Peralta Community College District's Only Student-Run Publication
Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Students discuss their work in class at the MESA center at American River College on April 25, 2024. (Photo: Cristian Gonzalez/CalMatters)
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    School honors first-time football champs

    Oakland A’s donate $5,000 for rings, FabLab provides custom awards

    By Eva Hannan/Tower Co-Editor

    Laney College Athletic Director and Eagles head football coach John Beam (left) and Laney President Tammeil Gilkerson (center) present Vice President of Student Services Vicki Ferguson with a bouquet and a thank you at the championship celebration held Feb. 5. Photo by Eva Hannan.

    In case you haven’t heard, the Laney College football team is number one in the state this year. After a compelling season in the challenging National Bay 6 Conference, the Eagles (11–2) went all the way and beat Ventura College 40–35 on Dec. 8 in Sacramento.

    An awards ceremony took place on Feb. 5 in the Laney Fieldhouse, where team members, coaches, faculty and staff were praised for their achievements and contributions to the championship title.

    Laney College President Tammeil Gilkerson presided over the presentation, whose attendees included Peralta Chancellor Jowel Laguerre as well as several members of the Peralta Board of Trustees.

    Head Coach John Beam was named 2018 Football Coach of the Year by the Community Colleges of California Athletic Association, and praised at the ceremony for his 39 years of coaching in Oakland.

    A $5,000 check, a donation to help pay for championship rings for the team, was presented by the Oakland A’s Neighborhood Coordinator Warren Chu. The players were also each given a team picture in a frame custom fabricated by the Laney FabLab.

    All the sophomore players came to the front, and Beam called each player up and effortlessly, affectionately and sometimes embarrassingly related details about their lives and personalities while also praising their achievements on and off the field.

    Laney boasted eight Academic All-Americans with a GPA of 3.5 or higher this year.

    After the awards, everyone enjoyed a beautifully presented meal catered by the Laney Culinary Department.

    Six of the star players were absent, but they had a good excuse — they had already been recruited by colleges and universities across the country.

    Laney’s spectacular starting quarterback Jordon Brookshire is now at San Diego State, and star running back John McDonald has gone to Middle Tennessee State.

    Wide receiver Jared Smart was recruited to the University of Hawai’i and versatile defensive lineman Jordan Whittley went to Oregon State, while the defensive linemen Siliveinusi Tomasi and Lupeni Fonua are now at the University of Idaho and West Liberty University in West Virginia, respectively.

    Ramone Sanders, who played on the Eagles defensive line, was diagnosed with a bone cancer called Osteosarcoma after he suffered a broken femur bone at practice. He is undergoing chemotherapy and resting at home, according to Beam.

    In his three games as a freshman at Laney, Sanders had four solo tackles, one assist and two sacks for 12 yards.

    An “RJ Tackling Cancer” fundraising benefit for Sanders’ medical costs will be held on Sunday, Feb. 17, from 2:30 p.m. — 8 p.m. at the Everett & Jones Barbeque, located at 126 Broadway in Jack London Square, and will include “food, entertainment, live DJ, raffles and a silent auction.” Tickets are available at or at the door.

    About the Contributor
    In the fall of 2019, The Laney Tower rebranded as The Citizen and launched a new website. These stories were ported over from the old Laney Tower website, but byline metadata was lost in the port. However, many of these stories credit the authors in the text of the story. Some articles may also suffer from formatting issues. Future archival efforts may fix these issues.  
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