The intercollegiate athletic program at South Arkansas Community College in El Dorado will include men’s baseball and women’s softball teams for the 2021-2022 academic year.
As supported by a vote of the college board during its regular meeting on March 16, the Stars will pursue membership in the National Junior Collegiate Athletic Association Division II.
They will join the men’s and women’s basketball programs which already are members.
This division allows for athletic scholarships.
“After a couple of years in basketball, we felt that there is a great opportunity in softball and baseball,” SouthArk president Dr. Bentley Wallace said. “We’ve been pleased with the community support, and look forward to presenting area students with the chance to pursue a college education while playing a sport that they love.”
A coaching search has commenced, Wallace said, and information about tryouts for the teams is forthcoming.
SouthArk is in negotiations about home playing sites for the teams. Both baseball and softball are considered spring sports, although both also play exhibition seasons during the fall semester.
Baseball programs in NJCAA Region 2 are Northern Oklahoma-Tonkawa, National Park (Hot Springs), Rich Mountain (Mena), Murray State (Tishomingo, OK), Northern Oklahoma-Enid, Carl Albert State (Poteau, OK), Western Oklahoma State (Altus, OK) and Redlands (El Reno, OK).
Carl Albert State, Southern Arkansas University Tech (East Camden), National Park, Murray State and North Arkansas (Harrison) make up Region 2 in softball.
“We are excited to join several of our peer community colleges in Arkansas who also have expanded their athletic offerings,” athletic director Dr. Derek Moore said.
“Since restarting our basketball program, several community members, along with SouthArk faculty and staff, have inquired about starting baseball and softball programs. My response has always been ‘In due time.’ Well, the time is now, and we’re excited to bring this opportunity to South Arkansas.”
The SouthArk Stars Booster Club is seeking members and athletic sponsors for the upcoming year. Those interested can contact club president John Baine at email@example.com .