NJCAA de­ci­sion means fall, spring are now one sea­son

The Dundalk Eagle - - SPORTS AND RECREATION - By BILL GATES bgates@ches­pub.com

The fall sports sched­ule will be pretty empty at CCBC Es­sex this sea­son. But the spring sched­ule will be jumpin’.

The NJCAA de­cided on Mon­day all “close-con­tact” fall sports will be moved to the spring. For some col­leges, that in­cludes foot­ball.

For Es­sex, that means men’s and women’s soc­cer, and vol­ley­ball. Men’s and women’s cross coun­try will re­main in the fall.

CCBC Dun­dalk does not of­fer any fall sports.

For some Es­sex ath­letes, a de­ci­sion will have to be made.

It’s com­mon for some women’s soc­cer play­ers to play lacrosse in the spring. They’ll have to chose be­tween sports this year.

Other changes by the NJCAA in­clude push­ing the start of the win­ter sports sea­son back to the be­gin­ning of Jan­uary, with cham­pi­onship tour­na­ments moved from March to April.

That will ef­fect men’s and women’s bas­ket­ball, wrestling, and swim­ming and div­ing.

Bowl­ing and indoor track will not start un­til the be­gin­ning of March.

“I think the NJCAA and its mem­ber in­sti­tu­tions made the best de­ci­sion possible with the safety of our stu­den­tath­letes, coaches, fans and staff driv­ing that de­ci­sion,” Es­sex ath­letic direc­tor Greg Witkop said.

“This still gives us a chance to play some­thing as close to a nor­mal sea­son as possible.”

Es­sex only has men’s and women’s bas­ket­ball in the win­ter, while Dun­dalk has men’s bas­ket­ball and is plan­ning to start a women’s pro­gram.

Dun­dalk also has bowl­ing, but at the in­tra­mu­ral level.

The Li­ons only have base­ball in the spring, while Es­sex will have men’s and women’s soc­cer shar­ing “The Cas­tle” with men’s nd women’s lacrosse.

The Knights also have a base­ball pro­gram.

“There will be some challenges to soc­cer and lacrosse shar­ing the turf field,” Witkop said. “How­ever, we also have avail­able al­ter­nate site op­tions.”

Both Es­sex soc­cer teams won re­gional ti­tles last sea­son, with the Knight women even­tu­ally ad­vanc­ing to the NJCAA cham­pi­onship tour­na­ment in Florida.

PHO­TOS BY BILL GATES

The CCBC Es­sex women’s soc­cer team has a few ex­tra months in which to pre­pare for a re­turn to the NJCAA cham­pi­onship tour­ney.

The NJCAA has de­cided to move all fall sports ex­cept cross coun­try to the spring.

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