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Las Positas’ No. 21 Eddie Topete (white jersey) battles for possession against Cabrillo in a scrimmage. (Photo - Allen Lewis)

No, it wasn’t a dream or an optical illusion.

The Las Positas College men’s and women’s soccer teams actually hosted Cabrillo in scrimmages on March 11 — the Hawks’ first contests in 15 months due to the COVID-19 shutdown. Andy Cumbo, who coaches both Hawks teams, was thrilled with how things played out on the synthetic turf field.

“It was a very exciting, positive experience to compete and then have a little normalcy back in our lives,” Cumbo said.

Both Las Positas squads delivered solid efforts, especially considering the long layoff in between games. The Hawks women hadn’t competed since Round 2 of the Regional Playoffs on Nov. 26, 2019. Against Cabrillo, the Las Positas women pitched a shutout, led by strong center back Hailey Hahlbeck out of Granada High. Other standouts were freshman central midfielder Ashley Arno of California High and freshman holding midfielder Isabel Mello of Livermore. The final score was not listed because it was a scrimmage.

On the men’s side, the Hawks were paced by newcomer Elmer Hernandez of Oakland Tech on the back line, freshman left back Giovanni Mota-Morfin of Castro Valley and attacker Adolfo Trujillo of Livermore.

Las Positas athletic director James Giacomazzi helped make sure the games went off without a hitch.

“We had worked with the Cabrillo athletic director daily heading into that game,” Giacomazzi said. “Our coaches did a great job preparing our student-athletes, and their coaches did a good job preparing their players. Everybody knew what was going on right when we got to campus. There were no hiccups. It really went off seamlessly.”

Cumbo thought the competition as great by both the men’s and women’s teams.

“I was pleased with our fitness levels, because we’ve been working socially distant since September, but we’ve been training face-to-face,” he said. “I was pleased with the technical ability of the players. Where we struggled was just a little bit of decision-making, but that was to be expected, because we haven’t played in 15 months.”

The Hawks, who will have a modified six-week season, traveled to West Valley for scrimmages on March 18 and are scheduled to host City College of San Francisco on March 25.

Giacomazzi Named President of the CCCMBCA

Las Positas Athletic Director and men’s basketball coach James Giacomazzi keeps adding to his impressive resume. He recently began serving a two-year term as president of the California Community Colleges Men’s Basketball Coaches Association, becoming the 46th president in the history of the CCCMBCA, established in 1957.

The CCCMBCA president works as a liaison for men’s basketball with the California Community College Athletic Association, which oversees athletics for the state. So Giacomazzi has a seat at the big table.

Overall, the news has been positive for Las Positas athletics.

In addition to soccer being back in action, the Hawks men’s and women’s water polo teams are back going this week, and soon the swimming and diving teams, which had their seasons canceled last year, will return.

Moreover, Giacomazzi is happy to have his basketball team back training indoors.

“So, that’s really been a treat,” he said. “We’ve been taking things very slowly and just working on basic fundamentals, a lot of individual footwork and skill work, but we’ll slowly start getting back into more contact-type stuff. We still test twice a week (for COVID-19), like all of our student-athletes, but so far, so good. It’s just great to see the kids getting better.”