Friday, January 27, 2023

VPCC Adds Cross Country/Track and Field, Men’s Soccer

(Virginia Peninsula Community College)

HAMPTON — Virginia Peninsula Community College will add men’s soccer and men’s and women’s cross country/track and field for the 2023-24 school year.

The additions will bring the number of VPCC sports to nine when the 2024-25 academic year begins, according to a press announcement Thursday. The college first announced plans to expand athletics by adding six sports in a three-year span in spring 2022.

Athletics Director Chris Moore said men’s soccer was an obvious choice.

“It’s a popular sport in our area,” he said. “I know that we have a lot of young men who want to play soccer collegiately, and I think that we have a need in our community.”

Meanwhile, with cross country/track and field, considered one sports team by the college to reach its goal of nine, a different type of athlete can be targeted, according to Moore.

“I think from a retention standpoint, it gives us an opportunity to help some of the students who might not be able to shoot a basketball or kick a soccer ball or hit a baseball, but they can get out there and run,” he said.

Growing the sports program has been a priority for college president Dr. Towuanna Porter Brannon.

“I am excited about the expansion of our athletics programs, and the opportunity the expansion provides to individuals who wish to pursue higher education while playing a sport they love,” she said.

Moore also announced that beginning in the fall, all the college’s sports teams will be members of the National Junior College Athletic Association.

“It gives us a national platform,” he said. “We’ve always had a local platform, but we haven’t necessarily had a national platform. Baseball and women’s basketball have been in NJCAA. For us to have the opportunity to not only play within our region, I think it’s important for these student-athletes to get the national attention that they deserve.”

He said it also will help with recruiting and retention.

“Being under the NJCAA, of course it’s directly correlated with the NCAA, so it does give them a sense of pride,” Moore said. “It helps with bringing in those higher-tier athletes. Being able to compete and play on a national stage gives us something more to play for.”

The college has sponsored baseball and men’s and women’s basketball for several years, and added softball and women’s volleyball for 2022-23. The college plans to add two more teams for the 2024-25 school year, with a decision about which sports pending. Moore said Esports, men’s volleyball, women’s soccer, tennis and golf are under consideration.

For more information on athletic programs at VPCC, go to vpcc.edu.

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