FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Katheryne A. Fields, Director of Marketing
NJCAA Moves Gordon Soccer Season to Spring 2021
Highlanders' Basketball Season Delayed to January Start with Baseball & Softball
BY: Katheryne A. Fields, Director of Marketing
BARNESVILLE, GA – The National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) announced a list Monday of "close-contact" fall sports which have been pushed to the spring semester, due to the COVID-19 pandemic including women's soccer for Gordon State College.
GSC women's soccer will be moved from an August-October regular season to March-May 2021 with a 14-game schedule limitation instead of the traditional slate of more than 20 games. Also included in the updated plan of action, the GSC men's basketball season has also shifted from a November start to January.
Gordon baseball and softball fall schedules are permitted 60 consecutive calendar days for practice and scrimmages between September 5 to November 15 with the regular season starting in January.
All coaches and athletes will adhere to the NJCAA safety protocol regulations for recruiting, practicing and playing games which include temperature checks, limited facility access as deemed appropriate, limited contact when possible, social distancing when possible and encouraging fans, staff and other event attendees to wear face coverings, to name a few.
"Our chief concern is always going to be the safety and well-being of our student-athletes, coaches and the fans who come out to watch the Highlanders," said Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs John Head. "I know this was a difficult decision for the NJCAA to make, and I want to applaud their courage to be among the first to take this step. This plan of action allows our teams to continue strength and conditioning training, practicing and scrimmages, and this will allow them to enter the spring semester ready for competition."
GSC Athletics Director and Development Officer Steve Argo echoed Head's comments and added, " I want to commend Dr. Christopher Parker, president and chief executive officer of the NJCAA), the staff at the NJCAA office in Charlotte, the NJCAA Presidential Advisory Council, and the NJCAA Board of Regents for their time and effort to put together the plan of action to conduct intercollegiate athletics during the 2020-21 academic year."
With the latest plan, the Highlanders soccer team is permitted 60 consecutive calendar days for practice and scrimmages within the August 15 to November 15 timeline. The team is also allowed four scrimmage dates in total for the year, with a maximum of two scrimmages allowed in the spring. Each scrimmage is limited to no more than two outside opponents.
Soccer season practices will be permitted to begin starting March 15, 2021 with competition for the championship to be permitted to begin starting April 2. All regular season, region and district competition is to be completed by May 24 with the NJCAA Women's Soccer Championships beginning June 2.
Under the leadership of Head Coach Scott Henderson, the GSC Women's Soccer team watched its 2019 season come to a close as the Highlanders fell 5-0 to Eastern Florida State College in the semifinal round of the NJCAA Southeast District tournament. GSC finished the season with a 16-3-2 overall record and champions of the GCAA/Region 17 with a 10-0-2 regular-season conference mark. It was GSC's second straight conference/region title.
GSC's basketball team finished the 2019-2020 season at 9-18 overall and 7-9 in the GCAA under the direction of Head Coach Bruce Capers. This year, the NJCAA will permit 60 consecutive calendar days for practice and scrimmages within September 15 to December 15 for basketball. Five scrimmage dates total for the year, with a maximum of two scrimmage dates allowed in the spring. Each scrimmage will be limited to no more than two outside opponents.
Basketball practice will be permitted to start January 11. Competition will be permitted to begin starting January 22 with a maximum of 22 games. All regular season, region and district championship competition is expected to be completed by April 10 with the basketball championships beginning April 19.
Last season, on April 3, the NJCAA cancelled all remaining intercollegiate athletic activities in the spring season with the GSC baseball team, defending GCAA/Region 17 champions, ending with a 16-5 record, including a 10-game win streak to finish the season with interim Head Coach Justin Huff. Huff will serve as interim head coach for the Highlanders this year. GSC Softball started 3-9 and then won six straight games to get to .500 and finish 9-9 overall under the leadership of Head Coach Ally Hattermann.
The NJCAA declared a maximum of 15 scrimmages for fall practice season for baseball and a maximum of seven scrimmage dates against outside competition for softball. Practice will be permitted to begin starting January 10 for both baseball and softball with competition expected to begin January 22.
Baseball's schedule will include a maximum of 56 games, not dates, against outside competition while softball will include a maximum of 30 dates. All regular season, region and district competition is to be completed by May 19 for softball and May 23 for baseball.
The NJCAA Division I Softball Championship is scheduled to start May 25 with baseball's World Series scheduled to begin May 29.
All championship dates are subject to change based on championship facility availability. For full NJCAA Updated Plan of Action, visit: https://www.njcaa.org/COVID19
The Gordon State College Department of Athletics is a member of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) and Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association (GCAA). Gordon State College competes in NJCAA Division I in the sports of Women's Soccer (Fall), Men's Basketball (Fall/Spring), Softball (Spring) and Baseball (Spring). Gordon State College is located in Barnesville, Ga., approximately 60 miles south of Atlanta and 35 miles northwest of Macon. Gordon State College offers both two-year and four-year degree programs and believes that our Athletics program provides student-athletes with the opportunity to be successful academically, athletically and in life after their time as a Highlander. Follow GSC Athletics at www.gscathletics.com, on Facebook (@GordonStateCollege #GSCHighlandersForward), on Twitter (@GordonState) and Instagram (gordon_state).