Anterio “Taz” Bateman (Football) and Chantel Dunson (Track and Field) have been named the Long Beach City College Male and Female Athletes of the Year for the 2014-15 sports season. LBCC head coaches along with a panel of local media selected this season’s winners.
Bateman and Dunson, both freshmen, are the first athletes in their sports to receive the honor in the eight-year history of the award.
“We are extremely proud of Anterio and Chantel for their achievements this season,” said LBCC Dean of Student Affairs and Athletics Connie Sears. “It is quite an accomplishment to be recognized as athletes of the year for such a strong athletic program. They are two very deserving individuals that represent all of our outstanding student-athletes.”
Bateman was one of the leaders on offense for an explosive nationally-ranked LBCC football squad that compiled a 9-2 overall record this past season. The running back out of Serra High School became LBCC's first 1,000 yard rusher since 2004 after collecting 1,135 yards on 158 carries over 11 games. His 1,135 yards ranked second in Southern California and sixth among state leaders.
Bateman was a first-team SCFA All-Central League pick at both the running back and all-purpose positions. He was also named Beach Bowl Offensive Player of the Game after rushing for 215 yards and two touchdowns in his final contest as a Viking.
“There is nothing that Taz Bateman can't do on the field, his stats and accolades demonstrate that,” said LBCC Football Head Coach Brett Peabody. “He is also one of the most intelligent players we've ever coached. Leader, class, character, great work ethic, great player, better person – that is Taz Bateman.”
Bateman is gone after just one season at LBCC and will continue his academic and athletic career at Georgia State University in the fall.
Other nominees for the male athlete of the year were Julian Griego (Baseball), Brandon Staton (Basketball), Omar Torres (Cross Country), Jose Garcia (Soccer), Nathan Pinkney (Swimming & Diving), Jared Jones (Track & Field), Rupert Scott (Volleyball), and Marino Fatovic (Water Polo).
Dunson, the female athlete of the year, capped on impressive first season at LBCC by winning a state championship in the triple jump.
Dunson, originally out of Lompoc High School, continued to improve as the season went on and posted a season-best mark of 11.59 meters (38-0 ¼) in the state championship finals to earn gold in the triple jump. Dunson easily surpassed her previous season-best mark of 11.47 meters that she set at the Southern California Championship preliminaries.
She is LBCC's first track and field state champion since Jonathan Sanders captured a state title in the 400-meter hurdles in 2011 and the first female to since win a state championship since Angela Wells took the long jump in 2006.
Dunson's 10 points for the state championship victory earned the Long Beach women 10 points and a 29th-place overall finish.
At the SoCal Championships, she finished second in the triple jump and was third at the South Coast Conference Championships. She also advanced to the SoCal Championships in the 200 meters and was a member of the qualifying 4x100 and 4x400-meter relays.
“Chantel is a very determined and hard-working athlete,” said LBCC Women’s Track and Field Head Coach Karen Vigilant-Goodman. “She dedicated her win to her sick father who is in the hospital and to her loving and supportive family. It's always a nice feeling as a coach to have an athlete perform to her ability. She told me that next year she plans on jumping 40 feet.”
Dunson will look to defend her state championship when she returns for her sophomore season next year.
Other nominees for the female athlete of the year were Darshana Taafua (Basketball), Alexis Ceballos (Cross Country), Brenda Reyes (Soccer), Brianna Alvarez (Softball), Molly Crawford (Swimming & Diving), Nikki Tigas (Tennis), Brianna Ritzius (Volleyball), and Cathryn Lynch (Water Polo).
Previous LBCC Athletes of the Year:
2013-14: Lazar Andric (Water Polo), Abbey Goodsell (Basketball)
2012-13: Michael Carrillo (Water Polo/Swimming & Diving), Talia Rayford (Basketball)
2011-12: Rob McLean (Volleyball), Christine MacLennan (Swimming & Diving/Water Polo)
2010-11: Scott Butler (Water Polo/Swimming & Diving), Sarah Agopian (Water Polo)
2009-10: Dusan Ivanovski (Water Polo), Kimmy Morrison (Water Polo)
2008-09: Antwain Aguillard (Volleyball), Vanessa Samudio (Softball)
2007-08: Vannie Prudhomme (Track & Field), Sadie Barton (Softball)