Fall sports outlook brightens at VCC

by Tom Coombe
The first obstacle has been cleared on the road to a fall sports season at Vermilion Community College
On June 19, the National Junior College Athletic Association cleared the way for fall sports, including football and volleyball, to move forward in 2020.
But the national approval is just an opening step in the process.
Nicki Kosik, athletic director at VCC, said the seasons must also be approved by the Minnesota Community Athletic Conference - an alliance of more than a dozen junior colleges - as well as the state’s college and universities system.
A green light also figures to be necessary from the Minnesota Department of Health, which allowed youth activities to proceed with games in many sports, including volleyball, effective June 24.
Earlier in the month,VCC notified its students that the school year will begin on time in late-August, with classes being held in-person and students residing in on-campus housing.
Because of the coronavirus pandemic, spring semester classes moved online in mid-March and the campus has been closed since then.
Vermilion announced numerous changes to deal with the pandemic, including reduced capacity housing, alterations in food service, classroom occupancy restrictions and social distancing measures.
Enrollment at VCC is expected to decline, perhaps by as much as 15 percent, but a wildcard in the mix is the status of fall sports.
Uncertainty over potential 2020 seasons has left many student-athletes in limbo, and provost Shawn Bina said he expects that athletics-related decisions would have an impact on VCC’s overall fall enrollment.
Vermilion will share further information with students as the school moves toward the start of the semester, with classes slated to begin Aug. 24, and students moving in Aug. 22-23.
A decision on fall sports within the Minnesota junior college system figures to come soon, given that practices are set to begin Aug. 5 and the first football game at VCC set for Ely School Stadium on Aug. 22.
The VCC volleyball team has scrimmages scheduled in late-August and is on track to begin the season Sept. 2, at Fond du Lac.