Gadsden State seeking public feedback on possible reinstatement of baseball, softball
Gadsden, Ala. — Gadsden State Community College is hosting a community meeting at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 20 at the Beck Conference Center on the Wallace Drive Campus. According to Athletic Director Mike Cancilla, the meeting will focus on the possible reinstatement of baseball and softball teams at the College.
“At the meeting, we will talk about our vision,” he said. “We need input from the public to help us project community support. What does the community want from our athletic program?”
The Gadsden State baseball program dissolved in 2011 with the softball program following in 2016.
“A lot of people were disappointed when our baseball and softball teams ended,” Cancilla said. “This is a baseball community. This is a softball community. When we had teams, many local people came out and supported us.”
Cancilla said reinstating the baseball and softball programs would generate additional scholarship opportunities for student-athletes and create more interest in Gadsden State.
“Student-athletes are interested in the colleges where there are opportunities to continue playing their sport of choice,” he said. “We have a lot of outstanding baseball and softball players in our area who would be great additions to our athletic program and to our College.”
However, there will be financial obstacles. Using the softball fields planned for Gadsden’s sports complex project is a possibility; however, it would be necessary renovate Gadsden State’s existing baseball complex. The college would also have to purchase new equipment for both sports.
“There is certainly a financial challenge that comes with starting new athletic programs, but an investment in our College and in our students is also a win for our community,” Cancilla said. “We just need to know if our community is willing to support us in this endeavor.”
Dr. Kathy Murphy, president of Gadsden State, said the College is identifying ways to keep students in the community following high school, including providing a quality education and an opportunity to continue participating in sports.
“We are reinstating cross county in the fall, and we are hopeful to reinstate baseball and softball possibly as early as the spring of 2023,” she said. “We are a community college seeking ways to serve our community through education and athletics.”