AWP included several panels composed of professional publishers, authors, publicists and MFA professors that educated peers and aspiring writers in ways to improve their writing, editing, poetry, and journalism. Attendees were given the choice of panels and readings to attend. The conference held hundreds of panels, about 20 each hour, each lasting an hour and 15 minutes. AWP is the largest literary


FCC student Thomas Childress and Damiann Cardenas look through the book fair at the 2016 AWP Conference April 1, 2016. Photo/Tammi Nott

“He knows I have to go to school,” he says. “Dogs are pretty much human.” Like Zapata, Rodriguez seems content yet cautious about where life is going to take him next. He says, “It’s just me and Zapata.”


Facebook user, Hannah Noble, offered up her own solution. “Put more cops on campus to keep [students] safe.” According to police, the suspects were last seen heading east on McKinley Avenue that morning. One suspect is described as a Hispanic male in his 20s, 5 feet 10 inches. He was seen wearing a black baseball cap, black shirt and black jeans. The second suspect is also described as a Hispanic male in his 20s, 5 feet 8 inches. He was wearing a black and gray sweatshirt and dark colored jeans. After the incident, it took the SCCCD authorities several hours to email students about the attack. Facebook user Jennifer Stroman Goosey expressed disappointment. “It would have been nice if the [expletive] officials would have text messaged right after it happened,” Goosey wrote. In the alert sent to students’ emails, police said they were concerned for the safety of students because this incident occurred on campus. The police bulletin urged students, faculty and staff to be aware of their surroundings as they walk to their vehicles. “Escort” services for anyone wishing to have a member of the police department walk them to their vehicle are available, police said. One Facebook user, Keiko Janelle, said, “This is why we walk together.”

NEWS PASS Coordinator Wins State Stanback-Stroud Diversity Award 4

BY CRESENCIO RODRIGUEZ DELGADO Editor-in-Chief crodriguezdelgado@therampageonline.com

Fresno City College tutoring coordinator, Jennifer Dorian, has been named the winner of a statewide award that recognizes faculty for their commitment to student success, the college said. Dorian, coordinator of the college’s Peer Assisted Study Sessions (PASS), won the 2016 Stanback-Stroud Diversity Award for her “effort to increase student success in the embedded tutoring program”. Dorian will receive a $5,000 cash prize and a plaque at the award ceremony on April 22 in Sacramento, California. “This is truly a win for [FCC] and particularly the PASS team,” Dorian said. “They helped my vision come to fruition.” The award honors faculty who have made special contributions with regard to student diversity at their college. PASS is designed to help student success and retention through supplemental instruction practices in English, EMLS, linguistics and literature. Dorian was nominated by fellow faculty member, Tabitha Villalba and her nomination was endorsed by the college’s Academic Senate.

Jennifer Dorian, coordinator for the Peer Assisted Study Sessions program won the 2016 StanbackStroud Diversity Award. Photo/ Larry Valenzuela



conference in North America. This year was the first year it was held in California in 10 years. Attending the this coveted literary event has been a goal for LAS for a number of years according to Julio Trevino Damiann Cardenas, president of the Literature and Arts Society at FCC, said that her favorite panel was “Thinking Like an Editor” because she would like to be an editor in the future. “If you have interests,” Cardenas said, “it is very important to go to events like this. Pursue your interests, and hear other voices from people who share those interests. A community that does that will help you grow and flourish.” Thomas Childress, an English major at FCC, a published author and member of LAS, attended the AWP Conference as well. He said he found people who were accepting submissions of literary journals and magazines. He would like to send in his own short stories for a chance to be published. He was also able to glean marketing strategies to use for his novel. Childress’ published novel, “Mercy for the Fallen: Legacy of Hope,” takes place in a place called Edenia that was nearly demolished by a barbarian horde. A group called HOPE found a hidden robotic city and chased away the barbarians with technology. An assassin by the name of Kenji is

Managing Editor dchavez@therampageonline.com

An informational campaign is sweeping through the Fresno City College community as new banners and lawn signs lay out the hopes and plans for Measure C in and around the campus. The bond measure is up for vote in the June 7 elections, but with 60 to 64 percent of voters voting by absentee ballot and could get their ballots as early as May, the college is hoping to get as much information to the public and surrounding areas as soon as possible. According to Lucy Ruiz, the district’s public relations officer, the district is almost the size of the state of Connecticut, and because of its size, “someone in Oakhurst might not know what’s going in Fresno.”

Fresno City College Literature and Arts Society students immerse themselves in the ‘Last Book Store’ in Los Angeles following the 2016 AWP conference on April 1, 2016. seeking revenge and, in the process, meets four other individuals. The five of them are united by their shared hardships against the immorality that might destroy their world. The author hopes his book will be the type of novel that even a person who does not greatly enjoy reading could take an interest in. The conference had plenty of “writers trying to help other writers succeed,” Childress said. “It helped me grow more confident in my goals because I’m not alone in the literary

community.” The AWP experience brings club members and professors together as peers and friends with industry professionals. It helps build a solid foundation for them to support each other in their art. Jeana Denae Coon, a LAS member and FCC student said, “[AWP] reminded me that although writing is a solitary occupation, I’m not alone in its struggles, qualms, and triumphs.”

DSP&S Nurtures, Encourages Ability Awareness BY TAMMI NOTT

Reporter tnott@therampageonline.com

Imagine the tranquility of the botanical and presidential gardens, the inspiring music interpreted by a deaf choir, or the elegant dance moves by a dancer who is deaf and cannot hear the music. These are reality at Fresno City College where the students in the Disabled Students Programs and Services are living their dreams and inspiring the community not just locally, but globally. Every day, Janice Emerzian, director of DSP&S in the State Center Community District, works hard to connect the students she serves with both the community at large to provide exciting and innovative ways to transform their lives. Likewise, Christine Bise, district-wide sign language interpreter coordinator, and Jerry Hentzler, adap-

District Pushes Measure C BY DAVID CHAVEZ


The district itself cannot be advocating for the measure, but what they can do is provide ample information in order for voters to make informed decisions. The signs provide statistics, and the district also has fact sheets and a brochure that detail all that the bond measure hopes to achieve. According to Ruiz, each campus has formed committees to aid in the effort of getting the bond passed. Those committees, made up of students, faculty, staff and community members, have been meeting after business hours as well as off campus. As the election draws closer, 30-seconds ads will be shown during movie previews at Maya Cinema; other advertisements will on the radio and local newspapers. The regular campaign that urges people to vote yes is being funded by

tive ornamental horticulture instructor, are committed to providing meaningful real world opportunities to help students make their dreams a reality. Hentzler rewards his students who want to pursue careers in horticulture. He remembers students he has placed in local nurseries, and one who was able to start her own business taking care of container gardens. “Anyone can get a lawn person, but not everyone can get a lawn person that knows about bedding plants and taking care of containers. That’s her specialty. She has clients in Fig Garden and other areas, that can pay her well.” said Hentzler. Emerzian, Bise, Hentzler and others in the DSP&S office at Fresno City College focus on students’ abilities while guiding them to reach their ambitions. The office provides tools that create access to educational and vocational opportunities for the students. And DSP&S students are achieving

amazing goals. On Disability Day which was also the college showcase day, students displayed their green thumbs through the Adaptive Ornamental Horticulture Program which is an integral part of DSP&S. As part of their class curriculum, these students learn horticulture and business skills. The program markets its own brand of inspiration by offering their beautiful plants for sale to the public. Jerry Hentzler and his talented student horticulturists are responsible for the beautiful botanical gardens tucked away next to the math and science building, as well as the presidential rose garden in front of the Old Administration Building. Hentzler said that an important part of the growth of a student can be seeing the fruits of their labor.


A student walks near a State Center Community College District billboard promoting Measure C at the southeast entrance to Fresno City College on April 18, 2016. Photo/Larry Valenzuela contributors. The signs posted around the FCC campus state that Measure C will help FCC “construct a new Math Science Building, construct additional park-

ing, improve technology, modernize and repair existing facilities and infrastructure, improve accessibility for the disabled, and construct a West Fresno Educational Facility.”





Latest Invention Lets Users Asian Fest ‘Speed’ Through Online Ads Scheduled

for April 30


Photo Editor drodriguez@therampageonline.com

Stan Wong, chief executive officer of VAAC, LLC, produced a voice activated accelerator called the VAAC Army which speeds up video ads when a viewer says the brand tagline to the VAAC Army application. For this to work, the user cannot use an ad blocker, which is detrimental to content creators. Ad blockers cut off ads completely to the viewer, therefore the content creators cannot not be paid. Wong started this new technology in Austin, Texas in 2012 and since then it has been available for eight months for the Google Chrome browser, six months for Android devices and four months for iOS devices. The reason for this app is “to protect content creators from ad blockers,” Wong said. “To have the advertiser get the message through to their viewers and for viewers not have to wait or not have to download an ad blocker.” Therefore, the content creator is still being paid and can create more content for everybody to enjoy and watch. “If a Coca Cola ad comes up and the user sees the Coca Cola ad and he’s seen it three, or four, or five times


Reporter ajuvet@therampageonline.com

Stan Wong, chief executive officer of VAAC, LLC, produced a voice-activted accelerator called VAAC Army. The latest inventionn speeds up video ads. Photo/Google before, he gets the message and he doesn’t want to see that ad again...he says the tagline [to the VAAC Army app]...he doesn’t have to watch the ad anymore. It’s done in three seconds, it’s over, everybody wins.” Wong says. The goal for VAAC Army is to work directly with all advertisers and sites to accelerate through all ads. For now the VAAC Army app only works on YouTube, however Wong says that their “developers are working on other sites for our app.” Wong anticipates that if people

keep downloading ad-blockers, “all the revenue going out of the industry and content on the internet will probably decrease if it continues.” Compared to YouTube’s five second skip button, which has a viewer wait five seconds to skip a full ad, the VAAC Army fast forwards the ad in three seconds. This new technology is currently free for users to download and free for advertisers to give the VAAC Army app their name and tagline for this purpose.

After Fresno City College’s opening celebration for Asian American Month, the college has announced the date for this year’s Asian Fest. The day of entertainment and activities is scheduled for April 30, 2016 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., the college said. The event is expected to expand to the college’s main fountain area, campus mall, free speech area and cafeteria. The festival is the most publicized day of the month, and will feature live performances, vendors, martial arts and food. The free event is organized by the Asian American Faculty & Staff Association. Parking is free all day. For a list of events for the the month of April, visit the college website. For information on the festival, contact Maile Martin at 559-4438688.

6 A&E Get hooked on Anime with this list BY AEDAN JUVET

Reporter ajuvet@therampageonline.com


Kuppa Joy’s NFL Connection BY GEORGE GARNICA

Multimedia Editor ggarnica@therampageonline.com

Over the years, anime has become an expressive medium that depicts storytelling through a spectrum of emotion. But for those who aren’t fully aware, there are series that could serve as a gateway to appreciating the lesser known platform. First, “Cowboy Bebop,” for example, is a series by renowned anime creator, Shinchiro Watanabe, which centers on a crew of misfit bounty hunters in a far off future where space travel a is frequent as is danger. The series takes inspiration from western films, often exploring philosophical aspects of each character and the depth of human emotion. It is easily accessible to anime fans and those who are less aware because it embodies an energy of poignant self awareness that anyone can relate to pivotal moments in their life. Also, the horror series, “Another”, is an anime that is largely unknown. It’s a shame, given its brilliant creativity, that is on par with some of the most successful series in anime and the horror genre in general. What makes this one a great series is its ability to create an overwhelming sense of anxiety and mystery that leaves viewers guessing from beginning to end. Horror fans can appreciate the gutsy choices and deaths that they take, solidifying “Another” as concep-


A former National Football League (NFL) player is tackling a much different task, running his own business. Former Clovis High School football standout and member of the Detroit Lions, Zack Follett never imagined his new career to be one of selling coffee. One day, at UC Berkeley, as Follet read his Bible with a cup of coffee in one hand, he received a token of evidence about what was to come. “I was sitting there drinking a cappuccino and said to myself, ‘this is the best cup of coffee I have ever had this is a cup of joy!’” Follet said. Follet said he felt a higher power urging him to help people connect through their love of coffee. Follet returned to Clovis, California and would soon open a place for the community to do just that. But Follett would have to wait to make good on that fateful message. The Detroit Lions drafted him shortly after in early 2009. He played for two seasons as a professional before his career was cut short by a neck injury. It was after this, that Follet was able to bring his message and calling to fruition. Once football was done, Follett said he took a leap of faith by using all of all the money he had saved from being a pro athlete and came home within in a year’s time to open Kuppa Joy in Clovis in December of 2012. “I’ve never had a job before being a football player, which was my real first job,” Follett said. “So walking into and being an owner of a business, well there was a lot to learn and so the first three years were kind of trial-and-error on how to do things correctly.” Follet’s success in Clovis followed him all the way into the neighboring city, where he opened up his second coffee shop in Fresno. The new shop opened its doors during the first week of March 2016 “We wanted to expand our reach out here by Fresno City College and Fresno High, so we opened our doors and that is where we proudly are now,” Follet said.

Recycled Fashion Exhibit Opens in Library Student Wins Photography Award Chelsea Follet and Nick Follet opened up their latest Kuppa Joy branch in Fresno. Photo/George Garnica


Reporter alaukh@therampageonline.com

The Recycled Fashion Library Exhibit will have its unveiling on April 22 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. The exhibit in the college library will feature unique outfits made from fashion magazines, coffee filters, home décor items, packing material and food and trash bags. Linda Kobashigawa, FCC librarian, said students from the Fashion Merchandising course created 11 unique outfits this year. The designers were inspired by this year’s runway fashion shows, she said. Students are also aiming to educate others about tasteful and ethical fashion production. A bin will be available at the show for people to donate their used clothes in an effort to reduce the waste of clothing and textiles. The free event is open to the public and will include a runway show. The full library exhibit will run from April 22 to May 12 in the college library. For information on the event, contact Pamela Hutton at (559) 2176679 or Linda Kobashigawa at (559) 442-4600.



Photo Editor drodriguez@therampageonline.com

With six nominees and only one winner, the third annual Hanna S. Barsam Excellence in Photography Award reception and Exhibition was held Thursday, April 14 in OAB 251. In the memory of Central Valley photographer Hanna S. Barsam, the Barsam Estate has established a $1,500 cash award to a deserving student in the Fresno City College Photography Program each year. The nominees included: Juan Rosales, Madison Jones, Sophia Chico, Mabel Meza, Michael Greilich, Sofia An, Maria Hernandez, Jesse Calderon and Travis Rockett. Contestants had to enter 20 images, five of which must be printed and in gallery style, an essay of the applicant’s experience to pursuing photography in the future and a minimum of a 3.0 GPA in all their photography courses. Melene Ouzounian, cousin of Hanna S. Barsam, along with Mr. Ed Darden, presented the award to Sofia An. The Hanna S. Barsam Exhibition of all nine nominees will be shown in OAB 251 until December of 2016.

Ed Darden present the Hanna S. Barsam award of $1,500 to photographer Sofie An Thursday Apr. 14, 2016. Photo/Daisy Rodriguez

A&E 7


Paul McCartney Inspires Fresno Fans BY DAVID CHAVEZ

Managing Editor dchavez@therampageonline.com

Sir Paul McCartney kicked off his 2016 “One on One” world tour at the Save Mart Center in Fresno, with fans cheering endlessly throughout the night. “Good evening Fresno!” McCartney said to the sold-out crowd on April 13. Fans, young and old, responded with roars and rounds of applause that did not let up. McCartney would give his fans nearly three hours of his vast catalog of music. “We’re gonna play some new ones, old ones, some in-between ones,” McCartney told the crowd. People travelled from all over the state, from as far away as San Francisco and Los Angeles, just to see the Beatle who has been gracing the world with his music for over 50 years. Nineteen-year-old Fresno native Healani Ethen has been a fan of McCartney and The Beatles since she was two and remembers her uncle and grandpa singing and playing the Beatles classic “Yesterday” on guitar. “It was amazing. I cried several times. It was unreal,” Ethen said. “He has inspired me in so many ways.” Throughout the night, McCartney joked with the crowd, recalling incidents with other legendary artist such as Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton. He also told the story of how the Beatles were the first band to play in the Red Square in Russia and how Russia’s defense minister said that he learned English from listening to the Beatles. He also paid tribute to his late

bandmates John Lennon and George Harrison and producer George Martin. The setlist for the night started off with a bang with “A Hard Day’s Night”. The arena erupted with a wave of applause and screams that could be heard throughout Fresno.“Maybe I’m Amazed”, “Save Us, “Love Me Do”, “Blackbird”, “Here Today”, “Eleanor Rigby”, “Let it Be”, and “Hey Jude” are just a few of the many songs that McCartney played. The show featured a light show and pyrotechnics that provided a somewhat cinematic experience that truly showcased the artistic abilities of everyone involved with bringing a live show to faithful music lovers and concert goers. After McCartney and his band bowed and left the stage, there was an encore that was as loud as one can imagine and it was more than enough to bring the beloved musician back to the stage. The band came out waving U.S. flags, the United Kingdom and of the California State Flag. The only boos of the night came when McCarney said, “There comes a time when we gotta go home.” Ethen explained why McCartney is able to draw and inspire millions with his music. “I’d say his charisma, his love and devotion for his music, fans and family,” Ethen said. “He has a very loving and caring personality that shines through in his music, interviews, artwork and philanthropy.” The night certainly felt like a one-on-one experience with McCartney. He was at times a comedian, a storyteller and a musician all at once. It is a night that Fresno will always remember.

Paul McCartney performing “A Hard Day’s Night” during his show at the Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif. on April 13, 2016. Photo/Ram Reyes

‘The Little Mermaid’ at Roger Rocka’s Is Magical BY DAVID CHAVEZ

Managing Editor dchavez@therampageonline.com

Get ready to immerse yourself in a world of dynamic dancing, sensational singing, adept acting and magical music as you take an excursion under the sea and down memory lane in Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” (directed by Dan Pessano) running through May 15 at the Roger Rocka’s Dinner Theater in the Tower District. The production brings to life the story of a young girl who is willing to risk everything and go against her father in order to explore the realm above the waters. Good Company Players brings this unique theater experience and a show

full of laughter, intrigue and fun, that is sure to keep you drawn in from beginning to end. Based on the Hans Christian Andersen story and the Disney classic, the play features an amazing ensemble, colorful costumes and the combination of stunning visual effects, and a beautiful backdrop makes one feel as though they are really submerged in the ocean and breathing along with the residents of Atlantica. The theater adaptation of the classic fairytale is fun for people of all ages and provides an opportunity to relive childhood memories and learn more of the backstory from familiar songs and characters on the stage. Good Company Players boasts an extremely talented group of actors. From Ariel to Scuttle, and Ursula to Se-

bastian, there is no letdown of energy and effort put into making sure the audience is guaranteed a sound performance is put on for the audience. Emily Pessano does an amazing job of portraying Ariel, the teenage mermaid desperate to become part of the human world. Through her performance, she is able to convey that giddy curiosity and ambitious desire. Camille Gaston who plays Scuttle provides plenty of humor as the seagull who is Ariel’s connection to the outside world. With quirky jokes and made-up words, Gaston’s character will have you laughing the whole night. Brianne Janae Vogt plays the villain, the sea witch Ursula, whose role in the story is explained more in the theater adaptation than the movie.

Ursula, aunt of Ariel and sister to King Triton, is both conniving and funny as she looks to reclaim from her brother what she claims to be hers. Good Company Players’ production of “The Little Mermaid” provides an exceptional chance for residents of Fresno to experience theater in a fun and exciting way. The costumes are elaborate and the cast and crew are rich in creativity; only a “poor unfortunate soul” would let this pass you by. “The Little Mermaid” will run Thursday through Sunday until May 15 at Roger Rocka’s Dinner Theater, located at 1226 N. Wishon at Olive. Tickets can be bought at the Box Office open Tuesday through Sunday, beginning at 10 a.m. or by calling (559) 266-9494 or online at www.rogerrockas.com

The cast and crew of Good Company Players reprise the roles of the lively and colorful characters from Disney’s production of “The Little Mermaid”. The live theater adaptation is running Thursday through Sunday until May 15 at Roger Rocka’s Dinner Theater located in Fresno’s Tower District. Photos courtesy/Good Company Players




For Earth Day, Use Less Water, Eat Less Meat, Save Our Planet BY RAMPAGE EDITORIAL BOARD editorial@therampageonline.com

Life is about making sacrifices, and making sacrifices sometimes yields unexpected benefits. April 22 marks Earth Day 2016, and all across the country, and possibly world, billions of people will commit to a healthier and greener planet. The sacrifice is not a hard one -- it is about committing to improving our planet and therefore ourselves and our future. We are in our fifth year of considerable drought in California, and while the fight continues about allocation of water to parts of the state, we must consider the implications of this prolonged drought on the ways we use water. Water use in the state is immense, especially when we use so much of it to produce the food we eat. But we don’t have to use so much water to put food on our table. We could work towards food that utilizes less water. In an essay published on waterfootpring.org, author, Arjen Y. Hoekstra argues that while we have a desire to reduce our “carbon footprint”, we generally ignore the “related and equally urgent need to reduce our water footprint.” The essay also noted that 27

percent of the water footprint of humanity is related to the production of animal products, much higher than the amount of household water use which stands at 4 percent. In an essay published in the Guardian, Adam Briggs noted that our diets are a “major source of greenhouse gas emissions” and that “dietary patterns will need to change to avoid catastrophic consequences.” The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimates food agriculture, including crop and livestock production, forestry and associated land use changes are responsible for up to 30 percent of emmissions The Institution of Mechanical Engineers contends that 70 percent of all water use is for food production.

That same production of food is the leading cause of global deforestation and biodiversity loss, according to the Food Climate Research Network. About 25 percent of all land is used to raise livestock for consumption, a trend that leads to greater deforestation and loss of land. Thinking critically about our diet is important in this day and age of climate change and food scarcity around the world. Simply turning off the water faucet when you brush your teeth isn’t enough. We must consider how we use our valuable water resource on a global and local scale. Food items like vegetables and fruits have much less effect on our water usage than animal derived products such as meats, milk, oil products and eggs, according to

We cannot continue on this path to destroy our planet. - Rampage Editorial Board

Hoekstra. Processing vegetable leaves uses about 709 pounds of water, but for comparable sized sheep or goat meat, an epic 19,319 pounds of water is used, leaving an immense water footprint. Yes, we all love our meat and dairy products, but we must ask ourselves on this Earth Day whether the pleasure we derive from consuming these foods is worth the cost to our planet. How much are we willing to sacrifice for a cheeseburger? The truth is that we cannot continue on this path to destroy our planet. We must commit to correcting the damage caused by our choices. It doesn’t have to be a hard choice. It is simply about our health and the well being of the planet. Eating a meatless diet also limits cancer risks, reduces heart disease, fights diabetes and curbs obesity, according to available research. Reducing the amount of meat in one’s diet provides a chance for a healthier, longer life. Let us commit to minimizing our water footprint, our carbon footprint, not just for the sake of our bodies, but for the legacy we want to leave our children. Happy Earth Day; minimize your water use; eat less meat.

Video Games Should be Art BY TRAVIS MCDONALD

Reporter tmcdonald@therampageonline.com

What is art? The “textbook definition” explains art as “the expression of human creative skill or imagination.” This begs the question, are video games art? Simply put, they should be considered art. “The Last of Us,” a game created by Naughty Dog in 2013, began with a pulse pounding opening that leaves the player with a heavy heart. I experienced this when I first played, and it nearly moved me to tears. Despite being introduced to these characters moments before, I truly felt for them as tragedy struck them, and by association, me. In the moment, I was not playing a video game. I was watching a friend lose someone close to him, like a movie or stage production. If these mediums are considered art, then why would a video game be considered any different? In their essence, a video game is equivalent to an animated movie, except now you are the directing it, deciding what happens and when

it happens. Along with that, the art style of games can be exceptional. The Borderlands series, created by 2K Games and Gearbox Studios, has been heralded for its creative art style and the diversity of imagery it presents. Their creators detailed their visuals as “hand-drawn textures scanned in and colored in Photoshop”, and has been referred to as “cel-shaded”. Video games have commonly been looked down upon by mass members of society, but in recent years have gained more popularity and acceptance from the masses. The creation of online multiplayer allow players to play with their friends on virtually any platform, a console, computer, or even their phones. This has created a new way to interact and be able to form relationships with people, and even though you can not see them, you can still connect with them. This is the goal of the game developers, who are able to use the video game industry to express themselves and their creativity, to create these vessels of joy. I have been playing video games for my entire life, and I see them on the same level as a movie, a piece of music, a comic book or even a work of literature. I am not alone in that department. In a ruling over protests of violence in video games, the Supreme Court deemed videogames as an art form, worthy of the same protections under the law as other art forms. If the Supreme Court views video games as an art form, why shouldn’t you?





Should Marijuana be Legalized?


With a pending petition being put forth in favor of regulation and control of marijuana in California, it seems all but inevitable that such a measure would be passed. Upon passage, smokers would be able to finally celebrate that the age of repression is finally over, only to usher in a newer world of realistic obstacles, including rapidly inflating prices and rampant environmental impacts. Instead, I submit that with a mere tweaking of current legislation, marijuana enthusiasts can enjoy all the benefits of marijuana nearly unabated without the added stresses on our c u r r e n t water crisis. That world can only exist in the status quo. For a state in debt, the biggest issue is funding. Proponents of legalization have promi s e d huge incomes for the already indebted state. It stands to reason that t h e r e will be an initial rush for marijuana. They claim that tax revenues will be higher than the consumers that funded them, but many are skeptical about how long this would last. Without massive growth and consumption, California can’t benefit from the promised revenues. In order to collect on all of the benefits that they claim, production would have to be on a massive scale. But, many forecasters see the California population relying heavily on personal grow equipment intended for residential use, which may not actually fall under taxable consumables. Endeavors like these can cost thousands. Marijuana demands space, massive amounts of energy,


Reporter esmith@therampageonline.com

and greater water demand. Increased pressures on suppliers will skyrocket the prices of equipment, and with the ubiquity of weed, growers will no longer be able to rely on sales to offset their costs as they do now. Outside of the wealthiest weed connoisseurs, continued price demands will make individual grows almost unfeasible. The next most available source would be the corporate growing outfits, which place high demands and stresses on their environments. At the corporate level, in order to yield profitable crops, a single marijuana plant needs up to six gallons a day. That amount is double what grapes need to be fruitful. Put simply, marijuana is a very thirsty plant, and in an already drought ridden-state, the impact of another head at the watering hole could put California further into an increasingly precarious position. Places like Santa Barbara have already felt the crunch. Their water prices have doubled as well as in countless other places in our cotton-mouthed state, forcing us to choose between agriculture jobs that supply food across the globe, or for everyday cooking and cleaning. And now, voters want to throw recreational drug use into the mix. Everyday Californians hear about conserving water and while they have responded accordingly, another parallel proposition has arisen, one that creates a brand new demand on our already depleted resource. Some may claim that recent rainfall can account for this new demand, but the presence of the El Niño is nothing more than an occurrence and Californians cannot afford to rely on its inconsistent rainfall. For four consecutive years, there was negligible amounts of water and snowpack to replenish water projects, and at the first sign of drought alleviation California wants to add another thirsty industry. We cannot afford this. So, for those who like to enjoy themselves and wish to see the market opened up to sate their pleasure, there is already a system in place to fill that craving. Anyone with a good enough story can get a marijuana card, and there has always been marijuana available for those who are desperate enough.


BY CHRISTOPHER DEL CASTILLO Reporter cdelcastillo@therampageonline.com

In 2016 California will put marijuana on the ballot. Yes America, California will put pot on the ballot. For most Americans who disagree on the topic, let me be the first to say our state is broke. If you look at American history marijuana has been part of our culture for centuries. Come on America, most of our founding fathers were hemp-growing slave owners that did not want to pay taxes to the British. If you look at the evidence, the war on drugs has failed us. We have the highest prison population in the world. According to PRB Population Reference Bureau “since 2002, the United States has had the highest incarceration rate in the world. Although prison populations are increasing in some parts of the world, the natural rate of incarceration for countries comparable to the United States tends to stay around 100 prisoners per 100,000 population.” So, there is a reason why education sucks, there’s reason why we are losing the war on drugs. The American people don’t trust the government. Americans, we are in trillions of dollars of debt. Our state needs money, marijuana can be the crop that brings our state back to it’s former glory. I know there are a few who disagree but look, drugs in general are everywhere. You go to the store and what do you see, drugs. Coffee is a drug, and alcohol is a drug. If you look at the states, Colorado and Washington, you see evidence that both states seem to be doing well. Another example to my point according to the Washington Post “ the news coming out of Colorado and Washington is overwhelmingly positive: dire consequences predicted by reform opponents have failed to materialize. If anything, societal and economic indicators are moving in a positive direction post-legalization. Colorado marijuana tax revenues for fiscal year 2014-2015 are on track to surpass projections.” Our state needs money. We spend money we don’t have and things we don’t need. It’s common sense everyone. Marijuana is one of those things that make life simple.

To further my point accounting to another Washington Post “ Legal marijuana was a $700 million dollar industry in Colorado last year, according to a Washington Post analysis of recently-released tax data from the state’s Department of Revenue. In 2014, Colorado retailers sold $386 million of medical marijuana and $313 million for purely recreational purposes. The two segments of the market generated $63 million in tax revenue.” If California can do what Colorado and Washington has done we can rebuild our roads, put more money on our schools, and fix the locals economies for jobs the list goes on. If we can do that we might fix our local healthcare system to with the money coming from marijuana. So let’s make the right choices and vote yes on the legalization of marijuana in 2016. So let’s be grownups and start making smart decisions what really matters. And that is our state we need money simple as that. If the Founding Fathers can grow dope and be slave owners so why can a person like myself can’t. Because that’s a double standard. Y e s f o r some marijuana is for healthy reasons, it helps with stress, or it makes life more fun like reading a books. Yes America I smoke pot does it make a bad person NO!! So grow-up drugs are everywhere. So in 2016 make the right choices and vote yes for the legalization of marijuana because we need the money and we are broke period!!


Donneia Littleton - Human Services

Nick Kennedy - Business/Econ.

Bryndon Williams - Music

Tiffany Urrubazo - Psychology

“I agree, for medical reasons.”

“I agree because of the tax revenue that would come through when taxing the product.”

“I agree...Marijuana has a lot of benefits that can help, but the government won’t use it.”

“Yes I agree; it is very helpful for medical reasons, better than pills. I believe marijuana is better.” Interviews/Photos by Destinee Lopez




Volleyball Players Commit to 4-Year Colleges

Sophomores Niyesha Brown and Malerie Crenshaw talk about their respectives schools they will be attending after signing their letters of intent in front of the FCC Gynasuim, on Wednesday, April 13, 2016. Photo/Keaundrey Clark BYKEAUNDREY CLARK*

Sports Editor kclark@therampageonline.com

The tradition continues as two more Fresno City College volleyball players signed letters of intent to continue their education and volleyball careers at the four-year level. Outside Hitter, Niyesha Brown, will be attending Alabama State while Middle Blocker, Malerie Crenshaw, accepted a scholarship to play at Cal State Dominguez Hills.

Brown and Crenshaw helped lead FCC to a 14-0 Central Valley Conference record, a 22-6 overall record and a spot in the third round of the NorCal Regionals. They had gone on a 17-game winning streak during the season. “When I went on my visit I got a really good vibe,” Brown said. “I know I’ll be able to adapt easily.” Brown, who transferred from Odessa Junior College in Texas, was All-Conference for the Rams in the fall and led FCC with 223 kills. Even though she only played one

season at FCC, Brown feels that playing for Tracy Ainger-Schulte will prepare her for the next step. “She definitely helped me develop on the court,” said Brown. “But it was off the court character wise where she helped the most.” Malerie Crenshaw certainly leaves a legacy at FCC. She was an All-State, All-Region, All-American and CVC MVP. Her dominance on the court helped the Rams to a 43-12 record in her two years at FCC. “I felt like it was a good fit for me,”

said Crenshaw. “I like the program, coaches and the location.” Crenshaw was second on the Rams last season with 204 kills. Grateful of her opportunity as a Ram. “Finishing as an All-American was unexpected.” Volleyball isn’t Crenshaw’s only priority as she hopes to make the Dean’s List and be a Scholar Athlete. Crenshaw said that after she is done playing, she hopes to get into the credentials program as a political science major.

Santana Dominating CVC with Stellar Pitching BY MICHAEL FORD

Sports Editor mford@therampageonline.com

Rams fans are not likely to forget the name Sarah Santana. The Rams softball pitcher is dominating the Central Valley Conference with her stellar pitching. Santana leads the CCCAA in wins by a softball pitcher with 31 wins during this campaign. She was born in Miami and moved to Fresno when she was in the second grade; she has been playing softball ever since she was four years old. “My sister played softball and my dad played baseball so it was always like a big sport for us,” she said. “I just figured out that I wanted to play on my own.” Santana went on to play softball and at Clovis West high school and was highly sought after by universities who wanted to recruit her to pitch for their school. She first attended the California State University, Stanislaus but eventually found it wasn’t the right school for her, which prompted her to return to Fresno. “I decided to come back home and start over again and try to find a different four year that would be a good fit for me,” said Santana. Once she returned, she immediately started dominating her competition. Santana is unique in her willingness to pitch in pressure situations, which is a

large reason for her success. “ “The pressure is definitely my favorite part. That is why I like being on the mound,” she said. “A lot of people do not like the pressure situations, but that is my favorite part of the game.” Rhonda Williams, who is just ending her 21st season as head softball coach for the Rams, said Santana’s dedication to being in peak condition is a big part of her success on the mound this season. Despite all of the successes and praise that she has experienced, she has not let her personal achievements change her mindset, which is to remain focused on the team and not herself. “It feels good that my hard work is paying off, but that is really all that it means to me,” Santana said. “I’m just going out there and doing my job; I’m not doing it for a record. I work hard so I can win.” She is being recruited once again to play at a four-year university. She has been talking with schools such as Cleveland State, Northern Michigan University and San Francisco State University. “I have been going on a couple visits and talking to a couple schools,” Santana said. “I am kind of leaning toward San Francisco State.” No matter where she ends up, Santana has shown a determination to succeed, no matter the challenge or pressure. “She is strong,” Williams said. “She is healthy and that is why she can throw every game[well].”

Sophomore Sarah Santana plans for her next pitch during a home game at the Fresno City College softball field, Thursday, March 31, 2016. Photo/Daisy Rodriguez



Softball team keeps streak alive at 24




Sports Editor mford@therampageonline.com

Rams softball has traditionally been a powerhouse in the state of California, establishing a reputation of excellence under the guidance of Rhonda Williams, head coach for the softball team for 21 years. Although Williams’ teams are perennially at or near the top of the standings, the 2016 version of Rams softball is in the midst of a truly historic season. Ranked No. 1 in the state, the team has won an unfathomable 24 games in a row, dating back to Feb. 20 when they last lost to San Mateo in a game played at Cosumnes River. Of course, you can’t win without talent and Williams knows that her squad is loaded with top level players on both offense and defense. “We have good athletes on this team and really good and skilled softball players,” Williams said. Although the team is generally a well rounded squad, the offense on this team is what often overwhelms Fresno’s opponents. “Our biggest strength is definitely our hitting,” Williams added. “We have a bunch of big bangers on this team, a lot of girls that hit home runs. We are top five in the state in a lot of offensive categories.” With such a long winning streak, the pressure can mount up on the team to continue to play at a high level, especially when opponents are giving them their best shot. Freshman outfielder and infielder Adrianna Martinez acknowledges that her team’s constant winning brings pressure to keep playing at a high level.

“They have the hunger to win. Sometimes that is all it takes.” -Head Coach Rhonda Williams

“It’s actually kind of hard because it is constantly in the back of your head. You know that you can’t break this streak or you don’t want to be the reason that the streak breaks,” Martinez said. “It has actually been really exciting winning all these games.” Being ranked No. 1 in the state is no small accomplishment, especially given the high level of competition in softball throughout California. Sophomore outfielder Aubrey Blankenburg is appreciative of this season’s success given how last season unfolded. “It is pretty exciting. It is a lot different than last year; last year we lost our first 10 games,” Blankenburg said. “This year it is fun to just keep winning. I think we all enjoy winning and we want to keep winning so we keep working hard.” Playing at such a high level for so long might cause some teams to relax and not continue the habits that made them successful to begin with. Williams is happy with her team’s work ethic. She and her coaching staff have instilled a never say die attitude that has lead to them winning games they probably should have lost. “They have the hunger to win. Sometimes that is all it takes. Obviously you need skill and we have that,” Williams said. “They don’t give up, even when they are behind going into the last inning, they find a way to win.” What happens off the field matters too. Team chemistry is important to the Rams and nearly everyone on the team attributes much of their success to the relationships between players on the team. This year’s squad is particularly close. “I think that is because we are super close and we are all going for one goal and we are all about team,” Blankenburg said. The Rams will take their extended winning streak to play a doubleheader against the downtrodden Reedley Tigers on April 21. T they conclude their season with a doubleheader against San Jose on April 23. “I think that we have just become really close and just all gel really well together,” Martinez said, “and we are all really good players, so it makes it fun.”

Catcher Cameryn Reichle throws to her partner during a warm up before the first inning against College of the Sequoias. Thursday, March 31, 2016. Photo/Daisy Rodriguez

Rams Tennis Falls in SemiFinals BY MICHAEL MENDEZ

Reporter mmendez@therampageonline.com

The Fresno City College women’s tennis suffered a heartbreaking, season ending loss in their Southern California semifinals match against De Anza. The 5-3 loss, only the second loss for the Rams, marked the end of their fantastic season, falling just short of their expectations. The Rams went into this match coming off a strong performance in the Big Eight conference tournament where the team finished in the final, while also winning a singles title. The Rams quickly saw themselves advance through the first round, and onto their semifinals match and just two rounds away from their ultimate goal of competing for a state title. The playoff match started off in

“They really played hard out there and I wouldn’t trade them for anyone.”

-Head Coach Chantel Wiggins

doubles competition as both teams were leaving everything out on the court, fighting for a spot in the finals. Both teams were countering serves, volleys and strikes, neither pairing gaining a slight advantage. This resulted with each team splitting the first two doubles matches, coming down to the third and final doubles match between the two schools.

The third and final doubles match against De Anza featured the pairing of the Rams Milah Ryland and Raquel Gonzales and was the closest match out of the three. It was back-and-forth in point scoring between the two teams, as De Anza came out with the slight lead the match by a single set. The pairing of Ryland and Gonzales turned the match to their favor as they gained momentum by winning much needed points and winning the next three sets to clinch the match. Giving the Rams 2-1 lead heading into the singles matches. “The doubles match was a hard fought match. They are a good team, but I was happy we were able to pull it out of that early lead,” Gonzales said. The Rams headed into the singles match hoping to hold on to that single match lead. Similar to the doubles matches, each singles match came down to a single set difference. The Rams built off the momentum they had from the doubles matches and

opened up the singles matches with an early lead. The strong start was short lived as De Anza came back with a fury, tightening up the gap between the two teams, and even taking the lead. The Rams tried to hold on to their lead by forcing matches to extra sets but it wasn’t enough as they had hard time keeping their lead. Rams player Harley Pena suffered a minor ankle injury, which aided De Anza in winning four out of the five singles matches and sealing the victory. This match was a bitter pill for this team to swallow as they came just shy of their team goal of playing for a state title. As much as Rams head coach Chantel Wiggins was disappointed in the outcome of the match, she is still proud of her team and all that they have accomplished this season as they ended the season with a 13-2 record. “I love this team,” Wiggins said. “They really played hard out there, and I wouldn’t trade them for anyone.”




Sports Editor mford@therampageonline.com

Sophomore JJ Santa Cruz pitches the first inning against Taft College, Saturday, April 16, 2016. Photo/Daisy Rodriguez

No matter the sport, it is something special to see a team hit their stride and fire on all cylinders; that is exactly what has happened with Fresno City College Rams baseball this season. The Rams came into their game on Saturday at home versus Taft with heavy momentum, as they had won 16 of their last 19 games. After losing their first conference game, they now have a 16-2 record in CVC play and a 21-9 overall record. Taft was not able to hang with the Rams as Fresno’s offense hammered away from the first inning on, jumping all over their opponent with an eight run first inning, essentially putting the game out of reach early on. “We played good, we jumped on them early. A lot of games are won and lost in the first. I thought we played really well, and came out swinging.”said head coach Ron Scott. Fresno’s great pitching also cannot go unnoticed. All season long, the pitching has been on top of their game and starting pitcher JJ Santa Cruz continued the trend with a stellar outing. “He was good. He came out and struck out the first three guys and then we scored eight and the game was over,” said Scott. Santa Cruz finished his performance with five innings pitched with seven strikeouts and only allowing two hits and three walks. The bats have really come alive for Fresno as they have scored just over 12 runs per game during their four game win streak. Guys like right fielder Conly Biglione and Logan Poisall, to name a couple, have been an integral part of the team’s great season. Biglione, who has a robust .371 batting average, went into the game with a solid gameplan, looking for the hard stuff on the outer part of the plate that he can drive into the gaps. “I was looking mostly fastball away. Lately they have been throwing me away and I have been working to adjust,” Biglione said. Pitching has also been a big strength of the club and Santa Cruz was on his game from early on, striking out the side in the first inning. Santa Cruz felt good about his outing after the game, and also attributed part of his success on the mound to his team’s offense scoring a lot of runs early in the game. “It makes me more relaxed. I feel more comfortable and I throw more strikes. I don’t have to think about playing from behind or being tied. I could give up a hit and I don’t have to worry about it,” Santa Cruz said. With the team’s regular season finale coming up on April 29 versus West Hills, Fresno looks primed to make a deep run in the playoffs with their ultimate goal being winning the state championship. “We want the have this forward momentum for the playoffs. It’s been like this last couple games because we are excited for playoffs,” Biglione said.