The Players of the Week are chosen by the Occidental College Athletic Department weekly to highlight the athletes who exhibited outstanding contributions to their teams.
The Occidental Tigers beat the University of Puget Sound, 34-32, this past Saturday, in the opening football game of the season. With injuries to quarterbacks Tommy Edwards (senior) and Bryan Scott (sophomore), Tom Stivers (senior) stepped in to lead the Tigers.
Stivers threw for 155 yards and three touchdowns on 14 of 15 passing. He expressed pride in the work of the team and showed humility for his winning performance.
“We played great today and no one personally won the game,” Stivers said. “The O-line protected great and the receivers had great routes.”
Head coach Douglas Semones displayed nothing but excitement for the success of Stivers in the opening game. He acknowledged the hard work and progress Stivers had put in at practices, despite uncertainty about whether he would be able to play.
“We always tell our players to be ready because you never know when your number will be called,” Semones said. “He did not get many reps in practice with the first offense, but he knows the offense and stepped right in there and ran the show.”
The heroics of Stivers, or T-Sizzle as Coach Semones refers to him, kept the Tigers on the right path in their quest to move up the SCIAC standings.
For more on Stivers and the Occidental Football team, check out our game recap on page 11.
Occidental cross country runner Melina Devoney* (sophomore) broke her own personal record – as well as top times that had gone unbroken in the program for more than 10 years – at the UC Riverside Invite on Saturday.
Devoney finished first among all NCAA Division III athletes and surpassed her personal record with a time of 18:31.9. With this mark she also set a new fastest time for Occidental in 15 years.
Devoney explained that this is just the beginning and her focus is on her personal growth, rather than the numbers and times.
“A PR is always good, but I am most proud of how I’m developing a stronger mentality while racing,” Devoney said. “I pushed myself hard and wasn’t afraid of the pain it would bring.”
Assistant Coach Tyler Yamaguchi showed his support for her progress this season and expressed his hopes for the future.
“Mel’s performance today was a great reflection of her work ethic and dedication to her team and her craft,” Yamaguchi said. “Her time today was faster than any Oxy athlete has run on that course in recent memory, so it’ll be exciting to see what she’s capable of at the meets that really count later in the season.”
Devoney will look to better her 2013 West Regional time and make a push for a Nationals bid in 2014.
*Melina Devoney is a member of the Occidental Weekly staff. Player of the Week decisions are made by the Occidental Athletics Department, without consultation from the Weekly.