Graham Blog: WNC Athletics is Carson City's Best Secret that Shouldn't Be
Submitted by Carson Now Reader on Tue, 10/16/2012 - 1:18pm
It is time that Carson City gets behind their college’s athletic programs. Western Nevada College has had athletics since 2005. They have had rodeo, women’s soccer, women’s softball, and perhaps the cornerstone of the entire athletics, the men’s baseball. All of these teams have amped up the enrollment of Western Nevada College and yet, the athletics continue to struggle financially because of the lack of local support.
It amazes me that the local companies here in Carson City and Northern Nevada really, fail to see what this community actually has in Western Nevada College Athletics. When the school had soccer for 2005-2007 they were a very successful program in their short time. Again, with little support, they were forced to fold and find a new program that could fill the spot. So in the fall of 2008, Western Nevada started a softball program that still continues today and is improving every year. They won thier first NJCAA All-Acadimic Team of the Year Award last year.
Through these changes, there has been one program of Western Nevada’s that has been solid. So solid, it is known as a National Power at the National Junior College Athletics Association’s (NJCAA) highest level, Division I in baseball. It is sad that the team is known more outside of Nevada than it is in its own community. Since the inception in 2006, the only head coach to lead it D. J. Whittemore, has compiled a 300-124-2 record in only seven seasons. In those seven seasons, the Wildcats have 3 Scenic West Conference Championships, 2 Region XVIII Championships, 3 Western District Championships, and 3 NJCAA World Series appearances. What I think is the most important of all the awards the Wildcats' baseball team has won 6 NJCAA All-Academic Team Awards in seven years. The teams win in the classroom as well as on the field. To date 92 players have moved on to higher levels of baseball including professional. Let me say that number again, 92 players in just seven years. Keep running that number through your head.
All of this success for a college, you would think that it would have no problem getting funds to come in and their last worry would be how they would go about continuing athletics. That is shockingly not the case. Every year, President Dr. Carol Lucey, Athletic Director John Kinkella, and staff have to go out on an extreme limb every year to fight for keeping athletics at the school. That is not the way it should be.
The way the baseball team has been very successful every year, the softball team continues to improve every year, this community needs to show a drastic improvement in support so that this college can continue to grow every year. The support they have gotten has been outstanding, but a lot more could be, and should be given to this school. The baseball field has hundreds seats and they only average 100-150 a day, maybe even lower.
To me, companies continue to use the economy as an excuse to not come out and sponsor certain things. It’s understandable, but we need to start coming out from the shadows. It is okay. The world is not coming to an end. If we start supporting things again, I believe the economy which is recovering will recover even faster. The saying: “You have to spend money to make money” couldn’t be truer than in today’s world right now.
It would be great to finally see Carson City come out and support their own college’s athletics. The baseball team has been praised by one news station in Reno as being the best team in the region outside the Reno Aces. Carson City, come out and see what great talent you have right here in your back yard. Let’s not make it go virtually unnoticed anymore.