WNCC unveils athletic facilities

Rick Gunn/Nevada Appeal Helaine Jesse, WNCC's VIce President of Instutional Advancement speaks with Nick Serrano future announcer for the WNCC Baseball team look at an artist rendering of the new WNCC Baseball field at Glen Eagles Wednesday evening.

Rick Gunn/Nevada Appeal Helaine Jesse, WNCC's VIce President of Instutional Advancement speaks with Nick Serrano future announcer for the WNCC Baseball team look at an artist rendering of the new WNCC Baseball field at Glen Eagles Wednesday evening.

Western Nevada Community College is building it so talented student-athletes will come.

WNCC unveiled artist renderings for its athletic complex that will be on the Carson City campus during a reception at Glen Eagles Restaurant on Wednesday. The Western Wildcats will begin competition in women's soccer and baseball in 2005-2006 with women's soccer to play in the fall and baseball to play in the spring.

The school has launched its "Fields of Dreams" campaign to raise funds for the athletic complex. WNCC is already well on its way as about $1 million of the needed $2 million has already been raised for the baseball stadium, John L. Harvey Field.

Half of the funding came from the Whittemore Family Trust in honor of the late Harvey, a Carson City native, who was the great grandfather of WNCC baseball coach D.J. Whittemore. The other half came from Tom and Noreen Seeno. The donations are funding the stadium, scoreboard and field.

There's a long list of projects for those interested to make donations. Anyone who wants the entire complex to be in their name can donate $1.5 million.

Among other projects on the list is $250,000 for a baseball fieldhouse in which players - including those from Carson High - can practice year-round.

While it won't be complete, the baseball stadium will be ready for use next season. The women's soccer team will play at Edmonds Park this fall while the soccer complex, which will include three fields, is completed.

The soccer stadium will include sunken ampitheater-style seating at the base of the Sierra Nevada. There's also a plan for 20 seating benches on the plaza of the baseball stadium and the perimeter of the soccer stadium at a cost of $5,000 each. Three of the benches have already been purchased.

It's expected that WNCC will be approved as a member of the Scenic West Conference in the National Junior Collegiate Athletic Association in March. "It looks like we're a shoe-in," WNCC vice president Helaine Jesse said.

The Scenic West is a wood bat conference in baseball that includes schools from Idaho and Utah. Among the Scenic West schools are Dixie State, Utah, the defending national champion, and Community College of Southern Nevada, which has also won a national title.

The playing surface at the baseball stadium will be field turf, the same surface at Mackay Stadium. "We are going to have the best playing surface in the country," Whittemore said.

Whittemore said he wants his facility to be a minor league-caliber stadium that's used year-round and envisions the Nevada State High School Baseball Championships will be held at the facility someday.

Those who have contributed to the athletic complex project include Hershenow and Klippenstein Architects, Wood Rodgers Engineers and Basalite Nevada of Carson City.

Anyone wishing to contribute to the "Fields of Dreams" campaign can call Jesse, 445-3240.

BASEBALL RECRUITING

Whittemore now has 27 players either signed or committed to play in his program in 2006. Twenty of the players are from Nevada and 13 are from Northern Nevada.

Among them are Sierra Vista's Justin Garcia of Las Vegas and Cole Rohrbough of North Medford, Ore., who Whittemore said "are probably the two beste playes we've signed to date."

Whittemore said Garcia is the best pitcher in Nevada, who was being recruited on the Division I level. As a junior last year, he went 10-1 with a 0.85 earned run average.

Whittemore called Rohrbough a dominant left-handed pitcher. The 6-2, 185-pounder struck out 11 straight batters in the first round of the playoffs last year.

There's also Reed's No. 1 pitcher Steve Hook. The right-hander walked just seven batters in six league games last year.

McQueen's No. 1 pitcher, Tyler Fradd, has also signed. Whittemore said Fradd has "an amazing arm."

Another top pitcher is Matt Reiswig, a 6-7, 255-pounder, from Nevada Union in Grass Valley, Calif. Whittemore said Reiswig has a fastball that approaches 90 miles an hour and could be a high round pick in the Major League draft.

There's also Wooster's Jesse Rasner, an outfielder-pitcher. Rasner was a leading hitter last summer for the Sierra Sun Devils. Whittemore said the University of Nevada was also showing interest in Rasner.

Garcia will be joined by teammate Steve Sauer, a right-handed pitcher. WNCC will have five players from Sierra Vista, one of Southern Nevada's top programs.

Another player who has committed is Curt Temple, a 2004 Sierra Vista graduate, who's now attending UNLV. "He might be the best defensive cathcer we've recruited yet," Whittemore said.

There's also Matt Sawina, an outfielder. The 2004 Sierra Vista graduate is now attending CCSN.

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