By Rob Kiser
Miami Valley Today
PIQUA — The news earlier this week that Sinclair Community College was suspending sports for at least one year sent shockwaves through the area — and in the Ohio Community College Athletic Conference where the Tartans competed.
One of the schools that felt those shockwaves was Edison State Community College.
But Chargers fans and athletes have nothing to worry about.
Edison State Athletic Director Nate Cole is excited about the upcoming 2020-21 campaign and hopes the Chargers will continue the momentum created this past season.
“Absolutely,” Cole said. “Everything is ready to go. Dr. Larson (Dr. Doreen Larson, the Edison State president) has done a great job. We were one of the first to shut down and go to online classes. We have done everything the right way.”
The Chargers are coming off one of their most successful athletic seasons.
The volleyball team had a solid season under Julia Brandewie.
The women’s basketball team had a school-record 28 wins, with only three losses. They shared the only OCCAC title in school history, won the OCCAC postseason tournament and advanced to nationals for only the second time under coach Tim McMahon.
The men’s basketball team posted a 17-13 record and was in the hunt for the conference title most of the season, with Kyle Vanover coaching the Chargers.
But, the women’s trip to the NJCAA national tournament — as well as a baseball and softball in the spring — were brought to a halt by the coronavirus.
“It was disappointing that the women didn’t get to go to nationals,” Cole said. “I really felt like they could compete (for the national title). I thought they had a good chance.”
And Cole sees the glass as half full as far as spring sports go.
“It is true that we didn’t get to play in the spring,” Cole said. “But, the NJCAA granted everyone another year of eligibility. So, the sophomores can come back next year if they choose and the freshman didn’t lose a year of eligibility. We are making that opportunity available to all the sophomores if they so choose.”
Cole is hopeful there can be a return to normalcy for the 2020-21 season, but the Chargers will be ready for whatever adjustment they need to make.
Recruiting and signings have continued, and Edison State is ready to go.
“That is the thing that surprised me about Sinclair (postponing sports next year),” Cole said. “We don’t even start practice for volleyball until August. A lot could change by then.”
And if it doesn’t, that is okay.
“Hopefully, we can (return to the normal schedule),” Cole said. “But, if it means playing in an empty gym — or limiting practices to 10 or less people in a group setting, we can do that. We are in touch with the different organizations all the time. We will do whatever they need us to do.”
And the Chargers look to continue the momentum that was built up this past season when games resume.
Contact Rob Kiser at [email protected].
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