Editor’s Note: Throughout the rest of 2016 Western Nevada College baseball and softball seasons, which is the last for WNC athletics, the Appeal is featuring columns every Sunday from those who are sharing their memories of the programs.
Prior to 2005 WNC was a sleepy little community college helping retool students of an average age of 31 years old. Enter Wildcats and on came local high school graduates eager to advance their learning and take part in a culture that was more typical of a full service college.
Athletics brought something exciting in which to participate, cheer and rally behind. In 2011 John Kinkella, WNC Dean of Student Services and Director of Athletics, calculated statistics showing athletics increased the number of high school students enrolling at WNC. He reported the course completion rate for baseball and softball players averaged 96 percent compared to 79 percent completion rate for all full-time students.
Grade point average for baseball player (3.32) and softball player (3.27) student athletes was found to be higher than the GPA of all full-time students (2.79). Mr. Kinkella attributed WNC’s success to athletics in student athletes set the bar higher for other students.
He went on to state “athletes have set a positive example for other students by maintaining good grades, finishing their classes, completing their associates degrees and transferring to four-year institutions at rates significantly higher than the college as a whole.”
To a large extent the scholastic achievements are due to the emphasis our coaches Whittemore and Wentworth give to academics. But beyond recruitment and college advancement, athletics has blessed WNC with cultural enhancements.
Wildcat athletics has helped foster leadership development and campus spirit. It has instilled pride, cultivated community loyalty, bolstered alumni involvement and enhanced WNC’s reputation and visibility.
Athletics have contributed to a habit of lifetime fitness and sculpted more well-rounded and balanced citizens. We in Carson City and the surrounding communities have been the beneficiaries of WNC athletics. We all are the product and the success of WNC athletics. Thank you Wildcats!