By Joseph Hayes
It’s another big decision that will affect local sports.
This one specifically, will affect many of the schedules for local athletes that attend St. Clair County Community College.
That’s because the National Junior College Athletic Association announced it would be adjusting a change to several of its sports seasons.
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This directly affects St. Clair County Community College, which hosts several fall and spring sports, including basketball and volleyball.
SC4 will move those sports to the spring. That includes Men’s Basketball, which normally begins practice on Oct. 1 and starts games beginning on Nov. 1.
That will now all change to practices beginning on Jan. 11 and games starting Jan. 22.
The Skippers will have a 60 day window to practice and scrimmage under local and state guidelines.
“I’m disappointed for our student athletes who have gone almost six months now,” SC4 Athletic Director and Men’s Basketball Coach Dale Vos said.
“I am excited now that we have a plan in place for our organization and are targeted to move on so our athletes can resume their playing careers.”
Volleyball meanwhile, while having to adjust to a similar schedule in the spring.
“We had an idea it was a proposal out there,” SC4 coach Michelle McCulloch said. “For core volleyball we are allowed to have a practice season and a championship season in January and ends in April.
“It’s sad because it’s what you look forward to. It’s what they are going to school to do. They have not been able to compete for a while. Its hard to say it’s within reach, it feels so far away. The college has been so supportive. We will get back to competitions. This is college athletics.
“They are athletes committed. They want to play on the next level. We just have to make sure it’s safe. No one was thrilled about it. There are a lot of dual sport athletes. There are going to be changes to who can compete in dual sports. But this gives us a plan and I like that moreso than the feeling I had before we had one in place.”
Meanwhile, the NJCAA released a statement saying: “Our greatest focus is and always has been providing the best opportunities for our student-athletes,” NJCAA President and CEO Dr. Christopher Parker said. “Through a unified effort from our Presidential Advisory Council, the Board of Regents, and leadership staff, our most recent plan of action provides a path that keeps our student-athletes competing at the highest level with proper safety measures in place.
“As we move forward as an association, we will continue to provide opportunities for our student-athletes, coaches, and all those involved with the NJCAA to be safe and successful.”