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Young Yetis sports teams making their mark in their league

First athletic program to compete as a true collegiate team and member of the NJCAA

The young Cleveland Community College Yetis sports teams are busy making their mark in their league, in spite of the pandemic.

Chris Nanney, Ph.D., Athletic Director and Dean of College and Career Readiness at Cleveland Community College noted the young teams - in action since 2019 - are a "first" for the College. Said Dr. Nanney, via an email to Community First Media, "This is the second year of our athletics program. The Board of Trustees approved the sports program in March of 2019. The cross-country team began competing in the Fall of 2019 and softball began play in Spring 2020. However, their initial season was halted due to COVID. This year, baseball was added and both baseball and softball have started their Spring seasons."

Dr. Nanney noted the community college had a sports program way back in the 70's, when there was a basketball team that played in the Shelby City Park recreation league.

"But, this is the first athletic program to compete as a true collegiate team as a member of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA). Currently in the CCC sports program, there is only baseball, cross-country, and softball. We may add others in a few years," he said.

The Royal Blue and Neon Green Yetis mascot does not have a name, though Dr. Nanney said, "A variety of team names were suggested for faculty, staff and students to vote on by email. The top three names were submitted for a community vote on Facebook and Yetis won."

In addition to AD, Dr. Nanney, Yeti sports coaches are Gene Bowles (baseball); Ronald Beaver (softball), and Steve McCachren (cross-country). Theschool does not have a cheerleading program.

Nanney said the various teams play or run at different venues, for now.

"Cross-country runs at meets on a variety of different college campuses, softball plays at Crest High School, and baseball plays this year at McNair Field in Forest City. Next year they will move to our on-campus baseball field which is currently under construction," he said.

Regarding practices being back, he noted that practices have opened up and are normally conducted with small groups of 15 or less.

"Currently, we can have up to 100 spectators at Crest for softball and upward of 400 at McNair for baseball as it is a much larger venue," said Dr. Nanney.

Paula Vess, Public Information and Marketing Coordinator for Cleveland Community College, noted also in an email that the young baseball Yetis have improved their record.

In a recent media release, she wrote, "The first-year baseball program at Cleveland Community College is off to a 5-4 start on the young season, following a two-game sweep at The Ripken Experience in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

"The Yetis began the week with a double header split at Region 10 member USC Union in Union, SC, dropping game one, 2-1 and winning game two, 5-3. The following day the Yetis would fall 7-6 to Region 10 member Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute in Lenoir.

"The Yetis finished the week with wins over Region 10 opponent Paul D. Camp (VA) and Bay College (MI) by scores of 13-7 and 9-2 respectively, at the Ripken complex."

Additionally, Vess noted Yetis third baseman Blake Decker (Johns Creek, GA.) was nominated for NJCAA Player of the Week honors after batting .500 with a double and two home runs."

She continued, "Team leaders include Kyras Dawson (Washington, DC) batting .419, Zachary Wilson (Lawndale, N.C.) with 10 RBI's, and Decker with three homeruns on the season. Bailey McGinnis (Rutherfordton, N.C.) led the team with 13 innings pitched along with 13 strikeouts on the season."

To know more about the Yetis sports teams go to https://cccyetis.com/.

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