LIBERAL, Kan. – Seward County Community College’s board of trustees votes with the intent to provide athletic programs, Esports, and men’s and women’s soccer. These programs will look to begin in the fall of 2023 in the NJCAA. The Saints have seven active varsity athletic programs with baseball, softball, men’s and women’s tennis, men’s and women’s basketball, and cheer. With this expansion, Seward County will have ten varsity athletic programs as soon as the Fall of 2023.
“Soccer ties in with our community and delivers what a lot of people are asking for,” said President of Seward County Brad Bennett. He continued, “A lot of people in the community are calling to ask about it (soccer).” With the board vote with the intent to start these programs, there are still a lot of unknowns that will be sorted out before the seasons can begin. Bennett states, “There’s still a lot of details to iron out, and now that we’ve approved the intention, we can get the ball rolling.” He outlined strategies to cover the start-up costs, partner with existing entities in the local community, and boost in-state enrollment. The college aims to begin offering soccer in the fall 2023 semester.
For soccer, the Saints intend to join the KJCCC Division I West conference with Barton Community College, Cowley College, Dodge City Community College, and Garden City Community College. Last season the KJCCC was well-represented in the men’s and women’s national championships. Butler and Barton made it to the national tournament on the women’s side, and in the men’s national tournament, Cowley was a final-four team in Melbourne, Florida.
Athletic Director Dan Artamenko praised leadership saying “It is great to see growth not only in the athletic department, but for both the entire campus and community. We will build a program that the community will be proud of.” Seward intends to hire a head coach for both programs. The jobs are currently posted and any interested applicants can apply clicking on the following link: Apply Here
Seward County Board of Trustees also approved the intent to move forward with ESports in the fall of 2023. Esports, a less commonly known sport, has been approved as an NJCAA-sanctioned sport since the fall of 2019 and has seen involvement grow exponentially. This competition style continues to grow on the national stage and with the common students attending colleges.
The Esports games involved in the NJCAA are Fifa 2021, Hearthstone, Madden 21, Overwatch, Rainbow Six, Valorant, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. The Saints will put a team together that can participate in the sanctioned games listed, dependent on their roster next fall. The competition and events are conducted remotely and in a space to be determined on campus.
Seward County will look to combat the low enrollment numbers with help from athletic programs and the expansion of the Atheltic Department. With more decisions to be made on the logistical side of these programs, we will follow up with more information in the near future in regard to these programs.
We are excited to bring soccer and Esports to our Seward County community and supporters.