By Kristin Troyer – Horizon Co-Editor-in-Chief
Admissions counselors are used to rejection. The list of reasons students don’t attend Hesston college is almost as long as the reasons they do. On this list: “You don’t have my sport.”
Hesston’s Administrative Council thinks this is a problem. When it comes to getting more students on campus, appealing to athletes with newly-created sports programs seems to be promising solution. In fact, track and men’s golf will both be coming to Hesston’s campus next year.
“The golf program is something that has had community support since I have been in Hesston,” athletic director and vice president of student development Rob Ramseyer said. “We began researching it last summer to see if it would be a viable sport option for us and felt this was a good time.”
Chris Frantz, a graduate of Tabor College (Hillsboro, Kan.) will lead the men’s golf team. Frantz developed a golf program at Sunshine Christian Academy in Wichita before coming to Hesston and already has begun recruiting for the Hesston team. The team will use Hesston Golf Park.
Ramseyer says that both golf and track will help with enrollment and are “good fits” for the institution.
Already this spring, a few runners on the Hesston College cross country team will be doing long distance events at some track meets. Next spring, it will depend mostly on individual interests of the team members, but focus will be more on running events than field events.
By creating the track team, the cross country team can extend their training without breaking the rules set by the NJCAA which limit the amount of spring training a cross country team can do. Since Hesston is one of few junior colleges in the state of Kansas to have cross country but not track, that puts the the team at a disadvantage.
Cross country coach Gerry Sieber will coach track. He says next season there will most likely be three groups of runners: those who are just cross country runners, those who are just track runners, and those who do both.
“At this point we are primarily focused on cross country and so is most of our recruiting,” said Seiber, “A year from now, that might be different.”