This year at Wilson has started off with many new programs, including the addition of men’s sports teams to the college’s National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) Division III program. This association allows students to participate in athletics while balancing their education.
In order for Wilson to qualify for NCAA, the program requires five sports for women and five sports for men. Currently, there are five sports for women which include basketball, cross country, field hockey, soccer, and softball. Wilson has a three-year period to establish the required amount of men’s sports teams.
This semester there are only two men’s sports teams—basketball and golf. The head coach for men’s basketball is Miles Smith of the admissions department. His team will begin practice in October and will start competing in November.
Jameson Wallace is the coach for the men’s golf team which currently holds practices at the Chambersburg Country Club. The golf team will compete this fall and spring semester.
The new men’s sports teams have helped with enrollment as they have attracted at least seventeen new students to Wilson.
“There is a lot of growth in athletics. In just one year, our number of athletes almost doubled,” Wilson College’s Director of Athletics Lori Frey says. Frey plans to add cross country, volleyball, and soccer to the men’s sports roster.
Rick Meyers will coach both the men’s and women’s cross country divisions and is responsible for recruitment for the 2015-2016 academic year, though there were no participants for this year’s men’s team. Caleb Davis will act as head of the men’s soccer team and will begin recruiting for the 2015-2016 year. The men’s volleyball coach is still undetermined.
Frey says that the increase in student athletes has led to an increased usage of Wilson facilities such as the fitness center and field house. She says that “[Male athletes] have brought a lot of energy and morale, and I even see that carrying over to the women’s team.”
The addition of male athletes could mean good things for Wilson as recruitment for double the teams will increase the student population and result in growth for the college. It has also brought diversity to the campus and created interactions that may have not been possible otherwise.