February 25, 2008

Wildcat athletics has new team

New Women's Softball Team To Take the Field at WNC Next Year

Opportunities for area high school softball players to compete at the collegiate level became brighter today with the announcement by Western Nevada College that a women's softball team will begin play next year.

"We are pleased to announce the creation of an intercollegiate softball team, beginning in the 2008-2009 school year," WNC Athletics Director John Kinkella said. "This new sport will replace the intercollegiate soccer team we were forced to deactivate last fall due to a lack of soccer teams in our conference.

"We want to offer local students the opportunity to continue a sport they love and have played all their lives. We also are mindful of the need to ensure that our intercollegiate athletics teams must offer equivalent experiences for both men and women student athletes," he said.

The Wildcats softball team will compete in the Scenic West Athletic Conference, which includes in-state rival College of Southern Nevada and five other schools. SWAC is also the conference for WNC's men's baseball team. Both teams are supported through fund-raising efforts and non-state resources.

Veteran coach Richard (Dick) Allen of Sparks will be at the helm of the new team. Allen's teams won seven 4A state high school softball championships - three at Reed High School in Sparks and four at Wooster High School in Reno, between 1988 and 2003. He also coached Reed girls basketball teams to Nevada 4A state championships in 1991, 1992 and 1993. Voted a Nevada High School Coach of the Year ten times, Allen was inducted into the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association Hall of Fame in 2006.

"I like challenges, and this is a very exciting challenge," Allen said. "It's an opportunity to start at the ground level and develop a program that will allow Nevada high school athletes a chance to play two more years and get an education. I want to see them further their career and perhaps get the chance to continue on at a four-year college."

Kinkella said that Carson City has agreed to allow the college to use a softball field at Centennial Park for WNC's spring 2009 season.

Western will compete in conference against the College of Southern Nevada, College of Southern Idaho, Colorado Northwestern Community College, North Idaho College, Salt Lake Community College, and Snow College in Utah.

"Coach Allen is beginning the task of building our new team," Kinkella said. "He'll be out talking to area high school coaches this spring, and doing everything it takes to put together a competitive program."

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For additional information, please contact:
WNC Information and Marketing Services
2201 W. College Parkway
Carson City, NV 89703
Phone: 775-445-3234
Fax: 775-445-3198
E-mail: info_desk@wnc.edu


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