Chico State Wildcat Athletics Round-up

Spike in Awards

Chico State setter Torey Thompson and women's volleyball head coach Cody Hein helped lead the Wildcats to the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) North Division title and National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Championship West Regional this season.

Thompson, the CCAA Player of the Year, is the third Wildcat to earn American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) All-America honors. She is the program’s all-time assists leader, having dished out 4,586, and ranks third all-time in digs, with 1,357.

Hein, who guided Chico State to a 23–7 record, earned AVCA West Region Coach of the Year honors. He was also named the CCAA Coach of the Year for the second time.

Center of Strength

At 3 p.m. on October 10, men’s basketball head coach Greg Clink unlocked the door to the brand-new Wildcat Strength and Conditioning Center, and his team became the first to use the facility. It has been home to a flurry of activity ever since.

At 2,800 square feet, the new center offers space to move, stretch and do plyometric exercises. It also features state-of-the-art equipment, including kettle bells, dumbbells, slam balls, wall balls, and more.

Dalton Erb Drafted

Chico State pitcher Dalton Erb was drafted in the 30th round by the San Diego Padres on June 11 and had a stellar first season in the organization, pitching for the Tri-City Dust Devils in Pasco, Washington. In 19 games, Erb was 2-1 with a 2.70 earned run average (ERA). He is the seventh Chico State pitcher and eighth player drafted in the past 10 years.

Erb started 15 games for Chico State in 2016 and fashioned a 6-3 record and a 3.62 ERA, striking out 70 batters in 82 innings of work.

Classy ’Cats

Lindsey Dias always feared that one day she would have to give up soccer to focus on the Chico State nursing program. Peggy Rowberg, the director of the School of Nursing, and Director of Athletics Anita Barker collaborated with her instructors to ensure she didn’t have to.

Dias made them all proud in December when she was named CoSIDA Academic All-America. She compiled a cumulative GPA of better than 3.9 and finished her soccer career with three consecutive All-West Region honors. She ranks sixth in program history with 22 career goals and eighth with 54 career points.

Dias is currently on track to graduate with a degree in nursing in May 2018.

Dias is one of many Wildcats who have been recognized at the regional and national level for a combination of excellence in competition and in the classroom. Women’s basketball’s Whitney Branham and men’s soccer’s Carter Johnson joined Dias in receiving CoSIDA Academic All-District recognition. Student-athletes must have a cumulative GPA of 3.3 or better and be a key contributor to the team to be considered.

In February, Karlie Garcia, Haley Kroll, Steven Martinez, Nora Pizzella, and Will Reyes all earned US Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association All-Academic awards. All five compiled cumulative GPA’s of 3.25 or greater and finished among the top half of the field at the NCAA Championships to earn the honor.

Barker a Brewer

Luke Barker reported to the Milwaukee Brewers Minor League training facility on the first week of March. It took him 17 months to get there.

Barker went undrafted out of college. But after stints in the California Winter League and independent Frontier League, the Brewers purchased Barker’s contract from the Traverse City Beach Bums on November 17.

“It was not the way I thought it would go,” Barker admitted. “But I’m a firm believer that the pitcher I am right now is because of having to do it the hard way. I learned a lot that I might not have known without that year in Traverse City.”

Other former Chico State pitchers in affiliated baseball include Dale Thayer, Troy Neiman, Nick Baker, and Dalton Erb. Neiman also represented Team Israel at the World Baseball Classic this spring.


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Alum Notes



('08) was promoted to assistant superintendent of Calcrete Construction.

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(’12) runs his own sustainable furniture business.

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('88) received a distinguished service award from the Boy Scouts.

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