By Jayshaun Jones
Staff writer

Hutchinson Community College has a strong athletic program. The football team and men’s golf team won the NJCAA national championship in 2021, the men’s basketball team was crowned champion in 2017, and the list goes on.

Hutchinson has had success in almost every sport the Blue Dragons compete in. Hutchinson has a lot of students who are athletes, as they make up a decent chunk of the student demographic on campus.

Is Hutchinson using sports to gather more students? Doesn’t many community colleges? It’s a smart strategy because many high schoolers want to be an athlete, and colleges give more opportunities to reach further goals in their athletic careers. Two birds, one stone. Would Hutchinson consider adding more sports? The school hasn’t added a sport since women’s soccer in 2005, and while there is no plan immediately to add sports, here are five that would be viable, also keeping Title IX in mind.

Men’s Soccer: Hutch’s CC could be primed for a men’s soccer team. Hutchinson already has a women’s soccer team that has enjoyed success under coach Sammy Lane. Who’s to say if Hutch put together a men’s soccer program, it couldn’t also have success. Soccer also happens to be the most popular sport around the world so it shouldn’t be hard to find recruits. More athletes equal more students which ultimately equals more revenue for the school.

The Salthawk Sports Complex is already in place for a men’s team to play at.

Women’s golf: Pretty much every community has a golf course, and many high schools offer girls golf. With so many courses around Hutchinson, practicing and playing wouldn’t be an issue. This would be a no-brainer.

Men’s volleyball: Did you know that volleyball was actually founded by a male? William G. Morgan invented the sport in 1895. According to (www.flexactivesports.com), Morgan invented the game while he was a physical education teacher at a YMCA in Massachusetts. HutchCC already has a strong women’s team, and wouldn’t it be exciting to have a men’s team as well? What if Hutch CC could just dominate the NJCAA volleyball world?

Women’s flag football: Remember Title IX? That’s coming into play here, so sorry to all the guys who thought they were going to relive their glory days.

This isn’t to say females can’t wear pads and play tackle football. This just could be brought in because of all the steam and traffic the sport is picking up, including at the collegiate level. Ottawa and Kansas Wesleyan already have collegiate women’s flag football.

Samantha Gordon, a young woman who put out one of the most electrifying pop warner highlight tapes YouTube has ever seen, is partially responsible for this boom. Gordon also pushed and basically found her own girls high school flag football league in her home state of California.

With Gowans Stadium in place, and the cost of equipment being miniscule, this makes sense.

Bowling: Last but certainly not least, there’s bowling, one of the most popular sports in every town in the country. People of all ages and backgrounds can bowl with the same pedigree as their peers. Not to mention, bowling is just waiting for a team to jumpstart its image. We have The Alley already. And like flag football, the cost for equipment wouldn’t be high.

Remember, for every sport that is brought into a school’s athletic department, it must be able to be played both ways. With all that being said, Hutchinson Community College could do itself a favor by looking into these athletic opportunities for school growth and development.

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