Pima Community College sports

Pima Coach Todd Holthaus: “Light at End of Tunnel” With Basketball Shifting to Spring


Pima Community College women’s basketball coach Todd Holthaus and his colleagues at the westside campus now have hope that competition will take place albeit two months later than usual in January with the school’s official announcement today that his sport, volleyball and soccer will be shifted to the spring.

“For the kids, just having the hope that maybe we’ll get to do something in the spring, they are inspired,” Holthaus said. “When you take something away, they kind of lose purpose, but now I can only speak to my group, we’re excited there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.”

Cross country is still slated for the fall, starting Aug. 20 with a maximum of 10 competition dates per NJCAA guidelines, but in order for competition to occur for Pima, students must be on campus. Presently, no definitive date is in place for the students to return to Pima’s campuses because of the concern for health safety amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Holthaus is also an assistant to athletic director Jim Monaco, who is out of town because of a death in his family.

Pima’s coaching staff (L-R): Nalani Hernandez, Carla Garrett, Told Holthaus, Jim Rosborough and Pete Fajardo after winning the region title last season (Pima photo)

“The coaches’ innate character is to say, ‘We just want a chance to play, we want our kids to play,'” Holthaus said. “I get to kind of straddle the line a little bit because I get to be on the administrative side of it. I see how the administration processes information, but I’m also a coach. I understand the coaching side of it too.

“Being on the inside, I understand the proper procedures and everything that need to be in place to ensure everybody’s safety. It’s been interesting, but I think Jim has done a great job of keeping everybody in the loop, keeping everybody focused and keeping everybody patient. For the admin to come out today and say, ‘Hey, we’re gonna follow the NJCAA recommendations and we’ll see how it goes,’ I think it’s all positive.”

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Volleyball and men’s and women’s soccer are permitted to practice in the fall for 60 consecutive calendar days within Aug. 15 and Nov. 15, and men’s and women’s basketball are afforded the same opportunity from Sept. 15 to Dec. 15, per the NJCAA guidelines released last week.

Here are the key dates for each sport:

Soccer
• Regular season practice will be permitted to begin March 15.
• Competition will be permitted to begin April 2.
• Maximum of 14 games.
• All regular season, region, and district competition completed by May 24.
• NJCAA men’s & women’s soccer championships begin June 2.

Volleyball
• Regular season practice will be permitted to begin Jan. 11.
• Competition will be permitted to begin Jan. 29.
• Maximum of 21 competition dates.
• All regular season, region, and district competition completed by April 3.
• NJCAA volleyball championships held April 15-17.

Men’s & Women’s Basketball
• Regular season practice will be permitted to begin Jan. 11.
• Competition will be permitted to begin Jan. 22.
• Maximum of 22 games.
• All regular season, region, and district championship competition completed by April 10.
• NJCAA men’s & women’s basketball championships begin April 19.

“Fortunately, (Pima chancellor) Lee Lambert and the administration have provided the opportunity for us to compete, given the fact that everyone stays healthy and we adhere to the good safety protocol in place by the administration,” Holthaus said. “It will take everybody doing their part, including wearing a facemask and practicing social distancing as much as possible.”

Pima sophomore forward Sierra Mich’l, who has committed to NAU (Pima photo)

Holthaus is uncertain how or if he will be able to use the 60 days of workouts between September and December for his sport because of the uncertainty of when students will be allowed to return to campus.

His 2020-21 players, seven of them from Southern Arizona, have trained individually and participated in routine team meetings over ZOOM over the summer.

“We have a lot of safety protocols that we have in place that we have ready to go once we’re allowed to get back on campus,” Holthaus said. “It will be a gradual slow step. We’ll see. I hope I get to use the 60 days. It can only help us, but there are still a lot of questions about what it will look like on campus a month from now or two months from now.

“The biggest thing is as excited as we want to be about having the chance to play, we also don’t want to put people in harm’s way.”

Pima’s local stars on the women’s basketball team:

  • Nikya Orange, Soph., F, Tanque Verde HS
  • Angel Addleman, Fr., G, Palo Verde HS
  • Luisa Chavez, Fr., G, Rio Rico HS
  • Mariah Clark, Fr., F, Pueblo HS
  • Lydia Griffith, Fr., G, Buena HS
  • Jaslyn Booker, Fr., F, Buena HS
  • Aaliyah Ortiz, Soph., G, Palo Verde HS


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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.

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