It sounds like Aaron Cochran’s season might not be as over as advertised.
The Buhach Colony High School alumnus and Cal football starting left tackle was feared to have broken his foot during the Golden Bears’ Pacific-12 Conference tilt with USC last Thursday. The 6-foot-8, 350-pound redshirt junior exited the game early and was seen on the sideline in a walking boot.
Apparently, the injury wasn’t as serious as originally feared. Cal coach Sonny Dykes told reporters Sunday that Cochran might even have a chance to suit up Saturday when Cal hosts No. 4 Washington. It would be an opportunity for Cochran to showcase his abilities on the national stage. Cochran started all eight games and hopes to follow former Buhach teammate Aziz Shittu in his pursuit of an NFL career.
Hannah van Warmerdam, Biola volleyball – Van Warmerdam’s return to California has gone smoothly.
After spending her freshman season with Texas A&M Corpus Christi, the Atwater alumna transferred to Biola. It didn’t take the outside hitter long to acclimate. She leads the Eagles with 320 kills and has helped them earn an NAIA national ranking of No. 19.
Belen Castillo, Cal volleyball – Castillo has seen regular time in the Bears’ rotation in her sophomore campaign.
The Golden Valley alumna has looked at home in the competitive Pac-12. Castillo ranks fifth on the Bears with 125 kills and is second on the team with 47 blocks.
Frank Ginda, San Jose State football – The sophomore middle linebacker has been one of the few bright spots for a San Jose State team that has disappointed through nine games.
Ginda leads the team with 66 tackles, four sacks and two fumble recoveries. He also has 6.5 tackles for a loss, an interception, and he found the back of the end zone for the first time since his days at Pacheco.
Emily Baptista, Pacific volleyball – Baptista has had no trouble making the jump from Hilmar to NCAA Division I volleyball.
The freshman outside hitter is second on Pacific with 261 kills. She also has 14 aces and 39 blocks. Her best performance of the season came on a trip to Santa Clara, as Baptista turned in a career-high 20 kills and 16 digs to go with three blocks.
Josh Stevens, Angelo State football – The Merced College 1,000-yard back has picked up where he left off, thriving in Division II.
Stevens has paced Angelo State with 849 rushing yards and four touchdowns on 174 carries. He has two games left to try and crack 1,000 yards for a third consecutive season.
Alec Barcellos, Colorado Mesa football – After redshirting a season ago, the Los Banos alumnus has hit the ground running. Barcellos’ 47 tackles rank fourth on the team and have helped lead the Mavericks to the top of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference standings.
The linebacker has 2.5 tackles for a loss, half a sack and has recovered a fumble.
Jade Fachin, UC Merced volleyball – Facin looked poised for a big freshman campaign with the Bobcats, but a shoulder injury robbed her of an entire month of action, and she never quite got back on track after her return. The Los Banos alumna has put all that behind her this season.
Showing off her all-around game, Fachin ranks third on the team with 162 kills and second with 174 digs. She had a career-high 16 kills in a huge road win over the weekend that helped UCM wrap up its place in the Cal Pac Tournament.
Thor Rodoni, Baylor football – Going into last Saturday, the answer to which local athlete had the best chance of crashing the BCS Playoff was Pacheco alumnus Rodoni.
The former offensive lineman successfully walked on with the Baylor program as a long snapper. Rodoni didn’t win the starting job but made the opening-day roster and has been with Baylor every step of the way in its rise to No. 8 in the nation. The Bears suffered a setback in an upset loss at Texas on Saturday but remain in the Big 12 and BCS hunt if they can win out.