Community meeting

Gadsden State plans to bring back baseball and softball; community meeting scheduled for January 20

Gadsden State Community College has not had a baseball team since 2011 or a softball team since 2016. Both programs have been successful while they existed – and it is said they could exist at new.

The college, in a press release on Wednesday, announced a community meeting at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 20 at the Beck Conference Center on the Wallace Drive campus to discuss the reinstatement of baseball and softball.

“At the meeting we will be talking about our vision,” said athletic director Mike Cancilla. “We need public input to help us project community support. What does the community expect from our sports program? “

This program in the past included men’s and women’s basketball, cross country, golf and tennis in addition to baseball and softball. GSCC currently competes in men’s and women’s basketball and women’s volleyball, and will bring back cross-country this fall.

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“A lot of people were disappointed when our baseball and softball teams came to an end,” Cancilla said. “It’s a baseball community. It’s a softball community. When we had teams, many local people came to support us. “

One of the motivations for re-establishing the programs, he said in the statement, would be to generate additional scholarship opportunities for student-athletes and to generate more interest and attention to the State of Gadsden.

“Student-athletes are interested in colleges where it is possible to continue playing the sport of their choice,” Cancilla said. “We have a lot of outstanding baseball and softball players in our area who would be great additions to our athletic program and our college.”

However, a lot of work and financial investment would be required.

A joint project between the Town of Gadsden and GSCC on the development of a sports complex on college property includes softball fields. However, the school’s baseball field would need to be renovated after a decade of non-use, and equipment would have to be purchased for both sports.

“There is definitely a financial challenge that comes with starting new athletic programs, but an investment in our college and in our students is also a victory for our community,” Cancilla said. “We just need to know if our community is ready to support us in this endeavor. “

GSCC President Dr. Kathy Murphy said the college is looking for ways to keep students in the community after high school, including providing them with a quality education and the opportunity to continue playing sports.

“We are re-establishing cross-county in the fall and hope to re-establish baseball and softball perhaps as early as the spring of 2023,” she said. “We are a community college looking for ways to serve our community through education and sport. “

This article originally appeared on The Gadsden Times: Gadsden State Community College could bring back baseball and softball