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With returning state women’s athlete of the year Lafu Malepeai leading the way, College of San Mateo’s defending state champion women’s softball team opened the 2023 season ranked No. 1 in the state preseason coach poll, released Friday.

San Mateo County community college basketball rivalries continue this week, while spring sports teams get into action.

The Skyline-CSM doubleheader has been postponed due to flooding and the weather. The men’s game will be made up at a time and date to be determined. The women’s game has been rescheduled to 5 p.m. Thursday at Skyline.

College of San Mateo football team is on the verge of adding a “national title” to the state championship the Bulldogs claimed with Saturday’s record 55-0 victory over Riverside City College.

The College of San Mateo Men’s Basketball Winter Youth Camp makes its return in 2022. The four-day camp offered for boys and girls ages 8-12 is set to begin on Dec. 26 at the CSM Building 8 Gymnasium.

While unbeaten and unanimous No. 1 Riverside City College improved to 9-0 with a win over previous No. 5 Cerritos, the College of San Mateo continues to lead the way in Northern California.

The Coast Conference North women’s basketball race is in a virtual four-way knot among one-loss teams after two weeks of play. State No. 12 ranked Skyline College and Chabot College are 3-1, while No. 9 College of San Mateo and No. 13 City College of San Francisco are 2-1.

The old coaching adage of “control what you can control” has been put to use more in the last 18 months since the emergence of COVID-19. The slogan became a way for athletes and coaches to stay sane during the last year and a half of tumult. But now that basketball teams are back on the court, the College of San Mateo and Skyline College women’s basketball teams have had ultimate control — over the opposition. The two programs have opened the season with a combined record of 19-1 — Skyline is at 11-1, while CSM checks in with a perfect 8-0 mark.

The small schools of the Private School Athletic League are having a big impact on the College of San Mateo girls’ basketball team. When current sophomore Emily Latu arrived on campus in 2017, CSM head coach Michelle Warner had never even heard of the high school she attended. That school is Pacific Bay Christian — formerly known as Alma Heights, the name when Latu was there — a small private school in Pacifica.

Courtney Townsend had 24 points and 13 rebounds and Emily Latu added 20 points and 12 rebounds as College of San Mateo rolled past visiting Merritt College, 79-54, in the opening game of the annual Tom Martinez Women’s Basketball Invitational at CSM on Monday night.