Play ball at PDCCC!

Published 9:58 pm Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Count us among the most enthusiastic supporters of Dr. Dan Lufkin’s plan to develop an athletic program at Paul D. Camp Community College.

The college’s new president, who has a background in college athletics as both an athlete and administrator, has successfully developed programs at two other colleges that compete at the National Junior College Athletic Association level.

The plan for PDCCC calls for a men’s baseball team to begin official competition in spring 2018, with hopes for a women’s softball program to launch later that year.

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Western Tidewater has a long and storied love affair with the diamond. Thousands of youngsters have grown up in the area playing organized ball in local rec leagues, many going on to have great success in high school and college, some even tasting professional success.

But it has been decades since there has been an opportunity to play or root for a team that competed locally beyond the high school level. Lufkin’s plans will certainly change all that.

With renovations set to begin shortly on the field located directly behind the college’s main Franklin campus building, it won’t be long before the sweet sound of bat meeting ball in a college ball game will be heard right here in Western Tidewater.

While many details are yet to be worked out, such as conference affiliation and the like, the search is on for a coach to take helm of the fledgling program. And community residents will also have the opportunity to participate in launching the new teams. PDCCC will partner with the Suffolk News-Herald’s sister paper, The Tidewater News, to facilitate a nominating and voting process to come up with the school’s new team name and mascot.

We will provide further information on how you can participate in the days ahead.

This is an exciting time for both the college and the community it serves. A new athletic department is sure to provide a shot in the arm for college enrollment, an economic boost to nearby businesses and teams for the entire community to rally around.

We look forward to the progress sure to be made in the weeks and months ahead, and to the day in the not too distant future when the cry “play ball” is heard on College Drive in Franklin.