News Releases

January 24, 2012
For immediate release
For additional information: 
Barbara Kerr, APR
Executive Director of Communications and Marketing
Telephone: 360-992-2921

Clark student athletes honored for excellence
in volleyball, soccer and basketball

Student athletes Austin Bragg, Cody Guthrie,
Carmen LaFond, and Deborah Simmers
are honored as Student Athletes of the Month


VANCOUVER, Wash. – Four talented sophomores have been named the Clark College Student Athletes of the Month for Nov. and Dec. 2011.  Austin Bragg, Cody Guthrie, Carmen LaFond, and Deborah Simmers were honored for their performances on Clark’s soccer, volleyball and basketball teams. 

Cody GuthrieSophomore Cody Guthrie was honored as November Student Athlete of the Month.  Guthrie was captain on the men’s soccer team and quarterback of its defense. 

According to men’s soccer coach Biniam Afenegus, “Because of Cody’s leadership over the last two seasons, we had one of the best defenses in the entire Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges (NWAACC). He is an outstanding soccer player who was selected to NWAACC All Star team.”  Afenegus added, “Cody is a big reason that the men’s team was fifth on the NWAACC rankings.  Cody is very well respected by his team mates, as he always gives 110% effort in games and practice. He personifies giving maximum effort.”

Carmen LaFondCarmen LaFond, who was also honored as November Student Athlete of the Month, recently finished her sophomore season with the Lady Penguin volleyball team. A graduate of Vancouver’s Union High School, LaFond finished the regular season leading the team in digs and was second on the team in serve reception and serving aces. She also was sixth overall in the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges (NWAACC) in digs, averaging more than five per game.  LaFond was selected as Defensive Player of the Week for the Western Region on two separate occasions.

According to head volleyball coach Jessie Uribe, “Along with her playing ability, Carmen also brings an outstanding work ethic both on and off the court and demonstated that hard work in the classroom maintaining a GPA over 3.0 during the season.” LaFond is pursuing a degree in nutrition and fitness management and hopes to continue her volleyball career at the next level.

Austin BraggDecember Student Athlete of the Month Austin Bragg is a 6’ 8” wing/forward on the men’s basketball team.  A graduate of Mark Morris High School in Longview, Bragg was a Division I transfer from Washington State University. 

According to men’s basketball coach Mike Arnold, Bragg has recorded eight double/doubles this season, leading the Penguin attack and averaging 16.6 points and 10.1 rebounds per game. He is presently being recruited by over 15 universities. A chemistry major, Bragg is carrying a 3.18 grade point average (GPA). 

Deborah SimmersDeborah Simmers was also honored as a December Student Athlete of the Month.  

Simmers is a returning student athlete from Alaska and has started the women’s basketball season with a bang.

She leads the team in scoring and rebounds, with a total of 205 points and 54 rebounds.

Women’s basketball coach Nancy Boone said, “Deborah is a wonderful student-athlete with a 3.25 GPA and has an outstanding, coachable spirit.”

The Student Athlete of the Month program recognizes both the academic and athletic achievements of Clark’s student athletes.  Two recipients are selected each month by a committee that includes Clark College coaches, athletic department personnel, and fellow students.

Each honoree receives a jacket with his or her name embroidered on it. The jackets are provided by Les Schwab through its support of the “Student Athlete of the Month” program, in partnership with Clark’s Penguin Athletic Club and the Clark College Foundation. 

Information about Clark’s athletic programs, teams, student athletes and coaches can be found at