A decade in Skyline Sports


(Jan Fosberg)

The first decade of the 21st century is coming to an end, and everybody is looking forward to the surprises and challenges the next decade holds.  In the meantime, however, let’s take a moment to look back at what Skyline sports have done in this ten-year period.

The women’s basketball program was brought back four years ago after a long hiatus.  In its first year back, the program did well under head coach Brittney Lindhe.  They finished 15-15, and placed fourth in their first ever tournament.

The current coach, Trisha Hosley, didn’t obtain her position until three years ago during the ’07 and ’08 season.  The highlight of Hosley’s first year was going to the playoffs for the first time ever and making it past the first round.

In the ’08-’09 season, Skyline took the competition by storm and finished third in the Coast Conference, with a record of 24-7.  They were ranked seventh in all of northern California, and two of their players, Katie and Laura Zasly, got full rides to Notre Dame.

Hosley described this last season as a rebuilding year.

“The team learned what it means to be committed and how to work with people for the betterment of the team,” Hosley said.  “They learned how to trust each other.”

Hopefully a strong foundation has been built and Skyline’s team will tower over everyone else in the new decade.

Coming into the first decade of the new century, Mike Fitzgerald had already been the coach of the cross-country team for four years, and he started the decade off with a bang.  In 2000, the Skyline women’s cross country program set several milestones and crushed all of the competition.

That year, Fitzgerald’s team managed to go undefeated (10-0), marking the first time in Skyline’s history that a woman’s team won a coast conference.  Fitzgerald was named coach of the year, and he and his runners got the first ever banner for a woman’s team hung in the gymnasium at Skyline.

They continued their dominance the next few years, becoming the only cross-country team in northern California to be ranked in the top five for three consecutive years.

Unfortunately, in 2003, the economy started to take a turn for the worse and the cross-country team at Skyline, despite its undeniable influence and success, was dropped. It hasn’t been picked up since, although Mike Fitzgerald still teaches physical education classes at Skyline.

Coach Fitzgerald credits a lot of his success to actively recruiting runners as opposed to just waiting for people to show up.  He also says the two athletic directors at the time, Ed Johnson and Andreas Wolf, gave him and his team a chance to prove themselves.

Hopefully one day, when the economy rises up, Fitzgerald will have an opportunity to pick up right where he left off.

Another team that started this past decade off with much success is the badminton team.  After becoming an official California Community College sport in 2000, the team formed at Skyline in 2001.

That first year, the team won the coast conference and made it all the way to San Diego for the state championship, where they lost to the defending champs San Diego Mesa College.

The very next year–and a good majority of the other years comprising the first decade of the 2000s–the badminton team won the conference and made it to the state championships.  Head coach Jan Fosberg considers the 2008 team to be the greatest.

Many star players have emerged from singles competitions, such as Stephanie Cheung, Gina Gomez, Maggie Ho, Nour Abudamous and Rachell Berania.
The successes the badminton team has had recently seem to be leading to a bright future.  It really has been able to sustain itself, and Fosberg feels the campus and the staff wholeheartedly support the program.

“Our main goal is helping guys after Skyline, and we have been successful at that” said Justin Piergrossi, head coach of the men’s basketball team at Skyline. 

In 2000, the team won the conference, and the following year they made the state tournament, finishing in the top four.  At this time, Tony Raffetto was the head coach.

But then, in the fall of 2004–Piergrossi’s first year as head coach–the gym was renovated and wasn’t finished until fall of 2006.  Because of this, the team had to go down to CSM everyday for practice, and they never hosted any games.

The team got back on track in 2008, however, when they placed 21st in the state.  As for next season, the future looks good, as a lot of experienced and seasoned players are returning.

Throughout the decade, nearly 25 players from the men’s basketball team have received scholarships, and a few have even gone on to play professionally, including Dante Sykes and David Doubley.

At the beginning of the century the women’s soccer program was struggling to survive, for several reasons.  Among other things, the interest level was low and the team has won only six games in the two seasons before 2000.

It was that year that the current head coach Kevin Corsiglia stepped up to the challenge of creating something out of almost nothing.  Corsiglia eventually got the program to be one of the greatest teams in the state, but it didn’t happen overnight.

The first sign of what was to come appeared in 2003, when the team won 12 games and made it to the playoffs for the first time, although they lost in the second round.

Since that year, Corsiglia and the women’s soccer program have continually improved, having a winning record every year since.

In 2009, the women’s soccer team went undefeated during the regular season, winning the league for the first time. 

“In ten years, we went from being one of the worst teams to league champions,” Corsiglia said.  “We have established a program that draws people to Skyline.”

Dino Nomicos, the head coach for Skyline’s baseball team, had a similar start as Kevin Corsiglia.  When he was given charge of the team, it was a program that had averaged two wins and 40 losses a year for the previous five years. 

“I had nowhere to go but up,” Nomicos said.  “We had to fundraise a lot to make it a desirable program.”

In addition to fundraising, Nomicos and the baseball team spent those early years of the past decade planting wildlife for their field and negotiating with the S.F. Giants for supplies.

Nomicos’ know-how, commitment and dedication was immediately apparent, as the team won 14 games during his first year as head coach.  Since that year, the team has won an astounding 260 games.

In 2004, Nomicos’ team broke the record for most wins in a season with 30.  It was the program’s first conference championship in 28 years.  Nomicos considers that year to be a turning point in the program’s history in that, he felt, they were finally recognized as one of the top teams.

Also, Skyline’s baseball team made it into the playoffs four years in a row, and five out of the last seven years.

“I feel good about next decade,” Nomicos said.  “We have set a precedent.  We have one of the nicest facilities in the country.”