Thanks to a football expansion by the Mid-South Conference, the University of the Cumberlands won’t be playing some traditional opponents in the near future.
“We keep Union. We keep Pikeville but we are going to lose some traditional rivals. Starting next year, there are going to be some schools on the schedule that you are not used to seeing,” said University of the Cumberlands Athletic Director
Chris Kraftick, who was the keynote speaker during the Sept. 22 special Williamsburg Kiwanis Club meeting.
“We are not going to get Georgetown for a while. They are off the rotation. Campbellsville comes off the rotation. Lindsey Wilson comes off the rotation. Some of your traditional Kentucky rivals we are losing.”
The football expansion will create a football conference composed of teams from the Mid-South Conference (MSC), the America Athletic Conference (AAC) and the Sun Conference.
“It only affects football. Starting next year we will have a 20-team league with three divisions,” Kraftick noted.
The three divisions are the Appalachian, the Bluegrass and the Sun division.
Each team will play all the other teams in their division. In addition, each team will play one team from each of the two other divisions.
Kraftick also updated the club on various other athletic happenings at the university.
Cumberlands has now has 27 athletic teams, including 13 men’s teams, 13 women’s teams and one coed team. 16 different teams are represented in all.
About 750 students or 50-55 percent of the undergraduate population at U of C are student athletes.
In terms of facilities, the university opened a new lacrosse and softball facility in spring 2016, added lights and a new outfield fence for the baseball field, and resurfaced the tennis courts.
In spring 2017, plans are to open a tennis clubhouse, which is complete with a men’s and women’s locker room, storage and office space.
The school added 10 new full-time staff recently, including the first full-time cheerleading coach in school history, Williamsburg native Corissa Dyer.
In the 2015-2016 school year, six Cumberlands students were selected as Mid-South Conference Champion of Character Sports Winners, including: Brent Logan, Annamarie Lake, Sydney Beck, Laurel Leever, John Williams and Kenny Wilson.
Kraftick said that part of his vision for the future of U of C athletics includes creating an atmosphere on campus where both student athletes and non athletes take pride in their school, to expand community outreach and instill Champion of Character values and incorporate that into everyday campus life.
“I am really excited about where we are going. The energy level on our campus has been great,” Kraftick added.
Also during the special meeting, the Kiwanis Club installed new officers for the 2016-2017 club year, which begins Oct. 1.
David Perry was pinned as the new president.
Cissy Lunce was pinned as the new president elect and James Jackson was pinned as vice-president. Lunce will serve as club president in 2017-2018 and Jackson will serve as club president on 2018-2019.
Virginia Combs will continue to serve as club secretary and Terrell Medley will continue to serve as club treasurer.
Outgoing president Alvin Sharpe noted that over the past year, the Williamsburg club led the nation in club growth growing from 21 members to 58 members.
“Our goal here is to better this community and better the lives of children,” Sharpe told those in attendance. “I know we will have continued great leadership as we move forward.”
Sharpe will now take over at Lt. Governor for the Kiwanis Kentucky-Tennessee Division 6.