Washtenaw Community College student athletes for the Winter 2016 semester include, from left, bryce Moon (basketball), Veronica boissoneau (soccer), Laura Turnbull (dance team) and Jarret Clemons (volleyball). Photo by Lynn Monson

Washtenaw Community College student athletes for the Winter 2016 semester include, from left, bryce Moon (basketball), Veronica boissoneau (soccer), Laura Turnbull (dance team) and Jarret Clemons (volleyball). Photo by Lynn Monson

Sports could be the last thing that comes to mind when you think about all that a community college has to offer.

But for about 300 Washtenaw Community College students, the college’s program offers a variety of sports geared to almost everyone’s skill level.

“The more you can get students involved in something outside the classroom, the better the retention rate is because they feel like they’re a part of something special,” said WCC Sports Coordinator Matt Lucas.

With an emphasis on fun and fitness, the college offers a wide selection of club, intramural and drop-in sports, including ice hockey, volleyball, soccer, bowling, tennis, basketball, and kickball. In the spring, baseball, tennis, bowling, and softball are among the sports offered. Most of the facilities for these sports are located on campus with the exception of hockey, men’s and women’s soccer, and men’s and women’s volleyball.

Club sports typically require tryouts and are for students interested in competing against other college teams, including Henry Ford Community College, Muskegon Community College and Bowling Green State University, among others. Some travel is involved, as well as practice time, at the club level.

Intramural sports, on the other hand, are for students and employees who want to compete against their peers without a big time commitment, according to the WCC Sports website. Drop-in sports are the least competitive and serve as a way for students and employees to compete in a fun, casual environment.

To participate, students must be registered for at least three credit hours and have a 2.0 cumulative GPA or higher. Additional requirements vary based on the sport.

Lucas

Lucas / Photo by Lynn Monson

“Whether you’ve played for years or you’re relatively new and want to be involved, we welcome you,” Lucas said. “We’re a huge family here at the Wolfpack.”

Lucas also pointed out that students who participate in WCC sports walk away with invaluable lifelong skills, such as leadership, teamwork, and accountability.

Freshman Jarret Clemons is studying journalism, but he plays volleyball and is even interested in taking up bowling in the upcoming months. “It’s important to stay active, so you might as well have fun doing it,” he said. “It taught me leadership and how to communicate with other people and that’s an important life skill that you need to be successful.”

Before making his way to WCC, Lucas coached football for 11 years. Since stepping into the “Sports Coordinator” role last year, Lucas has been busy scheduling games, booking practice facilities, and doing all the behind-the-scenes logistics that are required to make every game happen, but he’s also known for his accessibility.

“Matt’s door is always open,” said criminal justice major Bryce Moon, who plays basketball. “Whether you need advice with your particular sport or life just happens and you need someone to lend an ear. With the way Matt is handling things, there’s going to be people lining up to play every sport soon.”

“Our club sports are still growing, but we know there are other students who are actively interested in what we’re doing,” Lucas added. “Our students are driven and want to see more from what they’re experiencing. They’re stepping up and they want to know how they can make their team stronger. It’s great to see our students become so involved.”

By Princess Gabbara

Writer, Public Relations